Germinating Greek Mountain Tea, Sweet Cicely and Angelica
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Antony
Posted on: February 13, 2002

I had acquired some Greek mountain tea seeds but after sowing them for the second time (the first time there was no germination so I abandoned the project), there is still no germination. What should be done to get them started.

We find the seed easy to germinate. Surface sow, press into the soil, water with a very fine mist, drain and cover with plastic. Put into a bright, warm spot out of direct sun and the seeds should germinate 50 to 80 % in 6 to 7 days. Make sure the seed bed never dries out but also is not too wet . Since you have had problems, I would suggest being sure to sterilize the wet soil in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for one hour (it will stink!) to make sure no damp-off fungi are present.

The sweet cicely is not starting either. They have been stored in wetted potting mix in the fridge for 2 months (simulated winter) and I finally sowed them and now it has been 2 weeks, still no result.

Sweet cicely must have oscillating temperatures such as are found out of doors, in both fall and spring. You have only simulated winter conditions, but not the fall nor the spring. Put the seeds into the fridge for the night and out of the fridge in a cool spot for the day- for one month and if they don’t come up during this month, leave them in the fridgefor 3 months and then start the "out of the fridge for the day" routine again and hopefully the seeds will then germinate. If they don’t, then plant them out of doors and they will come up next spring after experiencing the natural progression of fall-winter-spring.

The angelica also not germinating. How long should I have stored them in this condition? However I did get my soapwort to sprout sucessfully, what have I done wrong???

The minimum amount of time seeds (that require stratification to break dormancy) need to be kept wet and just above freezing varies greatly from species to species. Keeping them 3 months moist and very cool is usually the best bet. Very few require more than that, but not all that many require less time. Also angelica seeds need light to germinate, so be sure that you just press them into the soil, expose the seed bed to light during the day and keep the temperature around 22 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). After shifting to room temperature the seeds should come up in 10 to 18 days.

If you still do not have success after following the above suggestions, contact the customer service department (custserv@richters.com) replacement seeds.

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