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another moonflower vine question

Posted by kek19 5b-Michigan (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 26, 07 at 19:32

I'm trying to grow moonflower vine indoors. I too am having issues germinating. I planted them beginning of April. I tried last year, had no germination issues, germinated in a week, just stupid me planted them in a container w/ only 2 in of soil and NO drainage!! So obviously they got 1-2in tall and died. Anyways.....now I have them in 2 liter pop bottles, about 6 in of soil, and drainage. I know there have been posts stating they like to be bottom heated and can also rot before germinating. My question is, how do you know if they have rotted? I dug one up to check on it, it's really soft, and you can see the shell is all cracked, but nothing sprouting. Think they're rotting?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: another moonflower vine question

I just soak them overnight and sow them. They work great. Problem is, I can't get the darn things to bloom. They are rottne when they are mushy. That probably doesn't help, but it's the only way I can tell. When they germinate, they really mean business.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

I can only tell my personal experience with the moonflower vine-- it took ages for them to germinate. Some never did (after about a month-- when the others had started coming up) and I threw those out. I then tried a second batch-- with no bottom heat, and got the exact same results! So I don't know... This is my first year growing Moonflower, and I can't wait to see if I'll get blooms.

Good luck!


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RE: another moonflower vine question

I only started a few for the nieghbor this year, but here is what I did for last year:
soaked them overnight ontop of the radiator, sowed them in soiless mix in front of a west window. Germination is erratic I find of these beutiful buggers. I continued growing the vines indoors, but they were getting too long, so I started to prun them back, this made them even stronger.
I can always tell if the seeds are going to germinate or not, the inside will be mushy and black for the ones that won't, the others that will , if you knick the seed coat you will see green.
Hope that helps
By the time I planted out in May, they started blooming in June! The transplanting knocked them back for a month, but I had literaly 100's of blooms by August. I fed them 10-52-10 2 times a week and pruned them ocassionally, they also recieved alot of water, seems they really like water.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

  • Posted by kek19 5b-Michigan (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 27, 07 at 19:13

busylizzy- when did you start your indoors? I have a feeling if they ever do germinate (btw i did the knick the coat, and they are green) I'm afraid its too late to get them to bloom.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

I read somewhere to sprout seeds like you would when you do a viability test and then carefully place the seed into a pot to grow. It just so happened that MOONFLOWER was the seed of choice this year. Since the seeds are so large I soaked them for 8 hrs then placed them in a damp papertowel inside a plastic bag. Check each day and ln less than 3 days they had sprouted. I placed them in a pot and now they are ready to plant outside. note-any seeds that floats after soaking probably won't sprout. I was so impressed that I have sprouted gourd-squash-and other large seeds this year WITH SUCCESS.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

I start mine in February
If you can I would give them bottom heat and they will pop up soon


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RE: another moonflower vine question

  • Posted by kek19 5b-Michigan (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 28, 07 at 15:51

paulah-gardener- why won't a seed that floats germinate? Because, if I remember correctly, at least half floated.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

I scarified by scratching on a metal file, sowed in peat pellets w/ hot water (without presoaking) and they sprouted in under 24 hours.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

I planted in moist seed-starting mix with a humidity dome under fluorescent lights (no bottom heat) and most sprouted within a week. It took them a while to get going, though.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

  • Posted by kek19 5b-Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, May 1, 07 at 18:37

i think i'm giving up on mine, no signs of life yet


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RE: another moonflower vine question

kek19 -

generally speaking *many* seeds that float are no longer viable because the floating indicates that the seeds are less dense than water. This can mean that the INSIDE of the seed has become too dry (or some other factor killed the embryo, such as fungus, etc.) and the embryo is dead, therefore with the decreased water content & possibly higher air content, the seeds will float. However, some seeds are so small that they don't always sink (like Arabidopsis or other brassicas!), and some are designed to float around (like Sea Bean type plants, coconuts, etc). It's a good rule of thumb for most non-tiny garden plant seeds. If I'm dealing with a plant I'm not familiar with (and I don't know if the seeds generally sink or not), I do the test and if they all float I assume that they're supposed to (and that hopefully I don't have an entire set of dead seeds!). Hope that helps :)
a


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RE: another moonflower vine question

  • Posted by kek19 5b-Michigan (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 07 at 12:07

Thanks ara133, I was not aware of this. But since it was mentioned above, I've been watching any seeds I soak. I'm pretty sure my moonflower ones mostly floated, and I don't remember that from last year. I bought a pack w/ only 5 seeds in it this year. Next year I'll spring for the extra 59 cents for the larger pack! lol I'm pretty certain it's too late to try and sow new, not a long enough growing season to be worth the trouble. But I have plenty of Morning Glories to take their place. I WILL try again next year! Third time has gotta be the charm, right?


