planting seeds

Justin Smith
Sat, 12 Mar 2011 08:46:12 PST
Hi there,
I have grown most of my bulbs from seed. I have quite a few though I am just now starting to get blooms from some of them.
Since you have grown SA bulbs for a few years already know that there are several different growing conditions. 
Some of which are: 
Evergreen - moisture year round
Summer grow - Winter dormant completely dry
Summer grow - Winter dormant some moisture
Winter grow - Summer dormant completely dry
Winter grow - Summer dormant some moisture
Then add that: 
Some seed require cold moist stratification
Some seed require planting as soon as possible because they germinate immediately (amaryllids that have fleshy seeds are some in this category)
Some seed require planting as soon as possible because they have such a short viability.
Some seed require smoke treatment
Some seed require gibberellic acid treatment 
I am sure I have left some out but most of my bulb seedlings fall under one of these conditions.
Then you have to take into consideration where the seeds were harvested. Northern Hemisphere or Southern Hemisphere. 
Not all seed have a long viability. Taking a seed harvested in the Southern Hemisphere and sending them north into the Northern Hemisphere will cause the seed to be out of sync with their natural growing cycle. Waiting until their proper conditions may/may not exceed the seeds viability period.
These are just some of the things to be considered. Some online research in required to determine the best course of action.
You ask about keeping seed in the bags they come in or plant them out. 
I never store seed in sealed plastic bags. Some suppliers use them, which is fine for shipping but not for storage. A cool dry place is best. Be very careful of the fridge. Make sure the location in the fridge you choose does not freeze. A few years ago someone visiting me turned my fridge down because their soda pop was not getting as cold as they liked. Finding all my veggies frozen was most frustrating. Thankfully my cold moist stratification seed were in a different fridge. 
I personally do not like to plant seed out ahead of time in pots, though that is just me. For me this reduces the chance of some fungus or bug in the soil from attacking the seed until they get a good chance at germination.
If I get no germination the first year I move the pots to a dry place and let sit until next season and try them again. I always give seed at least 2 years to germinate. Several times I have had very poor germination from a seed only to have many more germinate on the second year. 
Good luck with your seed.
Woodville, TX 8b/9a

> Subject: [pbs] planting seeds
> Hello everyone,
> I have been growing south African bulbs for a few years and now I am trying to 
> grow seeds. I have the following seeds coming to me soon:
> Cypella
> Galtonia
> Herbertia
> Hesperxiphium
> Moraea
> Rhodophiala
> Solenomelus
> Panctatium
> Calochortus
> My understanding is that these would be planted in the fall (winter 
> growing-summer dormant) If I get them now should I keep them inside in the bags 
> they come in or put them in my soil mix in a pot but keep them dry?
> thanks
> N.Rose

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