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Propagation (seed, cuttings, etc): Seed Germination 2013

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Started by: Tim Ingram

Go to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 22 June 2013, 10:36. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Tim Ingram 22 June 2013, 10:19top / bottom of page

The long cold winter/spring weather we had this year has actually been beneficial for many alpine seed. We were late sowing Gentiana verna and G. dinarica (own seed sown 3/2/2013), but have still had good germination, especially of the former. The problem now is pricking out those minute seedlings!

Legumes are a speciality and these we generally 'chip' and don't sow until the weather warms in the mid to late spring. Most then germinate very quickly. Some don't though and Baptisia australis is only just appearing. Legumes tend to be delectable to mice (and slugs too) so we cover pots with wire mesh.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 22 June 2013, 10:36top / bottom of page

There are those plant families which are renowned for poor germination unless sown fresh, or in most cases in the early autumn. Callianthemum anemonoides was probably sown a little too late in August 2012 and germination has been limited and only occurring now in Mid Summer 2013. Anemone rivularis, on the other hand, sown quite late from the HPS seed exchange has germinated very well this spring. Most umbellifers are best sown in the autumn, perhaps because their rather oily seed becomes progressively more hydrophobic as it dries out. The very early Hacquetia epipactis needs sowing as soon as it is collected from the plant (and like Hepatica seed it is quickly dispersed and lost if you are not careful). Later flowering umbels like Athamanta turbith we generally collect and sow in the autumn.

The seeds of plants vary in size enormously and these show two extremes; the minute seed of Petrophyton caespitosum and accordingly (though this is not always true) tiny slow developing seedlings. No wonder those small rosettes of its relative Kelseya have the same cachet as dionysias, they grow even more slowly! On the other hand Daphne retusa, undoubtedly one of the finest garden daphnes, has quite large seed and seedlings develop relatively quickly - these were sown in August 2012.

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