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Thread: Stratifying again

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    I'm surprised that it is suggested to stratify for 3-4 weeks. I thought it would be longer(like 2 months or so). So when you remove the seeds from stratification...will they need light and warmth right away for this "head start"?
    1 Nxventrata

    D. muscipula & D. muscipula 'Red Dragon'(barely)

    Sarracenia leucophylla(seedling)

    S. purpurea and Drosera filiformis filiformis/ intermedia seeds waiting to sprout.

    Drosera capensis

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I have no direct experience, but I always try to think of what they are experiencing in nature. Photoperiod gradually goes in one direction or the other. Temperature waffles in one or the other. We don't always follow nature's cues and often get away with it.

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    I tend to stratify for 5 weeks and then hit them with warmth and light. This gives a clear signal that 'spring' has arrived so maximise germination speed in theory.
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
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    I stratify for about 4 weeks (I simply say if I'm putting them in the fridge on December 5 I'll take them out on January 5), and then place them under lights.

    As far as the short time, think about this - in the wild, zone 8, range of pitcher plants, the temperature changes (often warming quite a bit) during the winter. Because of the refrigerator's highly-stable temperature, a shorter period of cold is required. What matters is the hours below a certain temperature - farmers growing certain tree-based crops count hours of cold during the winter to see how much dormancy their trees have actually received.
    Newnan (Atlanta), GA
    - what do you do when your bog is full? you build another. and another. and another. then you buy some pots. and some more. and some more. and some more. then you wonder how much it would cost to rework the hydrology in your yard to place your house on an island. -

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    Stratification rates of sarracenia species (approx % germinated after 35 days)

    S. purp ssp. purp
    2 weeks 50%
    4 weeks 78%
    6 weeks 82%

    S. rubra
    2 weeks 30%
    4 weeks 58%
    6 weeks 28%

    S. leucophylla
    2 weeks 40%
    4 weeks 60%
    6 weeks 35%

    S. purp ssp. venosa var. burkii
    2 weeks 55%
    4 weeks 58%
    6 weeks 55%

    S. minor
    2 weeks 40%
    4 weeks 60%
    6 weeks 70%

    S. alata
    2 weeks 68%
    4 weeks 80%
    6 weeks 78%

    S. flava
    2 weeks 40%
    4 weeks 80%
    6 weeks 70%

    S. rubra ssp. jonesii
    2 weeks 30%
    4 weeks 40%
    6 weeks 40%

    S. psittacina
    2 weeks 40%
    4 weeks 38%
    6 weeks 40%
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    So I've got some Sarracenia (and Drosera) seeds coming by mail that I want to start this year... The instructions they come with say to plant them and then place them in an unheated garage or shed in January or February until April. This seems just a little long to me, especially given that nice chart from Alvin. Any thoughts?
    Also, I was planning to sow my seeds in some live sphagnum, as the instructions suggest, but won't two months of darkness kill the moss? Why does it need to be a garage or shed - is darkness important as well as cool, moist conditions? I have a feeling that the garage or shed is more for wind protection; could I get away with keeping them in an unheated plastic-covered miniature greenhouse?
    Thanks.
    ~Joe
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    Hi Joe

    You can indeed plant them outside and let them stratify naturally. They should sprout when it gets warmer in April or May. The constant warming and cooling means that it may take a couple of months for the chemicals that inhibit growth to break down, but that it what would happen in nature. The 2/4/6 week stratification period is just a guide for impatient people like me who want them to get going as soon as possible under growlights.

    Darkness doesn't affect the stratification, so you can keep them either dark or light. The moss may die back in the dark (which can be an advantage so that it doesn't cover the seeds), but it will grow back in spring. Remember that peat is just dead broken down sphagnum moss, and the main reason for using moss is so that there is more air getting to the roots, which can speed up seedling growth.

    However, using live moss can be a big problem because it grows much faster than the seedlings can. I recommend using the live moss and covering the top with a fine layer of peat.
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    So, when you say the moss grows faster than the seedlings, do you mean that the seeds will get smothered, or just that it'll take longer for the new plants to show because the moss will be progressively covering them up? I certainly don't want to plant on something that would outcompete what I'm trying to grow.
    Thanks again
    ~Joe

    PS - Giving my seeds constant cold will help then stratify faster, right? So if I were going to stratify artificially, when should I aim to have the seedlings outside (what kind of average temperature, etc.?) Could I raise some under lights for the first year?
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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