My success with snapdragon germination has always been hit and miss...mostly miss. I just received seeds from a sale on Summerhill Seed website of Frosted Flame snaps(variegated) and I really and truely would like to get these to germinated for me. I need your best snap germination advice.
Snapdragons require light to germinate. If sown indoors. Do not cover the seeds with soil. Sow on top of the soil, and spray with warm water. Give it light to germinate, and place them on a heat mat at 60 degrees. That is the ideal inviroment for them to germinate. You can also sow them directly outdoors, when the temperature is around 70 degrees. Good luck!
For me the seed germination was much higher if the seeds were refrigerated, at least a couple of weeks, before sewing on the surface of soil and sprinkling with vermiculite. Whenever Snapdragon seeds come in the mail they immediately go into the refrigerator in a ziploc bag. This winter I used quite a few seed packs that were labeled for 2008 and they germinated very well. Some of seed packs have been in the refrigerator for 2 years.
Stoke s Seeds has the best germination how-to instructions. www.stokeseeds.com
Here's what they advise for snapdragons:
Approx. 102,400 seeds per oz/28 g
GREENHOUSE: Freeze seed for 48 hrs. before sowing. Sow Feb. to Mar. 15th for May sales. Use Jiffy Mix or sterilized sandy loam. Firm and water thoroughly before sowing. Sow thinly in rows 1/8 in./3 mm deep, 1/2 in./ 13 mm wide, 2 in./ 5 cm apart. Do not cover seeds. Press seed firmly into seed bed. 1/64 oz/.5 gr. sows 2(20 x 12 in./ 51 x 31 cm) flats @ 700 - 800 seedlings per flat, depending on germination. Cover flats with plastic to conserve moisture. Germinate @ 70°F/21°C soil temp. for 7 days. (80°F/27°C air temp.) As seedlings appear, grow @ 50°F/10°C. Transplant in 6 weeks, at the same depth as seedlings. Shade transplants with cheese cloth from direct sun until established. Keep well watered with tempered 60°F/16° C water.
DIRECT SOWING: Sow outside in early May. Transplant dwarf types 6 in./15 cm apart, tall types 8 in./20 cm apart.
Wowsers. I must do it the redneck way. LOL. Sew on top of seed starting mix, sprinkle with vermiculute and bottom water. Place on the kitchen table under a regular ole kitchen light and lightly mist every 3 or 4 days. When seeds "pop", in about 7 days, move them outside. I guess for you guys it would be to move under a growing light.
Don't get me wrong. Very much appreciate the information Joanne. That is the appropriate way to sew the seeds, and thanks for sharing the info. Sometimes I just wonder "isn't there an easier way"? Brings me back to my early days of gardening. I thought that when it said "needs darkness to germinate" that it meant the containers needed to be in the dark! LOL I was placing all the 2" pots in the garage and wondering why none of them were germinating. Too funny, right?
Some instructions actually say to do that very thing re: darkness. It is a disappointment when it doesn't work. I always seed salpiglossis, which instructs surface sowing and place entire tray in darkness. What a waste with poor germination. So the past few years I now sow my salpiglossis 1/4" deep and have great success.
Salpiglossis is a gorgeous flower: AKA's Painted Tongue & Velvet Flower.
LOL, that's one of the flowers I put in the garage and didn't get any germination. I tried sewing on the surface this fall and only a few germinated. They kicked the bucket when it stayed very warm throughout October. Maybe, I'll try again using your method and see what happens Joanne. I'd love to grow it, but its been a toughie for me.
My 1st failure/success with the Salpiglossis was no germination. I dumped the tray and reused the potting soil and seeded something else. They ended up germinating and growing with the other stuff. It was funny since I had given a bunch of plants to friends and they got some bonus hitchhickers that year.
Unless it's a big seed...everything gets sprinkled on a bed of vermucilite and left out on GH bench. Most everything comes up. Only have a few failures. I pretty much quit ready what packages say and punt...Plants/seeds don't read either.