alstroemeria from seeds

eukofiosMarch 26, 2006

Alstroemeria seem to do well in this climate but the plants are expensive. I bought some seeds - looks like they might be difficult to start from seed.

I wondered if someone has experience with them. Looks like they have to be soaked for several days, then can take months to actually sprout.

What about nicking them with a nknife or rubbing them with sandpaper?

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I'd start with soaking them in hand-hot tapwater for 24 hours. Watch for them to sink, if they float at first. If they sink at first, watch for them to swell up. If they don't swell, or sink, gently prick the end of the seed opposite the 'eye' with a pin, and put them in for another soak. After the pre-treatment, sow them in individual pots or cells, 1/16th" deep. They germinate at 65-70F soil temperature, and can take up to a year to do so.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 11:34AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

They self sow with abandon here, and given the way the seed pods burst and throw seeds some distance, the seedlings end up in some very unlikely places :)

Direct sowing in Fall may have been best, but if the seeds have been handled/stored well, why don't you soak overnight and direct sow now while the ground is still wet and cool.

Clothiers: "Alstroemeria aurantiaca, hookerii, ligtu, and pulchella , Sow at Max. 5ºC (41ºF), germ. irregular, often several mos. "

(The cold late winter/ early Spring temps don't harm the seedlings one bit when they germinate in the ground outdoors, seedlings sailed through our record lows in February)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 12:03PM
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I have probably donated 50 alstroemerias to plant sales over the years. They are so easy to divide I only buy one when I see a color I don't already have. Al

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 10:26PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Al, I don't find them that easy to divide in my organic clay. In just a years time, those brittle but fleshy roots with the little grape-cluster tubers attached find their way down to easily 2'...I end up doing a major excavation trying to divide them.

Of course I'm talking about mature plants from containers, not seedlings here :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 11:54PM
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If I recall correctly, either some or all require cold stratification periods in order to germinate. I winter sowed 25 Dr Salters Hybrids in December and 19 have sprouted. They will soon go to their permanant homes but I doubt they will bloom this year.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 9:24PM
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Thanks for the advice. I can't spend several months watching them! I'll sow them in a sheltered spot & see how they do with some benign neglect.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 3:21PM
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peterls(N Yorks, UK)

I am currently growing some from seed now. - Ligtu Hybrids. I was horrified at the instructions on the packet. But I just soaked them for three days and sowed them on the surface of the compost inside the house on March 5th. They did not seem to visibly swell. The temperature, most of the time, happened to be between 50F and 60F compared with the recommended 65F - 70F. Three have germinated so far - the first 17 days after sowing. I agree with Donn, I would be tempted to prick them at the time of soaking, I meant to do mine that way but forgot.

I also have some mature plants in containers that I would like to divide. I have heard that they resent disturbance and can sulk for a year. Have you found any problem Calistoga or Morz8

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 4:19PM
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Three or four years ago I started some following the directions on the Thompson and Morgan seed packet. I sowed in cell packs and kept them at 70 F for 5 weeks, then put in the refrigerator for 5 weeks, then took them out of the fridge. They sprouted fairly soon after that (I don't remember how long). I guess they were tricked into thinking they fell to earth in summer, went through a winter and it was now spring, and time to grow. I got a bunch of viable plants but lost a couple after transplanting. Now I'm doing another batch because I want to see if I can get some other colors. All of the plants that lived have sort of peachy-colored flowers--nice but I'd prefer more variety. This batch went into the fridge about a week ago. Last time I started them earlier in the year (right after Christmas, I think). I hope it will be alright to plant them in summer. I wouldn't expect to get any flowers till the following year anyway.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 10:12PM
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jennie(8 WA)

I'm following the T&M directions, mine said three weeks around room temp, three weeks in the 'fridge, and three weeks at room temp again; but I got sprouts after about ten days. So far about a third have sprouted, but it won't be three weeks until day after tomorrow so I have hopes more will sprout. I've heard they're hard to plant out so I'm nervous about this next step.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 1:53PM
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I have started alstroemeria from seed for a few years using various methods. This year was no exception. In early December I placed the seeds in a moist (not wet) paper towel, folded it and placed it in a zip-top plastic bag. I placed this over very low bottom heat (approximately 65-70 degrees) for a month, then placed it in the rack on the door of the refrigerator. Early in February I removed them from the refrigerator and checked progress. Most of the seeds had tiny roots poking out. I then placed the bag on the north-facing kitchen windowsill for a few days to allow a little more development before placing them in potting soil.

In the past I have had alstroemeria bloom the first season from seed.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 10:02AM
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Most of my Alstroemerias are in pots, those that I am regularly dividing. At the time of division I do not have any blooming stems, and usually only new stems less than 6 inches high. My potting soil is a commercial nursery "Soiless Mix" and easily falls apart when knocked out of the pot. Around the outside of the root ball will usually be several new stems growing that have not yet broken the soil surface. These if separated with some of their roots attached can be potted up in one gallon pots and will usually bloom the same season. It is rare to have a failure. Al

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 10:38AM
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a wonderfull flower...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:57AM
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I think some flowers vendors; not selling seeds or plants; occupied this forum like many others for advertising!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 5:31AM
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