Germinating in the mail

Michael Mace
Tue, 16 Nov 2010 17:24:52 PST
Dell wrote:

>> Holding the seeds under refrigeration helps slow down germination for

To build on what Dell said, refrigeration of fleshy seeds from the
Amaryllidaceae family (list of species here:…) can work
very nicely.  I've used that approach with seeds sent to me from South
Africa.  They were six months out of season, so I held them in the
refrigerator for six months and had good results.

The trick is to keep the seeds barely damp so they do not dry out, but not
wet, so they do not rot.  Here's what works for me: Seal them in a plastic
bag, with part of a sheet of paper towel on which you've put a few drops of
water.  The towel should not be wet all the way through, just slightly damp.
Check the bag occasionally for mold.

The seeds may start to sprout, but generally they'll just about stop

When you plant them, keep in mind that the seeds have been weakened a bit.
Plant them with the sprout extending down into the ground, and don't let the
seed pot dry out.

I've held seeds for six months this way pretty easily, and my latest record
was some Nerines that spent a year in refrigeration (because I forgot about
them; shame on me).  To my surprise, they are in great shape and now growing

San Jose, CA

More information about the pbs mailing list