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How to save bottle gentian seeds - or whatever I need to do to?

Posted by kwolfe0 7a (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 29, 12 at 13:25

Hello all,

I'm a new gardener, and a new seed saver too, and I was hoping for some detailed advice about how to save bottle gentian seed. I read some advice on another forum about stratification and I was unsure at what point in the process that should happen as it didn't seem like it was very long-term storage. But maybe I am thinking too much in terms of "plants must be sown after frost" considering this is a native.

Advice? Basically, I have one bottle gentian now growing in my yard and I want to do what's necessary to have more next year. Save seeds? Divide the plant now?

Thanks for your advice!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to save bottle gentian seeds - or whatever I need to do t

I have successfully germinated seed from wild plants. Wait til the seed pods are dried out a bit then tip the pod upside down into a paper bag and shake the seeds out. There will be quite a lot of seeds in each pod. In April or so, put seeds into a ziplock sandwich b ag with soilless mixture. When they start to germinate put into a pot and keep moist.
I only get a few percent of seedlings to actually make it into the garden, but enough make it so my stock is improving.

RE: How to save bottle gentian seeds - or whatever I need to do t

I have been doing prairie plating for over 30 years and experiment with many so called difficult native seed. This is what I know about all the gentians in zone five area. Collect bottle gentian pods just after they have faded and have turned brown but before the pod opens all the way. The pod is ripe when the top opens slightly. Gentian seed should never dry out. This is the key to all the gentians. I put them in a plastic ziplock bag so they stay moist. I take them home open the pods and then add moist ( not wet) sand to the seed and put them in the fridge until its time to sow. You will find a lot of the pods of seed contain small worms that eat the seed just discard them as you open the pods. The seed can be kept in the fridge but after about three months they can start to germinate in the bag so I usually sow them before the snow flys. I have grown the stratified gentian after two months in the fridge but they are very slow growing and it is just easier to sow where you want them. I have grown thousands on restorations this way. This also works for all the gentians. Never let the seed dry out. Good luck.

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