Allium from seed

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Sellars
Sellars's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29
Allium from seed

We collected some Allium siskiyouense seed in southern Oregon last July. On the basis that Alliums are bulbs I duly planted the seed a month ago along with the rest of the bulb seed. Well, four weeks later, I am surprised to see a pot full of seedlings that, I assume, will require tender loving care over the winter. Is this rapid germination (with no stratification) common with all Allium seed? Would it have been better to plant them in January or would there have been lower germination in the Spring?

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

David wrote:

We collected some Allium siskiyouense seed in southern Oregon last July.  On the basis that Alliums are bulbs I duly planted the seed a month ago along with the rest of the bulb seed.  Well, four weeks later, I am surprised to see a pot full of seedlings that, I assume, will require tender loving care over the winter.  Is this rapid germination (with no stratification) common with all Allium seed?  Would it have been better to plant them in January or would there have been lower germination in the Spring?

In my experience with western American Allium seed, siskiyouense included, they typically require stratification.  If sowing in pots, I sow such seed late in fall to early winter, to allow immediate freezing with little chance of premature germination.  Depending on the severity of one's winter, prematurely germinated seedlings might make it, but here in New England, I might get a few early germinating seedlings, but largely depend on the better main germination which occurs in spring.

The problem with having early germination on western American Allium, they have a very short growing season as it is, so if they came up now, I would try and determine what the percentage of germination is... if a significant percentage germinated, try to keep them growing through the winter by keeping them above freezing in a cold frame or greenhouse.  If only a few seeds germinated, leave outside and see what comes up in spring.

It should be noted, that many allium are cool to warm germinators, germinating in 2-3 weeks, and I would give very different advice if attempting to germinate something like Allium flavum versus *most* of the western American species.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Sellars
Sellars's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

Good suggestions from the Onion Man.  Thanks.

I never thought I would ever have to say this about seedlings but the percentage germination is unfortunately very high.  I will try and keep them in the cold greenhouse over the winter.

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Log in or register to post comments