Propagation of perenials from seed needing cold stratification

Discussion in 'Seed Starting / Propagation' started by Melody Mc., Nov 1, 2022.

  1. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    I've saved seed from some perenials, many of which require cold stratification. This is a new process for me. There are tricks that I'm reading about with damp soil in sealed bags in the refridgerator, just before a spring indoor seed start.

    Today I'm also going to try seeding some in pots and burying the pots outdoors for a more normal stratification process. My winters may be too cold for this process, which could explain why my list of flowers does not normally self seed in the garden. ( with the exception of Columbine and Musk Mallow).

    Right now the list is Oriental Poppy, Pasque Flower, Delphinium, Double Columbine, Musk Mallow and Sea Holly.

    I'm curious about the cold stratification process, and the experience others have had with growing plants that required cold stratification. Any hints or advice would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    It just so happens Mel that last year I bought lots of perennial seeds from ''World Seeds'' an online source. Their tip was to sow all (any) of the seeds straight away, in trays, in an unheated greenhouse or similar and wait. They said that these would all germinate in their own time and not to discard any that seemed as if they weren't good. I followed this advice and found it was good. Almost without exception the seeds all germinated - some quite late.
    This year I've just finished digging over a new area and as an experiment I have sown all sorts of stuff on it and covered them over with fleece (well anchored to the ground) These were mostly left over flower seeds and wildflower mixes - so we'll see what happens :fingerscrossed:

    It was fortunate I planted out all the ''world seeds'' last autumn as they had a good start before the summer drought.
     
  4. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    @Tetters - I appreciate this :) Thank you. I'm very new to flowers.

    Can I ask how cold you get in the winter Tetters? Some of my flowers that say "self seed freely" when I read about them online, have never done so for me. California Poppies for example. One poppy plant self seeded from about 15 plants, and normally I read that people have a problem with them coming up over and over again. When I read about stratifying indoors ( refridgerator) there is always big bold letters yelling at me to NOT FREEZE THE SEED hahaha ( quite rude really - no need for them to yell :p;)). With my lows ( coldest usually about -38 C ) and long winters, I'm not sure if that is why they don't self seed? ? (And I've been freezing my vegatble seeds for over twenty years now with no problems).

    They also say that some plants that require vernilization or stratifying don't like to be transplanted ( my hand face palms me about now) . I read this a lot with poppies.

    You've given me some hope to the plan of sowing some and leaving them outside. I think I'll still bury some pots level to the soil, and maybe also put a couple in the greenhouse/cold frame and see what happens :) It warms up much faster in there in the spring.

    Today is my last window for working any soil I think.
     
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  5. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    Our winters are usually only down to -10 C although there's the very unusual time when it might go a bit lower. It's nothing like you have there, and I have no experience of that sort of cold - thank goodness!
    I would never try to move poppies. Here, the field poppies will lay in the soil for years and years (Zigs says 50) and will only spring to life after the fields are ploughed.... another reason I've been digging my patch up.
    I reckon the very best way to learn the tricks of gardening is by trial and error - that's the method I've always used. It's just the same as with cooking, and I've never been able to follow or stick to recipe either. I get by ok :cool:
    Good luck with the project, let us know the results ....
     
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  6. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    I'll listen to this and scratch some seeds in a spot that I have available...no pots :) They can live there if they grow. Fingers crossed. I have pink lettuce leaf, flanders fields, purple poppies and a salmon oriental I'm eager to try and reproduce. Thanks Tetters.:)
     
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  7. Daniel W

    Daniel W Young Pine

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    I stratify seeds by spreading them on a wet paper towel, fold it a couple times, and place it into a ziplock sandwich bag. That worked for me for echinacea, rudbeckia, ratibida, milkweed, peaches, plums, daylilies, apples.

    I refrigerate for about a month to six weeks. Then I plant in containers.

    This guy describes his approach, similar to mine.
    https://growitbuildit.com/seed-stratification-illustrated-guide/


    I did read that newsprint wont get moldy. Paper towels can. I usually check every couple of weeks and replace the moist paper towel if it is moldy or mildewed.
     
