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Oct 5, 2021 9:47 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 7a)
Bee Lover Birds Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Foliage Fan
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
I need advice.
I was following the protocol of Rich Howard regarding cold damp stratification of seeds. I made one change that I do not think will matter, but now not too sure. I used perlite rather than vermiculite as a medium for the seeds to sit on while they wait in the damp sealed zip-lock baggie in the fridge. Every time I check, the baggies still have plenty condensation in each one, and a tiny bit of residual liquid in the bag corner.
It has been 5 weeks. Am I supposed to see anything at this stage, or do I take them out of the fridge to room temperature, which is when they are to actually germinate? Right now, they just look like seeds in a bag. Same as the day they went in.
I skipped any damp stratification last year and most of my seeds germinated fine, regardless. But people are touting >95% germination using this damp method so I figured I should give this a proper go, this time around (as the seeds are more expensive ones this time around I want maximum germination).
Should I pull them out the fridge or wait longer for something to actually happen in the fridge? I am going to wait 1 more week for the 6-week period, but unless they all magically pop open within the next week I would consider that I have done something terribly wrong (FYI, they germinated fine in wet perlite last year at room temperature, after cold-dry storage). Or maybe my fridge is broken and not as cold as I thought.
Help.
This is the advice I am following:
http://www.ctdaylily.com/seed_...
What do other people do?


Edited to add that I just read a similar recent thread (link below) but it did not answer my question about what to do if they do not germinate after 6 weeks.
The thread "Cold Stratification" in Daylilies forum
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Last edited by plasko20 Oct 5, 2021 10:39 AM Icon for preview
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Oct 5, 2021 10:51 AM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
They are not supposed to germinate in the fridge, they germinate at room temperature after coming out of the fridge.
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Oct 5, 2021 10:58 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 7a)
Bee Lover Birds Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Foliage Fan
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Thanks! Thank You!
I think the page of Rich Howard confused me, as it compared ones that had been left in the fridge for 2 months (and those were huge) relative to ones at 4-5weeks (with just a little poking out of the seeds). That seemed to imply they were germinating in the fridge, and not waiting until they come out.
I will stick to my plan then, and pull them out after 6-weeks. I was just worried if that was the wrong thing to do the seeds may 'reset' at room temperature and I would have to do it all over again. D'Oh!
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
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Oct 5, 2021 11:02 AM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
I can see how it could read like that, but if you read the DJ article in Rich's link at the bottom it should be clearer.

http://www.ctdaylily.com/files...
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Oct 5, 2021 11:05 AM CST
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Bee Lover Ponds Peonies Irises Garden Art Dog Lover
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Canadian Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Good answer from Sooby Thumbs up

As to your other concern, I have used perlite rather than vermiculite, so that is not a problem. Good luck and please keep us posted as to how it goes!
Touch_of_sky on the LA
Canada Zone 5a
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Oct 5, 2021 4:11 PM CST
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
I also use perlite, mostly because that's what I tried first, so I have a big bag of it. I usually refridgerate for 5 weeks, and plant all the seeds at once. My experience is that close to 90% of the seeds that will germinate will poke their heads up in 5-15 days. You'll see stragglers, but I always thought it was kind of amazing how many started in that 10 day span after stratification.
Avatar for Labelboy
Oct 5, 2021 4:43 PM CST
Name: Bob
Bellevue, NE. (Zone 5b)
What media do you use with the Rootmaker 32 cell tray? I've been using peat pots and pro mix but I'm tired of buying new ones every year. It looks like the Rootmaker pots can be used year after year. Is that correct?
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Oct 5, 2021 7:35 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 7a)
Bee Lover Birds Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Foliage Fan
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
I read that too, Bob. The Rootmakers do look cool.
Never had much success with peat pots. They always grow mushrooms out the side, and white furry fungus up the walls. Not great if you are trying to prevent damping off. I always had to drown them in fungicides. Sighing!
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Avatar for Labelboy
Jan 10, 2024 5:35 PM CST
Name: Bob
Bellevue, NE. (Zone 5b)
I use a distilled water mix of 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of water but I'm not sure how much of it to put in my 1/4 quart freezer bags. I use a mix of vermiculate and perlite in the bags.
How much to people recommend?
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Jan 10, 2024 7:07 PM CST
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
Bob, I put the Perlite in a paper bowl, and add just enough water/peroxide mix to soak the Perlite. Not unlike adding milk to Cheerios. I mix it a couple times over 5 minutes or so to give the Perlite a chance to absorb the water, and I'm ready to to stratify 200 seeds or so. I do stir it as I go along so the Perlite that's over the water line doesn't dry out.

I use snack size ziplock bags. Sound like your size. I put 3 to 10 seeds in the bag and add maybe 3/4 of a plastic spoon worth of wet Perlite (no extra water) over the top of the seeds. Just enough so all the seeds are touching some wet Perlite. That's how I do it.

Also, so you know, I use that peroxide/water mix to water my seeds/sprouts/seedlings from mid February until I plant around Mother's Day. The bigger the plants get, the more you can increase the ratio. So maybe a month after you plant your seeds, you can move up to 1 cup per gallon, and I've read you can go 10 to 1 ratio, which is 1.6 cups per gallon.
Avatar for Labelboy
Jan 10, 2024 7:30 PM CST
Name: Bob
Bellevue, NE. (Zone 5b)
In the past I put the water mix into the Pro-Mix I use and just use it once more the first time I water the seedlings. After that I haven't been using distilled water but adding Miracle Grow fertilizer to tap water to water. I top the peat pots I use with milled sphagnum peat moss to prevent damping off. After the seedlings emerge, I will add fine vermiculite on top to prevent fungus gnats. I have had no problem with damping off but this will be the first year I try the fine vermiculite. It sounds like we have the same planting schedule.
Last edited by Labelboy Jan 10, 2024 7:49 PM Icon for preview
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