Myrica rubra – the Red Bayberry Tips

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Stephen Brady – Florida   “I took the seeds as they arrived in the mail in June (early summer) and soaked them overnight in warm water – 38ºC. I planted them out in 15cm deep cells in flats (containers with many individual cells) and placed them in the greenhouse for 6 weeks – average daily high temp is 31ºC. Overnight lows were in the order of 26C. I watered them well at the end of that time, slipped the flats into large plastic bags and put them into a refrigerator for 2 months. By this time it was November (early winter) and none of the seeds sprouted before January with most waiting until April/May to come up. Germination rate was 60%. I got impatient about February and dug up the seeds in one of the flats and soaked them overnight in a 500 ppm solution of Giberellic Acid. Those seeds all came up about 4 weeks later in unison. On the whole, if I get more seeds, I am going to take them and put them in the Giberellic Acid solution right away. I have found that placing seeds in the vacuum canister of a FoodSaver (vacuum sealer) and using the vacuum to rapidly infuse the seeds is a great way to get some of these recalcitrant seeds to sprout. This method works well with Quandong, various Annonas, and just about any seed which has a micropyle and a hard shell. Infuse them for 24 hours. With seeds subject to various rot organisms, like Quandong, I add ¼ tsp of fungicide to the GA solution. It dramatically improves germination. Any fungicide which is labelled for soaking seeds, bulbs or cuttings to prevent damping off would work.