The other day I posted an update on the seed germination action in the greenhouse.  There were a bunch of procrastinators, pots just sitting there, busy doing nothing.  I’ve since done some research and find that many of those seeds need something other than bottom heat.  Seems I am guilty of treating all my children seeds the same. Here is the list of problem germinators, what I found out and what I plan to do to remedy the situation:

  • clematis recta purpurea – advice is to sow and leave in a cool place.  will move to the cold frame.
  • fritllaria meleagris -needs period of cold, fridge time.
  • rodgersia pinnata – can take up to 2 months. 15 to 20 deg preferred so they should be OK where they are.
  • cytisus killiney salmon – poor germinators, don’t like transplanting.  i’ll just leave them to it.
  • rodgersia podophylla .- “Sow seed in a cold frame in spring”. Couldn’t be clearer! Have thus moved to cold frame.
  • diarama pulcheriremum – may need period of cold if not germinated after a while, 4 weeks fridge time for these lads. Can be erratic…
  • euonymus alatus – needs a period of cold stratification for a few months.  fridge-bound for some time it seems.  after that, 20 degrees is just dandy.
  • lysimachia ephemerum – should germinate no bother, might be duds
  • scabious clive greaves – should germinate no bother, might be duds
  • lobelia cardinal ‘queen victoria’ – should germinate no bother, might be duds
  • euphorbia cornigeria, needs overwintering or 6 weeks fridge time
  • sorbus koehneana – doesn’t need warmth. May take over a year. Will stick in cold frame and leave it to it. It’s a tree, might not even want it….
  • dahpne tangutica retusa – no heat needed, needs a cold spell, germinates slowly in the spring.  spell of fridge time followed by the cold frame, I think.
  • clematis angustifolia – clems generally take ages, years sometimes.  no heat is needed though, so will move to the cold frame.
  • scabiosa stellata ‘ping pong’ – hard to find specific advice, seems February may just have been too early.  will leave them where they are…
  • plantago major rosularis – bottom heat supposedly helps.  seeds may be duds, will leave them where they are.
  • astrantia major ‘ruby wedding – can be slow germinators, to be kept in a cool place.  I’ve moved them out of the heated bed into the cold frame.  i do have two seeds germinated that i’ve pricked out, so not a total loss.
  • magnolia ‘wilsonii’ – no heat needed, might take ages to germinate, best left outside so these will go in the cold frame. I also note this is a giant tree, may take 10 years to flower.  umm…
  • lupinus nootakensis – heat should help.  other advice says sow outside in autumn and leave to it so I might move this pot to the cold frame for a while, see if anything happens.
  • tulipa sprengerii – ideal temp is 10 degrees, apparently, so the 20 degrees they’ve been getting is making them hot under the collar. I’ve moved the pot to a shady corner of the cold frame.
In the cold frame for a few weeks.
In the fridge. Shhh. Don’t tell Mrs J…

We’ll see if that makes any difference.  In general I am very happy with the outputs to date from my first foray into the Hardy Plant Society seed exchange.  I already have more plants than I know what to do with, so if there are a few malingerers then so be it. Apart from anything else, without maligning my fellow Hardy Planters, we probably can’t expect the same germination success as with commercially prepared, treated and stored seeds.

I’ll be back in a few weeks time, with an update on the stragglers.