Author Topic: Stratification of seed.  (Read 2981 times)

true blue

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Stratification of seed.
« on: December 05, 2016, 11:01:01 PM »
The seed exchange, if ordered the previous year, will supply timeously if available, the best seed that require stratification to get the best results.

This year I have M. punicea, M. delaveyi, M.quintuplinervia and also a pot of M.henrici from last year all in pots, covered with grit, outside under the garden bench. So far this week the overnight temperature has gone down as far as minus six for four nights in a row. :) They will remain out there until I start to look at them again once the temperatures rise early spring.

What other seeds do members stratify and how do they do it?

Blue Stu

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 12:17:11 PM »
I tend to chill seeds either in the fridge or in the shed overwinter as I have problems with mosses & liverworts growing on the surface before they have germinated especially if they are outside. I've received the Mecs you list among others in the seed distribution & I'm just thinking through what to do. I've been reading James Cobb's book & he says to incorporate sphagnum moss in the seed compost so I'm going to try that.

Earlier this year I grew some Rock Roses, (Helianthemum mummularium) I sowed them on the surface like Mecs & put them in the fridge. They germinated there in the cold & dark within 10 days.

poppy girl

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 08:16:44 PM »
I have never tried with moss so may look at that next time.  I find a layer of grit stops the mosses and liverworts but I also have the pots sitting on top of some gravel in the trays as well to ensure good drainage. I gently take off some of the grit when the weather warms up a bit.

Meconopsis_Matt

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 08:50:13 PM »
I use chopped Sphagnum moss for growing Rhododendrons. Never thought about it for Mecs, I will also try.
Matt Heasman

Blue Stu

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 07:12:26 AM »
I've made up some sphagnum compost & put some seeds in on gentle heat, about 17degs so I'll see how it goes.

I got a carrier bag of sphagnum moss from my local nursery, they use it to make up wreaths. I separated out the green stuff by cutting the brown stuff off with a pair of scissors, (its also best to pick out the dead rush stems at each stage) & put it on a tray in the oven at something under 100degs. It took about 4 hrs to dry & then I rubbed it through a 1cm sieve.
I mixed it 50/50 with sieved peat-based compost then added about 10% perlite. I filled the seed trays with this, firmed it down & top-dressed it with some mix without perlite. I stood them in a tray of water before sowing the seeds on top. They look like mini raised peat bogs.
I don't know whether to leave them standing in water to maintain the moisture at the surface until they germinate.

Meconopsis_Matt

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2016, 09:07:18 AM »
Thanks for the mix recipe Blue Stu, I will certainly give it a try. Just another point about the Sphagnum Moss, Peter Cox of Rhododendron fame, who told me to use it for rhododendrons also mentions in one of his books about it being quite sterile and I must admit there is less liverwart issue when the moss is in the compost....Matt
Matt Heasman

Nick

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 05:45:14 PM »
I was surprised to see a number of new germinations last month. Unless my record keeping has gone wrong these are all Meconopsis aculeata sown in Spring 2016.

poppy girl

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 02:36:58 PM »
Your record keeping is probably correct. Sometimes it can take until the second year especially if sowing in the Spring. They may just have gone in to dormancy if it was a little warm. The lower temperature over the winter has spurred them back in to germinating. Hopefully you will get lots of lovely little plants.

Meconopsis_Matt

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2017, 05:38:40 PM »
Great News Nick, I will have to check my 2016 aculeate, perhaps it has also germinated.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 05:41:51 PM by Meconopsis_Matt »
Matt Heasman

Blue Stu

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2017, 12:44:24 PM »
I came across this recently, it is about proteas but could it be relevant to meconopsis?

https://finebushpeople.com/content/Planting-Seeds

"For the seeds to germinate, there needs to be a variance between the day and night temperatures of around 12 degrees C and also the temperature needs to drop down to between 4 and 11 degrees C at night"

Allan Jamieson

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2017, 09:37:05 PM »
I'd be careful about applying something relating to Protea's seed germination to Meconopsis seed germination. I've tried quite a few different types of Meconopsis from seed in the past, mainly the large flowered perennial types plus some of the monocarpic napaulensis types. I'd have to say that on the whole that I haven't actually noticed much difference with germination rates whether I stratified the seeds (naturally/ artificially) or whether I simply sowed the seeds indoors in my greenhouse February/ March and simply hoped for the best!

If you have a system that works for you and gives you good germination, stick with it. I must say that I don't really have the space or setup to keep seed trays for a second year if they fail to germinate in the first spring after sowing and may well have lost a few potential seedlings in that way but that is probably because on the whole I have always found that most of my seeds germinated within a few months of sowing and that can mean in some years that you can be absolutely overwhelmed with seedlings to transplant to the point that you wouldn't actually want any more seeds to germinate that year!

