Home33 forum Species Germinating species seeds

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    • #25719

      HI all!

      I got some P. tenuifolia and P. peregrina seeds last summer, and didn´t get around to start them until in October. I used the indoor method, starting several batches of rocky hybrid seeds at the same time.

      After roughly 3 months I moved the seeds from room temperature to a cold cupbord I have, I don´t know the temperature, but guess it varies between 5 degrees C to 10/15 depending on the weather outside and how often I open it. After 10 days around 50% of the rocky hybrid seeds had started to form roots, most very small, but still. But none of the tenuifolia or peregrina seeds has showed any sign of cracking.

      I have heard that some species seeds are more likely to germinate outdoors. Do you have an oppinion?

      Now I´m not sure if I should keep them in the cold cupbord or if I should start another warm period for them on top of my fridge. What would you guys do?

      I’m also waiting for some P. wendelboi seeds that my friend is sending, and I don’t know if I should start it indoors or wait until the end of May and put it straight into the ground outdoors…

    • #25726

      Hi Hannah
      Sounds good.. that you do them indoors and having other seeds to combine with..
      Many peony species need som frost to germinate.. but what you should be aware now is..
      When you have startet the proces inside the seed. not visible.. and the seed has taken up.. moisture is.. they are alive inside..suddenly frost could kill them now

      .. so i recomment you do another shift.. buying yourself a temometer.. one for the cooler can do it.. they are not expensive.. one with frost and cold temperatures is good – Because the temp is very importend..

      Move them to warmt now.. you can check if they have taken up the water.. by putting them into water with a something that takes fungus.. i use grapekernel oil.. but also Atamon can do it.. se if the are floating.. the ones that sink down to the bottom is good .. the one that stay at the top.. can have a hole in them or be no good..keep them there for some days.. in house temperature.. and the sort them.. only the sinkers can be used.. put them into the zip lock again.. and give them warmt again..

      sometimes 3 month is not enough.. seeds vary so it can be longer or shorter.

      The ones floating i would put into a pot and put them outside.. best having frost .. to se if they have the ablility to sprout naturaly..

      Let us know whats is happening.. or you have more quest..

      Greetings and good luck



    • #25742

      Hi Sabrina, and thanks for your reply.

      Before I put all the seeds in bags I soaked them for 2 days, and all of them sunk. So that should be ok. I have been checking on them a few times and sorted out bad ones, so I think more or less all seeds left in the bags should be viable.

      Ill take your advice and give them another warm period then. And if nothing happens I’ll put them in the ground in June.

      what do you think I should do with the rocky hybrid seeds that has formed a root? I’m actually thinking of planting them outdoors now, since we have 3-4 degrees. Then ai don’t have to worry about seeds in the fridge being in synced with the spring weather. Do you think they’d disapprove?

    • #25756

      Hi Hannah,

      I’ve probably not a percentage of the experience of Sabrina, but I’ve used both the indoor and outdoor method in the last four years with all sorts of peony seeds and the outdoor method for me is much less hassle than the indoor method, with greater chance of succes. No need to check the progress of your seeds, no trouble acclimatising to the real seasons (provided you start the warm fase around the beginning of june) no worries about mold/fungus, no changing of irregular sprouting seedlings to other bags with risk of contamination etc. Species peonies must be happy outdoor germinators by nature, assuming there is not to much of a mismatch between natural environment and your garden climate. Perhaps special (intersectional?) crosses can use the extra care, but even my advanced lutea crosses seem to have no trouble sprouting in the outdoors method.

      I would put the peregrina and tenuifolia outdoors now. Even if they germinate -which I doubt-, the first stage is only a hypocotyl, wich can withstand frost. The epicotyl won’t appear till next spring. You can of course keep them indoors, but I would not expect them to germinate without some more drastic temperature changes. What puzzles me is that your rockii have sprouted in the fase that you refer to as the cold fase. To my knowledge hypocotyls grow in the lingering warmth of the fall, and not in the cold fase. While epycotyls grow after the cold fase when things start to warm up (begin of spring). So what you see, might be seedlings that have only just started in the first “fall” period and need more time in this fase. Putting them outside will problably halt their germination without a sufficiently enlarged hypocotyl to live. I would put them back in warmth a little longer and transplant them as soon as their hypocotyl is 3 cm in an outdoor container. They will probably show their first leaves next spring (not this spring). So in both cases nature can’t be bypassed.

