Seed Priming

Why Prime Seeds?

Many native species display dormancy which may prevent quick germination and subsequent establishment of a wildflower sowing. Dormancy may be exhibited despite apparently suitable conditions.

There are several different types of dormancy which affect native species and in some cases a combination of types of dormancy may be present. Although in the natural environment dormancy will usually be broken by exposure to abiotic and biotic factors in some cases this can take many months or even years.

Many growers and users of wildflower species will find dormancy is a problem. Commercial growers and plant raisers growing plants in cell trays often find dormancy frustrating in the production process.

Users of wildflower seed mixes may find that dormant species will struggle to establish because they are competing with non dormant, often more vigorous species for space and light. This can mean that when the dormant species eventually germinate they may find it difficult to compete for light and space with the already established, often more vigorous plants, thus they may never form a strong population in the mix.

Our Services

Native Seed Technology has developed priming methods to remove dormancy in a range of wildflower species. Priming facilitates faster, more reliable germination aiding propagation of seeds in cell trays, seed beds and crops. This technology has also been used to aid in the establishment of the novel crop Myrica gale

Results are species and seed quality dependant. However, some typical examples are shown below:

Species Germination without priming* Germination with priming*
Primula veris (Cowslip) 0% 84%
Echium vulgare (Viper’s Bugloss) 25% 68%
Stachys sylvatica (Hedge Woundwort) 0% 44%
* Results are based on counts taken 8 weeks after sowing