colchicum from seed?
Fri, 19 Feb 2010 10:33:30 PST
It just seems to me that there's entirely too much bandying about of recipes 
for forcing germination of seeds. I haven't yet seen one that says to dance 
widdershins around the pots at the dark of them moon while whistling "Dixie" 
and ringing a small bell but any day now....

I use what's very close to a "one size fits all" method for all seeds: first 
soak in water with a drop of detergent, anywhere from a day or two to a month 
depending on how lazy I am, the reputation of the seed (Glaucidium palmatum 
rears its head), how deeply colored the water becomes, how long it takes the 
seeds to become fully wet and hydrated, and so on.

Seeds are sown on a JIS-type mix, topped with up to 1 cm of fine gravel, 
watered well, and put outside. Then they either germinate or they don't.

Exceptions: Lamiaceae and Asteraceae are held back until the weather is warm. 
Ericaceae are sown on top of a layer of fine sand with no top dressing over the 
seed, and kept warm (house temp) and moist. "Difficult" high alpines may get 
sown in pumice.

But these exceptions are definitely _exceptions_.

Some germinate surprisingly quickly, the majority take upwards of a year, a few 
have taken longer. After a year or two, I lose patience and dump out the seed 
pots, but the area I dump them in sometimes produces surprises later on.

Remember, if the seeds are still viable they want to germinate! It's more a 
matter of getting out of their way than trying to chivvy them. Give them 
natural conditions and they'll often respond surprisingly well.

Colchicums I've grown from seed: C. bivonae, C. corsicum, others that later 

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island…

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