Germinating Indian Paintbrush seeds

Marthasville, MO

Just purchased some Indian Paintbrush seeds and want to know if anyone has any experience getting them to sprout. The directions say to sprinkle them on top of your medium and keep moist @ 70 degrees.



Dave

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Uh, as in Oklahoma state flower Indian Paintbrush? They are like mistletoe and need other plants to grow unless I am confused about what you actually have...

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Do you have an annual or a perennial variety?

I've never done anything other than put the annual in the ground and let them do what comes naturally. If you're putting them in a container, supposedly you should either put a host grass plant in there, or sow both seeds at the same time. Supposedly they don't transplant well.

Needs moisture to germinate, but I think not necessarily cold. (In nature, they would have dropped on the ground in the spring, then might germinate in the fall, or else in the spring. I bet seeds from further south more likely to germinate in the fall, and seeds from the north plains more likely to wait out the winter and then start.)

They start really slow, with a little floret for the first season and then the whole plant and flower.

Marthasville, MO

Thanks for the replies.

Kitt I didn't know there was an annual version. The seeds were purchased from a Wisconsin site. They are a perrenial in Mo. I to have tried to transplant them without success. Didn't know there were seeds available until three weeks ago.

These seeds are from 2010 so I think they have had a cold treatment. I don't know how they store their seeds. I plan to follow the directions and just sprinkle them on the soil surface and keep them moist. I'll think about a host when the time comes.

Dave

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

No snow usually in Houston and they grow well here, can show both in spring and fall, so an ambient temp is needed for them, they bloom with our bluebonnets, orange - with a few yellow florets is a natural color, but I have seen 'doctored' plants of rose and a couple other colors, poor ground they thrive but need the grasses that come alive with the bluebonnets, good luck

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I haven't actually grown them from seed myself. But I took a class on propagating native plants and I remember the instructor said they were fairly easy from seed and didn't need a host plant in the seedling stage. For host plants, these are the things I've seen used: Buffalo grass, Fringed sage (Artemisia frigida) and Pineleaf penstemon.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

I am not sure which plant you are referring to, but often the LadyBird Johnson site has propagation information along with the species' account:

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

If they are like the Wildflowers we have here just toss them. They will germinate when they are ready. I get them in a wildflower mix and toss I them where I want them. I do this in the fall, winter or early spring. The link above is really helpful too.

This message was edited Dec 30, 2011 11:08 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I was just wondering if you have the botanical name. I wanted to see if it was the same species we have here. Also, what's this about host plants? I've never heard about it and it sounds interesting.

Marthasville, MO

The species is castilleja coccinea. I'm supposed to put the seeds in moist sand inside a baggie and refrigerate for two months (cold stratify). Sow seeds on soil surface @ 70 degrees and water. We will see what happens.


1lisac, the Indian Paintbrush needs a host to feed on because they are parasitic.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

With this warm spring, I'll be doing all my winter-sowing in the refrigerator for plants that need cold/moist stratification!!!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks I didnt realize that. They grow on their own here so I didnt even realize. That is really interesting. Learn something new everyday. : )

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I just wanted to add that Indian Paintbrush doesn't seem to harm its host plant - the healthier the host plant, the healthier the Indian Paintbush. The one that is common around here that I have experience with is Castilleja integra.

Marthasville, MO

Amanda, do you combine seeds and moist sand in a baggie? For how many months does it take. You've been succesful how many times stratifying seeds. Thanks

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Calyposo:

If you need germination info on a specific species let me/us know. Some have unique requirements, but most common perennials that require cold stratification need sustained temps of 40 degrees for at least 3 months.

Last year I did cold moist stratification with several species - offhand the only one springing to mind are the milkweeds. Yes, a baggie with sand - playsand is fine - and just enough water so you can squeeze the sand together and it sort of holds it's shape.

Make sure all seeds are making contact with the sand. Laid flat on top of eachother usually works just fine. After 3 months (depending on species) you can take the seed out and do what you would normally do sowing seed. Last season I got distracted and forgot about my seeds on a counter in my kitchen. The milkweeds started to sprout in the baggies.

A.

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