chiku_ca wrote: Finally I have had some success with germination of seeds.
The success rate is around 1 in 10 seeds germinate when conditions are favorable.
I got more seeds (around 70/80) and experimented liberally with those seeds.
My observations with Nyctanthes arbor-tristis are as follows:
1) Peat moss pellets do not work. : My success rate is 0 % (I spent around 30 seeds and none of them germinated)
2) Low temperatures do not work. Temperatures above 70 F is what allows the seeds to sprout.
3) Seeds should be broken out of their pods. If seeds stay inside their pods, they eventually rot.
4) If seeds are too thin, they will not germinate. I did not have any success with edgewise thin seeds, small but meaty seeds were ok.
5) Dryness does not work, seeds should never get dry. Wetness also does not work. But moisture works.
1) Topsoil loosened,
2) Paper & bag
4) High temperature (it is from the tropics).
5) Scarring [added 08/20/2012]
I planted around 40/50 seeds in loose topsoil in my vegetable patch. The outdoor temperature was consistently above 65 F and most of the time above 70 F. The vegetable patch was kept moist by periodic watering. Excess water always drained away. After about 3 weeks I saw the first set of seedlings. In about a month I have total 4 seedlings growing in my vegetable patch. I have attached the pictures.
I put 10 seeds in a moist paper towel. Put the paper towel in a zip-lock bag and puffed it up by blowing air in it. Left the zip-lock bag by the window. After about 10 days one of the seeds sprouted. I see that one more seed is still healthy and it may sprout. Paper bag method has been the fastest and most successful method so far.
[Edit 08/20/2012] I gently filed some seeds with a file/sandpaper just enough to tear away a little bit of seed coat to expose the seed and increase water permeability. This scarring increased the germination rate from 1:10 to 6:10. Some botanists believe that scarring does not have any advantage. That may well be the case. The improved germination may be because of higher ambient temperatures. But the bottom line is, it did not hurt the seeds and I saw higher success rate.
I have attached some pictures.
Now it is all about taking care of these seedlings and growing them into healthy plants. Any pointers in this matter are well appreciated.