Seeds forum→How Long Can Seeds Be Cold Stratified?

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East TN (Zone 7a)
Feb 26, 2021 12:35 AM CST
Please forgive me if this topic has already been discussed. Over a year ago I placed some seeds in the refrigerator for cold stratification. There were about a dozen varieties of herbs, garden annuals and wild flowers with the requirement in common of needing less than 2 mos. of cold treatment. Long story short, they got lost and were never taken out and planted. Fast forward to a week ago; I found them in the crisper drawer and decided to take them out and plant them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I already see signs of life with the agastache foeniculum. What are the chances that the others will grow? Has anyone had experience with this?
The seeds were as follows:
Bells of Ireland
Oenothera pallida
Agastache foeniculum- 2 varieties
Larkspur- 3 varieties
Hen and Chicks
Bronze fennel
Salvia canescens
Penstemon barbatus

Name: Janine
NE Connecticut (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Seed Starter Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Mar 6, 2021 4:38 PM CST
Cold stratification involves placing the seeds in some kind of moistened medium, then subjecting them to cold. Many people use the fridge for long term seed storage (in an airtight container) with no ill effects.
[Last edited by janinilulu - Mar 6, 2021 4:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
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Mar 9, 2021 12:40 PM CST
Worth a try to sow them and probably many will sprout.
East TN (Zone 7a)
Mar 10, 2021 10:22 PM CST
In case you're wondering, the results were mixed but worth the effort.
Agastache foeniculum and agastache foeniculum aureum- Seemingly unaffected by the long chill, I think nearly every seed came up.
Bells of Ireland- Very good if not 100%. I'll have more than enough.
Bronze fennel- Maybe 50% or so. Still more than I will need.
Oenothera pallida- Maybe a bit better than 50%. Some are still coming up.
Penstemon barbatus- Same as Oenothera
Larkspurs, hen and chicks and salvia have no sign of germination
Hope this helps someone.

Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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Mar 22, 2021 11:54 AM CST
Thank You!
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
There is More to Life Than Now
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5b)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
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Apr 17, 2021 7:30 PM CST


WOW! That was pretty good germination for such a long stratification period. Great job!

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