Why soak seeds in orange juice?

diospyros4luna(SC zone 7b)March 19, 2005

I saw someone mention soaking passiflora seeds in orange juice for 24 hours before planting them. Why is this? Does the acid remove the germination inhibitors from the seed coat? Would scarifying or pricking the seed coat also help? Thanks!

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Krstofer(Zone 7 (ish))

Yes & yes.
When planting lots of seeds or if they're quite small scarification can become a bit tedious..

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 7:25AM
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passionflow(8b)

Orange juice may help.
Sorry Krstofer, scarification is not needed as Passiflora seed coats are permeable and it can induce fungus infections.
Myles

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Germination

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 12:40PM
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GardenerDc

what's so special about orange juice?? would water/milk/lemon juice work??

Dc

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 7:42PM
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patsy_b(z8 Tx)

When I first got interested in Passifloras and before I knew of Gardenweb I did a search for information on growing from seed. I received some information from a fellow in France that was a grower. He said to use milk. Since that time I have experimented with milk, orange juice, lemon juice, etc. I have found the most important thing is the seed being fresh. I have planted seed from fruit without removing the juice from around the seed and gotten excellent germination. I also think the temperature of the seed bed has alot to do with the germination. I am by far no expert, just a plant nut that happens to love passifloras.

Patsy

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 5:15AM
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GardenerDc

Oh dear... the two things I DONT have are the most important (freshness and heat). I have a few seed that is very fresh and some that is a few months old, the fresh ones seem to be molding in their pots, and the old ones are just sitting there

Dc

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 5:14PM
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patsy_b(z8 Tx)

Don't give up on the older ones. It just takes them alot longer to germinate. I have given up on some in the past and reused the soil I had planted in only to have a passie come up in with another potted plant. They germinate in their own good time. The fresh ones just germinate faster (for me).

Patsy

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 6:06AM
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GardenerDc

Hmmm, OK then, I'll wait. I have PLENTY of things to do while I'm waiting. At the moment I have quadrangularis, incarnata and some unknown alata hybrid planted. I am soaking a few more quads for a longer period of time as suggested by John Vanderplank in his book Passion Flowers.

THanks for the help,
Dc

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 10:18AM
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passionflow(8b)

A good tip to avoid wasting your time is to just put any dry seed or indeed fresh seed into a small glass of water and leave it to stand in a warm sunny place for a day. As a rule of thumb any seed still floating on the surface after that time are not viable and should be discarded. All the sinkers should have a fair chance of coming up. As Patsy says almost whatever you do to them if they are ready they will come up. Some species are very very difficult however as they may have germination inhibitors that need to be washed out. For an in depth look see link below.
Myles

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed germination

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 1:58PM
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GardenerDc

Hmm, Myles, I have passiflora quadrangularis in water in a sunny windowsill, they have been there for a week... both have sunk, are they ready??

THanks,
Dc

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 2:24PM
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paul_heliosville_com

I know this is a very old thread, but I figure this is a useful answer for anyone finding this page in the future.

I believe this is the reason you'd want to soak your passiflora seeds in orange juice: orange juice ferments fairly quickly, and the alcohol removes the germination inhibitor on the seed. What you're doing, essentially, is mimicking a fermented passion fruit.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 4:30PM
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passionflow(8b)

Hi Paul
Yes you are quite right. I have reposted as the links to my seed info in my mails above no longer work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed germination

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 2:10AM
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enigmaticeasteregg

Interesting. I ordered around 13 Passiflora species off eBay, and the instructions told me to use orange juice, leading me here. I hope it works! Passionflowers are so beautiful. Does anyone know why floaters signify failed seeds?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 12:24PM
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karyn1(7a)

I believe it's because there's nothing inside the seed coat or it's dried out so it's light or air filled and floats on the surface. Viable seed is moist and denser/heavier so it sinks. It's not a completely reliable method because some floaters will still germinate and some seed varieties are supposed to be floaters, especially those that grow in or near water. It's the way they are dispersed in their native habitat.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 5:30PM
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gonebananas_gw

I read that tea was the preferred soak and tried it figuring it couldn't hurt.

The dry seeds, after a day or two tepid soak in tea in a glass, rapidly germinated in potting soil and reasonably warm outside temperatures and full sun.

It is odd. Tea (tannic) would have an inhibitory effect on fermentation, just the opposite of sugary orange juice.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 9:21AM
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