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They're Alive! They're Alive!

This is a discussion on They're Alive! They're Alive! within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Just had to post a photo here of my seedlings. These are Lilium martagon var, ...

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  1. #1
    TundraKev's Avatar
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    Default They're Alive! They're Alive!

    Just had to post a photo here of my seedlings. These are Lilium martagon var, cattaniae. I got these seed from a guy in the UK and am very excited to see them actually sprout.

    Most lilies are really kind of easy from seed as long as you know the requirements for germinating them. There are two types of germination.

    1. Epigeal germination - In this type, the cotyledon or seed leaf emerges above the soil surface first. The tiny bulb is formed below ground. These types of lilies are the easiest.

    2. Hypogeal germination - In this case the seed produces a root that quickly forms a small bulb and the cotyledon remains underground for some time. When the first true leaf is formed, it breaks through the ground.

    Immediate or delayed - Both epigeal and hypogeal germination is delayed in some species, sometimes for up to two years. Most epigeal is immediate and most hypogeal is delayed. Of course there are exceptions to both.

    Back to my lilies.

    These were the delayed hypogeal type. First I sowed the seeds and kept them at 70 F. for three months and then I put them into the fridge for 3 months to break the dormancy. Once I took them out, they sprouted in about 1 week. Now I just have to wait about 6-7 years for flowers.

    Some lilies you can just sow and they sprout in about 4 weeks and bloom either the first or second year.


  2. #2
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    So, question: If you hadn't put the seeds in the fridge, they would never have sprouted at all?

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    Good question. In theory, some of them probably would have. Even though many seeds prefer certain conditions to germinate, you probably would get something to grow as long as the conditions were at least decent.

    A few years back, I harvested a bunch of seed from my L. martagon album and planted them immediately. They all germinated within a month. In that case, since they were so fresh they didn't need the cold stratification . They also bloomed a lot sooner, in about 4 years.

    I was kind of surprised at how poor the germination was for this batch. I planted a whole lot of seeds in that pot. They probably weren't stored properly by the guy in the UK. Lily seed will only stay viable for less than a year at room temp. If you still them in the freezer, they will be good for around 30 years or longer.

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    You're still going to have to dig the bulbs each winter? Seem like you'd be able to leave them in the ground where they could get their cold spells naturally.

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    No, these are totally hardy here. I usually start this stuff indoors under lights around Dec - Jan. By the time spring arrives, the plants are large enough to go into the garden. There they stay. Don't dig a thing.

    I do grow some lilies not hardy in this zone. Those I keep in the fridge each winter to keep them dormant until spring.

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    Way to go , please keep us posted on thier progress Gin

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    Good job Kev, but it simply reinforces my instand gratification instincts. Post photos of the flowers in sixteen years, please!

    Julie

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