Germinating Moonflower Seeds

Last year I grew moonflowers, and late in the fall I harvested a couple of dozen seeds from the purple-ish pods. I kept them in a cool dry place all winter.

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After reading online, I took a dozen or so and soaked them in water overnight, then planted them about 1/2 inch deep in seed starting soil mix in jiffy pots. It's been about 3 weeks and none of them have germinated.

I put the rest in the fridge so they'd have a brief cold season. I then separated them into three groups of four: 1) soaked in water, put in soil, then placed on a seed-starting heat pad; 2) soaked in water in the fridge for two days, then put in soil and on the heating mat, and 3) placed the seeds in soil-filled jiffy pots, then placed in the fridge for another 24 hours. These were not put on the heating pad.

It's now been a week, and I have yet to see any sign of germination. It seems I tried everything (except for nicking the seeds) and had no luck. Any idea what I did wrong? Is it possible to dig up the seeds, nick them, and put them back in the pots? Or is it possible that somehow these seeds were not viable?

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By Jimbeaux

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March 29, 20130 found this helpful

I can appreciate that you did several trials. Much has been learned by doing this. However in this case, It didn't seem to help.

I have never refrigerated seed. I have frozen some seed if I knew a cold treatment was required for germination. When a cold treatment is required, it is usually for seed whose natural growing region has quite cold winters.

With that in mind, remember that the moonflower vine is native to the more tropical regions, Northern Argentina and Mexico, etc. I doubt it's seed would need a cold treatment. Your seed may not be viable and the cold treatment may be the reason.

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I consulted J L Hudson, one of the most reputable seedsman in this country. If a particular seed needs a cold treatment, he will be sure to advise you of accordingly. He does not mention a cold treatment for The Moonflower Vine (Calonyction aculeatum (=Ipomoea alba) in his catalogue. Also, he has stated that he stores all his seed in glass jars at room tempreature.

If I were you, I would just chalk all this up to experience and start all over with fresh seed. Hudson has them for $2.00 plus the cheapest shipping you'll find anywhere. I bought my last pack at Wal Mart for about the same price.

Here is an excerpt from Hudson's catalogue....and good luck!

Calonyction (kal-o-NIK-tee-on)
Convolvulaceae. Large twining half hardy perennials grown as annuals for their large and showy, fragrant, trumpet-shaped, night-blooming flowers. They are beautiful free-flowering vines, their night-scented blooms make them excellent for covering trellis work by summer porches and bedroom windows. Nick seed or soak overnight in warm water till swollen. Germinates in about 2 weeks. Sow early and plant out in May. Easy.

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Calonyction aculeatum (=Ipomoea alba).

You can see a picture of Moonflower vine I started indoors, here.

wwwsrc.thriftyfun.com/tf91322275.tip.htm

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