Ginger Seeds Question

One of my gingers, Hedychium gardnerianum, is showing seeds. How do I know when they are ready to harvest, and how do I treat them if I want to plant them?
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ready to be sown. If I'm in a hurry to get the seeds sown I don't wait for the pods to split completely. Once a pod splits open enough that even one seed can be seen, all of the seeds in that pod are mature enough to germinate, so I sometimes split the pods manually to remove the seeds. If you like you can soak the seeds for a few days to soften the red coating so you can more easily remove it, but the coat doesn't appear to inhibit germination significantly (if at all), so I doubt that step is necessary. I know from experience that seeds sown with their coats on will eventually sprout, but it may be that they sprout faster if the coats are removed before sowing. I haven't kept good enough records to tell for sure.
I sow hedychium seeds in community pots of ProMix BX at a depth of two or three times the diameter of the seeds and sprout them indoors under lights. My hedychiums produce seeds rather late in the year and I don't trust the hardiness of small seedlings, so I keep them indoors under lights until the weather warms enough in the spring that there is no possibility of them freezing. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle easily (about two inches tall) I transplant them from the community pots, first into six-pack cells then as they start to crowd their containers I bump them up through a series of increasing pot sizes until the plants are about two feet high and filling six inch pots (or gallon nursery cans), at which point I plant them in the soil where I want them to grow. I find this is easier then tending them in our sometimes droughty soil. Then I don't have to worry about the young seedlings drying out (which is usually fatal), or getting too much sun, or being eaten (deer love them), or being covered by stuff falling from the trees, or being plowed up by armadillos. Nature can be rough on young plants here in south Louisiana. But it is certainly possible to sow them where you want them to grow if you are prepared to keep them well watered and protect them until they are large enough to fend for themselves.
Hedychiums are easy from seed. Basically, the only requirements for germinating and growing them are constant moisture and moderate light and warmth. The one thing I tried that didn't seem to work too well was harvesting the entire seed heads and letting them dry indoors, but maybe I just kept them too long before sowing.
All of the hedychiums I have grown from seed have been tolerant of large doses of fertilizer, so they can be grown to maturity rapidly. If I get them started early enough in the fall and keep them growing vigorously through the winter many will bloom during their first summer. Otherwise, they will all bloom without fail in their second season.
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On Wed, 01 Mar 2006 02:16:32 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

thanks very much for the information. It all sounds good, except for the part about not letting them dry out, I seem to have problems in that area.
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