The Q&A Archives: Growwing Lupines From Seed In Winter

Question: I have just purchased a pack of your Lupine seeds. The instructions recommend placing the planted seeds in the refrigerator for four weeks and then sowing outside. My question: Do I need to cover the seeds and should I water the seeds once they have been placed in the fridge? Is the initial soak enough? Thank you so much.

Answer: Lupine seeds have some very specific germination requirements. Soak first (to help the seeds imbibe water) then sow in moistened seed starting mix in trays or individual pots. Provide cool temperatures (55F-60F). You can place them in the refrigerator or in an unheated garage. Since the seeds can take anywhere from 15-60 days to sprout, it would be best to place the trays or pots in a plastic bag to help retain moisture, or cover them with plastic wrap. Be sure to remove the plastic as soon as the seedlings appear. The seeds are erratic in germination, but remove the plastic as soon as the first few begin to sprout, or you may have to battle 'damping-off', a fungal disease.

Alternately, you can soak the seeds, then mix them with moistened growing medium, place in a plastic bag, seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 weeks. Then remove the seeds and sow 1/8" deep in a prepared garden bed.

Either way, the seeds need a soaking to soften the outer seed covering, and a 4 week pre-germination chill.

Hope this clarifies things for you!

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