Seed germination temperature

Rachel Saunders
Tue, 19 Oct 2010 08:03:48 PDT
Dear Andrew
The night time temperatures can certainly play a big role in germination of 
seeds. I sowed a large number of seeds this season and I sowed them all in 
March (very early fall for us).  Nothing germinated at all in March or in 
April and I began to panic. Then we had a really cold spell at the end of 
April, and about 60% of the species germinated within 2 weeks. The rest 
germinated in May and the last Romulea (some really old seed of Romulea 
unifolia) was up by the end of June.  We sow all our seeds in trays and they 
are kept in a large plastic covered house which has no heating.  During 
March the day temperatures were probably too high, and the nights not cool 
enough, and in April, the days were cooler but the nights still warm. The 
cold snap we had seemed to do the trick and the seeds all came up.
We sowed Babianas, Lachenalias, many Gladioli and a few odds and ends like 2 
Romuleas, a Freesia, a Polyxena, etc. Most were really old seed that we had 
thrown out, but some were fresh unidentified species.
Rachel Saunders
Silverhill Seeds and Books
Tel: +27 21 762 4245
Fax: +27 21 797 6609
PO Box 53108,
7745 South Africa

----- Original Message ----- 
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 1:41 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Seed germination temperature

> >
>> Can anyone comment on the need for lowered temperatures at germination
> time
>> for Cape bulbs?
> In my experience, the majority of Cape bulbs that I sow (about 100-200 
> pots
> per year) will begin to germinate when the daytime highs are about 75F and
> the night time lows are about 50F.  Generally, I get three or four flushes
> of germination over a five to eight week period beginning in early to mid
> October here in northeast North Carolina.  When I lived in northwest
> Connecticut, the time frame was two to three weeks earlier.
> Mark Mazer
> Hertford, North Carolina USA
> USDA zone 8
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> pbs mailing list

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