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Seed soaking question

Posted by kerwee41 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 24, 11 at 7:42

Hi all. I'm growing some trees from seed. Some types require a few hours of soaking, some take up to a week due to very tough seed coats, such as junipers. Some even require soaking in citric acid or peroxide to soften the seedcoats.

I usually discard any seeds that are floating after the soak time has ended, as my understanding is that these seeds are empty or not fully formed. I just want to confirm that this is the correct thing to do and that the floating seeds will not germinate. Most seeds that sink to the bottom during soaking are viable, filled seeds, correct?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Seed soaking question

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 24, 11 at 15:59

Yes, most that sink will be filled and viable, but that doesn't necessarily mean the 'floaters' won't germinate, the floast test isn't completely reliable for determining viable seed.

RE: Seed soaking question

Thanks for the info. That's what I thought, most "floaters" are empty or will have difficulty germinating.

I usually sow only the seeds which sink so the few that float after 24 or 48 hours are most likely not viable and I discard them.

Thanks again.

RE: Seed soaking question

The fact is the float test is not a reliable way to tell if ALL seeds are viable. In other words you could be throwing away a lot of good seeds. Al

RE: Seed soaking question

In my case, if I have lots of seed to work with, like native plants from the yard, then I will be a bit more selective with my seeds and typically only use seeds that sink after a good soak.

If I work with purchased seeds and have only a very limited supply, then I will use most seeds whether they float or sink.

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