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Propagation: Lab chemicals for maximum germination rates

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Forum: PropagationReplies: 8, Views: 88
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Tampa, FL

April 18, 2013
1:39 AM

Post #9488119

These chemicals are used by government / university seed labs for maximum germination rates (which also means the fastest):
1-Naphthaleneacetic Acid (NAA)
Gibberellic Acid (GA3) 90% - Gibberellin A3
Indole Butyric Acid (IBA)
Menadione (Vitamin K3)
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Potassium Dichromate
Potassium Nitrate
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)


Holly Springs, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 18, 2013
6:30 AM

Post #9488324

I use IBA and NAA to promote root development on cuttings. I use GA3 to treat some of the more tricky seeds. Unfortunately, sometimes the GA3 not only doesn't help; it can rot the seeds.

April 18, 2013
6:34 AM

Post #9488328

But I think that one needs to know which to use on which seeds.
Using one of these chemicals, just at random, could result in destruction of the seeds.

There are plants which give some true seeds, and some not viable.
Chemicals won't correct that.

I tried GA-3 on Ruellia humilis and on Myrris odorata.
It did not work for either one.

The IBA is in the starter fertilizers quite often.

This message was edited Apr 18, 2013 6:37 AM


Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2013
4:46 PM

Post #9490019

Dr Deno gives tons of advice about which seeds to use GA3 on. My impression is that it works by breaking certain kinds of seed dormancy, not as a gerneral-purpose stimulant.

Persistent URLs for Dr. Deno's book
"Seed Germination, Theory And Practice"
and supplements: (1993) (1996) (1998)

I think his reasoning was that alpine seeds NEED a strong dormancy mechanism since they are likely to spend a lot of time sitting on hard rocks. But when one washes into a pocket of soil, that soil is likely to have some GA3-leaking lichens. Species that have learned to use that as a signal to sprout right away have a big advantage.

>> 1-Naphthaleneacetic Acid (NAA)
>> Indole Butyric Acid (IBA)

These two are general-purpose plant growth regulators or "plant hormones".
I forget the correct term.
Offhand I would not have EXPECTED them to improve germination, but maybe.

I agree with Lankila: stimulate cuttings to put out roots, sure.
Stimulate root growth, maybe.
But I didn't know they improved germination.


Holly Springs, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 20, 2013
5:01 AM

Post #9490471

IBA and NAA are auxin regulators, so they are for rooting, not germinating. I love, love, love browsing my Deno books! I've had the PDFs for ages but I finally decided to print them out and put them in a binder so that I could add my own notes. Rick, how goes your germinating so far this spring?


Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 22, 2013
11:43 AM

Post #9493257

>> Rick, how goes your germinating so far this spring?

This was my most-procrastinating spring EVER. I've got the beds weeded, mostly, finally. That's it.


Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

July 16, 2013
5:50 PM

Post #9601604

I'm bumping this to the top, so I can save the links when I get home
Casper, WY
(Zone 4a)

September 11, 2013
10:09 PM

Post #9657621

I use stratification and nature. Below is the result. 100+ iris seedlings blooming at 14 months old.

This message was edited Sep 11, 2013 10:12 PM

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September 12, 2013
7:33 AM

Post #9657808


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