I'm guessing that this is probably an issue for a lot of gardeners, maybe the group could allow members to swap excess seedlings through the forum, rather than discarding them? This could be of some importance particularly with the rarer types of Meconopsis where a good distribution of plants throughout the UK could be helpful in keeping them both distinct and alive, not everyone is perhaps comfortable with growing them from seed. I know the group is attempting to get members to adopt some of the rarer monocarpic Meconopsis and this might help with that process too.


Peter Kohn

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 08:55:53 AM »
Have to agree with everything Alan says. We usually sow in January though now experiment with November sowings for the big rosette forming monocarpic species. This year have had a few early germinations from November sowings but most germination is in March. This is with seed trays left outside in a 'wall multitiered greenhouse'. I am bringing spare M. balangensis seedlings to the March meeting but generally spare seedlings would have to be exchanged in October (by which time they ought to be pretty large plants).

Allan Jamieson

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 07:21:33 PM »
On the whole Meconopsis seedlings are not likely to be all that large in March but that is a very good time to pass on any surplus seedlings from early sowings. However, have to think that for most people the glut comes in May/June and this is a fairly crucial time in growing on the young plants. If you can get them outside into either their final growing positions or just a spare bit of ground, even a very large pot with a number of seedlings in it, this will allow them to grow on, then they will do much better than plants simply left in seed trays or small pots to grow on. If you wait until the October meeting the plants are just about to become dormant just after that, so maybe not an ideal time to be planting them out, at least with my wettish growing conditions.

Years ago there used to be an extra meeting every year, at the time when the Meconopsis were actually in flower and these were usually held between Evelyn's garden at Sheriffmuir and Ian Christie's nursery near Kirriemuir. If there were a suitable venue to visit that had a good display of Meconopsis, that might be a useful sort of informal meeting even just to admire the plants and maybe swap a few seedlings.

eileen.goodall

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2017, 11:36:40 AM »
I have read a reply from Allan Jamieson suggesting that members could swap seedlings at one of the next meetings. I have had a good germination of aculeata, beamishii and pseudo integrifolia and would be willing to swap some for punicea, superba and integrifolia at the next meeting in March 2017.

Eileen Goodall

Allan Jamieson

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 09:46:59 AM »
The spring meetings tend to be the usual mix of plants (usually rather than seedlings) for sale on a 50/50 basis for group funds. What I was saying really was that most of the seedlings will not really be ready for sale or swap until probably May/June when they will be a decent size and ready for planting and that perhaps if there was enough interest and a suitable venue, an informal additional meet might be a good idea to allow people to do a bit of swapping if they wished to do so.

It would just come down to whether there was enough interest to do this and ideally a place to meet which also had a good display of flowering Meconopsis also. If that wasn't possible, perhaps members could list on a new thread on this forum which seedlings they had surplus of and work out a few swaps online after comparing what else is on offer from other members, seedlings are pretty easy to post.

It would be nice to cut down any wastage of good seedlings, particularly of the rarer forms, as even with a lot of care some people might end up with poor germination one year whilst others have a glut.

Nick

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2017, 07:39:07 PM »
Thank you Poppy Girl and Matt; sorry I have been slow to respond. There are now additionally a few M.aculeata that germinated last year re-emerging and they seem to be smaller than the M.racemosa were at the same stage when they re-appeared in January.

Leslie

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2017, 10:41:58 AM »
I have heard that  the germination of some meconopsis seeds is better after freezing once the seeds have been sown. I heard from a member of the group in March this year that he put his M.punicea trays in the freezer for a period. I seem to remember that the best (only?) germination of punicea I have had was in the winter of 2010 which was very severe. Do any members have a view on this, and if they favour freezing punicea, when should the freezing period begin and how long should it last? I live in Edinburgh in a built up area so I don't  usually get very cold winters unlike places like Kirriemuir and Biggar

Meconopsis_Matt

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2017, 03:33:28 PM »
Hi Leslie

I live in the Blantyre/East Kilbride area and grow M. punicea reasonably well. I usually do an autumn sowing and leave them out, uncovered all winter and get germination most of the time (Not always though).

I was told (a long time ago by an experienced grower) to sow punicea seed as fresh as possible and have been trying to harvest or sow the seed straight onto the place where the mother plant is growing, again with mixed results.
Matt Heasman

Leslie

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Re: Stratification of seed.
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2017, 09:01:18 PM »
Thanks for that Matt; I have already sown some punicea seed I collected mid June, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Les.