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RE: another moonflower vine question

I have grown morning glories for years and I always direct sow them. Last year I put them in a west facing bed and they did wonderful. When the afternoon sun hit them the flowers closed up, but the vine did great. I had a ton of flowers. The one thing I wish I had done was stake them, I did a little but they soon grew over the stakes. While working the bed this spring I see there are a few seedings from last years plants, even here in cold montana!
This year I direct sowed them using a tomato cage around my mail box post. I don't soak the seeds, I don't knick them and they do fine for me. I've never even heard of warm bottoms. I just got mine in the ground last week and they are already sprouted. I don't think it is too late to expect blooms, it's only may.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

Hi there. I started a tonne of Ipomoea indoors this year. They've never germinated in the past. What I did with the moonflower AND all my morning glories was nicked them with a razer (probably about a millimeter into the seed) and then soaked them in a glass of warm water overnight. When I put them in the water they all (moonflower) floated at first but by morning were on the bottom of the glass. Then I planted them 1/4 inch deep in peat pots and stuck them in the mini greenhouse. They ALL germinated pretty much overnight and one month later are still looking healthy. Now I have way more than I can plant.
Good luck.


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RE: another moonflower vine question

  • Posted by kek19 5b-Michigan (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 07 at 15:05

I just went and dug up my seeds. two looked like they tried to sprout, but turned into mush, the first one I found like that i accidently touched a little too hard and it looked like puss coming out. 2 other ones looked like they had a single root growing out, but appeared to have mold growing on the seed shell. And the last one was a deflated black mush. I left the 2 w/ the mold in the containers, figured it wouldnt hurt to see what happens. I dont think anything will, I did sow them mid march! Oh well, like I said, next year!


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RE: another moonflower vine question

maybe try a diff. seed source next yr? I don't mean to advertise for this company, but the ones I just rcd. and planted/sprouted successfully were from J.L. Hudson seed co (jlhudson.com I think), and I had about a 99% germination rate. All seeds but 1 sank (I think I got a pack of about 12 ish), and all of the 'sinkers' I planted sprouted and have turned into nice little plants. They have a really awesome selection to (I've just discovered them from a rev. I read on gardenwatchdog on the davesgarden website!). Good luck! :)


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RE: another moonflower vine question

I've been growing both moonflowers AND morning glory for three years. I've never had any problems with poisoning despite the fact that I foolishly refuse to use garden gloves, and I've had great success with growing them.

Don't pamper moonflower seeds. Thats the problem a lot of people face. YES, they do take 10-20 days to emerge from the soil, yes, keeping them watered regularly is good (don't have them SWIMMING in thier own pot LITTERALLY), but you just need to give them TIME. Yes, they do well in good soil (not clay or gravel soil), but the reason they would rot is...

1. Its humid, hot, wet, moist, and the seeds are all forced to go through this condition...

2. You have maggots in your soil. I dare you to check and not freak out. (be careful when putting your seeds in soil. At least EXAMINE the dirt before you stick the seeds in them.)

Another thing.

Moonflowers, both the vine AND bush, are poisonous. Don't consume, and don't let your animals consume it either. Indoor animals shouldn't have a problem if you wash your hands after working in the garden. But if you have a neighbor's cat who comes to the back door like I have, and litterally has a police cat stake out on your porch, be careful about where and how you do your planting if you're starting seeds in a pot on your porch, or in your garden where the cat often roams.

hope this is useful for those moonflower lovers out there...

but you dont have to take my advice. I'm only 13. ^^


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RE: another moonflower vine question

Just bought 3 packs of moonflower vine seeds, and have them soaking, I scraped them with a metal file and the water has hydrogen peroxide in it. There are 7 seeds and I decided to soak all of one package. They are from American Seed Company, I got Morning Glories one time and they came up ok, I even got one purple one to bloom in the house over the winter. A friend is sending me a couple of dozen in the mail so I will have several to try.


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