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Seed Germination: acid scarification

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Forum: Seed GerminationReplies: 11, Views: 75
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newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

January 13, 2012
6:48 PM

Post #8966730

I don't grow much from seeds but have started to try a few of the hard to find native plants, just the ones I can't find a source of the plant for. Last fall many of my perennial winter sowed seeds did not germinate. One plant in particular, scarlet globe mallow appears to need scarification. The seeds are a bit small to do this manually but I also read about acid scarification, anyone know about this? I probably could get some sulfuric acid but also read that vinegar might work. I can't imagine leaving the small seeds in strong sulfuric acid for more than a minute or two.
Cheryl

blomma

blomma
Casper, WY
(Zone 4a)

January 13, 2012
10:02 PM

Post #8966870

I have sowed Delosperma seeds, which are like dust. I used fine peatmoss, dampened then placed in a plastic container with a lid. I mixed the seeds into the moss, covered the container and placed it in the fridge. Once they germinated, I just picked up the moss and spread it on top of seedling mix in a seeding flat to continue to grow.

You can do likewise and place the container in an unheated garage.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

January 13, 2012
10:17 PM

Post #8966872

I think the seed in question needs some kind of alteration to the seed coat beyond a cold/damp period. I tried that last year (winter sown) and for this plant got 0 germination.
C
trc65
Galesburg, IL

January 13, 2012
11:22 PM

Post #8966895

To scarify small seeds place them between two pieces of fine sandpaper 220-400 grit and rub. Be gentle until you figure out how much abrasion you need. Often you need a lot less scratching than you think. Too much and you will end up with powder or damage the cotyledons and greatly increase the loss from pathogens.

blomma

blomma
Casper, WY
(Zone 4a)

January 14, 2012
10:28 AM

Post #8967359

Sorry, I missunderstood.

Always use Latin name since common names are usually not used by data bases.

It is Sphaercleca coccinea In the data base below, it states to nick, or soak in hot water then sow and keep the temp at max 41F degrees. It can take 2 to 3 months for germination. It needs both stratification and scarification, which is Nature's protective shield to assure it sprouts when conditions are right.

http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/index.htm
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

January 14, 2012
11:15 AM

Post #8967398

The company I bought them from says they don't need cold stratification but then again how would I really know...
I had read about the hot water working well for them but it just seems like it would kill the embryo in such a small seed. As for the temps., I won't get temps that cold. Still, last year I did plant them in the fall and we had cold weather...still none grew. Perhaps next fall I will get to scarify and get some cold. I will let you know if any of the current batch germinates.
C

blomma

blomma
Casper, WY
(Zone 4a)

January 14, 2012
12:38 PM

Post #8967475

Seed companies are out to sell. I have purchased seeds from Parks for years. They are NO. 1 for seeds, or used to be. Even they don't give correct information regarding sowing, especially the stratification method.

Most perennials need stratification. I soak all my seeds over night prior to sowing. It plumps them up and soften the seed coat so they are more receptive to moisture. It is hand hot tap water, not boiling.

A good example are Iris seeds. I soak them for 3 weeks, changing the water daily and allowing the water to cool. It removes the seed inhibitor factor that is in the seed coat that prevents the seed from sprouting when conditions are not suitable for them to survive. After that, I sow them in containers with potting soil and leave them on the North side of my house all winter for flunctuating temperature. They sprout in the spring when temps are 50 to 70F.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

January 14, 2012
12:50 PM

Post #8967497

This is Everwilde seeds which has a good selection and price for most seeds. They do list a lot of plants as needing a winter/wet period but not this one in particular. But I did notice it says to sow seeds at 40F so that tells me something. I have one pack of seeds and I am going to try the hot water method, then sow and put outside to hope for enough cool weather. It's 64 here today.
C

blomma

blomma
Casper, WY
(Zone 4a)

January 14, 2012
3:04 PM

Post #8967703

Send me your 64 degrees. It is 25 here

Don't do the full pack of seeds in the same way. Try placing the container with seeds in the fridge. Use a clear container with lid so you can moniter the seeds. If they are really small, don't cover them. Make a shallow furrow, sow the seeds, then tuck in the seeds by pushing in on both sides so the seeds are in contact with the soil without covering. Seeds do not need light until sprouted. Walmart sells seeding mix, which I use for small seeds.

blomma

blomma
Casper, WY
(Zone 4a)

January 14, 2012
3:17 PM

Post #8967727

I went to your seed company and noticed that they advise to stratify by shilling the seeds, then sow. Makes no sense since coldness without moisture won't to a thing, including stratify. Nature combines cold with moisture.
art33
Florissant, MO

January 14, 2012
5:13 PM

Post #8967855

I can't see how stratification without moisture could help either (other than a good way to store the seeds). However, I have seen "dry stratification" mentioned on some seed sites before. One example is Prairie Nursery at http://www.prairienursery.com/store/index.php?main_page=page&id=20 where they define dry stratification as just exposing seed to cold temperatures for one month or longer. They also define "moist stratification" separately in the next paragraph.

This message was edited Jan 14, 2012 7:25 PM

blomma

blomma
Casper, WY
(Zone 4a)

January 14, 2012
6:42 PM

Post #8967986

Don't forget that they only sell seeds. I bet they never sowed them. Seeds need moisture to sprout. I have noticed that every one that sells daylilily seeds always mentions that they have been dried and stored in the fridge for so many weeks and are ready. All my seeds are stored in fridge. It goes without saying.

The word "stratification" means cold moist.

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