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Seed Germination: Help with lewisia and gentiana acaulis from seed PLEASE!

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perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 14, 2009
12:49 AM

Post #6002551

I have conflicting instructions for starting lewisia and gentiana acaulis from seed, but all seem complex with warm then cold then warm or cold first and both say difficult with lewisia taking possibly a year or more to germinate. Does anyone have experience starting either of these from seed successfully? Any help much appreciated!!!
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

January 15, 2009
4:40 PM

Post #6008592

Gentiana acaulis is native in the mountains in Europe. Since they survive, you'd better winter sow them outside. They will get warm and cold periods by nature.
Jonna
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2009
6:08 PM

Post #6008917

Thanks so much Jonna. I did wintersow about half of it in a milk jug. Guess I'll go ahead and do the rest of it that way too.

Has anyone successfully grown lewisia from seed?
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

January 15, 2009
8:43 PM

Post #6009497

I grew lewisia in 2007. In peat pots moist surface by misting, 4 weeks in 65-70, then trays went 4 weeks in the fridge with crushed ice on top (had no snow). Then trays outside against the south side of the house in full sun with plastic covering. I had 10% germination after 16-18 weeks. Very slow growing so spent the summer in the greenhouse for TLC. Then TOTAL mistake, instead of planting them in my protected 'nursery' bed for the winter, I planted them out. Only one wintered over. I will try them again though :-)
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2009
9:37 PM

Post #6009668

Thanks for the info Dahlia! Sounds like they ARE difficult to grow. No wonder you don't see them around much . Unfortunately I don't have a greenhouse, but I'll try your 4 weeks (on heat mat), then 4 weeks outdoors (definitely no room in the fridge) , then indoors til summer and will take them in for the first winter (that is, if I have any that sprout and grow.) Geez, what we'll go through for a few plants!!
Should the first 4 weeks be with light or without - or does it matter, do you know?
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

January 16, 2009
1:43 AM

Post #6010548

I did light for the first 4 weeks. It's just too much fun not to try things. I usually try a few difficult things just for fun every year.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 16, 2009
1:57 AM

Post #6010604

Thanks Dahlia. Wish I had your attitude more often! And good luck with your own difficult seeds this year - anything special on the menu?
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

January 16, 2009
2:10 AM

Post #6010648

I still have to sort the 'cascade' as I now call it cuz when I open the seed fridge they pour out LOL. I have at least 3 toughies that friends gave me in a 'seed for seedlings' exchange, a few slow germinators like crocosmia, blue vervain. I really need to get organized don't I? I will post a list when I sort them.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 16, 2009
3:52 AM

Post #6010985

A whole fridge for seeds? And full? I can't even imagine! Do you have a nursery business? I feel quite overwhelmed with about a dozen kinds I bought plus another 20 or so coming from the piggy seed swap.
I'd like to hear your list, but ut - oh, I've got some crocosmia seeds to plant too (in case my corms rot like they did last winter). Haven't looked for instructions on that one yet. I guess your winter might last even longer than mine, so you probably have a little more time to sort it out (and it sounds like a lot more experience).
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

January 16, 2009
8:05 PM

Post #6013397

LOL o no the 'seed fridge' is not full of seeds. The bottom drawer (which is foolishly called a Veggie Bin) is full and then I have seeds on top of that rack. They are the ones cascading because they are just in there willynilly. I use the racks in the rest of the fridge for trays of seeds that need cold tempuratures. I think JonnaS might be able to fill a fridge though :-)
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 16, 2009
9:39 PM

Post #6013778

Well I'm still extremely impressed with your facilities and ambition!!! Guess you'd better get started soon - it would take me years to plant that many seeds.
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

January 17, 2009
8:27 PM

Post #6017061

ROFL @ myself. I just spent the last 2 hours sorting through the seeds and its amazing what's there. Where am I going to put all this stuff? I was going to get them all organized but I'm not motivated so instead I think I'll plant a few that are tricky or slow germinators:
astrantia 'ruby cloud'
anemone sylvestris
armeria maritima 'sea pink'
helleborus niger
verbena hastata (blue vervain)
capparis spinosa incrimis (caper bush) - note: zone 9, to be wintered indoors
rhodiola integrifolia
sedum album
viola xwilliamsii 'angelface'
viola sylettas
viola cucullata
viola gem
viola 'skippy blue cream'
viola 'freckles'
viola 'angel tiger eye'
viola 'clear crysal black'
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 17, 2009
11:07 PM

Post #6017525

You've got some nice plants on your list there. Had to go look up a few of them. Will wait to see what the other 300 are that are still in your bin, but glad I only have seeds for 30 or so. Am going crazy enough trying to sort them out!
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

January 17, 2009
11:15 PM

Post #6017549

Well strike of the rhodiola integrifolia for controlled seeding. I obviously opened the seed pack to admire the seeds at some point and didn't seal it properly cuz it was empty. Probably swimming around in the bottom of the seed fridge with a plethora of poppy seeds that I accidently spilled in the fall. I'm going to direct sow the whole kit and kaboodle of those in the garden and what will be will be :-)

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 18, 2009
6:09 PM

Post #6020149

Oh its nice to see someone else with a seed refrigerator. I use mine for bulb
forcing too. I get frustrated with DH puts too much food in there and I can't fit my
seed trays. It IS really nice to have extra freezer space (for the food)

I've had a hard time over wintering lewisia that are full grown. They need impeccable
drainage. My dream is to bring a lewisia rediviva to bloom someday.

Dahlianut - you should stroll over to Alpines & Rock Gardens.
baabaa
Billericay, Essex
United Kingdom

July 21, 2011
2:57 AM

Post #8705462

I thought I was the only nut who tried things out. I am glad I am not alone.
BBC gardening programme once suggested germinating seeds in the airing cupboard.
My wife that if I did that, she would hang her washing up in my greenhouse.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

August 4, 2011
7:45 AM

Post #8736285

2011 update. I again tried lewisias and several gentians. A few lewisias sprouted warm, but I got a whole crop of them by wintersowing after a warm period inside. These gentians sprouted warm in wintersow containers after 2-3 weeks, so didn't have to go outside: gentiana tibetica, gentiana dahurica, gentiana cachemirica.
Gentiana makinoi "Marsha" had a month warm inside, then sprouted in spring after wintersowing.
Gentianas gelida and andrewsii had a warm period, then wintersowing, but did not sprout.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 4, 2011
9:41 AM

Post #8736484

Thanks for the follow up!

Tam
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

August 4, 2011
10:24 AM

Post #8736546

Thanks for the follow up. Gentians are not the easiest ones to grow from seed.

Will you have seed of the G. tibetica this year? If so, I'm very interested.
I hope to harvest seeds from the G. pyramidalys and the G. pneumonanthe.

Jonna




perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

August 4, 2011
4:39 PM

Post #8737222

Hi Jonna. The gentians all seem to be very slow starters, so they're still very small and I don't expect to see flowers this year, the way they're going. Maybe next year, I hope. Please remind me, and I'll try to collect seeds if you don't find some sooner. I've never heard of the gentians you mentioned - I'll have to look them up.

Sharon

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