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Seed Germination: Legumes like Giberellin!

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Forum: Seed GerminationReplies: 5, Views: 39
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Pine Valley, CA

June 1, 2013
4:02 PM

Post #9542408

We've been experimenting with Gibberellin for seed germination. We have some exotic chiles from Oaxaca, Mexico that are not available in our area (San Diego, CA) or in nearby Tijuana. Sadly, our success rate with chile seeds was limited but we did manage to germinate some Chilhuacles and Chiltepin which we hope to develop to full fruiting plants.

Much better success occurred when we tried the Gibberellin with legumes. We used a 1:124 dilution of MegaGro ( on all seeds. We first "scarified" the seeds by lightly scratching them with an exacto knife. Then we placed them on a coffee filter (non-bleached) sprayed with the solution and then wrapped in a piece of paper towel soaked in a bit of filtered tap water for added moisture. These went into 2" X 3" 2 mil poly bags ( labeled as to the date and type of seed.

We had waited about three weeks for the chile seeds to germinate so it came as quite a surprise when the legume seeds all sprouted within four to five days! Two or three more days and the little seedlings were working their way out of the poly bags so we transplanted to a tray and in a week they are ready to go to the ground.

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June 1, 2013
4:51 PM

Post #9542464

Most legumes will sprout when moist and warm.
I don't think Gibberellic acid is necessary.
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

June 1, 2013
8:06 PM

Post #9542649

Scarification is extremely successful with legumes (resulting in rapid germination - in days, often) and much simpler.

Edit: I should clarify... the legume families in which seeds have hard seed-coats benefit greatly from scarification for fast germination. As noted, those grown as garden vegetables or crops only need moisture and warmth to germinate, as stated.

This message was edited Jun 1, 2013 9:59 PM
Pine Valley, CA

June 1, 2013
8:33 PM

Post #9542674

I am now running a small "control group" test without Gibberellin. I am trying this out on some lima beans and some green beans. Exact same process but with plain filtered water. I'll post back in a week or so.
Pine Valley, CA

June 7, 2013
7:38 PM

Post #9550509

UPDATE: Here is the result of my small control batch. I took seeds, scarified them the same as when I used Gibberellin and followed exactly the same procedure I followed previously. You can see that the beans germinated but if you compare them to the ones with Gibberellin you can see the green sprout is shorter and not as developed. The Lima Beans barely started to shed the seed coat. If you look closely at the Lima Beans you can see the scarification pattern.

It looks like the Gibberellin made a noticeable difference on germination time and vigor of the sprout.

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Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

June 11, 2013
10:28 PM

Post #9555824

How large are your samples in each batch and how many times have you repeated the experiment? How many species? What was the difference in time of germination? (You haven't stated it.) You should also do batches that are not scarified, for comparison.

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