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Seeding Galium odoratum; Asperula odorata; Sweet Woodruff

Posted by 7thstrangr 6a (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 24, 12 at 11:23

How long should Galium odoratum take to germinate?

I recently purchased a packet of Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff) seeds and seeded them in small peat pots. I had received them at the beginning of March, so I put the seed packet in the fridge for about 4 weeks, which is, I believe, what one should do to simulate a cold dormant period. I planted the seeds indoors about three and a half weeks ago, and I haven't seen any sprouts. I know that they take a long time to germinate, but I am concerned that they are taking far too long. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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RE: Seeding Galium odoratum; Asperula odorata; Sweet Woodruff

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 24, 12 at 11:54

Putting a packet of dry seed into the refrigerator does nothing but store them - to condition (stratify) the seeds the chill must be moist.

But, galium shouldn't require stratifying. 2-3 weeks at 68F for germination on average. It seems from the different databases that this isn't a seed that stores well and is best sown when ripe in July/Aug. Chilling didn't hurt them, and wouldn't if you had chilled them moist - I'd give them some time yet, but your lack of germination could have to do with the age of your seed.

This could be one of those instances where buying a plant or two could give you quick access to freshest seed. In my zone at least, galium was such a fast and happy spreader, I took it out after a couple of years, it was a little too happy for the site.

RE: Seeding Galium odoratum; Asperula odorata; Sweet Woodruff

Thank you for your post, morz8. I appreciate your explanation of the stratification process. Most of the websites I visited were extremely vague, and did not explain that the seeds had to be moist for the conditioning to be of any use.

Regardless, perhaps I need to be more patient, or perhaps I should try to find a live plant for this year and go from there.

RE: Seeding Galium odoratum; Asperula odorata; Sweet Woodruff

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 24, 12 at 12:34

For those seeds that do need the moist cold period, you can either sow your pots or flats, cover or wrap in saran or slip into a plastic bag, put them into your refrigerator (dated of course). If space is an issue, you can put the seeds with as little as a teaspoon or two of moist sterile sand or moist sterile vermiculite into a tiny zip lock (again, dated) and put that into your refrigerator. When the recommended time is up with the small zip lock bag, you can then sow the entire contents of the bag, vermiculite and all and not have to extract the seeds - helpful with the smaller types seed.

There are a handful of plants where seed is best sown before being stored any number of months, I've acquired fresh seed from purchasing a plant a few times now. Monkshood, ladies mantel are two that come to mind :)

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