Mold on salvia seeds?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I put my zinnia seeds in a winter sow container and put them on my heat mat. This is the first year I have had a heat mat. My salvia seeds all have mold on them.
1. Anything I can do to salvage them?
2. Should I have done something different?
I have some salvia seeds that I WS outside and they have sprouted. But, since it was so late, I wanted to get a jump start and put them on my heat mat.
Please advise.
These were my 4 or 5 Yvonne Salvia seeds I received in a trade. :( So, please save some Y. Salvia seeds for next year.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

birder --- I will spritz my seeds with a peroxide and water mixture and lightly 'stir' the surrounding soil to get more air in there... not sure if that helps or if just the peroxide helps... but I do those two things.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Are my moldy seeds gonners? What is the ratio of OTC peroxide with water?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I dont have a ratio per se because mine is in a tiny spritz bottle [like that "shine" hair silicone stuff spray'

I did see Neal [gemini_sage] say some thing about a halfa cup to a gallon ?? I'll see if i cant find that again.

BUT -- i have had Yvonnes and other salvias get a tad 'fuzzy' and still germinate.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I'm confused.

First you said "I put my ZINNIA seeds in a winter sow container and put them on my heat mat"
Then you asked about SALVIA seeds with mold on them. Are/were the salvia seeds on a heat mat? You said you have salvia sprouts. Are the sprouts moldy, or unsprouted seeds?

Karen

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Karen, I put some salvia seeds in a 1/2 gallon milk container, hence, a Winter Sow container. I put this milk jug container on the heat mat because I "thought" it would speed up the salvia seeds to sprout etc. Instead these became moldy.
Earlier, like in February, I had Winter Sown some Salvia farinacea "Victoria Blue", and they have sprouted.
I hope this make things clearer.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I assume you put them on the heat mat inside the house. Did you sterilize everything first as recommended for indoor seed starting (sterilize potting mix, container, any tools)? If not, that might have caused your problems.

Now that they're outside, maybe the sunshine will kill the mold (?) or maybe Terese's peroxide solution will help. I don't know.

The only wintersown seeds I've had get moldy were large seeds (like nasties , 4:00, or castor bean, much bigger than salvia), and only in extremely wet, cold weather.

Karen

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

birder... if i had to think about my lil spritz bottle... it's about 4oz and i use about a halfa teaspoon of peroxide. [i dont measure, just pour] does the trick for me. If you do not have problems with cats [who like to eat or play with seedlings] take the cover off too so it can air out. I've hear some use fans.. but with a cat, i can't do that... just keep my spritzers handy.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

tcs: I'll try the peroxide and take the tops off.
Karen" No, I didn't sterilize anything and won't. It's too much work. I have really good succes with most seeds. The other seeds I planted, Nemesia sprouted just fine. Same conditions.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I sterilize everything (or sanitize container with bleach, cook the potting mix) for anything I start inside. Works well for me- no bugs, no weed sprouts, no disease. Inside conditions otherwise foster these things.

I don't do anything like that for wintersown stuff. But those I sow inside and put outside immediately.

Karen

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Well, I guess it's the fact that I planted the seeds inside. I use Pro-MIx soil and wash the containers, I can't think of a flower that I would want bad enough to sterilize my soil in the oven.
I'd just buy the plant instead.
To each his own.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

birder... i've never sterilized before either... i may get a lil bit of mold, but the h2o2 takes care of it... usually all the seed types germinate for me... this year though... the lambs tail and BES vine have not germinated... but my Yvonne have.

Which Salvia do you have mold on?

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Sterilizing the soil is to prevent damp-off indoors. I will also kills bugs, larvae, eggs. If you're trying to raise seeds, or propagate cuttings, it can help prevent some disasters. I always do it, have never lost anything to damp-off, or fungus gnats. So, for me, it's one of those if-it-ain't- broke-don't-fix-it things. I sterilize the soil in the microwave.

I don't do any of that for wintersowing, though.

Karen

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yvonne Salvia, Salvia splendens, and Salvia farinacea "Victoria Blue" are what molded. I have lots of seeds of the latter. Some Salvia f. "Victora Blue" I sprouted outside earlier. SInce I just received my heat mat, I was kind of wondering if I needed to do something different with the heat mat. Plus, I had heard about the peroxide spray and wasn't quite sure how it was to be used and what the ratio was for water and peroxide.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Karen -- thanks for your insight on the sterilizing... since i dont do a lot of it, i didn't know this.

birder... you should be getting those seeds soon, and plenty of them.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yes, Karen, thanks for the info. I haven't had bad luck with damping off so far. I think it's because I am so stingy with the water.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Birder, are you talking about damp-off with indoor seedlings or wintersown? I've never seen damp-off with wintersown.

Karen

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Karen: Indoor seedlings. I did heliotrope, tomatoes, and zinnias. I have them under lights.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

OK, birder. I have never seen damp off with wintersown ones, so I was curious.

Karen

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

birder... how are you doing with germination?

any growth on the seeds that had a bit of mold?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

tcs: Yes, to my surprise some of them did sprout. None of the Yvonne's seed however. :( I am saving the ones you sent me to plant next year. I did not want to risk losing them and thought it was a little too late to start them.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

all of mine are still quite small. Hopefully they will take off once i get them in the ground.

Hope you have better luck next year.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks. I think I will WS mine from now on. I seemed to have better luck.

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Birder, could the mold you saw actually be the slime coat that Salvias get? It is kinda opaque and whitish, and does kind of look like mold. It is a normal thing Salvia seeds do before germination. When I read that some where germinating, a light bulb went on. I have trouble with Yvonne's too, they just don't germinate as well. I have 1 or 2 seedlings in a jug.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

>>and does kind of look like mold.

Yanno Neal.... I guess i always saw it as mold, but it was always the Salvias that had it, not the other seeds. Live and learn.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Gemini: Maybe so! I've never done Salvia seeds inside. I watched them very closely whereas outside I look occasionally and the Salvia seeds probably did their slime thing and I had never noticed! I did not know they did the slime thing until this spring reading on DG. Well, that makes me more encouraged to try my heat mat again! Thanks for the insight!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Birder... last year, i wanted some Yvonnes that had a jump on others, so i started them in a south window. they grew quickly.. and were much larger than the WS'ed ones.... but - I think you have enough seeds to try various ways to see which works best.

you are quite a bit warmer than me, zone-wise ... so your ws'ed ones may have enough time to get big and produce a bunch of seeds... mine did not.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Do you think it would be wise to put a light sprinkling of vermiculite on top of the Salvia seeds? I wonder if the vermiculite would keep down the mold effect. I think they're suppose to be "surface sown". It seems like I have sown them with a little soil on top of them, but I don't think I had good germination. Thompson & Morgan says "fine sprinkling of soil or vermiculite". They also say 7 to 21 days to germinate.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I think I will sow some Yvonne's Salvia tomorrow and save some for next year.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I've grown Yvonne's salvia for 3 or 4 years, and they generally sprout like weeds. I've done them by WSing and under lights, and they always grow to about 50" regardless of how I start them.

This year I wintersowed them, sown about 3 weeks ago, and I don't have a single sprout.

Not my best year so far.

Karen

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