Greater than average dormancy among this years seeds

It seems that there may be increased dormancy among this years seeds for me. Perhaps the long very cool summer and fall promoted greater dormancy as some published past experiments looking at temperature after pollination and before harvest may suggest- cooler temps promoted greater dormancy. It’s been 12 weeks in the fridge for my rose seeds and a couple weeks now at 60F and not even ‘Carefree Beauty’ seedlings are starting to germinate readily yet. Seeds seem to have nice embryos though. I’ve been doing an experiment with germination of the composite species Heliopsis and there seems to be less and delayed germination this year compared to last as well.

How are things going for others?



I had a spat of germinations in Dec, then trickled to maybe one or two a week. Seems like a long dormancy here too, though our weather certainly wasn’t cool in the summer - this is TUCSON! Most of the batches have been in the fridge since August/September, then in and out, or just out. About 1/3 of the batches have started to mold badly - I doubt that I’ll see many more germinations from them. The other seeds are looking healthy, but dormant.

I actually had one seed sprout while sitting on top of my upright freezer during the warm prestratifacation period. The temp on the freezer top is around 75 to 80 degrees and is where I put my newly shelled seeds the first three weeks before putting to the salad drawer.

To have had a seed sprout only two weeks after shelling, and at that warm temperature made me think I would be seeing early sprouts this year but so far this has been the only one to germinate. It is a Spanish Rhapsody x Goldmoss cross, and I am convinced it was one of those totally uncharacteristic events that nature throws up at random.

I waited much later to shell my seeds this year to delay sprouts so my seedlings wouldn’t have to spend so long inside before planting out. Last year I had too many stressed seedlings by spring plant out time.

Normally I would have 100 or so seedlings under lights by now but they would have had 10 to 12 weeks in the 'fridge.

At this time most of my seeds have been in the 'fridge only three weeks so it’s really too soon to tell if they will be late.


The only ones that have germanited so far are a few Darlow’s Enigma OP hips. Some were in the fridge for 12 weeks and some were just put under the lights from the bush a few days ago and I have some from both batches.


Same story, David, it’s been very long for some seeds (16+ weeks of cold) without germinations. I finally took anything with 12 or more weeks of chilling out, and have started doing alternate daily warm/cold cycles to get their juices flowing. I’ll probably only do that for a week at most before returning them to constant warmth, then see where it gets me. If nothing else, I’ll just give them a while and then do a second stratification if I have to. Many of the seeds were particularly large and healthy… maybe like wooly bear caterpillars, they were anticipating this cold and snowless winter we’re having!

I do have one germination from Darlow’s Enigma. The rest of the seeds rotted in stratification… I have to remember to keep moisture levels way down for these small-seeded and thin-shelled synstylae types, or let the seeds dry a bit first, or both.

David, I too had been wondering why after several months I have not yet experienced any germination? Generally, it’s almost two months to the day I see my first sprouts pushing forth. It’s also been on my mind concerning the COOL WET summer experienced here and if that had any effect? Though, my breeding stock is potted and come fall is placed in the solarium to ripen the hips, the autumn weather was so COLD that the solarium was often downright chilly! The hips thus took an extended period to ripen and now am wonder what shall come forth? … only time will tell!


Well, being the hopelessly impatient and meddling person I am, I pulled apart quite a few achenes and planted the extracted or half-extracted seeds hoping for speedier germination. I’d like to believe the fact that they could be split so easily by hand meant they were ready for action anyway, but I’m crossing my fingers that I haven’t simply made them more vulnerable than they can handle.

Stefan, I’ve also been guilty of doing the same. Though, today I did find two germinated seeds! … now, 2 down and a 1000 to go!