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Thread: Fluctuating Temperatures

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Flunctuating Temperatures

    There are some seeds, like cleome, that need fluctuating temperatures in order to germinate.

    One year, I sowed a flat of cell paks with numerous types of seeds. The Cleome never germinated, but when I took the tray to the greenhouse which does not stay the constant temperature (drops sharply at night), the cleome germinated in no time.

    Simply a constant cold or a constant warm will not work with these types of seeds.

    One day, some day, there will be detailed information about the optimum conditions for growing each and every type of seed available on the market.

    There is a lot of information out there, but it is not always easy to find. Just know that there are exceptions.... It's always fun to research and give them a try!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    Fluctuating temps

    Ann-I had to learn about this temp thing when trying to sprout protea seeds last year.

    These gorgeous South African flowers won't sprout easily, but with a mixture of "smoke water" and the fluctuating temps you mentioned, I got a few to pop up. Indoors, they just didn't want to do anything. Then I put them on top of the grow lights, where the heat of the ballast would be nice and warm while the light was on, then drop down quite markedly at night when they were off. This really did the trick.

    Outdoors is the other way, as long as the general temp range is correct.

    Glen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934
    Glen,

    If you or any others think of seeds that need fluctuating temperatures, please do post them. These are the hardest seeds for me to grow because I typically grow seeds under fluorescents, and it is frustrating when they don't sprout.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598
    Last year, on my birthday, I got a new book (new to me). It's: seeds the ultimate guide to growing from seeds by Jekka McVicar.(yes the title is all lower case). When I first opened it, I thought, surely everything I ever want to know about growing seeds is in here, and generally speaking it is. But even with the hundreds of entries, there are still things missing, like Glen's protea. Plus, special treatment for non-native locales is generally missing.

    But there is an entry for Cleome, and it doesn't mention anything about cold stratification, although you may have happened upon the reason they are so prolific in Kentuck, and not here. I planted a couple of them, and a couple of Gloriosa Daisies in a bed there, and the next year, and every year after the bed was running over with little new plants from self seeding.

    The same situation applies to the seeds from various Milkweed, and/or Butterfly weed. In colder climates those plants are self seeding, but down south it takes some doing to make them germinate.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    I guess that is what I am trying to say. What appears to be easy to some, sometimes us and sometimes other areas, is not always the case because of the specific needs of the seeds.

    Seed packet directions are often unclear for specific areas of the country. That leaves us thinking that we can't grow them, when we can. If only we know their true germination needs...

    And those germination needs are not always simple, are they?
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    Try seed/shrub germination for a good seed germinating site from Tom Clothier.
    tennessee sue

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