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Seed Starting: Breaking Dormancy

By Joannabanana
January 15, 2013

Breaking dormancy of a seed is like waking it up from a sleep. The four key requirements are water, oxygen, light and temperature. There are a few techniques that will increase the germination percentage and help control timing of germination. Basically, water and oxygen need to penetrate the seed coat to initiate the break of dormancy. Some seeds need a combination of water, oxygen, light and/or set temperature.

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Jan 14, 2013 6:38 PM CST
Thanks, Joanne.

"Controlled stratification" is terminology that I hadn't heard before, but it fits perfectly.

I successfully germinated my first pansy seeds last year and was delighted; perhaps even more will sprout this year if I alternate warm and cool. Thanks for sharing this tip as well! Thumbs up
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 14, 2013 6:54 PM CST
Thanks Chelle! I made that up "controlled stratification" Hilarious! I have heard so many people comment that wintersowing is the same as seeding outside, but really it is much more "controlled"
Actually, I guess the entire article is on "controlled dormancy break"
I'm glad you like the article Green Grin!
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
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vic
Jan 14, 2013 6:54 PM CST
Wonderful article - thank you so much! Thumbs up
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 14, 2013 6:55 PM CST
Thanks Vicki. I'm glad you liked it Green Grin!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Jan 14, 2013 9:24 PM CST
Thanks very much, Joanne. You said a bookfull in just a few paragraphs.

Someone who scarifies a lot of seeds glued some coarse sandpaper to the inside surfaces of a matchbox. Then she closes it carefully and shakes it really fast to scratch all the seeds gently.

You Hydrogen peroxide trick worked really well on Salvia seeds: not very big, but hey had tough shells. They swelled up like frog's eggs, with a gel coating! I was doing several varieties at the same time, so I used an ice cube tray.



Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 14, 2013 9:44 PM CST
Rick,

Those are all great ideas!! Love the ice cube tray suggestion and will need to try that. Thumbs up
Last year I forgot I was soaking and a moonflower seed sprouted in the peroxide. Hilarious! The peroxide didn't seem to affect the sprout

BTW, I didn't realize that the photos will not enlarge when they are put in a chart. Oops. Here they are so you can view the entire photo

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[Last edited by Joannabanana - Jan 14, 2013 10:02 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #345730 (6)
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 14, 2013 10:06 PM CST
The rest of the photos

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[Last edited by Joannabanana - Jan 14, 2013 10:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 14, 2013 10:09 PM CST
Great article Joanne. It was very easy to understand. I did not know about the hydrogen peroxide soaking. I will give it a try.

Love you art print. Lovey dubby
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 14, 2013 11:09 PM CST
My daughter drew that. She like to draw animals, but did a good job with the poster
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 14, 2013 11:11 PM CST
It is beautiful enough to be framed and hung on a wall.
Name: Pia-Louise
Romford, U.K. (Zone 8b)

Sempervivums Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Roses Bulbs Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Garden Art Herbs Cactus and Succulents Plant and/or Seed Trader Container Gardener Region: United Kingdom
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PiaLouiseSourvi
Jan 15, 2013 2:12 AM CST
That was a wonderful article! Very informative! Funnily enough, I have some tough Rose and Acer Palmatum seeds that I wanted to try and germinate, but have previously tried and failed twice. Sad I am going to try once more with your article at hand! Smiling Thank you so much! Angel
[...very passionate about Biology and Art. One day I would like to breed award winning hybrids.]
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 15, 2013 7:57 AM CST
Pia-Louise,
I hope they will germinate for you. Since you are in Zone 8A and no winter conditions you're best with controlled stratification. For the rose seeds, you might want to try soaking in H2O2, and stratify cool. I would be tempted to use bottom heat after stratification. The floaters when soaking are probably sterile and throw them out. Or, if you have lots of seeds, experiment with soaking in H2O2, them move to the baggy and refrigerate for a few days, then put the baggy in the freezer for a few days, then thaw and sow them and provide bottom heat. You may want to ask Zuzu about rose propagation from seed. She may have some extra or different advice.

Are you thinking of nicking and soak in H2O2 for the Acer?
[Last edited by Joannabanana - Jan 15, 2013 8:26 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #345840 (12)
Name: Pia-Louise
Romford, U.K. (Zone 8b)

Sempervivums Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Roses Bulbs Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Garden Art Herbs Cactus and Succulents Plant and/or Seed Trader Container Gardener Region: United Kingdom
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PiaLouiseSourvi
Jan 15, 2013 9:55 AM CST
I am going to be a newbie and ask how do I make H202 ? Whistling
[...very passionate about Biology and Art. One day I would like to breed award winning hybrids.]
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 15, 2013 9:59 AM CST
You buy it at the store in a bottle. Hydrogen peroxide. Group hug
Name: Pia-Louise
Romford, U.K. (Zone 8b)

Sempervivums Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Roses Bulbs Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Garden Art Herbs Cactus and Succulents Plant and/or Seed Trader Container Gardener Region: United Kingdom
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PiaLouiseSourvi
Jan 15, 2013 10:02 AM CST
What kind of store would sell this?
[...very passionate about Biology and Art. One day I would like to breed award winning hybrids.]
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 15, 2013 10:05 AM CST
Our grocery stores sell it in the section where you would find rubbing alcohol, tooth paste, and things like that.
Call your store and ask them. Thumbs up
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Jan 15, 2013 10:05 AM CST
Hi there Pia-Louise and WELCOME to ATP Welcome! Welcome!

In this country, it would be a drug store that sells hydrogen peroxide.

Let us know if you can't find it and we'll keep looking with you. Thumbs up
Name: Pia-Louise
Romford, U.K. (Zone 8b)

Sempervivums Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Roses Bulbs Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Garden Art Herbs Cactus and Succulents Plant and/or Seed Trader Container Gardener Region: United Kingdom
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PiaLouiseSourvi
Jan 15, 2013 10:07 AM CST
I have had a look online, and have seen various bottles. Which percentage solution would I need?
[...very passionate about Biology and Art. One day I would like to breed award winning hybrids.]
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 15, 2013 10:12 AM CST
Now you got me Pia. What we have in our grocery store is just one offering.
I think it is the type used for first aid, 3%.
Is that correct Vic?
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Jan 15, 2013 10:13 AM CST
Joanne,
Great ideas, I didn't know you could soak seeds in straight h2o2. I just soaked some cana seeds in water, then into papaer towels. I think I my nick them after reading this.
Thanks!!!
Sempervivum for Sale

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