I just receive some peony seeds with a little amount of gibberellic acid and instruction how to use it with the new seeds to break seeds dormant, but since I live in zone 5, I knew the seeds needs to go through the cold treatment, My question is can I combine the acid treatment and the cold treatment? Or I am just suppose to use the acid and keep the seeds indoor to germinate? I really need to know before the frost, and thank you in advance
I would place the seeds in a gibberellic acid solution to soak for a day or two.
Then pour the seeds and the solution onto moist vermiculite.
Then keep them warm---apparently a fairly warm temperature is best.
i.e. about 80ºF or slightly above.
Keep them warm for three months. Then chill in frig for three months, then back to warmth.
Peonies are hypogeal germinators. The root forms first, but the leaves do not show until the second warm period.
This is from what I have read, and I am just trying this now myself.
Thank you very much CLScott,
I went back and contacted the seller(in china), she/he advice me to keep them outside and subjected them to weather changes, but I do not feel right about it, therefore I am thinking of dividing the seeds into two groups; one to keep in the unheated basement the other in the attic instead of the outside which will give them a fare period of a fair cold and heat cycle and I probably going to keep a couple of seeds from each color into future trial, wish me luck and thank you very much
Yes, an outdoor treatment with alternating temperatures has been recommended to me also.
The ones that I did that way,--- did not germinate so now I am trying the three month cycles in house and 'frig. Keeping a few of each color is a good idea and trying the different methods is good.
Keep us posted when you get results.
CLScott, Were the seeds rooted when you moved them? My peony seeds were put on a soilless mix in Ziploc bags in early October and left on top of our freezer, where it's a little extra warm in the house, until Christmas. That's about three months. Then they were moved to a cool spare bedroom, even though they hadn't put out roots yet. I've read you should let them root at the warm temperature, but guess I don't have the patience to wait. Many seeds moved to the cool room have rooted and are now being moved to the unheated basement where they'll grow shoots. The ones that haven't rooted or have roots less than 1" (2.5cm) have been left in the cool room awaiting decent sized roots. Sometimes the ones with short roots put into cold treatment will stop growing roots and grow the shoot instead, so it pays to be patient. I guess this isn't really relevant to your technique, just my own experience.
There have been self-sown seedlings outside in zone 5, so that can work, too, but because they're self-sown it is hard to say if they put out roots the first year they fell to the ground or the following year. The gibberellic acid is probably used to make sure they put out their roots the first year of planting outside.