Germinating Belladonna seeds with Gibberellic Acid
Answered by: Ginny
Question from: Dan
Posted on: October 22, 2012

How many ppm gibberellic acid solution should I use to encourage germination of these obstinate little seeds? I kept the package of seeds in the fridge until I was ready to begin. I then soaked 12 seeds in a solution of 400 ppm gibberellic acid for 24 hours, rinsed, and planted them in seed starter mix. That was 2 1/2 weeks ago. Nothing. Please advise. These plants are key to my garden plan.

Belladonna seeds are slow to germinate, as you have found. Your ratio of 400 ppm gibberellic acid is sufficient strength. The seeds may still require as long as a month to germinate. At Richters Herbs, we do not use this treatment for Belladonna. Instead, we stratify the seeds for 4-8 weeks in seed flats, in a refrigerator. After this period, the seed flats are placed in a seed bed with bottom heat of 21 degrees Celsius. The seeds begin to germinate after about 3-4 weeks. It takes some patience, but we are rewarded with a high germination rate, close to 80%. You don’t state whether your seeds were in a damp soil or soil-less medium when they were in your refrigerator, but this is a crucial step in stratification. Good luck with your seeds.

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