Storing SA Amaryllid seed

Michael Mace
Thu, 02 Jul 2009 14:46:00 PDT
Justin asked:

>> Was it here that I read that someone put their Amaryllid seed from South
Africa in the fridge and stored them until fall?

Yup, I was the wacko who did it.

I've tried both approaches -- planting the seed immediately when it arrives,
and storing it until the fall.  Both can work, but I have had more success
with storing the seed.  The fridge seems to put it into a sort of suspended
animation -- the seed starts to sprout just a bit, but then stops and waits.

With smaller Amaryllid seeds (Nerine, and Gethyllis come to mind), the trick
with fridge storage is making sure they don't dry out.  The refrigerator
sucks the moisture out of things, so if you put in the seeds unprotected,
they look like dried peas by the time you get to fall.  Dead dried peas.

On the other hand, you do not want them damp, or they will think they are
underground, keep growing the leaf until they exhaust the food in the seed,
and then the whole thing dies.

I love the idea of the fridge with a plastic door, but I do something much

-Put the little seed packets in a Ziploc bag.  Do not add any peat or other
wet stuff to the big.
-Seal the bag.
-Put it in the upper back of the fridge where temps are slightly warmer and
the packet won't get crushed (the door also works nicely).
-Leave it alone until fall.
-Do not forget to take the seeds out in the fall.
-Pay careful attention to the seeds once you plant them, as they will be
weaker than fresh seeds.

Hope this helps.

San Jose, CA (zone 9, min temp 20F)

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