Saxifraga seed starting

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Rimmer
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Joined: 2010-02-05
Saxifraga seed starting

just received a bunch of saxifrage seed packages and i was wondering when i should sow them and if i should sow them inside in pots outside in pots or outside  in-situ?

Rimmer

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

I generally start them in pots but they do require a cold treatment.  I sow them in the fall and leave them in the cold frame then they (hopefully) come up in the spring.  You may have to leave them in the pot (thinned out of course) for a year until they are large enough to pot up or plant out.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

Rimmer
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Hi Todd:
how is the snow cover in St John's??
If i was to keep the seeds for fall sowing should they be stored frozen or in the refrigerator

Rimmer

Rimmer de Vries
SE Michigan, USDA Zone 5b

Boland
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Part of my garden is snow-free while parts have 6 feet!  We are expecting 6-10 inches more tomorrow.  However, up until 2 weeks ago, the garden was practically devoid of snow...very unusual and I guess we are now making up for it.

I'd keep the seeds in the fridge...I've gotten them to sprout 2 years later when kept in the fridge, but maybe they would have been fine at room temperature.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

McGregorUS
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I sow Saxifraga seed from the seed exchanges as soon as I get it. So I've just sown the seed from NARGS - and some will germinate this year. I have kept Saxifraga seed at room temperature and in a fridge. At room temperature germination can be very patchy the following year (sometimes nil), from the fridge it can be very good or again nil. My philosophy in general is to sow immediately.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

Rimmer
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Hi Malcolm, no one mentions saxifragia needing a cold period to germinate, is this the case?

Rimmer

Rimmer de Vries
SE Michigan, USDA Zone 5b

McGregorUS
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I've never found any particular problem in this way. I give them no special treatment in general although if I'm dealing with Arctic species I have kept them in the frisge in damp tissue and sowed them after they have germinated but that is with seed collected in Alaska or in far northern Russia (which I got from Alexandra Berkutenko who is a great source of obscure Russian arctic species). I find Micranthes species harder to germinate than Saxifraga species in general but this may well be the quality of the seed I've received since Micranthes are almost always wild collected and that is often of poorer quality although offering intriguing possibilities.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I was just thinking about starting some saxifrage seeds (an amazingly generous assortment of bonus seeds from Mr. Houbec) and started looking for some tips...

As I've dealt so far only with dry-stored seeds, not fresh ones, I've found cold treatment/stratification to be helpful, as Todd said earlier in this thread.  

McGregorUS wrote:

... in general although if I'm dealing with Arctic species I have kept them in the frisge in damp tissue and sowed them after they have germinated but that is with seed collected in Alaska or in far northern Russia...

Just thinking about the comment above.... keeping the seeds in the fridge in damp tissue is stratification, in Deno's terms. 

Any other observations/tips re. starting saxifrages from seed?

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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