Ask a Question forum: Germinating lavender seeds in Greenhouse

Views: 425, Replies: 18 » Jump to the end
Name: Lisa Ely
Pataskala, Ohio (Zone 6a)
lisaely
Mar 29, 2016 1:42 PM CST
How do you germinate lavender seeds in a small Greenhouse? We have bought ceramic heaters with a thermostat to keep the temperature in the soil even. The greenhouses are enclosed in plastic and are inside with natural light coming through. Each Greenhouse has 4 shelves. Any advice out there for us? My husband look something up on Wiki but it was very thin on information. Thanks ahead of time



Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 29, 2016 3:25 PM CST
First you need to cold stratify them. The easy way to do that is to plant the seeds in small pots, water them and let the pots drain well. Then seal the pots into plastic bags and put them into the refrigerator for a month.

A heat mat always aids in germination but lavender may still take up to a month to germinate.

Daisy
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Mar 29, 2016 4:00 PM CST
I agree with Daisy.

The old T&M germination database says:

21-90 days to germinate.
slow and irregular germination
best germn temp 55-65 F
use well-drained soil to germinate
Just Cover the seeds
Stratify: place the moistened seed in a refrigerator for 4-6 weeks

If there's no room for pots in your fridge, you can instead place the seeds on a moist coffee filter or paper towel in a baggie in the fridge for 20-90 days. Mostly-close the baggie and make sure it doesn't dry out.

After the first 3 weeks, check every few days to find any seeds that have germinated. Plant these shallowly into a pot.

Here is Tom Clothier's advice (try room temp first for 3-4 weeks, or a shorter, colder stratification period):

Lavandula angustifolia , laciniata, latifolia, and stoechas:
Sow at 20ºC (68ºF),
if no germination in 3-4 wks, move to -4 to +4ºC (24-39ºF) for 2-4 wks
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Mar 29, 2016 4:37 PM CST
Yikes, that sure seems like a lot of time and effort when good sized transplants are very readily available.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Dragonflies Houseplants Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier
Image
AlyssaBlue
Mar 29, 2016 5:58 PM CST
Each of you just saved me a lot of time! I plan on having lots of lavender this summer, and I would've gone down the wrong road with the prep. Thank you!! Thumbs up
Name: Lisa Ely
Pataskala, Ohio (Zone 6a)
lisaely
Mar 29, 2016 6:18 PM CST
The seeds have been in the refrigerator sealed in their foil package with in a sealed baggie all winter which was the manufacturers Park seed suggestion for all their seeds. So do they still need to be chilled moist because we do not have room for the pots in the refrigerator. These are English lavender seeds. By the way I have never seen lavender cuttings available in my area. In my area any type of lavender is considered a Hardy annual but I've been able to overwinter them for several years using deep mulch after about three years their roots are deep enough that they can get through the winter and become true perennials. However last winter we had a very late hard Frost that actually killed off ornamental crab trees most my roses and anything else that was actively growing already including my lavender. So I just thought I would try them from seed rather than having to pay about $4.99 for 3 inch pot when I want about 25 plants. I am sure I can find others in my area that would take any seedlings that are in excess of that should I be successful. Thank you again for your advice
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 29, 2016 6:22 PM CST
I can see where this would be a 3 to 4 month project just to get them planted out. I hope you still have time.

As Elaine pointed out, it might be worth it to buy plants as its a lot of work to grow from seed and cuttings usually fail.

Daisy
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 29, 2016 6:33 PM CST
Lisa, We cross posted. If you have stored them in the Frig. all winter, I would say you are good to go. Plant those puppies!

You must have had a cold winter! It got down to 7* at my house the first week of February but everything seems to have survived. I always buy self-rooted roses for that very reason. When on their own root, they can freeze to the ground and come back up whatever they were supposed to be. I have to say, I've never heard of a crabapple being killed by the cold.

Lavender is a Mediterranean plant even though its listed at cold hardy. Its just going to be tricky to grow, no matter what. I buy burlap in bolts so I can cover sensitive plants with 4 layers of the stuff (anything else would blow away) and weight the edges with bricks.

As I said earlier, any seed will benefit from bottom heat. Keep us posted. I would love to see pictures of your progress.

Daisy

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Mar 29, 2016 7:31 PM CST
Still think that starting now from seed, Lisa will have very small plants by the end of summer even if all goes well. Lavender grows pretty slowly even at the best of times. They'll be awfully vulnerable to cold next winter.

She gains months, and possibly survival of the plants next winter if she starts with at least some transplants.

I think there's a lot better use to be made of all that space in your greenhouse. Grow some plants that are sure to germinate and mature before next year, Lisa!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Art
Florissant, MO (Zone 6b)
Hummingbirder Annuals Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Seed Starter
Garden Ideas: Level 1
ArtD
Mar 29, 2016 7:44 PM CST
Hi lisaely (Lisa),

I’m with dyzzypyxxy (Elaine), sounds like a lot of time and effort to me, but then again I’m kind of lazy (and old) Smiling

Actually, storing dry seeds in foil packages in the refrigerator and cold moist stratification are not really the same thing. However, it might be worth a try.
Wish you the best of luck!

Art
[Last edited by ArtD - Mar 29, 2016 7:48 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1100176 (10)
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Mar 29, 2016 7:45 PM CST
They won't take up much room on a coffee filter, in a baggie. Pot them up after they germinate.

They might well still be small at the end of summer. But if they're still in small pots, couldn't they over-winter in the greenhouse?

If you get a LOT of germination, put several of them into some pot as if they were "flats".
That way, if 75% of them die, you still have several in that pot.

