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Lilac Seed

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by ninniwinky on August 14, 2005 09:33 AM
Hello Everyone,

I have gotten two dried brown pods from my lilac tree. I read somewhere that the seeds are inside the pod. I also read that before I plant them I need to open up that pod to expose the seed. Now my question is, do I really need to open up those hard brown pods, and also, how do I go about planting these little guys? Do I wait for late fall? Do I start them now in a pot in my house? I also read that you should put them in the fridge for a few months and then plant them in a pot early spring? Can anyone help clear this up a little for me????? [dunno]

Thanks!!!

Ninni
by MaryReboakly on August 14, 2005 09:45 AM
Hi Ninni! I think I can help some. I've collected a bunch of lilac seeds and plan on starting them this fall

Yes you do want to take the seeds out of the pods for easier germination (I have hundreds of seeds - took me hours to separate all those little seeds!) To make it easier you can put the pods in a brown paper bag for a few days and let them dry out more, and the pods will split open enough for you to shake the bag and the seeds will fall out. Of course I wanted to make sure I got every last one so I went through each pod one by one [Embarrassed]

As for cold stratification, you can do either method you mentioned. Put them in the fridge for a few weeks, or start them in the fall in the ground (mother nature refrigerates them for you over winter). This will be my first time planting lilacs too - what kind of lilac seeds do you have? I have an old-fashioned.
Here's a picture
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If you'd like to trade some seeds, let me know - I have tons of them! [Big Grin]

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by ninniwinky on August 14, 2005 09:58 AM
Thank you sooooooooo much Mary!!! I have NO IDEA what kind of Lilac I have, But I am 99.99999% sure it is the same as the one shown in your Picture. All I know is that it was at this house since I was a little girl. I am REALLY excited about this, and Hopefully I can grow these. how many seeds are usually in a pod?

Thanks!!

Ninni

PS. If I had seeds to swap with you I surely would, but I don't, not yet anyway, I am new to all this!! [Smile]
by MaryReboakly on August 14, 2005 10:40 AM
[Smile] Ninni, if you don't get many seeds from your lilac let me know and I'd be glad to send you some of mine!

I did some research last night on lilacs, actually - so I was excited that I might be able to help you out with what I learned yesterday [Smile] If your lilac is over 20', it's probably the same one I have. Im pretty sure it's the only lilac bush that gets that big. 'course I could be fibbin and not know it [Big Grin]

Pods will have between 2 and 4 seeds in them. It was weird, I had 2 different types of pods. One was a dark, almost black - the other was more of an almond color. Dunno what the difference is though - because both had seeds in em [dunno]

I'm curious about germinating them in the house over winter - may be someone who knows will pop in. Along the lines of what you were saying, in theory we could refrigerate the seeds (may be 6 weeks?) and then plant them up in the house and may be have seedlings by spring? I don't know if that would mess it up though - not having a cold dormancy period that long after it sprouts...but I guess all we can do is try right? [Smile]

PM me with your addy if you'd like me to send ya some of my seeds/pods. You may be able to get a bunch more off yours if you look around a bit - wherever there were flowers blooming in spring is where the seed pods will be. Just make sure they're brown before pickin em - and keep an eye on them when they start to split so you get them before they all fall out.

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by Karrie on August 14, 2005 10:53 AM
My mother has a ton of lilac bush in her yard do you all think I could start one from it. I was going to go and dig up a small part of it and try to go that route.

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It doesn't matter where you go in life... It's who you have beside you when you get there.

Karrie's Photos
by MaryReboakly on August 14, 2005 11:11 AM
Karrie, from what I've read it's easier to start one from a sucker that you dig up - try to dig it with a good root ball and keep it shaded in it's new location and well watered until it roots (coupla weeks) and you should be good to go [Wink]

I tried layering, and tried rooting from a cutting, neither of which worked! Though I don't think i did it right actually, thinking back on it. Now I'll give it a shot from seed!

Good luck! Let me know how it goes - I have yet to try it that way.

