Ask a Question forum: Preparation of sweet shrubs by seedpods

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Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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JB
Jan 11, 2014 10:36 AM CST
Please point me to the place where I can get information on what to do with my sweet shrub seed pods.
This is a first for me and I need some guidance. Pulled them today (three different varieties) and they are really wet but the thinner ones in the container on the far right (tag blew off in storm so I do not know the name) are showing signs of the seeds beginning to want to come out the tops. Really nice looking seeds.

I do know the ones on the far left are Michael Lindsey and one of the others is a Venus, but those are two I am not sure of.
Thumb of 2014-01-11/JB/c54932




Thumb of 2014-01-11/JB/24d3dc

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 11, 2014 4:44 PM CST
All I can remember is the seeds need stratification - 4 months of cold I think.

I will correct myself:
They should be placed in damp sphagnum moss and kept in a plastic bag or plastic container in the refrigerator for 3 -4 months. Then plant in good quality soil (a plastic bag tent to keep the humidity up) and you should have good luck.

[I still want to know what gardeners did before plastic was invented.]
[Or refrigerators!]
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Jan 11, 2014 4:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jan 11, 2014 5:25 PM CST
I should add that the time the seeds spent on the plant out in the cold and damp does count toward the total time needed for stratification.

I only have the one type with the lime green flowers which I received from a generous seed swapper (who actually works for the USDA). [Edited to add: the lime green variety is called 'Athens' and has a different smell/aroma.]

The plant is also called 'sweet bubby' by some people in the south. Before deodorant was invented, women would place a blossom of 'sweet bubby' inside their blouse so they would smell good at church.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Jan 11, 2014 5:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jan 11, 2014 6:25 PM CST
When I was a little girl we had a sweet shrub at our farm.....very big and tall and wide and just full of those wonderful little flowers. It was my job daily to get Grandma a shrub to tie in her linen handkerchief for her pocket. This went on for many years and that is why I decided I wanted my kids to remember me when they look at my sweet shrubs. I am now 85 and holding. I have three and the most fragrant one is Michael Lindsey.


Thank you so much Greene for your information. I thought I was on the right track but I was leaning toward Winter Sowing instead of the refrig. What do you think about that?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jan 11, 2014 8:32 PM CST
I would hedge my bet: winter sow some, use the frig method for some, and send some to a really experienced Thumbs up gardener (not me) with their promise to return a portion of those which successfully germinate. Ooh, it's getting too late at night for me to be using big words. G'night.

I just realized I said 'hedge my bet' while talking about a shrub, sorry, no pun intended.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jan 11, 2014 9:04 PM CST
---- Dr. Norm Deno: seed collected in January germinated 84-87% at 70F in second week and 81-93% in third day with 3 months cold conditioning prior to 70F using fresh seed or dry seed stored for 6 months at 40F or 70F.
--- Dr. Michael Dirr: mature seeds planted while seed coat is still soft germinate 90% within 3 weeks. Dried seed with bullet hard seedcoats planted, germinated 1%. 3 months cold stratification (cold conditioning) is recommended. He speculates it is the probably the hard seedcoat, rather than internal seed dormancy that delays germination.

So you could try weakening the seedcoat with sandpaper to allow for water absorption, and I'll bet you have good results.

My exprience:
I've sprouted seed of Calycanthus floridus and C. fertilis. Here in Minnesota, if I get them planted in the fall, and overwinter outside, they sprout in late spring the following year. I've planted dried seed from Athens twice, once in early January.. the other in early Feb. Both soaked for a day and planted inside for a week , then finish the winter outside. Both sprouted in the second spring.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jan 12, 2014 10:29 AM CST
This information is extremely helpful. First I need to get those seeds out of the pods and into some colder conditions. Then I have time to decide what to do. Thanks so much for your help. I will try my best, but I am a cuttings propagator and seeds just never seem to like to grow for me. Have a wonderful day and Rick and Greene, you are really helpful to an old lady.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
Image
JB
Jan 29, 2014 12:38 PM CST
This thread is now closed and we have moved to:

The thread " Sweet Shrub Experiment (Calycanthus floridus)" in Seeds forum

Feel free to move along with us. Thank you

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