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Germination Guide Overview
This guide provides recommendations for germination of over 7300 seeds listed in the seed exchange of the Ontario Rock Garden & Hardy Plant Society, accumulated since 1995. For each species, a single germination technique has been chosen from several successful approaches for dry seed stored 6 months @ 20°C, except where noted.
While this data is based primarily on the experience of ORG&HPS members, we have also relied extensively on methods described by Norman Deno (Seed Germination Theory and Practice), Dr. Pavel Slaby ( www.kadel.cz/flora ) and Tom Clothier ( http://tomclothier.hort.net). We are continuing to collect complete data on many species.
If you have suggestions for improving this guide or additional information about germination please let us know.
|WHAT OUR TEMPERATURE DESIGNATIONS MEAN|
|4°C||Either place seeds outdoors to be exposed to a wide range of winter temperatures including freezing or put them in a refrigerator (not a deep freezer).|
|10°C||Either place seeds outdoors in spring or fall or choose a very cool indoor location.|
|20°C||Either place seeds in a sheltered outdoor location in mid to late spring or grow at room temperature.|
|*||This species needs special care as described.|
|?||We have no information on the germination of this species. We sometimes provide an educated guess about which approach you should try. Let us know what is successful.|
|!||Sow immediately. The viability of these seeds is short or the species propagates best with fresh seed. Stored seed might be coaxed into germination with temperature cycling and patience.|
|A||Sow @ 20°C. Seed germinates within 3 months.|
|B||Sow @ 20°C. If seed does not germinate within 3 months, try 4°C for 1-2 months, then 20°C again.|
|C||Sow @ 20°C for 3 months, then place @ 4°C for 3 months.|
|D||Use repeated cycles of 20°C, then 4°C for 3 months each. Germination is very prolonged.|
|E||Sow @ 20°C for 6 weeks, then place @ 4°C for 6 weeks, then slowly raise temperature to 10°C for 6 weeks. If there is no germination, repeat the cycle.|
|F||Sow @ 4°C.|
|G||Sow @ 4°C for 3 months, then place @ 20°C for 3 months.|
|H||Use repeated cycles of 4°C, then 20°C for 3 months each. Germination is very prolonged.|
|J||Sow @ 4°C for 3 weeks, then place @ 20°C.|
|K||Sow @ 10°C.|
|L||Expose to fluctuating outdoor winter temperatures including freezing for 3 months. Gradually increase light and temperature in spring.|
|M||Store seed in moist medium @ 4°C for 3 months, then @ 20°C until radicle appears. Repeat cycle until leaf appears.|
|N||Sow directly in garden.|
|3||Requires light or the small seeds should be surface sown.|
|4||Germination is improved by using GA3.|
|5||Germination is successful only when GA3 is used.|
|6||Requires scarification. Nick or rub between sheets of sandpaper.|
|7||Requires soaking. Place in warm water until seeds swell, usually 24-48 hours. Discard floaters and water used for soaking.|
|8||Pulpy coat inhibits germination. Remove by soaking and rinsing in clean water daily for 7 days. Discard water.|
|9||Tails may inhibit germination. Remove them.|
|GA - 3||GA-3 has been shown to promote germination of a few species.
Its use is described in Seed Germination Theory and Practice by Norman Deno.
A Canadian source is www.gardensnorth.com