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Seed Germination Chart

Some Abbreviations Used
A: Annual - a plant which lives one year only from seed.
P: Perennial - a plant which comes back every year.
H: Indicates a plant hardy in northern zones.
T: Indicates a tender plant, shrub (sh), or tree (t) which will not winter over in northern zones.
IS: In Situ; can be planted outside directly where it is to grow.
JC: Just Cover; barely cover with soil
SS:Surface Sow; press seeds gently into to the soil to make good contact, but do not cover with any additional soil; these seeds require light to germinate.
L/D: Light or Dark; seeds which require dark should have the flat covered with newspaper or brown paper or something similar to keep light from getting to the seeds. Plants requiring light to germinate are to be surface sown.
S/I: Germination is slow and irregular
HH: Half hardy. If an annual, it will usually not reseed itself in northern zones, and if perennial, will be killed by freezing temperatures.
TP: Tender perennial (or shrub, etc). Will not winter over in northern zones, but makes a good greenhouse specimen.
GHS: Tropical or delicate plant best grown in greenhouse.
BB: Bulb.

NOTE: The heading 'Medium' refers to a sterile potting soil.

PlantDays for
Temp °FMediumDepth of
Special Info
Cacti (ghs)5-180 s/iL75-80PeatySS See Cacti
Caesalpinia (hhsh)14-120 s/i.75-80Well-drained¼"#2 for 48 hours (hand hot water)
Calandrinia (hha)5-14.55-60Well-drained1/8" Can be sown IS
Calceolaria (tb)14-21 s/iL65-75Peaty SSFor outdoor types keep temp below 60º
Calendula (ha)10-14D70.¼" Can be sown IS. Sow in greenhouse in autumn for winter flowers
Calibanus (tp)30-120 s/iL70-80Peaty SS.
Calliopsis (ha)14.60-65Well-drained1/8" Can be sown IS
Callirhoe (hp) s/i30-180+L50Well-drained SSCan be sown IS or in cold frame.
Callistemon (hhsh)14-60L55-65Peaty SSSee Begonia
Calluna (hsh)30-60L65-70PeatySS #3 for 4 weeks
Calocedrus (ht)30-90L50-0PeatyJC #3 for 3 weeks
Caltha (hp)30-90 s/i.55-60Peaty1/16" Keep slightly moist.
Camassia (hbb)30-180 s/i.55-60Well-drained1/16" .
Camellia (hsb)30-90 s/i.70-75Peaty¼" #2 (#3 may also help)
Campanula (hp, hb)14-28L60-70Peaty SSSee Begonia
Campsis (hhsh)30-90 s/i.70-75Well-drainedSS #3 for 2 months
Canarina (tp)30-180 s/i.65-75Well-drainedJC .
Candytuft (ha, hp)10-15.70-85 (ha)
60-65 (hp)
Well-drained¼"Can be sown IS. Perennial types may be S/I.
Canna (hhp)21-60 s/i.70-75Peaty¼" #1, then #2 for 48 hours.
Capsicum (ta)21-30L70-75Peaty SS.
Caragana (hsh)14-21L65-70Well-drained SS#2
Cardiocrinum (hbb)90-730 s/i.50Peaty 1/16"See Bonsai
Cardiospermum (hha)21-30.65-70Well-drained ½".
Carica (tsh)30-120 s/i.75Peaty1/8" #2 for 48 hours.
Carlina (hp)30-60L55-60Well-drained SS.
Carpinus (ht)30-365 s/iL65-70Well-drained SS#4 for 1 month at 70ºF, then 4 months cold
Carthamus (ha)12-18.55-65Well-drained ¼"Can be sown IS
Caryopteris (hsh)30-90 s/i.65-70Well-drained JC.
Cassia (tsh)7-90.70-75Well-drained 1/8"#1
Casuarina (tt)30-90.65Well-drained JC.
Catalpa (ht)14-30 s/iL60-70Peaty SSVentilate seedlings well. Susceptible to damping off.
Catananche (hp)21-25.65-75Well-drained 1/16".
Catharanthus (hha)15-20D70-75 Peaty1/8".
