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Re: Seeds and Maturation

  • Subject: Re: Seeds and Maturation
  • From: Bill Nash raffi@sympatico.ca
  • Date: Wed, 09 Oct 2002 11:53:16 -0400

To: hosta-open@hort.net, PHOENIX_HOSTA_ROBIN@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM
Subject: Seeds and Maturation
From: Glen Williams

Good Morning Guys:

I am writing this to find out if I have established some foolish habits
over the years. Any contributions which point out the error of my ways
would be appreciated.

We had a mild frost last night and most of my seeds are not ready to be
harvested yet. I have always assumed( and seem to have some evidence ) that
mild frosts don't really stop the maturation process. Am I correct?

Some years, I have taken the seed stalks and placed them in water on the window
sill in the sun, and waited and hoped for the best. Is this foolish? Most
of the time I seem to have had viable seeds. I have even put a little
fertilizer in the water..trace amounts really. I have also always assumed
that a freeze (25 degrees or lower stops any hope of seeds maturing. Is
this true?

<Error of your ways? <-> that's a good one, Glen {{;>)>
RE: Frost!..STOPS hosta seed-maturing?
                                                                   I don't 
have any good proof on this, but my thoughts are geared into thinking: that 
the soil-temperature, is more important than the air temperature around 
plants?  Someone once wrote (I forgot whom it was?) -- *A SOIL TEMPERATURE* 
-- above 42*Fahrenheit, results in hosta-growth; a soil-temperature below 
this magic degree, will cause these plants to stop growing?
      Now, if the roots are in say a *warmish and un-frozen soil* then I 
would think, nutrients are still being taken in and distributed throughout 
plant-veining/cells (Which are not frozen yet?) like for example, up the 
flower scape to finish maturing the seed-pods -- perhaps -- wouldn't you 
think? ;)

As a sampling/example of this, H. longipes var. latifolia 'Grand Slam' 
tends to begin blooming in very late August; and onward into September, in 
my Southern Ontario Canada, Zone 4 (25 degrees of FROST) ME CLIMATE?  Also, 
someone has written, that a 10-week time period, is needed for hostas to 
mature their seeds (Ben Zonneveld DATA, I think?).
 From and the , and looking at September hosta bloomers, can't we assume: 
that some of the earliest pollinated seed-pods, will contain ripe 
germinating seeds, say late November and/or by early December?  Here we are 
moving into Halloween, October 31st (Being not too far off!-- no ground 
frost has hit us yet?) -- so there is a good likelihood and chance, that 
VIABLE GERMINATING SEEDS from Grand Slam and other late season flowering 
hosta-types, will and can be collected outdoors?  Last year, I did have 
germination, from Grand Slam seed: ripened and collected outdoors.

Re: placing seed-stalks in water solutions, to ripen seed pods <->  I think 
it was, Doctor Ralph (Herb) Benedict whom first mentioned to someone, that 
he ripens seeds this way, getting viable germinating seeds?
    Myself and others, with me, have tried many experiments on this in the 
past few years:
--> a woman named, Barbara, even sent me nutrient SUPER'thrive fertilizer, 
for this purpose?
--> sugar was also mixed in with the water, as was suggested by Herb 
Benedict, originally?
-- another woman called, Maureen, suggested we stick the flower scapes into 
a fresh potato, saying it works with her Iris flower stalks, to ripen these 
seeds?
*PROBLEMS WITH THIS PROCEDURE*
          On a short-term basis (say under 3-weeks?)  of the seed-stalk 
ripening in water solutions, the scape-soaking method works fine, by my trials.
          The main problem I've had, is that: the water-solution becomes 
murky, milky-looking and stinky fairly quickly, in the warm environment of 
an indoor window-sill.  I've tried to counteract this using bleach, added 
to the water; and this, definately helps stop the pollution of the water 
solution.
           Considering everything, hostaseed can be ripened via seed stalk 
soaking quite effectively, on the short term basis, but then, those very 
late season flowering hostas, like say longipes types, have never shown any 
seed germination.
longipes types, which require over a month to ripen their seeds this way, 
have never shown me any germination at all from seed stalk ripening routines?
           On the other hand, potting up those hosta having wanted 
seed-stalks on same; putting same into a sunny window indoors; and having 
the patience to wait for seed-pods to become ripe: does provide for 
excellent seed germination, by my trials.

  imho and hope you enjoyed

Bill Nash Guelph Ontario Canada Zone 4 <raffi@sympatico.ca>
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