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Seed Germination and Propagation Reference Guide

Elegant tarweed (Madia elegans) seedlings in May at Valley View Orchard/Long Walk Vineyard in Ashland, OR.

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds (KSNS) has created a Seed Germination and Propagation Reference Guide to help you more easily and successfully germinate native seeds of plants native to the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion of southern Oregon and northern California.

This new page on our website features the following seed germination and propagation information:

Quick & Easy Guide to Native Seed Germination

We have updated our Quick & Easy Guide to Native Seed Germination, a chart that has short seed germination protocols for the 205 species we currently offer through Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds.

These short protocols provide basic information for seed germination, including recommended cold-moist stratification, warm-moist stratification and heat treatment times, or if no pretreatment is necessary at all.

We also make recommendations for when to sow the seeds outside to achieve the best germination results; however, these recommendations are for the Klamath-Siskiyou region and climatic conditions in other regions may necessitate different seasonal sowing times. For regions that have less winter chill time (e.g. coastal regions), artificial cold-stratification may be essential for seed germination.

Western thistle (Cirsium occidentale) seed germinating in the fall in Eugene, OR. Photos by James H.

Remember that seeds are living organisms that may not always behave in the way you expect! That’s why experimentation is at the foundation of seed germination success!

We love getting feedback from our customers and clients regarding their own experiences with seed germination. Sometimes people have different results than we do, which can make seed germination protocols difficult to generalize for different regions of the country. Different methods can sometimes achieve the same results and vice versa. We feel it is important, however, to provide some basic seed germination information and short protocols to get people started with their own seed germination experimentation.

James H. in Eugene, Oregon emailed us the photos above of Western thistle (Cirsium occidentale) seed he purchased from us that germinated quickly after he sowed the seed this past fall. Our experience has been that this species needs 60-90 days of cold-moist stratification for seed germination, but perhaps because the seed was very fresh, or perhaps because Eugene has a more mild climate than the Siskiyou Mountains region where we germinate our native seeds, James achieved different results. We appreciated getting James’ feedback and photos!

As you can see from the photos, James uses cages to protect his seedlings. Cages are important to prevent seed predation by birds, squirrels, mice and other small mammals. Wire cages or bird netting is an easy solution to prevent sometimes major losses of seed and/or germinates to wildlife.

Let us know about your seed germination experiences! We love the feedback and dialogue about native seed germination, and as we keep learning more, we will add more to our Seed Germination and Propagation Reference Guide.

Silver lupine (Lupinus albifrons) seedlings in May at Valley View Orchard/Long Walk Vineyard in Ashland, OR.