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!!!
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 ^_^
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?
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.
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).
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 ^_^
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'
armeria maritima 'sea pink'
verbena hastata (blue vervain)
capparis spinosa incrimis (caper bush) - note: zone 9, to be wintered indoors
viola xwilliamsii 'angelface'
viola 'skippy blue cream'
viola 'angel tiger eye'
viola 'clear crysal black'
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!
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 ^_^
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.
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.
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.
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.