I just got some seeds from The Dunne Garden The directions don't say to cold stratify, but I'm wondering if I shouldn't.
Seeds of the west coast species should be planted in early fall for best results and may take a good 4 months to gerrminate, so yes.....I'd say some stratification was in order. I have ony planted these from starts, never from seed - I lean heavily into more or less instant gratification and I've always found you need to wait too long for bulb plants grown from seed to achieve flowering maurity.
The directions were to scatter them when frost danger is past for germination next year. I'm hoping they'll germinate this year if I cold stratify them.
After treatment I'd plant them in pots, below the surface, and keep an eye on them. As these are lilies, slugs etc. can be problems. They will be small at first, as mentioned need a period of years to reach flowering size. This is definitely a serious gardening project requiring some dedication.
Scattering onto the surface of the ground after frost danger is past sounds like the planting of some tender, easily grown summer annual - which these are definitely not. Without human assistance the seeds would be jarred or blown out of the capsules the first summer, to overwinter on or near the surface, and germinate after dormancy requirements were fulfilled - don't know the story with these but some hardy plants require a series of alternating hot and cold periods before they can sprout. This behavior would be the result of there being times of year when it is not suitable for the seeds to sprout, selective pressure weeding out any individuals that tried to come up at bad times.
It may also be the case with this plant that only the seeds that happen to get covered soon after falling are the ones that get a chance to germinate. Many kinds of plants generate quantities of seeds in nature, only to have most of them be lost - the few that happen to experience perfect circumstances being the ones that maintain the population.
This post was edited by bboy on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 13:52
Too many seeds for pots, but flats up on a shelf in the mini greenhouse should work.
Hallerlake, the instructions you got are completely wrong. Just ignore them. Let's hope your seeds are really Erythronium revolutum.
It's too late to plant them now. The best thing to do is to place the seeds in a sealed container and store them in the freezer until September. Then sow them 1/4 inch deep in well-aerated potting mix. I recommend a deep pot or flat, at least 5 inches tall, to allow for root growth. Give them a few weeks of 60-70F. . Then keep them outdoors over the Winter. Don't expose the seed flat to direct sunshine, and don't let it dry out.
You can also sow the seed directly into the garden next Fall, but the slugs and birds will cause heavy losses, unless you protect with bait and bird netting.
They will germinate in early Spring. Give them bright light, but don't let the soil get too warm. Fertilize and water. When they start going dormant in Summer, let the soil dry out and keep them shaded.
Figure out where you want them in the garden, and dig out about 1 inch of soil. Then spread the contents of the seedling flat, including the little bulbs, into that area, and cover with the soil that you dug out. This eliminates the need to sort the little bulbs out of the potting mix.
If you find that there are no little bulbs in the mix, it's probably because you gave them too much water or let the soil get too warm. So the bulbs rotted.
This post was edited by lilydude on Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 16:05