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by ninniwinky on August 14, 2005 04:26 PM
Thanks for the offer Mary on the seeds, I will def. Keep that in mind. As far as the lilac bush, its not 20Ft tall, Its probably about 15 ft tall, But I think a lot of that is because it is in an extremely poor location. So much is growing near it that it is actually blocking it from getting sun So I think the growth could be stunted. This year there was ONE flower cluster!! I don't prune it because I can hardly get to it, I think thats why I am soooooooo eager to get one started from this plant. I guess it is a sentimental thing more than anything. I actually wrote about my "Single Blooming" Lilac a few months ago in another thread...
I thought the same thing as you, about the fridge....
I think maybe a fake winter may hurt it, or make it less hardy some how.
I would love to be able to watch this little thing start to grow in my house, I guess I could always Pot it and throw it on my deck right in front of my sliders. When do we first plant? What do you think? How many seeds should I use? 1? if theres any extra I could send you some... I also have my mom on a mission to get me some from my Grandmother who has these Red/Purple looking ones, and the double blooming white ones, Something of Moscow its called. If I get extra of those I will also send you some.

Well I guess thats it for now....

Thanks again for everything,

Ninni
by MaryReboakly on August 15, 2005 09:07 AM
Hi Ninni! [wayey]

Lilacs generally don't get much more than 15-20' - and the tallest ones are the old fashioned, so you probably do have the same one I have. As for the blooms - yeah, it sounds like either you pruned it in summer/fall last year, or it's not in enough sun. The latest you ever want to prune lilacs is early summer - best time is right after they bloom - because they flower on old growth [Wink]

Ohhh it sounds like the red/purple ones might be either Charles Joly or Miss Kim, I think? The double blooming white is Beauty of Moscow. I would love seeds from any of them!

As for the ones you have - I would plan on planting them all. May be half and half (refrigerate half/sow half outdoors) I have lots, so I won't plant them all - but I'll plant at least 25 total seeds, this way I have a lot of leeway if a lot don't germinate. I hope you can get yours to germinate! Keep me posted - I'll keep you posted too [thumb] [Smile]

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by Triss on August 15, 2005 09:19 AM
Are lilacs very hardy? We had them in CA, but I don't think I have seen any here? If you think I can get them to grow well here, I'd like to trade for some seeds. Right now I have red and pink hollyhock, multi-colored touch-me-nots and marigolds.

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by MaryReboakly on August 15, 2005 09:25 AM
Oh Triss you know you say hollyhock and I just drool [Big Grin] But you already sent me some! [Smile] I don't have any touch me nots if you'd want to send some of those that'd be great - if you don't have many, nothing needed in exchange - I think I owe ya some seed anyhow! Common lilacs are hardy to zone 3, and I believe they do better in cooler temps. They just need full sun for good flowering - though it may take 2-3 years to see your first blooms. I'll get some in the mail for you tomorrow [Smile] [thumb]

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by Triss on August 15, 2005 09:29 AM
Oh awesome. I can send touch-me-nots. I am going to have a ton. Have enough for a packet now to send ya in exchange. You don't owe me any other seeds though. You sent the malva already! Do you want any more hollyhock, I got a ton more?

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by MaryReboakly on August 15, 2005 10:57 AM
Aww Triss, yaknow I can't say no to Hollyhocks! [Big Grin] Ya wouldn't happen to have the black one wouldya? Yaknow whatever you want to send or not send would be fine! [Wink]

OH and I found out that each one of those malva 'seeds' is actually a huge cluster of seeds - if you roll it around in your fingers, it'll break apart - each one of those little kernels is a seed!

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by ninniwinky on August 15, 2005 07:53 PM
Mary,

Do we plant now? I think I might plant mine in a good size pot first so I can watch the very first little sprig shoot up!! LOL
Or do you think that is a bad idea? [thinker]

Ninni
by Triss on August 15, 2005 08:42 PM
So you are telling me I have a ton more seeds than the ton I already thought you sent?  - That is a reason to party! I found another great place to put them so that works out really well.

On the hollyhokcs, I only have red and pink but I will send some more of both for ya, plus the touch-me-nots.

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.

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