Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Seeding the opposite bank of a canal in Texas
June 26, 2013 - We have a canal in our backyard. I thought it would be lovely to have flowers growing on the opposite bank. I could get to it to toss seeds, but not plant anything in the dirt because the ground slop...
view the full question and answer

Why so many Sugar Hackberry seedlings in my back yard in The Woodlands, TX?
May 25, 2013 - Why do I have so many Sugar Hackberry seedlings (Celtis Laevigata) sprouting up naturally in my back yard? There are a few Winged Elms in my neighborhood, but no Sugar Hackberry trees that I know of....
view the full question and answer

Which seeds need to be scarified from Marble Falls TX
November 08, 2013 - Can I find out which seeds need to be scarified?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Eves necklacepods (Styphnolobium affine)
March 25, 2008 - Mr. S-P, I urgently need your advice regarding two Eve's necklacepods that appear to be dying. They are in two completely different areas of my yard. One began leafing out and then the leaves sh...
view the full question and answer

Seeding Bluebonnets in Missouri
July 07, 2016 - I live in St. Louis, MO and obtained a packet of Bluebonnet seeds as well as a seedling. I read up on inoculating and scarifying the seeds, but I'm unsure as to the soil I should use. I was planning ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.