The Q&A Archives: Germination of Lobelia cardinalis

Question: Last fall I collected seed from the cardinal flower (lobelia cardinalis) which grows near here. I stratified the seed most of the winter and then sowed it on a sterile light medium. I surface sowed it and placed it under plastic.
After a couple of weeks, only two seed have germinated. Is this normal? Is there anythign else I can do to hasten germination?

Answer: The seeds of lobelia take 15-20 days to germinate at 65F to 75F degrees. It sounds as though you've done everything right, from pre-chilling to providing light for the seeds, so it should just be a matter of time before your seeds germinate. It's difficult to predict the germination rate of any particular batch of seeds, but the percentage should be higher than what you've experienced so far! Hope by now more have sprouted!

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