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Keeping Seeds Moist

Posted by jibd NJz6 (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 16, 11 at 18:01

Hi all,

I have a large amount of plant species I am growing from seed this spring, and I already have many of them. But I don't plan on staring them indoors for at least another month. I am concerned that these seeds will dry out before I can use them and won't be viable anymore. Is this a valid concern? If so, what should I do to keep them moist? Currently I have some of them in a small ziplock bag with moist paper towels lightly misted with a spray bottle. Any advice is much appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Keeping Seeds Moist

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 16, 11 at 19:10

We could use a little more information -

There a seeds for a few plants that will quickly lose viability if allowed to dry out - but a much greater number will store best if kept dry and cool. Adding moisture to that second type as you describe could cause you to lose them.

Seeds for which plants?

RE: Keeping Seeds Moist

Hi there,

Currently I have Tropical Milkweed with a moist paper towel and ziplock bag; Purple Milkweed is still being cold-stratified in the fridge, although I have to take it out soon. I'm not sure what to do with it when I take it out, as I won't be starting it for another five weeks. And false nettle seeds are in a regular old plastic bag. Other seeds that will need to be stored once I buy them though, are hollyhock, parsley, dill, zinnia, sunflower, salvia, and foxglove. There are others, but they will be cold stratifying for the duration of the winter, so no worries there.

RE: Keeping Seeds Moist

When seeds have been cold stratified they must be planted when taken out of the cold damp atmosphere. If allowed to reach room temperature they will germinate. I would leave them where they are until ready to plant. Why can't they take a longer than the minimum stratification time? Al

RE: Keeping Seeds Moist

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 17, 11 at 16:34

All the seeds you mention are best stored cool and dry before sowing.

If you've begun to stratify Asclepias purpurascens/purple milkweed, your choices now are leave it in the fridge until ready to sow, or sow it. If you bring the seeds out of the refrigerator, they will germinate or die. (Once moisture has breached the seed coat and reached the embyro your seeds will die if allowed to dry out again.)

Seeds from the tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica don't require the cold treatment - their seed should be stored dried in a cool, dry place. If you received them dry and have added moisture, you may have to change plans and sow them.

RE: Keeping Seeds Moist

Thanks everyone for helping out a newbie! Your responses were all very helpful.

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