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Beginner Gardening Questions: Dormancy rate? Germination rate?

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Lumberjill
Arlington, VA

July 2, 2013
1:06 PM

Post #9583547

I bought seeds, thinking I'd get 1/64 oz of reasonably viable seeds. The package arrived saying that over 1.5 years ago the seed tested 25% germination rate. But what does the dormancy rate mean? The seed company is telling me that I must add the germination plus the dormancy rates, to see that I really have 75% viable seeds. I've googled around, and it doesn't seem that dormancy rates should simply be added to germination rates. Can someone sort this out in simple terms for me?

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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

July 2, 2013
2:17 PM

Post #9583628

OMG Lumberjill, I always new someone would ask a question that would render me speechless, for all my many years of gardening, almost 50 yrs, I have never heard of this either, I remember as a small child going to the store with my Dad to by his seeds by weight, or a pinch of fine seeds that looked like grains of sand, anyway I never ever heard him talk about the germination/ dormancy rate nor the viability of the seeds, it was absolutely expected the seeds were viable, were dormant when purchased and unless there was a huge climate disaster, these seeds would germinate, after all they were food plant / seeds and were required during world war 2 to keep a family from starving as here in UK all food, clothes, furniture etc were all rationed, so sorry I cant help you but will keep a close look on this forum to see if anyone can throw some light on this table of testing rates for seeds. Very interesting indeed. Makes me glad I just go to the garden store and buy a packet of branded seeds to grow on.
Best wishes and good luck. WeeNel.
Lumberjill
Arlington, VA

July 2, 2013
2:50 PM

Post #9583671

WeeNel, Thank you so much! I was half-afraid to even post the question, thinking it was obvious and I was totally missing something. Let's hope the answer wells up. The seed company emailed "Sorry for the shock, but I need to clarify the test info. This did have a 25% germ rate AND a 50% dormancy rate, meaning the total viable seed is 75%." But they haven't replied how they define dormancy, or why 50% dormant seed is added to 25% germinated seed to equal 75% living plants! The way I read the pack, it means that half of the seeds are dormant, and with the magic combination of something or other, will come to life. And 25% of the seeds DID germinate "as is". The package doesn't say if they stratified the seeds for a month before doing the germination test. Just offhand, I'd think a quality seed company would send 4 times the amount of seed ordered and paid for
if only 25% germinate.
Kalloused
Orem, UT
(Zone 6b)

July 2, 2013
3:45 PM

Post #9583750

The way I understand it if I am reading this research correct is 75% of the seeds test viable under different circumstances. 25% of the seeds germinated in a normal amount of time(say 7-10 days) while 50% sat dormant for (let's say 3 months) before sprouting, but in all 75% in all DID grow. A dormant seed doesn't mean it won't ever grow, just not as fast. 75% of the seeds ARE viable and will grow, 25% of them will grow immediately as any normal seed would but the 50% will lie dormant for an unspecified amount of time before growing.
Kalloused
Orem, UT
(Zone 6b)

July 2, 2013
3:47 PM

Post #9583753

so if I understand right, 25% will grow right away, 50% in an unspecified amount of time and the other 25% are duds.
Kalloused
Orem, UT
(Zone 6b)

July 2, 2013
7:45 PM

Post #9584125

But I agree, you would think with such a low germination rate(25%) they would send you much more seeds
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

July 2, 2013
7:59 PM

Post #9584136

Not being familiar with the question either, i googled it, and Kallous' description is correct, and if you want more detail on it, there are several posts about it. I just googled VIABILITY RATE AND DORMANCY RATE FOR SEEDS, and found ample descriptions of it.

WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

July 3, 2013
2:50 PM

Post #9585300

So Glad someone else has found out re the Mystery that some had not heard about,
That's what's great about the site EH !!!! there'Thank you ERNIECOPP.
There's always someone who can come in and offer further help.
Best Regards. WeeNel.
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 3, 2013
4:38 PM

Post #9585503

I would follow the directions to stratify the seeds,
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

July 3, 2013
9:57 PM

Post #9585821

In doing a little research for this question, it appears that leafy spurge is an invasive weed. Is flowering s purge something different or just another name for something your are going to be sorry you planted?
Lumberjill
Arlington, VA

July 5, 2013
8:33 AM

Post #9587641

Leafy Spurge is "Euphorbia esula", "is a species of spurge native to central and southern Europe, and eastward through most of Asia north of the Himalaya to Korea and eastern Siberia."
Flowering Spurge is "Euphorbia corollata", "is native to North America. A common name for the species is flowering spurge. It is usually found in prairies, pastures, glades, and along roads and train tracks."
The landscape architect I'm working with assures me that I'll be happy with Flowering Spurge in my native plants back yard. But if anybody has had bad experiences with it, I'd love to hear. I may not get any seeds to germinate any-which-way! Thx.

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