En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - February 27, 2007

From: YORK, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seeds and Seeding
Title: Danger of seeds being damaged in cold stratifying
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I started cold stratifying some wildflower seeds with some damp cloths in a refrigerator to plant them in the spring. When I was finished preparing the seeds the refrigerator door was somehow left open, leaving the seed/medium mixture icey for about 48 hours. My question is this: could the seeds be killed? I believe they are all hearty to about zone 5. I assume frost happens in nature all the time, but how will this affect my seed treatment? Thanks, and happy gardening with natives...

ANSWER:

There is a very good chance that your seeds will be just fine. They could have possibly been damaged if the cloth they were in was too wet and the seeds had imbibed too much water. That, however, is rather unlikely. Certainly, as you suggest, seeds survive more rigorous conditions outside in their zone 5 native areas.

 

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Fertilizing oaks to produce acorns
January 16, 2012 - Will fertilizing oak trees help with acorn production?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on seed balls
September 27, 2005 - Do you have the recipe for Wildflower Seed Balls? It's where you mix dry wildflower seeds, compost, red clay, and water to form a seed ball and then you throw it. I think the ratio is 1 part seed, ...
view the full question and answer

Seeding the banks of a large pond
October 18, 2011 - I have a 2 acre surface pond that is mostly a hard clay bank all around. The water level is way down and I will begin filling it very soon. I need to somehow being affordable, plant something or thing...
view the full question and answer

Mexican Sycamore trees grown from seed
November 15, 2011 - If someone is selling an alleged Mexican Sycamore grown from a seed harvested from a mature tree growing in Austin, is it likely to be a TRUE Mexican Sycamore -- or has it most likely been pollinated ...
view the full question and answer

Sagebrush for Westminster CO
August 06, 2010 - On a recent visit to Taos, NM we fell in love with the local sagebrush. We would like to plant this sagebrush in our yard. We are located near Denver Colorado. Would this plant survive and how do we g...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center