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Germination rates ?

KiliKili Posts: 1,040
edited March 2019 in Plants

Am I just unlucky or, do you have the same problem. I bought seed from Dobies most of the seed propagated for all the seed I bought no problem with approx. 80% success rate but the calibrachoa Kabloom F1 and the Cineraria both failed completely. Not one seed propagated. Both were in a heated temperature controlled propagator set to 20 degrees C with T5 grow lights above. After 25 days I concluded they weren’t going to appear.

I emailed Dobies to ask for replacements as these seed were clearly not viable and to their credit with no quibble they have replacements on the way. I just hope what their sending me are not from the same batch as the first lot they sent  :)

I also had some bell pepper seed over from last year and not one of those came up. Fortunately I took the seed from one of those I had grown last year so planted that and everyone’s come up.

Sweet pea seed I planted 40 of them in January and  3 germinated. Another variety of sweet pea I planted 20 of and only 10 have appeared, all these have been in the green house so not subject to the ravages of wind and rain. The germination rates seem to be going down overall or have I just been unlucky in getting a bad bunch of seed lately?

I was always under the impression that seed stored in a cool dry place would last at least two years but it seems certain seed varieties do not.

Anyone else having issues with germination rates and if so what’s not done so well for you up to now?



'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

George Bernard Shaw'



  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Some seeds are easier than others. Did you pre-soak the sweet peas? And are you sure they weren't eaten by mice?  I have good years and bad. 
  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,363
    edited March 2019
    I bought the Calibrachoa seeds from dobies last year I sowed half a packet germination was very poor ended up with 2 plants , sowed the rest this year zero germination . I buy the wave petunia seeds from dobies which are fantastic plants and sow them at the same time germination is around 95% . I think you can get the odd bad packet of seeds ( calibrachoa from seed is relatively new ). I've had some rudbeckia G strum and giant scabious in the past and no matter what with numerous different attempts I couldn't get one to germinate. Had a pack of petunia from ebay a few years ago not one germinated, I grow well over a 100 petunia plants every year no problem.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,825
    The sweet peas last year from two packets had nine plants. This year two packets and all but five germinated. The germination rates for me this year has been good, probably better than average.  I wonder if the mild spell has had something to do with it as I only put them in the conservatory, maybe the light levels helped.
  • Jason millyJason milly Posts: 546
    edited March 2019
    I find that unwin seeds are very bad never had any luck with them ,makes me laugh when in Tesco they have had them reduced since late last summer and they are still there , 
  • GrajeanGrajean Posts: 413
    Onion seeds. Suttons replaced one packet which I sowed and still no success. Never had this problem before. No onions this year!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,005
    I wouldn't have sown sweet peas in January. If you sow in autumn - outdoors so that they germinate at a sensble, steady temperature, you then have small plants which can be pinched out in readiness for planting later. They can be kept out of the worst winter weather in a cold frame or similar with ventilation.
    Either that, sow at this time of year, to get the same effect, using a cold frame again for protection against rough weather. They'll germinate and grow slowly, and are then ready to plant out when the conditions dictate - ie, according to your own local climate. They'll be sturdier and will require minimal acclimatisation.
    Sowing in January is either too cold, or you need a lot of heat to germinate, and then you'll be left with plants which can be very leggy and weak, making it difficult to grow them on well. When it's too cold, they'll just sit there doing nothing and eventually rot off. Most people overwater in winter and at this time of year too. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 4,896
    Sowed sweet peas yesterday and they are in my unheated porch will see how I get on. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,005
    Ideal, Debs  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • SlumSlum Posts: 372
    The one type of seed I’m struggling with is a chilli called Bhut Jolokia. I believe super hot chilli varieties are generally difficult to germinate. All part of the challenge I guess. 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,825
    My soya beans are a no show again and have decided not to try again. Ever .
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