I am trying to test the germination rate of several kinds of seeds which
I harvested within the last 60 days. Seeds were taken from various
plants when thoroughly dry. Each sample of ten seeds was rolled up in
paper towel stock and lightly wet with tap water. Each rolled up packet
was then placed in a clear plastic sealed bag and placed on a heating
pad. The pad temperature is about 90f. The seeds are Marigold, Black Eye
Susan, Coreopsis, Heliopsis and Shasta daisy.
After ten days none of the seeds have germinated.
Any ideas about what I am doing wrong?
EJ in NJ
Good situation outline.
EJ of course there can be many factors in play here and w/o looking up
specific plants, here is some general info to consider:
Heat seems a bit high, think about mimicking the seasonal temps in which
these plants naturally germinate.
As a general rule I keep my germination area at ~72-78F.
Light, some seeds need it, some don't. Marigold seeds don't, but the B/E
Susans do. Once again, think about the seasonal conditions where the plant
does best. I am of the opinion that seeds can detect not only the intensity
of the light but the color temperature of spring vs. fall conditions just as
the adult plant can, so they won't germinate now in natural light.
Other factors; the pH of the water may be off, perhaps a period
of dormancy is needed, some seeds need scarification, some need
have internal growth inhibitors, or controllers if you will, that must be
triggered or they may need a growth hormone. Perhaps they may just need
It is a process of trial and error and yet you still run the risk that the
seeds were just bad.
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