Stratification - Knowledgebase Question

Columbia, MD
Question by krazk
March 29, 1999
Please explain to me just what exactly stratification is; and do all seeds need them?

Answer from NGA
March 29, 1999


Some seeds need a period of moisture and cold after harvest before they will germinate. Usually this is necessary to either allow the embryo to mature or to break dormancy. This period can be artificially stimulated by placing the moistened seed in the refrigerator for a certain period of time (usually 3-5 weeks at about 42F). Not all seeds require pre-chilling, or stratification, and those that do will have a notation on the seed package. Hope this clarifies things for you.

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