Germinating very old seeds

Can you tell me the best way to germinate very old seeds (25+years old). Glass soaking and paper towel method did not work. Zero germination.

That is very old. There is a chance that they just might not be viable anymore. You should look into seed scarification, you can take an empty match box and cut some fine grit, but not too fine, sandpaper, to fit in the box perfectly. then put a few of the seeds in the box and shake them around a lot for a good while. The little scratches is supposed to make it easier for the water to get inside the seed and get it going, and maybe make it easier for the seed to split its shell open.

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I have to agree. Although it is not impossible to achevee germination with seeds that old; It would take much longer, 1st of all, due to being dormant for so long. Another factor would be how seeds were stored.

ON the other hand; It is unlikely you will succeed with seeds that old. Good Luck :slight_smile:

real hot water for few hours to break the shell might also do it

Well not really, you don’t want too hot, you’ll cook your seeds.

Well, I’m a year late, but maybe someone will get the message here. When a plant produces seed, it produces some that have a ‘delayed activation date’, as it were. Plants have mechanisms to help them survive without the help of man. One of them is seeds that are programmed not to sprout for varying lengths of time. In this way, if something in nature wipes out a species in a given year, there will still be viable seed in the ground for the following season(s), and the species will survive. These seeds are sensing temperature changes within the earth, and when they have gone through enough summer/winter cycles, they will finally sprout. So, a way that may get some seeds to sprout from your very old collection is to put them through warm/ cold cycles. Freeze a few of them, and then thaw them out and attempt to sprout them in water around 80 to 90 degrees. Good luck with 'em…Steve