Ceanothus (hhsh)30-60L65-70Well-drained SS#2 overnight, then #3 for 2 weeks.
Cedrus (ht)14-60 s/iL60-65Well-drained SS#2 for 2 to 3 hours, then #3 for 3 weeks.
Celosia (a)10-15L70-75Well-drained JCLikes warmth.
Centaurea (hp, ha)7-14D60-70Well-drained 1/16".
Centranthus (hp)21-30.60-70Well-drained JCCan be sown IS.
Cephalaria (hp)21-60.55-65Well-drained ¼"Can be sown IS.
Cephaliptrum (hha)14-21.65-75Well-drained JC.
Cephalotaxus (hsh)14-60 s/i.60-65Peaty JC.
Cerastium (hp)5-10.60Well-drained 1/16".
Ceratotheca (hha)7-14.70-75Well-drained 1/8".
Cercis (hsh)30-90 s/iL70-75Well-drained JC#2 in hand-hot water, then #3 for 2 to 3 months.
Cerinthe (hha)7-14.60-65Well-drained 1/16"Can be sown IS.
Chaenomeles (hsh)70-90 s/iL55-65Well-drainedSS#3 for 7 to 10 weeks.
Chamaecyaris (ht, hht)30-60L50-60Peaty JC#3 for 3 weeks.
Cheiranthus (hb)14-21.65-75Well-drained 1/8"Grow in coldframe, set out in fall.
Chelidonium (hp)30-365 s/i.55-65Well-drained 1/8".
Chelone (hp)14-42.55-65Well-drained 1/16"Requires good drainage.
Chiastophyllum (hp)30-60.55Well-drained SS#5
Chimonanthus (hsh)60-90 s/iL50-60Well-drainedSS#3 for 5 to 8 weeks.
Chionanthus (hsh)30-180 s/iL60-70Well-drainedSS#3 for 1 month.
Chionodoxa (hbb)30-90 s/i.55Well-drained ¼".
Chlorogalum (hbb)30-90 s/i.55-80Well-drained 1/8"See Bonsai
Chrysanthemum (ha, hp)10-18.60-70Peaty 1/8"Annuals can be sown IS. For perennials, reduce night temp.
Cimicifuga (hp)30-365 s/i.55-60Well-drained 1/16".
Cineraria (ghs-p)14-21 s/iL70Well-drained JC.
Cirrhopetalum (tp)30-180 s/iL65-70Well-drainedSS.
Cirsium (hp)15-18.70-75Well-drained 1/8".
Cissus (tsh)30-180 s/i.70-75Well-drained JC.
Cistus (hsh)7-30L65-70Peaty SSSee Begonia
Cladanthus (ha)30-35.70-75Well-drained JC.
Clarkia (ha)21..Well-drained ¼"Best sown IS.
Claytonia (ha)14-21.65-70Well-drained 1/8".
Clematis (hp)30-270+ s/i.70-75Well-drained 1/8"See Bonsai
Cleome (hha)10-14L70-75Well-drained SS#3 for 2 weeks.
Clerodendron (tsh)21-60 s/i.70-75Well-drained 1/8"Greenhouse specimen in north.
Clerodendron (hsh)60-90 s/iL65-70Well-drainedSS#3 for 4 to 6 weeks.
Clianthus (tsh)14-42.65-70Well-drained 1/16"#2 (Greenhouse in north)
Clintonia (hp)30-90.55-60Sandy peat JCCompost should be kept just moist at all times.
Clitoria (tp)15-20.70-75Well-drained 1/16"#1 and #2 for 24 hours.
Clivia (tp)7-21.65-70Peaty¼"See Clivia
Cobaea (hha)21-30.70-75Well-drained 1/16"Plant seed vertically.
Coccoloba (tsh)10-21.65-70Well-drained ¼"#2 for 24 hours.
Codonopsis (hp)7-45L60-70Slightly acidSS.
Coffea (tsh)40-55L75Peaty SS#2 for 48 hours and See Banana
Colchicum (hbb)30-365 s/i.55-65Peaty 1/8".
Coleus (hhp)10-20L65-75Peaty SSIndoor culture: Keep warm with plenty of bright light.
