Germinating Lobelia And Ageratum - Knowledgebase Question

Louisville, KY
Question by thomasa2
January 23, 2000
I am planting lobelia and ageratum in a little jiffy greenhouse. The seed package does not mention whether or not these seeds should be kept in the dark first or whether they need light as soon as the seeds are put into the pots. I started them in the dark and they are not moving along like my other seeds. Nothing is happening. Should I start these under lights?


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Answer from NGA
January 23, 2000

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Lobelia seeds have a pre-germination chill requirement. If your seeds were not pre-chilled prior to sowing, they may still sprout, but it will take them a while to break dormancy on their own before they're able to sprout. You might want to dig one up to check on the status. If the seed hasn't begun to sprout, put the pots or trays into a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 10-12 weeks, then put them back into your greenhouse.

Normal seed starting guidelines for lobelia are:
Mix seeds with moistened seed starting mix, place in plastic bag and refrigerate for 10-12 weeks. Remove and sow seeds on the surface of moistened seed starting mix and barely press in with your finger. (Seeds need light to germinate.) Keep at 65F-75F. Seeds will germinate in 15-20 days. The light requirement should be met by regular daylight. After seedlings appear place the trays or pots under a source of artificial light.

Ageratum seeds do not have a pre-germination treatment requirement, but do require light. Sow seeds on the surface of moistened seed starting mix and barely press in with your finger. Keep the soil moist. Seeds will germinate in 10-14 days when kept at 70F-75F. (Regular daylight will meet the light requirement.)

After seedlings appear place trays or pots under a source of artificial light.

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