Plant Hardiness: Hardier When Grown From Seed?

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by lhuget, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada Zone 3a
    I'm not sure if this fits here but I would like to know others thoughts about the hardiness of the plants they grow from seed in their own environment. I have found that if I grow them from seed I can have plants that are rated 1-2 zones higher than my zone. Mind you they do need winter protection but mainly from lack of moisture and wind (the kiss of death for alot of plants here) but overall they have a much higher survival rate than those that others have bought. Does anyone else have this experience? Thanks for sharing.

    Les
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,752
    Likes Received:
    578
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Would only work by resulting in individuals with slightly different genetic makeup being present in seedling population. Sprouting and growing in new environment wouldn't result in increased hardiness, the hardiness of each is predetermined by their genes, before they germinate. Individual plant specimens all have fixed parameters that do not change except in the case of those species which always become more cold tolerant as each specimen ages.
     
  3. natureman

    natureman Active Member

    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY USA- Zone 6b
    Exactly, it would be interesting to do a test of Darwin on them. If you had chilly temps all year, you could grow a large amount of plant x, then when frost comes, mabye a few will be standing, you can get seeds from those (or take them in and let them flower, then plant those) and repeat the process over and over. I've wondered if you can do artificial 'survival of fittest', and have results. Of course, this is what happens in nature (somewhat), except over thousands and thousands of years of evolution.
     
  4. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada Zone 3a
    Interesting. In some cases the seed I use is collected from gardeners with established survivors who in turn were grown from seed from other gardens with established survivors. It would be interesting to know when these survivors were first introduced into the area.

    Les
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,505
    Likes Received:
    222
    Location:
    sw USA
    Choosing seed from hardier individuals of a population, should result in plants that are at the high end of the hardiness range for the taxon. I also wonder if starting seeds in situ does not result in superior root systems that can better sustain the plants through the harsh winters, than the pot grown plants.
     
  6. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada Zone 3a
    Thanks Eric. I always pot up using an increasing amount of my soil in the mix on the theory that the seedlings will get accustomed to my soil conditions (clay content/alkalinity) before they get planted out. My seedlings develop slower than other's who are using loam/sand/peat/coir mixes but overall I have better success with survival over the first winter.

    Les
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,752
    Likes Received:
    578
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Their ingrained limitations will not allow them to adjust to a different soil via gradual exposure to it - either they can grow in your soil anyway or not - but it might help with the problem of different soil textures inside the rootball from that outside the rootball after planting out.
     

Share This Page