How can it be this hard?

mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)March 5, 2006

I have seeds for Incarnata, Lutea and Caerulea and I am having the hardest time getting germination. I've read several threads on getting them to germinate and almost a month later I've got zip.

Anyone have any special tricks or techniques? I've been using the baggie method which works well with all kinds of seeds but these have me pulling my hair out.

I'd appreciate any help, I'm almost out of seeds.

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I just bought some seeds at Target and one site I found suggested soaking them in orange juice. Someone mentioned that maybe that would be similiar to what conditions the seeds in the fruit would be like, with the acid braking down the seed coat. Haven't tried it yet but am going to soon. Also suggested using gritty or sandy soil.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 4:23PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I slightly nick or file one end of the seed and then soak the seed in water (or water with liquid kelp if I have it). Germination can still be tricky even with all that. Many sources state that bottom heat will help, but I haven't used it myself (though I will be doing so this spring when germinating some seed I got from crosses I made!).

Keep the seeds moist, but not wet!


    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 10:25PM
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Krstofer(Zone 7 (ish))

You're not "out", they're just all planted.
Have faith- I had the hardest time starting these things from seed when I started.. I simply gave up seeds & bought plants for several years. Then a couple years ago I got back into seeds, and Boy can some be a bear to get to germinate. Some I planted 2 years ago? Just came up a few months ago. So it can take AGES sometimes.

Now when I start them I soak 'em for a day or two in orange juice. (not 'sunny delight', get the real stuff) Then I plant them in seedling trays. I keep 'em moist, but don't bother with that 'greenhouse' clear cover thingy. Some I have over a heat-mat, seems to help sometimes. Usually I'll get germination in a couple weeks, but as I said sometimes it can take a year or more.. Sometimes by then I've recycled the seedling dirt, THEN they pop and I haven't a clue what I have. So don't give up. Ever.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 7:02AM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

Thanks for the feedback and help. I'll try some more and thanks for the not "sunny delight" because I had read in another thread about using citrus juice and yesterday we got some Sunny D and the first thing I thought of was; "Oh I'll have to save some to germinate the seeds I got. LOL.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 1:10PM
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Soaking in water is probably just as good as oj. However, keep in mind that two of the species you have listed are very cold hardy, incarnata and lutea. These seeds may require a cold stratification period. You can mix them in moist potting soil in a baggie and place in the refrigerator (don't zip 'em up, just fold the bag over so air exchanges some) for 1-2 months, then move to room temp.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 4:00PM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)


Thanks for the tip. I'll try that too.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 3:13PM
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I Soaked mine Foetida Seeds in Tropical Fish tank water and then left them on the Said Fish Tank... Think I only left them there overnight...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 10:43AM
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Mr Brownthumbs, I'm also in zone 5 IL.
This is my first go with the seeds (passiflora mix)
I soaked them in warm lemon juice (which then cooled to room temp) for a day or two then potted them up and put them in a waterbed drawer (75+ F)

Out of approx 12 seeds two germinated shortly. I had them under lights hoping for new sprouts but I haven't seen any for weeks so i just moved them to a window.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 12:30AM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)


Now I'm jealous! I think I'm going to wait til outside temps get warmer to try more seeds because I'm worried they'll go to waste and not germinate. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed with those I've started. If anything I can go back and buy more of the caerulea seeds, when the weather is warmer.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 12:48AM
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