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Germinating big seeds

I have some seeds that are the diameter and thickness of a £1 coin with a very hard outer casing. They are supposed to take about 90-100 days to germinate. In that time, I either over water them and they rot or under water and they die.

Does anyone have any tips for dealing with such seeds? Everything from science to old wives tales welcome.




Have you tried seed nicking to permit moisture to enter and initiate the germination process.

28 Mar, 2012


Yes, I have used sandpaper to thin the casing but I don't think I've made a nick.

How deep and whereabouts on the seed would you suggest?

28 Mar, 2012


Out of interest - what kind of seed is this?

28 Mar, 2012


I have used a nail clipper or modelling knife on hibiscus seeds to clip a small nick just so you can see the white embryonic tissue without damaging it looking at the seed I would try the rounded sides

28 Mar, 2012


Thanks, Steveg, I'll try that on a few of the seeds.

Ojibway93, it's Strychnos nux-vomica. I wouldn't expect anyone here to have grown it so I made the question general about large seeds.

28 Mar, 2012


when i germinated tree paeony i put them in a large diameter 'pan' and buried the pot in the border. chicken wire over the top to keep squirrels off. and left them alone. all 6 germinated. roots one yr and then shoots the next.

28 Mar, 2012


Have a look at this site if you have not already I think the germination percentage and the pre treatment of these seeds regarding part boiled water could be worth looking at

28 Mar, 2012


Goodness, TPG, I hope you aren't planning on going into production with the plants - you could do some damage with those, despite what herbalists say. We shouldn't be surprised you are growing them, though, I suppose.
I usually use a scalpel blade or a penknife, and soak the seeds in cold water overnight to swell them - it seems to give them a head start.

28 Mar, 2012


Thanks all. I've tried the cowdung soaking in the past but not the hot water.

I see the thing about the roots growing fast. That was what foiled me in 2007 when I got 2 seeds to germinate but didn't pot on fast enough and the roots came out into the air under the pots.

28 Mar, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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