      Pfff,, complicated. My message is much longer than planned, my apologies. Maybe the take home message is: start those wendelboi seeds in juni, whether outside or inside!

    • #25767

      Roger, Thank you for your thoughts.

      Actually I don´t find it strange at all that the seeds germinate when I put them cooler. The seeds has been started indoors in a nice moist vermiculite for around 3 months. Now when I lower the temperature for them they realize that winter is on it´s way and that they have to form a root. I actually didn´t come around to move them, so they are still in the cool and thriving. For fun I counted all of the rocky hybrid seeds so I have some statistics for you.

      All seeds were started warm indoors on the 5th of october. On the 19th of december I put some testbags with 20 rocky hybrid seeds, 10 peregrina and 10 tenuifolia.

      On the 30th of december 11 out of 20 rocky hybrid seeds had started to crack or form a root. None of the peregrina or tenuifolia seeds had started. Happy with that result I moved all of the seeds to the cold.

      Now I counted all rocky hybrid seeds yesterday. They are in 3 separate bags, two big bags, and one smaller with the “test batch” with 20 seeds.

      In the rocky hybrid test batch now 16 seeds had germinated.
      In the first big bag 98 out of 115 seeds had germinated, that is 85%.
      In the second bag 78 out of 90 seeds had germinated, making 86,6%.

      I find that very good results, and I´m confident that they will all sprout with their first leaf after around 3-4 months, as they usually do in cold treatment. The unsprouted ones will be put in the ground in the end of may or so.

      What is even more interesting is that I went through the test bag with 10 peregrina and 10 tenuifolia seeds. The tenuifolia show no sign of germination yet, but in the peregrina bag 4 seeds (40%) has started cracking. They just seem to need some more time. I don´t expect to get up to 85% sprouted seeds from those bags, but 50% is good enough for me, then I get one year ahead the unsprouted ones that will be put in the ground in may.

      I totally agree with you that the out door method is easier, and the indoor one takes more work. But with seeds that I want to see fast results with and save a year it is worth it! Also, with good preparation there is not much mold. I think I only threw 3-4% of the seeds, due to rot, after starting them warm.

      Since I have so many rocky hybrid seeds, I think I´ll choose 10-20 of them with ca. 3 cm long root and plant them out now. Then I will let you know if they survive or not, and if they send up the first leafs this spring. But I´d be surprised if they didn´t.




    • #25773

      Thanks, Hannah for your reply. You’re obviously more experienced than I am and those are great statistics indeed.  Please do let me know how those rockii seedlings perform. And I’m also a curious what you’re planning to do with all those rockii seedlings. It amounts to quite a big plot of land when they mature, do you have that amount of space (I think I saw somewhere you also have quite a lot of P. delavayii) or do you plan to make a selection early on? In the first case: I’m jealous and in the second case: what will you base your choices on?

    • #25774

      Roger, I have a slight seed addiction problem you could say 🙂

      At the moment I have no good space for all seedlings, so I have to plant them out with too little space between. This is a problem every year, but some how I have managed until now. I have no idea of where to plant all of these. But I´ve been looking for a place for a while now, and hopefully I will find a small countryside house this year. Then my space issues will be solved for at least a year or two. Haha!

      I don´t have any special plan for selection from these plants, since the seeds are just collected to not let them go to waste. The mother plants are nothing special. But the thought is that when I find my dream house, ll at least have plenty of peonies to decorate with, until the more interesting hand pollinated crosses starts to bloom. Also, it is always good to have plants as gifts or trades with other garden people.


    • #25802

      Small update. Today, roughly one month after putting the test bags into cold storage 70% of the P. peregrina seeds has germinated, or started cracking. None of the tenuifolia seeds show signs of germination, maybe they need a 2nd heat period first. I’ll let it stay cold for another 2 months and then evaluate.

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