Seeds forum: Do any of these need light to germinate?

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Feb 4, 2014 9:17 PM CST
Today I planted some seeds in little cell packs: Blue Bedder Salvia, Painted Daisy, Butterfly weed and Dahlia. I had a hard time trying to plant the little Salvia seeds, so I used a single ply of tissue to lay the seeds on and that worked great to aid in seeing just where I placed them in the little cells. When I finished with the planting I placed the cells in the trays they came with, then placed one on top to hold in the moisture. My trays were opaque, not clear, so I am wondering if that will make a difference.
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[Last edited by Seedfork - Feb 11, 2014 10:37 AM (+)]
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Feb 5, 2014 9:26 AM CST
I think the Salvia may require light.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Feb 5, 2014 9:41 AM CST
Thanks, I was thinking that being they were so tiny they might, seems most seeds that small normally call for light, but I was not sure. I will put clear plastic wrap over those.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Feb 5, 2014 2:52 PM CST
Good idea!
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
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Joannabanana
Feb 6, 2014 5:32 PM CST
Light for a few days, mist to swell seeds and then cover lightly with vermiculite.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Feb 6, 2014 6:09 PM CST
Joannabanana,
I soaked the seeds for four hours before planting, now I have them covered with clear plastic wrap, don't have vermiculite so they will have to fend for themselves.
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
Plant Identifier Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Seed Starter Cat Lover Region: Georgia
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Danita
Feb 6, 2014 6:10 PM CST
Salvia need to be surface sown and given light exposure. Mist them well after planting and don't freak out when the seeds develop a mucilaginous coating. It's not a fungus or anything, it's just a normal feature of most Salvia seeds. Like Joanne said, you can give them a light sprinkling of fine vermiculite.

I'm pretty sure Butterfly Bush seeds need to be surface sown and need light exposure, too, since they are very tiny.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 6, 2014 6:11 PM CST
perhaps cover with a bit of soil mix
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Feb 6, 2014 6:21 PM CST
Danita,
Thank you so much for your post, as soon as you mentioned the size of the Butterfly Bush seeds I realized I had posted wrong. I meant Butterfly Weed, as you can see in the see in the second picture they are not all that small. I used them to illustrate the tissue under the seed because the Salvia seed were so small I was afraid they would not even show in the picture. I did remove the little fuzzy stuff. Don't think that really matters. I do have a Butterfly bush, but I normally just take cuttings from it.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Feb 6, 2014 6:41 PM CST
I soaked my salvia seeds overnight in very dilute hydrogen peroxide (one ounce of 3% H2O2 in a quart of water).

They swelled right up like frogs' eggs and I got 60-80% germination from most batches even though some were a few years old.

In prior years I had very low germination (but might have covered the seeds with 1/16 - 1/8" of mix and then kept it too wet.

To keep the varieties separate, I soaked them in the cells of a plastic ice cube tray then scooped them out with tiny measuring spoons..

Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
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Danita
Feb 6, 2014 7:17 PM CST
I soak my Salvia seeds overnight in water with a dash of H2O2, too. Like Rick, I get higher germination and they germinate at more or less the same time rather than being widely staggered in their germination time. I use the little 3 oz bathroom cups to soak mine. I'd be afraid to use an ice cube tray because I'm far too klutzy and my seeds would end up puddle jumping and get all mixed up. Green Grin!
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Feb 6, 2014 7:34 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Feb 6, 2014 7:58 PM CST
Danita And Rick,
Thaks for that info, I have tried that before. I knew it was supposed to help the germination rate and speed, what I did not know was about causing the germination to be more evenly distributed, that is important also. I would tip you an acorn, but I seem to have run out. I wonder if that works for tomato seeds, I just opened up an egg carton of Beafsteak, and I had four out of twelve that had germinated. Those four were already getting lanky, so I had to move them off the refrigerator. It would have been great if more had germinated at the same time.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 6, 2014 8:12 PM CST
I just read years ago that salvias need light expsure for a few days and then cover, so that's what I did. I usually get a high germination
Name: Calin
Weston-super-mare UK (Zone 7b)
Bulbs Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader
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fixpix
Feb 7, 2014 2:26 AM CST
Ok, you soak tiny seeds. But then, how do you sow them???
This is a mystery to me Smiling
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 7, 2014 6:52 AM CST
I mist them and keep the soil moist. A clear dome on the seed tray will keep the moisture in.
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
Plant Identifier Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Seed Starter Cat Lover Region: Georgia
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Danita
Feb 7, 2014 7:16 AM CST
Calin, to my mind the Salvia seeds are not tiny, small but not tiny. To me tiny seed would be like Begonia or Digitalis seed and I couldn't fathom the idea of soaking those. After I soak the Salvia seeds, I just use a plant label to fish them out of the water. Actually, because the mucilaginous coating swells up the seed gets bigger and sticky which makes getting them to stay on the plant label easier. It's not a necessary step but it works well for me and is especially helpful when working with seeds that are a few years old (which I often do.)

P.S. Thanks Seedfork! Smiling
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Feb 7, 2014 7:48 AM CST
fixpix
What I did for the Salvia seeds was to soak them in small desert dishes (the same for the others also) then place a paper towel into a cereal bowl, dump the seeds into the paper towel, the water ends up in the bowl and the seeds end up suspended in the paper towel. That keeps the seeds dry enough so that when the wet tip of a tooth pick or bamboo skewer is just touched to them it will pick the seeds up one at a time.
I needed the tissue to see where I was placing the seeds in the dark compost, plus I found the tissue acted as a wicking agent to suck the little seed off the skewer and hold it in place. I could actually turn the tissue over and the seeds would stay in place.

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Edited to say that the seeds in the picture are Butterfly weed seed, the salvia were much smaller and I was not sure they would show up in the picture.






[Last edited by Seedfork - Feb 11, 2014 10:40 AM (+)]
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Feb 8, 2014 5:11 AM CST

Moderator

love that paper towel idea.. thanks!
Name: Calin
Weston-super-mare UK (Zone 7b)
Bulbs Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader
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fixpix
Feb 10, 2014 1:17 AM CST
Gosh. So much delicate work :)
I don't get this part "I needed the tissue to see where I was placing the seeds in the dark compost".
You place another tissue on the compost???
Anyway, I've only soaked really big seeds, like tree seeds, hibiscus also.
Now that I am trying Alpine plants from seeds, these are usually tiny so I just spread them on the surface and sprinkle water (can't call it mist, cause I don't have good one, I may have to buy a really nice "mist-er")
One more question to the seed-sowing gang. I got a lot of condense (water drops on the plastic foil that I covered the pots with).
Is that something good?
About once a week I take some of the pots, lift the plastic cover, give it a shake and turn it upside-down (with the dry side in).
But I don't know if I should do that. Would this reduce the moisture inside the pot?
But maybe there's too much of it, and it's a good thing.
No idea...

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