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Seeds questions - stratify, storage & planting

Posted by SnailLover MI zone 5a (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 12:43

I have some seeds to plant next spring. I've read a little about stratification but not sure when it applies. I'm in Michigan. I was wondering if I could just store the seeds in my garage over the winter and plant in spring. Or should I plant the seeds outside now? Or doesn't it matter? Is it absolutely necessary that they go through the stratification process? Here is what I have:

milkweed - no pods yet but planning ahead
poppies - no idea what kind, they were given to me
malva alcea (musk mallow)


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RE: Seeds questions - stratify, storage & planting

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 23:34

Snaillover, there are different kinds of milkweed (Asclepias) and they don't all have the same germination requirements. A good place to look up the different types for reliable suggestions on how best to germinate is the Clothiers Germination database, I'll link it for you. The seed sowing articles found there are good too, you may want to read through them.

If stratifying a type seed is recommended, storing dry in your garage won't help, that's only storage. In order for the chill to be helpful the seeds must be moist. Can you sometimes skip that step and get (some) germination, Yes, in a very few cases...but the databases will give you suggestions for methods shown to provide the best and most complete germination.

It's hard to advise not knowing which poppy too. The oriental perennial types will germinate without the moist chill, are fine sown in pots, while other perennial types may need the chill - and the annual poppies are often best direct sown. In my milder climate I'll direct sow in Fall, Winter, earliest Spring. You can sometimes very carefully transplant the annual types into the garden but for the most part they don't do as well with the roots disturbed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clothier Germination Database


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RE: Seeds questions - stratify, storage & planting

Thanks so much, I'll check the link out.


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