Should one soak rose seeds in dilute aspirin solution?

Title: Salicylic acid treatment of pea seeds induces its de novo synthesis

Authors: Gabriella Szalai, Szabina Horgosi, Vilmos Soos, Imre Majlath, Ervin Balazs, Tibor Janda

Published in: Journal of Plant Physiology, Volume 168, Issue 3, 15 February 2011, Pages 213-219.

Abstract: “Salicylic acid (SA), which is known as a signal molecule in the induction of defense mechanisms in plants, could be a promising compound for the reduction of stress sensitivity. The aim of the present work was to investigate the distribution of SA in young pea (Pisum sativum L.) seedlings grown from seeds soaked in 3H-labeled SA solution before sowing, and to study the physiological changes induced by this seed treatment. The most pronounced changes in SA levels occurred in the epicotyl and the seeds. Radioactivity was detected only in the bound form of SA, the majority of which was localized in the seeds, and only a very low level of radioactivity was detected in the epicotyl. SA pre-treatment increased the expression of the chorismate synthase and isochorismate synthase genes in the epicotyl. Pre-soaking the seeds in SA increased the activities of some antioxidant enzymes, namely ascorbate peroxidase (EC and guaiacol peroxidase (EC and the level of ortho-hydroxycinnamic acid, but decreased the level of polyamines. These results suggest that the increased level of free and bound SA detected in plants growing from seeds soaked in SA solution before sowing is the product of de novo synthesis, rather than having been taken up and mobilized by the plants.”

In the full paper a warning is given that too high a concentration reduced germination.

“However, it should also be noted that a dramatic inhibition of the germination process was reported above a concentration of 1mM in maize (Guan and Scandalios, 1995) and Arabidopsis (Rajjou et al., 2006) plants.”


I tried soaking some Rosa glutinosa seeds in willow stem and willow bud “tea” water, but it hasnt seemed to affect the seeds differently to the point in time. Neither have germinated, and they are way past due. It’d probably be more definitive if I tried soaking Rosa multiflora seeds in willow tea instead, but lord knows the world needs more Rosa multiflora, lol.

Maybe a combo of SA + IAA would be useful. I dont know :confused:

Good catch, Jadae. I confess I didn’t consider looking up the MDSD on this product. I do that when I am concerned about ingesting something or feeding it to my chickens, but somehow it escaped me for this application. I DO have a 50# sack of it, and I will probably use it, but…I will not recommend it ever again…

Duly chastised…


Why would you want to use IAA to germinate seeds??

I read some article somewhere stating that it could potentially aid in great yields, as well as increased rooting speed. But the article also stated that even though the seeds had a response to the IAA, it did not force them to germinate. The researched proposed that a combination of chemicals, including IAA, could potentially force germination if they penetrated the seed.


Its all “what ifs” until we know.

The use of IAA in tissue culture is to form callus, the embryo inside would respond to it probably forming callus within the seed shell, I dont think this would help germination. But if the embryo was taken out of the seed shell and treated with IAA in vitro , now you talking about a different kettle of fish and the possibilties of producing large amounts of plants from a single callus.

um, I have only used salicylic acid in willow water for cuttings. It seems to speed up the rooting process but I couldn’t be terribly scientifically specific.

Warren, the seeds reacted differently than forming calluses. Theyre not the same thing. You can search for the article if you want. I read it online about 6 months ago.

Did a little browsing on the net and came across this.Research submitted to the American journal of Science

(Effect of Growth Hormones On Seed Germination and Seedling Growth in Black Gram and Horse Gram)

Part of the conclusion states as follows

the lower concentration of growth regulators favour the increased ezymatic activity which leads to the favourable environment for the germination as well as the growth of the radical and plumule.

Just an additon to the above, most seeds when in the stages of germination activate low levels of Auxins and Cytokinin , so why would you want to pump more of these hormones into a devoloping seedling. Nature has been doing this for millions of years, which has given pretty good results

That is exactly the question. The goal is to see which methods can induce easy germination, especially in those that can take up to two years. Its all experimentation until we can see what works beyond the standard methods, which are time-consuming, work out easily and well. If we applied the lessons of every abstract we read, we’d be schizoid by now lol. So its all just hypothesis until proven otherwise in real-time practice. That is part of the meaning of horticulture.

Just a thought, with seeds taking up to 2yrs for germination, maybe giving them 2 or 3 pseudo winters in a growing season,

eg stratifying firstly for 1-1 1/2 mths, warmiing them up to spring/summer temps for 1 mth then back into stratification to break dormancy.

just a thought


Go to the articles section on the home page and you can read a review I wrote on all the published literature (with numbers) on seed germination of the last century. There are a lot of options explored. Plant hormones work different ways at different levels, on different tissues, at different times. the balance of auxin and gibberellin is key overall, but there are others we know a lot less about like brassinosteroids, eicosanoids. Ethylene is sort of a hormone but more like a signal transmitter, even calcium has important effects. So seed germination is more art than science.

hmmm, seems more like ‘magic’ to me - perhaps I should start chanting over mine. Eye of newt, heart of toad…Probably as likely to initiate some growth action as my usual slapdash methods (methods? ahem)

Intereting review Larry , thanks for directing me to it, took a while to read 55 pages but was well worth it

cheers warren