How to germinate seeds of Ferraria crispa?

Started by Psilotum, January 01, 2024, 06:55:25 AM

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I would like some advice about germination of Ferraria crispa.
(Please excuse my poor English from Japan  ;)  .)

About 3 weeks ago, I got seeds of Ferraria crispa and sew them, but they haven't germinated yet.

Dried fruits were on the surface of the seeds, so I removed them. (I've heard that fruits often prevent seeds from germinating.) I also washed and, all night, soaked them.

Before I sew the seeds in pots, I only slightly cut them.

Now I put the pots outside, keeping them wet.
(day: about 10~15℃ night: about 1~6℃)
They get enough sunlight. (on the south side)

If there are some point I can improve, I would be happy to receive tips.


Ferraria are part of the iridaceae and most iridaceae seeds germinate a lot more freely when sown very fresh - as soon after they are ripe in the seed pods as possible.
Once they dry completely, many are slow to germinate and many species will germinate erratically over years, even several years, if they germinate at all.
I have sown Ferraria only a few times, different species, and germination has been erratic, although some batches of seed have produced good numbers of seedlings very fast. 3 weeks is no time at all. Be patient.

I doubt that any Ferraria species regularly sees temperatures below 5C, so personally, I would not subject seed to that low a temperature. Temperature changes (night to day change of 10-15C) probably stimulate germination.

Martin Bohnet

CG100 is right, 3 weeks are not much for Iridoideae, I'd probably get nervous after 5-6 weeks. I guess a bit warmer would be better. Deno lists Ferraria crispa as 70D ( = about 20°C and dark) and not depending on day/night changes, which fits my own experience, so make sure the seeds are covered well.

Personally, I wouldn't cut seeds unless they don't swell up after 1-2 nights of soaking - I'm aware that many people like the feeling they can actively help the seeds, but more often than not the damage is bigger than the benefit.
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)


Thank you two  :) .
I'll put the pots inside, and will wait patiently.
To be honest, I didn't covered the seeds. I'll cover them with sand.



If you have several pots with seed I would leave some outside and some indoors and compare the results. I have sown Ferraria seed in Portugal several times outdoors and found it easy to germinate. The temperature can go down near freezing occasionally. It may take some more time. The question is if the seed quality was really good. I do not understand what you mean by ,,fruit attached to the seed" normally Ferraria seed falls out of the seed pod without anything being attached to it.
Yes covering the seed with a good layer of sand is a good idea. The seed is large and the seedlings will be able to push through. Covering prevents drying out of the seed which would be very bad.
Algarve, Portugal
350m elevation, frost free
Mediterranean Climate


Hi all

Where I live winter minimums usually are around 20F (-6.7C) and in the 23 years I have lived here have never gone below 15F (-9.4C).  I grow most of my Ferrarias under glass; but I have planted out 100 seedlings each of 9 species of Ferraria.  Most of the seedlings did not survive; but 2-5 each of 5 species are toughing it out.
Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F  -9.4C.  Rainfall 50"+  but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight.  soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus.  Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix.