Germinating Gunnera seed - any tips?

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Troppoz

Germinating Gunnera seed - any tips?

Post by Troppoz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:44 am

I bought some seed of Gunnera manicata from Ebay and wondering how to go about germinating it. Ive no prior experience with this plant but admire the large ruffled leaves so keen to give it a crack.

Now keeping in mind my hot climate, what is the best method of germinating and raising this plant? Not sure if they need stratification or not but Ive had the seeds in the fridge for a few weeks now while I got around to getting them started and now Im ready to go ahead and try them.

Anyone have experience growing this plant from seed or any advice?

Half Hardy

Re: Germinating Gunnera seed - any tips?

Post by Half Hardy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:05 pm

Hi sean.I tried from seed, bought on ebay ,a few years ago.I didn't have any luck.I don't know if it was my lack of experience,or poor quality seeds.In fact I have rarely had much success with ebay seed.I suspect a lot of sellers are buying cheaply in bulk and taking too long to sell it,in small lots.So it is unlikely to be fresh,despite their claims.It's a shame we can't name and shame them,without getting the forum moderators hassle.There's nothing to stop us praising the decent one though.I ended up buy a small plant and found it very easy to propagate, by division in spring.

Troppoz

Re: Germinating Gunnera seed - any tips?

Post by Troppoz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:34 pm

Cheers, I hear what you are saying about Ebay seeds but I have had good success with seed from Ebay. All depends on the seller of course but you get to know who you can rely on and who you cant.

I just discovered that there are Gunnera species that are native to cooler temperate parts of Australia, for some reason I thought they were restricted to South America. No point trying those where I live but they could do well in the UK.

Ill post a separate thread with a link to an Ebay seller of Tasmanian native plants. icon_thumright

Kristen

Re: Germinating Gunnera seed - any tips?

Post by Kristen » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:04 pm

I find Tom Clothier's site useful as he lists what has worked for him.

http://tomclothier.hort.net/page03.html

"Gunnera manicata, scabra, and tinctoria , Sow at 24-30ºC (75-86ºF), germination in about 2 weeks"

Seedaholic (they tend to be well regarded over here) says "Sow seeds as soon as possible. For maximum freshness, please keep seed refrigerated in its original packaging until you are ready to sow them. " which doesn't bode well if the seeds have been stored by Vendor ...

Other useful info on their site
http://www.seedaholic.com/gunnera-manic ... ubarb.html

derrick

Re: Germinating Gunnera seed - any tips?

Post by derrick » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Mine still has a seed pod on it .Do I remove the seed pod and store it ?

Blairs

Re: Germinating Gunnera seed - any tips?

Post by Blairs » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:00 pm

I also bought ebay Gunnera seeds and they failed to grow. I had them in an incubator at 25C for a month or so. I threw the soil outside in a border as I was getting bored waiting. A few weeks later and 2 Gunnera sprouted up in the border outside.

What I take from that is the Gunnera seeds like a change in temperature to germinate, so say leaving it at room temperature during the night and 25C during the day rather than an even temperature.

Troppoz

Re: Germinating Gunnera seed - any tips?

Post by Troppoz » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:45 am

Ah thankyou everyone and thanks for the links Kristen. icon_thumright Ive laid the seed down now, half in a tray with very fine medium and half between 2 sheets of moist tissue paper. Seems the key is fresh seed, constant moisture and patience. Ill let you know if I have success with germination.

Blairs your observations about temperature differences makes sense considering its native tropical high altitude habitat with warm days and cool evenings. Not sure how I can replicate that here with current minimums around 28c and maximums only a few degrees warmer, maybe put the tissue paper seeds in the fridge at night or would that be to drastic a temperature change I wonder? icon_scratch

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