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Re:Seed germination and dormancy

Norm Lesch, Ran Lydell and Jim Hawes have observed and made comment on
the fact that some Hosta seeds do not germinate under "normal" seed
growing conditions and that others appear to need and  respond well when
put into a cold environment for a month.  When removed from the cold
status, the seeds will then germinate.

Is the cold needed?  I have observed with two major "batches" of seed
this year that there is a "surge" of germination at 12 - 14 days (on a
germination heat pad - temp 80-82F and in dark).  When the containers are
moved under florescent lights to grow on, there may be anywhere from 25%
- 60% of the seeds not germinated (not by actual count, but guestimate). 
I have observed that there is a "delay time" of up to 4 - 5 weeks for
these remaining seeds to germinate.  The temp in the containers under the
lights is 78F and the surface is lightly misted about every other day to
insure the surface is kept moist.  By the time of the total elapse of 6
weeks, here will be a fairly high (60 - 80%) germination rate.

Is the cold needed or do we just have to wait it out?  Jim, I am sure
that there are cultivar differences and even variation within seeds from
a given pod, as you observe.

It is all this mystery that keeps us all challenged!

Charles Tuttle
Columbus  OH    Z5

"Optima probatio testatio;
authentica mensura resultatus."
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