Collecting Salvia seeds

jblum(z6 NY)December 2, 2005

I live in zone 6/7, and I'm wondering if my Salvia Lady in Red will reseed if I leave the seeds in the ground, or do I need to bring the seeds indoors (as I do with Basil) because the cold will kill them. We have already had a few freezing nights, but nothing cooler than mid-20s. I assume that if I need to bring them in, they should still be good as of now...

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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

I think that if the seeds had started to ripen and were at least a moderate to deep brown, you have a chance. Fully grown green seeds shrink a bit during ripening to the usual glossy black, indicating loss of moisture. I assume that the final phase of enzyme formation takes place during the drying out. These reducing enzymes are needed to start germination on rehydration.

Watch out for mold during the curing and drying of your collected seed and do not save seed with mold on it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 12:19PM
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I have trouble timing the collection of salvia seeds. Ususally it doesn't take long for them to drop out of the pods. It's hard to catch that perfect time because the pods are ususally empty when I try. Any secret to figuring that out?

Question to Rich on the mold thing. It is understandable it should be a bad thing. I was reading on the Rose forum that mold is good on rose seeds. It helps with the stratification. Not sure if that was the exact term. But something with the bacteria enzimes helps break down the coating on the seeds and it will germinate better. Any possibilities it could be the same for salvia seeds?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 12:17PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Not likely. The gelatinous coat washes off after a few days, and the mold spores will disperse with it, infecting other seeds in the germinating media.

GA3 (giberrelic acid) hastens germination in xeric sages. Some respond to smoke water treatment as well. California and South African sages are good examples. Some of the sages from colder areas like central Asia and China may respond to stratification (alternation between just below to just above freezing). Subtropical sages usually germinate within 5 - 14 days at 75 - 80 degrees F.

Seeds will stay in their calyxes 1 - 3 days after ripening. If you can't find any black, shiny seeds (maximum of four) inside the calyxes, watch out for birds and/or ants.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 2:43PM
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