Ask a Question forum: Is it ok to plant pine seeds that are floating on water even after 24h?

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GaySheeple
Dec 6, 2016 6:37 AM CST
Hi! I'm about to plant pine seeds. But, of course, I will let them stratificate for a month in the fridge in wet sand. I let them stay in water for 24h, but all of them are floating, none of them sinked to the bottom. Does that mean they are less likely to germinate? Btw these seeds are 1 year old, I got them last autumn.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 6, 2016 10:14 AM CST
Welcome!

The floaters are less likely to sprout than the sinkers.
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Leftwood
Dec 6, 2016 11:38 AM CST
As a comparison, yes, floaters are less likely to sprout than sinkers. But that doesn't always mean floaters are bad. Especially when ALL are floaters, that might indicate that that is their normal condition.

If it were me, I would let them soak for another day. If you are using tap water and can change to rain, distilled, purified, spring or well water,please do so. Seed absorbs an enormous amount of water (compared to its own weight) and with that it will also absorb the added chemicals and salts in the water. This is generally a good thing, but not with tap water. Then I would use a very sharp knife and cut one in half. If it is solid inside, it is likely good. If it is hollow, it is definitely bad.

It is more likely you will need to extend the cold treatment longer than a month. It depends on the species of seed. Look here:
https://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/nsl_...

Click on "Pinus" if it is a true pine. Cold treatment recommendations start on page 835.

Also notice on page 832, table 7 shows the different flotation liquids used to sort bad seed, depending on which pine species is in question. Different liquids are used because each has a different density. A good seed of a certain species might float in water, but not in ethanol, for instance.

GaySheeple
Dec 6, 2016 1:53 PM CST
Leftwood said:As a comparison, yes, floaters are less likely to sprout than sinkers. But that doesn't always mean floaters are bad. Especially when ALL are floaters, that might indicate that that is their normal condition.

If it were me, I would let them soak for another day. If you are using tap water and can change to rain, distilled, purified, spring or well water,please do so. Seed absorbs an enormous amount of water (compared to its own weight) and with that it will also absorb the added chemicals and salts in the water. This is generally a good thing, but not with tap water. Then I would use a very sharp knife and cut one in half. If it is solid inside, it is likely good. If it is hollow, it is definitely bad.

It is more likely you will need to extend the cold treatment longer than a month. It depends on the species of seed. Look here:


Click on "Pinus" if it is a true pine. Cold treatment recommendations start on page 835.

Also notice on page 832, table 7 shows the different flotation liquids used to sort bad seed, depending on which pine species is in question. Different liquids are used because each has a different density. A good seed of a certain species might float in water, but not in ethanol, for instance.


I have no idea what species are they... I collected like 30 pine cones last autumn but I forgot about them. I extracted the seeds yesterday, I've got like a hundred! I'm trying 3 different methods. I planted a few right away in soil, I put some to germinate in wet toilet paper, and most of them are in the fridge in wet sand. I also kept a few seeds if I fail to germinate the others. I might try again in spring. Smiling But thanks for the info!

GaySheeple
Dec 6, 2016 2:02 PM CST
I opened a few but they seem dry inside. :/
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Dec 7, 2016 12:09 PM CST
😕Empty inside ! Then its called mulch ! Huh ? 😞
Anyways!!! Pine Trees #101. Most or all pine nuts need a forest fire before thelly sprout. Why??? Maybe the heat cracks the outter shell ! Shrug! Shrug!
I would try the same method as i do with New Zealand Spinach. It has hard shell. Score some seeds with knife.and rough some seeds up with some rough sandpaper.
😕???? I wonder if it would kill seed if you took outer shell off ???😕
Hay ###!!! Worth a try too.
Or 😕??? Bake some 😊 temp ???
Let us know !
My dad allways said :No shot at all is a clear mis !!!
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Dec 7, 2016 4:26 PM CST
Philip, most pines don't need fire for germination. Some do benefit from fire to release the seeds from the cone. Definitely don't heat the seeds directly. Where pre-germination treatment is needed it is usually stratification as Gay is doing. There's more information in the link that Leftwood gave above, here is the specific page for Pinus.

https://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/Pinu...
[Last edited by sooby - Dec 7, 2016 4:27 PM (+)]
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