If I BUY a plant, I feel like I'm just growing someone else's plant for them.

If I start it from seed, it is MY plant.

But, really, I'm just cheap.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Mar 29, 2016 7:55 PM CST
ArtD said: ... Actually, storing dry seeds in foil packages and cold moist stratification are not really the same thing. However, it might be worth a try. ...


I agree.

But also, one of the suggestions for germination was to try them at 70F first, and only stratify the ones that don't germinate.

The baggie-method (see "Dr. Deno") is good for that. Leave the baggie at room temp for 3-4 weeks. Plant any that germinate. Then move the baggie to an extra-cold fridge (+/- 4 C) for 2-4 weeks and keep planting out any that germinate. After 4 weeks of cold, move the baggie back to room temperature.


$5 x 25 plants = $125. If it were me, I'd look for MUCH lower prices or make it a two-year project and grow from seed. Maybe winter-sow them.

I did try lavender from seed once once - they all died. And so did Mother of Thyme, catmint and two kinds of salvia. But that was back when I totally drowned every seed and figured I would first TRY skipping the stratification step.

Name: Lisa Ely
Pataskala, Ohio (Zone 6a)
lisaely
Mar 29, 2016 8:30 PM CST
Thanks for all your advice. I do know that I'm starting them late but I did want to try it and I am cheap and disabled to a degree I can move around but fall over easily I prefer raised beds and have to still take my Walker out with me so that if I call I have something to pull myself up on. I was actually too ill earlier this spring to start them and I have my grandchildren twin two year olds to raise and frankly they are my first priority in terms of energy that I have. I've had to put in extensive Gardens as we have 8 Acres of land most of which is mature Woods and about 2 acres of Open land that the house is on and I have been trying to put in easy-care and Native plants 4 that curb appeal. the house is a 1970s brick ranch. So the entire Hillside a used to be an orchard/ Garden is in native wildflowers which hopefully the deer Will Not mow Down as they have every vegetable. A lot of bulbs ferns tiger lillies and so forth everything is going down very heavily add I use manure that is fermented and Fish slime. Personally I like a lot of fragrance so I do use some own root roses in a raised bed that I put in when I thought we were staying in this house forever and some English roses for the fragrance so the lavender Garden was going in front of and below a raised deck porch. So the plants will go in the ground and cannot come into the greenhouse for the winner only my bay trees do that. I have tried various herbs from cheaper nurseries and never had much success with them so there's only one Nursery and it is pricey but it's very good that I use locally.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 29, 2016 9:00 PM CST
Lisa,

Eight Acres!! Oh my gosh! I had 2 acres in California. After giving it 30 years of love, it got to be too much for me. I understand what you mean though. I thought, after 30 years of cultivation (no lawn, just a forest of trees with every plant I could think to grow in zone 8), just a season of "I can't do this anymore" turned it into a weedy mess.

I am thankful (now, after 3 years) that my husband said its time to move on. I raised my family there, I loved it, cleaned it, took care of it and nurtured it but it was time Sad .

I know that's not an option for everyone and I can guarantee it took 3 years of convincing before I was ready to let it go. We had a two story house sitting on a bluff above the river plain. There was no place that wasn't up or down. It took until noon everyday for me to make it downstairs - luckily, we lived in an upside down house: kitchen and master bedroom upstairs. And a backdoor onto a deck with access to the yard for the dog (she would have needed a good bladder to wait for me).

But I do have to suggest you grow plants that want to live in your area. The Lavender might be a pipe dream at this point in your life. Maybe just a pot you can drag into the barn in the winter is enough. Make your life easier - you said you had priorities. Figure out what you can live without. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Daisy
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
Mindy03
Mar 30, 2016 6:28 AM CST
Try this method in this article it worked for me
http://garden.org/ideas/view/Joannabanana/1046/Starting-Lave...
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Dragonflies Houseplants Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier
Image
AlyssaBlue
Mar 30, 2016 7:08 AM CST
Mindy03- I like the way you think- fast! lol I'm going to set up both methods today (freezing and stratifying), and see which does best. I'll keep everyone posted online because this is a fun experiment!

Update/edit: OK, a little later....

40 seeds in each group: Inside the two plastic baggies, 1) coffee filter with seeds goes in fridge, 2) paper towel with seeds goes in freezer

Thumb of 2016-03-30/AlyssaBlue/035f22

I put the seeds that go into the refrigerator in an empty tissue box so they won't get bumped around.

Thumb of 2016-03-30/AlyssaBlue/621e1c

If there's something I don't have set up correctly, let me know and I can change it. And if they all germinate, I'm in big trouble, 80 plants! Lol. Ok, off to the rest of my day



[Last edited by AlyssaBlue - Mar 30, 2016 1:30 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1100444 (16)
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Nov 7, 2016 12:13 PM CST
Hi @AlyssaBlue.

Did you get results, good or bad? Did the soak-then-freeze method work for you?
Name: Lisa Ely
Pataskala, Ohio (Zone 6a)
lisaely
Nov 7, 2016 12:33 PM CST
No I had some seedlings come up however some one decided to be helpful and pull them out of the green house and leave them in full sun with the plastic lid on for a day before I discovered them. Killed off everything. I did not get good results from any of the seeds I got from Park seed in the fall and overwintered in the refrigerator except for nasturtiums. I had about a dozen different annuals and perennials that I tried from seed. Also had no luck with wildflower seed. Next Spring is another chance.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Nov 7, 2016 3:24 PM CST
Thanks, Lisa. Good luck next spring!

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Chrysanthemum"