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Mr. Smarty Plants - Germination and propagation of Carolina larkspur

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Sunday - September 02, 2007

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Germination and propagation of Carolina larkspur
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I have some Delphinium carolinianum seeds and I am looking to germinate and propagate them. I threw some out on my caliche rubble Four years ago,and got one to germinate four years later. What time of year? Do I scarify them? Should I plant them in a friendlier place. I here that they are perennial unlike other larkspurs. Is that true? I am also looking for the same info on Blue Gilia.

ANSWER:

Your Delphinium carolinianum (Carolina larkspur) seeds will do best if sown in spring or early fall. According to the propagation protocol published by the Native Plants Network, Carolina larkspur seeds exhibit morphological dormancy or a need for embryos to grow a species-specific length before germination can take place. Stratification (cold storage) is the main requirement for overcoming this kind of dormancy. Try storing your seeds in a paper bag (plastic bags promote moisture and fungus) for 1-2 months in the fridge at 33-38 degrees F. Then, either germinate your seeds on a moist paper towel and transplant later or sow them onto your site making sure you have good soi/seed contact. And, yes, it is a perennial.


 

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