Ask a Question forum: Starting Columbine seeds

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Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Jan 17, 2016 4:07 PM CST
I've got my shipment of various Columbine seeds in and now I want to get them started. I plan on making seed starting containers out of the distilled water jugs I have. Since I'm in Texas we're cold but I don't think we're cold enough for stratification. What's going to be my best option then to start these?
Chris
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 17, 2016 5:08 PM CST
You can stratify them in the refrigerator. Spread the seeds on a layer of damp paper towels or coffee filters. You can also layer the towels or filters to save room. Label each layer with a permanent marker. Fold them up loosely and stick inside of a baggie or open zip lock bag. Let them sit in the fridge for 3 weeks. Make sure the towels or filters don't dry out. After 3 weeks, surface sow on your seedling/germination mix and use a clear plastic dome over the pots until the seeds sprout. Because they're surface-sown, the seeds will need moisture surrounding them. The easy ones should germinate in about 10 days.
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
chris1948
Jan 17, 2016 5:17 PM CST
Thanks Cindy, I'll give it a go then. I have some 6 x 6 baggies I use for saving seeds. Would that work since I have six different types of Columbine seeds?
Chris
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 17, 2016 5:26 PM CST
What I've done in the past is this: flatten out a coffee filter or paper towel; write the variety name on them with permanent marker and then spray the filter or towel with water (I use distilled water for this). Put one variety of seed on the damp towel/filter and then fold it up so that the seeds can't fall out. Make a packet for each type of seed. You can put multiple packets in the plastic bag but don't pack too tightly as you need a little air circulation. I store the baggies in the butter keeper in the fridge so they don't get lost. You shouldn't need a separate bag for each variety since you've already labeled the individual packets.
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
chris1948
Jan 17, 2016 5:33 PM CST
Thanks Cindy, sounds like a good idea. I'll give it a try this week and hopefully I'll have some success.
Chris
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 19, 2016 4:04 PM CST
I've had luck, at least with my dwarf columbines, with just refrigerating the seeds for a few weeks without actually sowing them. A lot depends on the variety. I sowed McKana's Giant successfully without any stratification.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 19, 2016 6:10 PM CST
I know sometimes columbine seeds don't need stratification but, since I can't remember which ones don't care, I stratify them all. Do you just put the seed packet in the refrigerator? I thought part of the stratification process needed moisture.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jan 19, 2016 9:03 PM CST
I'm really not sure about that part. But I've never had any luck trying them moistened in the refrigerator. But the only ones I've tried that with were the pink and white dwarf variety and maybe they were just not viable seeds to begin with because I never got a single seed to sprout. With my blue dwarf seeds, I just put the dry seeds in the fridge for 4 to 6 weeks, then planted them normally. It's been a while, but seems to me I got about 50% germination or better from those. Those were either fresh seeds or year old seeds collected from my own plants, so that might make a difference. For what it's worth, I also generally get volunteers from my plants here in the frozen northland, so winter sowing might be another option.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 20, 2016 8:05 AM CST
I do think they're a good candidate for winter sowing. I do get more volunteers from certain varieties. Some varieties are more reluctant to germinate, even from fresh or year-old seed, than others.

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