Germinating Lewisia

This is a difficult plaLewisiant to grow. It tempts you with its beauty, it tricks you with its size. And then when you plant a seed….nothing may happen.  And then nothing may continue to happen.  And then one tiny little plant will emerge.  Then nothing. Then 5 or six plants will show up.  And then nothing. A few months later you might get one or two more. And then you give up, repot the seedlings and dump the rest. Lewisia is one of those plants that have to do things their own way.  They insist on a winter before germinating.  It’s called seed stratification, which is defined as “the process of treating stored or collected seed prior to sowing to simulate natural winter conditions that a seed must endure before germination” (Thank you Wikipedia).  Last year we had some success.  After sowing we put the seeds in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.  This year I tried a new strategy, sowing and then putting the seed tray outside to brave the oncoming winter. The results are in the photo.  Six little Lewisia, growing valiantly.  Not very successful considering over 30 seeds were sown. But we’ll see what happens come spring. The next experiment is underway.  The Lewisia seeds are in the freezer for about a month and then I will sow them.  Then we will see if this plant can be tricked.  But it’s definitely worth the wait for the beautiful little blossom.  More updates in the future on Lewisia.Lewisia

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