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Question from Dave Jones


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I have always used my fridge, with varing success for seeds that need stratification, keeping strict records of my sowing regimes (a throwback from my botanic garden days). When surfing around the web to obtain information on the different requirements of seeds to get them to germinate, I came across an article about Gibberellic Acid and how scientists in Japan have developed GA-3, a powder that, when mixed with water, makes a solution that can be used to break the dormancy of seeds that require "a winter", thus negating the need for stratification. Apparently it can also be used on old seeds to get them to germinate.
Has anyone else come across GA-3 and is it available to amateur gardeners or is it just for the trade?

  • Views: 815
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Fri. 21st December 2012 11:23

Re: GA-3

Reply from Chris

Hi There

Just thought I would reply to you about this as I found it fascinating. You can buy GA-3 on sites such as eBay from the US. They sell packets of it on there for hobbyists.

Hope this helps and good luck with it

  • Posted: Fri. 21st March 2014 13:36

Re: Re: GA-3

Reply from Dave Jones

Hi Chris,
Thanks for your reply. I actually posted this in December 2012 and posted it in the wrong forum.
I obtained GA-3 from Plants-a-Float.co.uk last year and have used it with variable results. It certainly gives good results with old seed. I found a packet of Lobelia tupa seeds that were about 10 years old. After soaking half the seeds in GA-3 for 24 hours, I sowed them and got over 80% germination. The other half didn't germinate at all!.
But other results were not so good. Some seed that requires stratification didn't germinate if soaked in GA-3 and not given the chilling treatment (Astrantia being a good example.)
My conclusions are that, if you want good germination, sow fresh seed! A batch of Thalictrum seed germinated (without either stratification or GA-3) having been harvested from a plant in my garden and sowed straight away. They were placed in a propagator at 20?C and were up in 4 days!

  • Posted: Sun. 23rd March 2014 20:38