- Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:23 pm
Well, in my opinion (old school guy here), why not do it the way that the plants have evolved to do it?
WARNING! Science lesson to follow. Hit the back button now if you don't want to learn something.
Cold stratification is a time for the seed to absorb a little moisture and allow the outer coating to break down a bit, making it easier for the seedling to break out. The seed has "inherited" a very small amount of some form of gibberellin from its mother plant, and (long, boring, scientific story short) the gibberellin signals the seed to produce the enzyme amylase, initiating hydrolysis. Through hydrolysis, the amylase breaks down the starch in the seed to simple sugars that the seed can use for food to grow.
Since the seeds of most carnivorous plants do not have much starch in them to begin with, the break down of the seed coat is necessary in many temperate cp seeds.
That being said, it is possible to germinate temperate cp seeds with GA3, skipping the cold stratification. The GA3 will introduce more gibberellin to the seed, speeding up the hydrolysis process, but too much gibberellin will actually kill the seed. You may also want to consider scarifying the seeds to artificially break down the seed coat a bit.
In lab experiments with other types of temperate seeds (not carnivorous plants), the rate of germination is roughly the same, with cold stratification having a greater degree of success. Mind you these are experiments done in carefully controlled laboratory settings that likely had a hundred different test plots of seeds, each with a different level of GA3, with concentrations that may only vary by one part per million. Some may have been soaked in water overnight prior to the GA3 treatment, others went in dry. Some scarified, some intact.
After the GA3 exposure, the seeds are then sown, allowing the moisture from the media to be absorbed and hydrolysis to begin.
Pro: It could speed things up if you dont overdose them and the seed coat is thin enough to let the seedling break out.
Cons: You could easily kill the seed with an overdose. You might not introduce enough gibberellin to speed things up sufficiently. The seed coat might be too robust for the seedling to break out of.
So, back to being an old school guy, other than one being impatient, why not just do it the way the plants have evolved (over millions of years) to do it? Are you better than Mother Nature? Mother Bawesomer123?
(OK, that last part made me sound like a jerk. That's not the intention.)
Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that I make bad decisions.