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  8. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    If winters become so cold why does anyone put seeds in the refrigerator?
     
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  9. Daniel W

    Daniel W Young Pine

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    It's a controlled environment. Not excessively cold. No animals or insects eating the seeds. Where I live, winter planted seeds in the ground are quickly overtaken by a thick blanket of weeds although container growing would help with that.

    That said, there are lots of people who have lots of successes with winter planting outside.
     
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  10. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    This was very helpful Daniel - Thanks so much. :):stew1: I've saved the link.

    The excessive cold I think is definitely an issue for me, as well as the little furry things living and tunneling under the snow that are desperate for something to eat in the middle of winter. And you are absolutely right about the weeds. Even a spring direct sowing of poppies is difficult for me because they take so long to germinate, even if I plant them as soon as there is a patch of soil showing throught the snow, the weeds have a huge head start. Then - I have to add how short my growing season is, so to actually achieve flowers I need a head start somehow. And I have almost zero success with poppies reseeding themselves - which I think points to a problem.

    It's so difficult to find information that fits the situation sometimes. I really appreciate everyones suggestions and experiences. I'm going to put a few pots in the coldframe with a some seeds, just to see what happens. I've missed my window for any more outdoor sowing as the cold has come.

    Re: winter seeding - I accidently winter seeded spinach one year. I gave all of my bolted spinach to the chickens. The chickens went to the great freezer in the sky later in the season, so the secret spinach seed overwintered in their pen. There was a huge crop. Ideal conditions though....lots of orangic matter in the soil, no weeds from being a chicken run, an unusually mild winter, and the chickens had taken care of any renegade mice or voles before hand.

    I have since tried winter sowing spinach intentionally with no success. The seeds were missing seeds by the time the snow melted. ( and happy mice for sure). :D
     
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  11. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest In Flower

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    Mel .. right on …> lots of happy mice chowing down on winter sowing seeds.
     
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  12. Daniel W

    Daniel W Young Pine

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    Today I started stratification for three varieties of seeds -

    Rudbeckia - I had saved seed heads in a paper bag. I chose the flowers that I thought were most colorful and bloomed the earliest from seeds.
    6D662A28-C568-41B3-BC05-D5552BF5D109.jpeg

    A lot of the seeds just fell naturally into the bag, and rubbing the seed heads slightly yielded too many to plant.

    DCF408EA-FD36-4674-BDC3-EEAD3429E429.jpeg

    I wetted a paper towel, squeezed out most of the water so it was just damp, and placed into a zipper sandwich bag.

    5BA3B0F4-B071-4263-9F31-B5346CA3D5C8.jpeg

    I also planted purchased seeds of Echinacea and Goldenrod. The Echinacea is "Cheyenne Spirit", a hybrid with various nice colors, more compact plant shape and more flowers. The seed packet doesn't actually state that stratification is needed, but I think it is for the species. These is how I grew species Echinacea last year.

    I didn't need all of the seeds, so I'm stratifying half and planting half now in the sunroom, on a heating mat.

    144B4368-59BD-48FE-9170-A2DC1AFED23A.jpeg

    Last year, I stratified Coreopsis, Rudbeckia, and Echinacea, and they did fine.

    C95467CD-578E-40B7-9AB7-1760BF17F546.jpeg

    Now it's just a matter of waiting two months and not forgetting those are in the fridge.
     
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  13. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    I like the way you work, mate.
    Bonne chance.
     
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  14. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    Thank you for this post Daniel. I almost forgot. :-(
     
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  15. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest In Flower

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    Some great seeds in your collections .
     
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  16. Daniel W

    Daniel W Young Pine

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    You're welcome @Melody Mc. :stew2:.

    This method is so easy, it takes the mystery and a lot of the work out of stratifying and puts you into control. The only plants that failed for me - so far - are wild roses and cottoneaster.
     
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