Collinsia (hha)14-21.-Well-drained ¼"Best sown IS, then thin to 6".
Collomia (ha)21.-Well-drained 1/8"Best sown IS, then thin to 6".
Columnea (tp)30-120 s/iL70-75Peaty SS.
Colutea (hsh)7-21.65-70Well-drained 1/16"#1 and #2
Commelina (hhp)30-37.70Well-drained 1/8".
Conophytum (tp)10-40 s/iL75-80Well-drained SS.
Convallaria (hp)60-365+ s/iL50-60Well-drained JC.
Convolvulus (ha)5-14.70-80Well-drained 1/8"#1 or #2
Cordyline (tp)30-90.75-80Peaty 1/16"#2 for 10 minutes in hand-hot water.
Cordyline (hhsh)30-60 s/i.65-70Peaty 1/16".
Coreopsis (hp)20-25L55-70Well drained SSAnnuals can be sown IS.
Cornus (hsh)90-730 s/iL50-60Well-drained SS#4; 2 months at 70ºF, then 3 months cold.
Coronilla (hhsh)30-60.65-75Well-drainedJC .
Correa (hhsh)30-90 s/i.65-70Well-drained JC.
Cortaderia (tp)14-21L60-75Peaty SSSee Begonia
Corydalis (hp)30-60L50-60Well-drained SS.
Cosmos (hha)5-10.70-85Well-drained 1/8"Can be sown IS.
Cotoneaster (hsh)180-365 s/iL70Acid, peaty SS#4; 3 to 5 months at 70ºF, then 3 months cold.
Cotinus (hsh)30-90 s/i.55-60Peaty 1/16"#1, then #2 for 12 hours; then #3 for 6 to 9 weeks.
Cotula (hha)14-45.50Well-drained 1/16".
Crambe (hp)21-45.-Well-drained ½"Best sown IS.
Craspedia (hha)14-30.70-75Peaty 1/8"Can be sown IS.
Crataegus (hsh)180-730 s/iL50-60Well-drained SS#4; 3 to 5 months at 70ºF, then 3 months cold.
Crepis (ha)5-14.70-80Well-drained JC.
Crinodendron (hhsh)30-120 s/i.55-65Well-drained JC#2 for 3 hours.
Crocosmia (hp)30-90.55-60Well-drained 1/16".
Crocus (hbb)30-180 s/i.55-65Well-drained 1/8".
Crossandra (tp)25-30 s/iL75-80Peaty SSSee Begonia
Crotalaria (tsh)21-30.65-75Well-drained 1/16"#2 for 2 hours.
Cryptomeria (ht)30-60 s/i.55-65Peaty 1/16".
Cryptostegia (t-vine)30-90 s/i.65-75Well-drained 1/16"#2 for 2 hours
Cunonia (tsh)30-60.70-75Peaty 1/16".
Cuphea (hhp)8-10L70Peaty SS.
Cupressus (ht)30-90 s/iL65-75Peaty SS#3 for 3 weeks.
Cyananthus (hp)14-60L60-65Peaty SSSee Begonia
Cycad (tp)30-90 s/i.70-75Well-drained -Half bury the seed lengthwise.
Cyclamen (tp)30-60 s/iD55-60 Peaty¼"Keep moist and in total dark.
Cyclamen (hp)30-180 s/iD55-60Peaty ¼"See Bonsai
Cynara (hp)14-30.50-55Well-drained 1/8"Can be sown IS.
Cynoglossum (ha)5-10D65-75Peaty ¼".
Cyperus (hhp)25-30.70-75Peaty JCKeep compost slightly moist.
Cyphomandra (tp)20-25.70-75Peaty 1/16".
Cyphostemma (tp)30-60 s/i.70Well-drained ¼"#2 for 2 hours.
Cypripedium (hp)30-365 s/iL65-70Peaty SSSee Begonia
Cyrtanthus (tp)30-90 s/i.55-65Peaty SSKeep compost slightly moist.
Cytisus (hsh)25-30L70-75Well-drained SS#2, then transplant to final quarters while still small.

© 2001 by Ernestina Parziale