Questions about germination times

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by soccerdad, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    I have not usually started any seeds except the basic flowers and vegetables whose seeds can be bought from most seed companies. This year, however, I started some more exotic seeds - exotic to me, anyway, although probably not to many people on this site.

    In some cases I am not seeing the germination that I expected and, although I know that some of these seeds may have very long germination period, I wonder if anyone can tell me if any of the following results seem abnormal:

    Fuschia:

    Boliviana: Germinated in 3 weeks. I now have 10 plants that are fairly short but healthy.

    Brevilobis: 3 out of 16 germinated in two weeks, but another 5 weeks have passed and none of the rest have germinated.

    Dependens, Splendens: None of the roughly 20 seeds of each that I planted has germinated after 7 weeks.

    Brugmansia Suaveolens:

    None of the 8 seeds that I planted has germinated after 7 weeks.

    Heliconia:

    Rostrata (8 seeds planted 9 weeks ago), Irrasa (6 seeds 5 weeks ago), psittacorum (10 seeds planted 5 weeks ago), nothing germinated.

    And, not so exotic, only 4 of the 24 seeds of cyclamen hederifolium that I planted 8.5 weeks ago have germinated.

    Does any of the foregoing suggest that I am doing something wrong? I keep everything warm, well lit, and moist.

    (I am giving up on Thompson and Morgan tuberous begonias: they germinated several years ago, but this is now the third year in a row when not a single seed has germinated).
     
  2. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    I should have added that the cyclamen are kept in a cool area.
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,777
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Wow, you're trying to grow a lot of things that grow like weeds down here once they get started....

    Brugmansia are notoriously hard to start from seed. Don't be discouraged.

    Fuchsia dependens (native to Carchi province here) likes to pass through the intestines of birds before it germinates. I can't speak to the other fuchsias, but they all seem to sprout after the relatively cooler rainy season; the highland varieties seem to require temps around 10 C to sprout.

    For the heliconia, it may be a soil issue. They seem to prefer absurdly rich soils here (think rainforest humus.) Even then, most people start from cuttings.

    Good luck!
     
  4. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    I somehow thought that the fuschia required temperatures of say 25 deg C. Would you recommend moving them to a cooler area? Of course I may have cooked the seeds already.
     
  5. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,777
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Depends on the variety of fuchsia you're growing. Check into where, exactly, the species you're trying to sprout comes from. In the case of the boliviana, you had it right, but F. dependens come from a much cooler biome. There's a species of fuchsia here that grows in the transition zone between the cloud forests and the paramo (can't remember which one, there's somthing like 300 here) which, at 3500 meters plus, is a biome that occasionally gets snowed on.

    I'd say yes, move them, and see if they sprout. You've really got nothing to lose; if you're worried about temperature, try moving only half as an experiment, and see which ones do better.
     
  6. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    I will try that. The bird-intestine approach would be rather difficult for me. I could perhaps buy a live chicken somewhere, feed it seed, and sift through its excrement, but SWMBO would probably object. And my daughters would almost certainly not help with the sifting. Modern youth and their effete ways...
     
  7. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    Status:

    Boliviana: 4 plants still live. In the last few weeks they have started to grow like mad. Two of them have several stems and are about 7" high. Alas I have learned that this is no big deal and that these plants are a dime a dozen.. And here I thought that I would have the only ones this side of the tropics.

    Brevilobis: 2 plants still live. They are about 5" long and branching wildly, but they sure look more like trailers than like uprights.

    Dependens: 1 germinated last week. Pray for it.

    Splendens: None.

    Brugmansia Suaveolens: None germinated, threw them out last week since they are evidently widely available as plants.

    Heliconia: Nothing has germinated. But I may as well keep them around in case a miracle occurs, since I have the space and the pots are not yet covered with lichens or whatever.

    Cyclamen: Now have 13 of them about 1" high.
     
  8. butterfly1963

    butterfly1963 Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Picayune, MS USA
    Here's a link to a seed germination database I found a bit ago.
    Hope this helps..
    http://tomclothier.hort.net/page02.html
    you need to know the botanical or ?latin? name to look it up..
    God bless,
    Beth
     
  9. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    Well, about 9 cyclamen are alive and happy outdoors in the pot in which a tree peony is growing, the 2 fuchsia brevilobis (the people at Tradewinds Fruit told me that this is how the mother plant was named when they got it, and when I think of it, that is really all that I can hope for) are very happy and so are the 2 fuchsia boliviana (which are 18" tall). The bolivianas' picture is attached. Nothing else made it.

    The boliviana's leaves hang almost straight down when it is hot or even warm, but the current temperatures of around 5-10 C seem to suit then perfectly, for as you can see their leaves are fairly undroopy.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for overwintering them? It will get to -10 C for sure, so they won't survive outdoors, but I am converting part of my old garage into a sort of greenhouse and plan to leave them there; I do not, however, know (a) what temp they would prefer once I bring them inside or (b) at what point I ought to bring them inside.

    Since they are evidently widely sold in the UK, there must be lots of people there who grow them and can clue me in.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  10. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,777
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Well, when mature they're hardy to -5 or thereabouts; I'd put them in the garage before the first frost, since they're still young. All of the F. boliviana trees here (there are a few on my front boulvard) have that droopy habit, so I wouldn't worry about that all too much. If they seem to be happy around 5 degrees, then that's the temp you should be using in your garage.
     
  11. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Dunbar area
    Two boliviana lived and got to about 1' last year. Yay!

    Then I left them outside a bit too long, and they died to the ground. Aarghs!

    I moved them to my greenhouse-under-construction and prayed.

    God must have liked what I said to her, because they started to grow again. One got to 1', the other to 6". Yay!

    But the only space that I had for them was right on a window ledge and they seemed to be getting too much sun: the larger in particular lost its lower leaves. Aarghs!

    So for the last week I have tried keeping them inside overnight and putting them outside during the day. But that is a real drag. And I fear that moving them from maybe 7 outside to 21 inside each evening will place them in a constant state of shock: they have lost a few more leaves since I started doing this. So I wonder if I can keep them outside permanently now?

    Where I would leave them overnight the temp may get down to about 5 (41 if you like the old Fahrenheit system). Assuming that it does not get any lower than that, will they be happy there? I think they will, both because they seemed to be happy in that temperature last Fall and because Lorax agreed that they should be, but my up-and-down experiences have now deprived me of confidence in my predictive abilities...
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  12. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,777
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I'd say they should be fine as outdoor dwellers - stop shocking them and they'll recover just fine.
     

Share This Page