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Old 09-26-2015, 07:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Location: San Lorenzo Bolivia
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Default My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

Last year I bought some seeds Musa sikkimensis and Musa Yunnan from the seedman.com nothing sprouted. I thought it was because I burnt them and let them get to to hot outside in a small window greenhouse. I contacted seedman.com and he kindly replaced the seeds at no charge. I tried them again, same varieties, planted them on Aug 12 still nothing has sprouted as of Sept 25 . We are entering spring here in Bolivia so I kept them warm at night 50-60 degrees and then in the morning they go outside in the sun an it is in the 80- 90's. I have been very careful not to burn them. They are kept moist in well drained soil. I used the CAPE Smoke Seed Germination Primer also soaking the seeds for 24 hrs. P.S. a little history, on my trip to the states had these seeds sent to me in May 2015 I then traveled with them until I could get them in the soil here in Bolivia in Sept. would that have effected the germination?

Thanks
Ricky
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

old seeds?
dead seeds?
try the float test for signs of life!
I believe if it sinks, germplasm is alive.

In fact @palmtalk.org, they mention of buying seeds
only if its new/fresh stock and has not sat in a box
or storage for a long time.
Another source is RPS:
rarepalmseeds.com - palm seeds, cycad seeds, banana seeds

Members at that forum will only buy from the catalog
that is labelled "NEW".
Germination rates for seedman.com nor rarepalmseeds.com
isnt that great for me either but that could just be
my technique or lack of it.
Problem with RPS is they require
30euro minimum order for small packet seeds.

Happy Growing!
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

Species like Sikkimensis require some cold stratification before they will germinate well. About 4 weeks in a fridge is sufficient.

Also using small numbers of seeds will lower the probability of getting any to sprout. The natural germination rate is about 10% you can raise that to about 20% with some techniques; so if you start with 10 seeds you will be lucky to get one to sprout.

Also some seed sellers and collectors store the seeds poorly. Seeds should be dried then placed in a cool (a fridge) place for prolonged storage. If this doesn't happen they will become unviable very quickly.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

Thanks for your response "Going Bananas", I did notice that some seeds when placed in the water did float. But not all. I will definitely take note in the future. We are entering Spring here in Bolivia so I am excited about getting these going.

Thanks also "Jmoore" so when the seed providers say "germination rate is 85% on the package they are basically wrong? It appears that way to me. I just placed an order from Rare Palm Seeds as Going Banana suggested. for

Musa sikkimensis - 10 seeds
Musa sp. (Helens Hybrid) 20 seeds
Musa thomsonil 10 Seeds
Musa velutina 20 seeds

1. Should I expect the same germination rate of 10% - 20% ? If yes I should buy more seeds.
2. And when I receive the seeds should I put the Musa Skkimensis in the refrigerator for 4 weeks before soaking them and planting?
3. Should I refrigerate any of the other seeds before planting?

Thanks for your help !!
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

Google definition of cold stratification:
https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...stratification
I would follow jmoore on youre sikkimensis
since I dont have any experience with
germination of naner seeds.

Here is another Google links on naner seed germination:
https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...%20germination

The refrigeration acording to jmoore (other than sikkimensis) is for long storage.
If you intend to immediately germinate and plant the seeds,
soak them immediately to awaken them from dormancy.

The ones Ive ordered from seedman and RPS are palmseeds
and large trees like ficus benghalensis, f. religiosa,
samanea saman and adansonia grandieri.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

Sikki appear to need temp fluctuations, I kept mine warm in the day, and then put the container down on a floor underneath a window at night as my house was warm at the time. Bananas are difficult to germinate anyway, 85 percent is way high in my opinion, 10 percent is more realistic. The most I have ever gotten to germinate out of one batch was 5 Musa Yunnanensis out of 50 seeds. I have fresh Musa Velutina seeds I just collected off my plant in soil, and 3 weeks later nothing.
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

85% sounds like a bit of a dream.

Ricky When I started out growing seeds I used to buy 10 seeds at a time and was frustrated at the lack of germination so I switched to buying 50 to 100 at a time. My success improved slightly then I went all in and started to buy 1000 at a time and my success improved greatly.

It may sound a lot, but if you think about the cost of buying 10s of seeds for nothing then it makes sense to me. You can always sell excess seedlings on ebay, that's what I do. It works out.
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

Does the germination rate improve if they are eaten and pooped out by a bird? Circle of Life and all.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
Location: San Lorenzo Bolivia
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Default Re: My seeds do not germinate! Whats wrong?

JMoore you said earlier "Species like Sikkimensis require some cold stratification before they will germinate well. About 4 weeks in a fridge is sufficient."
So when I get my new Sikkimensis seeds in the mail should do the cold stratification you mentioned or just plant them?
And what about the rest of the species do any of these need the cold treatment ?
Musa sp. (Helens Hybrid)
Musa thomsonil
Musa velutina
Thanks for your help
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