Germinating Bittersweet
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Janet Lambert
Posted on: April 6, 1998

I purchased bittersweet seeds from you this year. I followed directions on the package--and soaked the seeds before planting. It has been about 10 days and the seeds haven’t germinated. In the meantime I noticed your comments to another person planting bittersweet to put the seeds in the cold for 1 - 3 months if germination had not occurred. So this am I put the seed cells into the refrigerator. Will the seeds actually sprout in the refrigerator or do I just guess about how many months to actually leave them in there.

I also planted foxglove seeds (6 days ago) if they don’t germinate do I place them in the refrigerator or just wait? The lavender I planted came germinated in only 4 days!

A new reference we now have suggests soaking the bittersweet seeds for 12-28 days (change water daily), storing them damp for 3 months at 4 degrees Celsius then surface sowing them and keeping the seed flat at 21 degrees Celsius with light. They will not sprout in the fridge, but when you take them out, surface sow them and then keeping the seed flat lit.

Foxglove seeds take up to 35 days to germinate. They also need to be just pressed into the seed flat surface and the seed flat kept lit to germinate.

The book, "Growing Herbs from Seed, Cutting & Root" (B4280) would be a help to you.

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