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If celery seed pots got too hot, are the seeds dead?

Posted by highwaygardener 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 23, 12 at 14:21

I've grown plants from seed before--mainly tomatoes and peppers--but this is the first time I've tried celery. It's also the first time I've tried putting plastic wrap on each 3" pot and secured each one with a rubber band. I've usually used the commercial flats with the molded plastic see-through dome covers.

I have the seeds in rubbermaid-type shallow tubs on a table up against a very sunny, large window.

The pansy seed that we tried to start 4.5 weeks ago hasn't shown any leaves yet, and we're about to give up on it. The broc popped right up in three days and is going great. But I'm starting to worry about the celery. It's only been planted for 1.5 weeks, and I know that it takes a long time to germinate, but I've only just realized that the pots that are closest to the window have been getting very hot, and I've wondered if that's why the pansy didn't sprout. Pansies are a cool weather flower, and perhaps they don't like the heat.

But celery doesn't like heat either. I've moved the pots back to where it's not so hot (still quite warm, but not hot) and I'm thinking of moving them to a cooler place again. I read that the optimal germination temp for celery is 70 degrees F, so that's what I'll be shooting for.

I read that optimal temp for broc is 85 deg F, and so that could explain why the very warm, sunny window didn't bother them.

My question is this: after 1.5 weeks of being kept too hot, is it all over for these celery seeds? Should I give up hope? It's probably too late to start new seed (celery can be put out on avg date of last Spring frost here, which is May 5th).

I think I'll go and dig around in the pansy seed to see what's happening and if any of them look like they just stalled or if they're all dead.

BTW, it's not the fault of the pansy seed. I had wondered about that, and so I put some in a wet paper towel in a disposable cup and set it on top of the fridge, and they were starting to germinate in just a few days.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: If celery seed pots got too hot, are the seeds dead?


I suppose whether or not the celery seeds are still good would depend on how hot they really got. My guess would be that they are still good but refuse to germinate at those higher temperatures. According to the chart linked below, the optimal germination temperature for celery is 68 deg. and it will not germinate at all at much higher temperatures. I'd try moving the celery pots to a much cooler place and give them another week or so. According to the chart, they should start germinating in about seven days.

Hope this is helpful,


Here is a link that might be useful: Germination Temperature Chart

RE: If celery seed pots got too hot, are the seeds dead?

Thanks, Art.

I moved the celery to the top of a piece of furniture that's out of the sun, but the temp there still gets up to 75 deg due to our woodstove, so I'll have to look again for another place. Perhaps a room on the north side of the house.

I sure do hope that they'll sprout now! They've had time to be wet, so I hope that they don't just turn to tiny little grains of mush. I guess we'll find out!

I transplanted some of the broc seedlings into the former pansy pots, so now we have 20 broc pots instead of the 10 I'd planned. I figured that we'd better go with our strengths!

I hadn't thinned out all the seedlings yet from the original pots, so I still had plenty of strong seedlings to choose from the extra seed we'd planted.

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