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Oct / Nov issue of The Irish Garden








Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal

Last Post 2 days 6 hours ago

Self Seeders

05 May 2011 20:27:57
Alstroemeria 'Ligtu Hybrids'

Alstroemeria 'Ligtu Hybrids'

I just love self-seeders. It is such a bonus when a plant you like pops up in unexpected places.

Last year I went through Christopher Lloyd's book 'Succession Planting for Adventurous Gardeners' with a fine tooth comb, paying particular attention to the chapter on self-seeders. I sought out and ordered a lot of his recommended seeds.

Anyway, one of the self-seeders, recommended by Mr Lloyd was Alstroemeria 'Ligtu Hybrids'. I was delighted to find Chiltern stocked them.

Now, it seems to me that self-seeders, by definition, should be easy to germinate so I was quite surprised to read the complicated instructions for germinating these Alstroemeria.

It couldn't be right! How could something be a self-sower if you have to soak it first, put it at 30º for 3-4 weeks then 5º for 3-4 weeks then 21º to germinate. Besides my heated mats don't even reach 30º!

I soaked the seeds and put them on the heat, full sure that they would germinate in no time. But a month later, I had to admit defeat and resorted to a regime of fridge and heat mats for the next 77 days. I was about to give up when... they germinated.

So, how on earth are these supposed to be self-seeders? But, I suppose, Verbena bonariensis, also an acknowledged self-seeder, is hard to germinate indoors. I guess Mother Nature still has a few mysteries up her sleeve.


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fran m fran m 05 May 2011 21:01:29

Well done on trying so hard, a well deserved result.


Hosta Hosta 05 May 2011 21:22:34

Just goes to show that patience pays off, well done; 


TinaJ TinaJ 05 May 2011 22:26:42

i have sowed seeds of verbena bonariensis ,just have them on the window in a seed tray with plasic bag,hope they germinate.had it growing in the garden,but it never came back this year 

 


Moya Moya 05 May 2011 22:37:29

You have shown amazing commitment and patience and I am glad they finally germinated.

I hate when there are complicated instructions like that as I am likely to forget them at one of the stages....


Cloncaw Cloncaw 05 May 2011 22:52:51

Think I would have given up long ago


Rachel Rachel 05 May 2011 22:53:45

Thanks, Fran & Margaret.

Tina, I'm having no luck with my Verbena bonariensis. They're sown more than two months now.

You are right, Moya, it's so easy to 'forget about' the complicated seeds. I much prefer the straightforward ones too.


TinaJ TinaJ 05 May 2011 22:59:28

i sowed mine sunday so will let you know how it goes


Rachel Rachel 05 May 2011 23:04:40

Great. Thanks, Tina.


HeadGardener HeadGardener 06 May 2011 14:44:59

Bought my first alstromeria last year in the Bay garden I must take a note of how to propogate them now.. thanks Rachel... however some self seeders are a pain!!


Rachel Rachel 06 May 2011 16:46:40

Bill, I am regularly surprised by what you don't have, especially considering the long list of exotics that you do have!


HeadGardener HeadGardener 06 May 2011 17:43:45

Rachel dont be suprised there's lots of things I don't have... and every year we add more and more plants we've never heard of before!! something unusual to swap normally :-)


Rachel Rachel 19 May 2011 09:10:26

Verbena bonariensis germinated today on the heat mat :) That took almost four months to germinate.


Moya Moya 19 May 2011 21:03:54

You have the patience of Job!


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