Seed How To :
Cold Stratification  

Now that it is the start of February it is time to start planning for your spring/summer gardens.  One thing even before you start many of your seedlings is figuring out which ones need to be cold stratified. There are a few methods for cold stratification I am only covering one type. Cold moist stratification for seeds is basically faking seeds out and creating a false winter. Seeds from perennial plants native to areas where there are cold winter conditions like zone 5 need the cold and then the warming up to germinate.  The list is much longer then I first thought I was up to 20 pages and became a bit overwhelmed by the idea of having to put it into some order and then type it all (I am old school with pen and paper before I type). So instead I am sharing the links I found and the list of the seeds I have currently in my refrigerator. What gets me is that not all the seed packets will tell you that stratification is needed. For example lavender and ginseng need long periods of cold stratification but the seed packet and the website do not mention cold stratifying. So getting seeds early and planning them early gets you one step closer to planting the seedlings you want when you want.​​
For the cold stratification, I used zip lock sandwich bags and those blue shop towels from the auto parts store, because every time I went looking for the vala paper towels they were out of stock. I used room temp water because my arthritic hands don’t like to be cold. First, I fold the paper towels in half and dip them in the water and squeezed out the extra water like you would to wipe off the counter. Place seeds off to one side and then fold towel in half again. I press the towel down to make good contact with the seeds. After that place in labeled zip lock bags. I like to push the air out as I close the bag to save room in the fridge. I take them out every so often to check for sprouting or mold. Remove one that have sprouted and plant. For the mold I try and remove it or remove part of the paper towel And place in the fridge where they will sit until it’s time to plant them inside in a few weeks to a month or more. I also have seeds in moist sterile soli like the raspberries and lavender. With a few more seeds in the clean water tank of the
toilet for another form of cold stratification. This type of stratification and sterile soil I will go over more in my next post.
​So What is in my Fridge​​
Sunflower seeds I have 10 seeds of each type of sunflower I have.( I cannot find conclusively if sunflowers need cold moist stratification, but in germination instructions for seeds on there are several varieties of sunflowers listed, so what the heck cant hurt to see if stratification will help. We had low germination rates for sunflowers last year.)
Balloon flower
Self heal
Garden Sage (just like sunflowers I can find anything conclusive I just noted several sadge verities on the wild one’s list.)
Lavender elegance, Rosea pink lavender, Italian lavender, lavender angustifolia, and lavender Sancho-panza
Salvia sinius Blue Sage (same with garden sage can’t hurt, right?)
Phlox cherry Carmel (same as the sunflowers and sage.)
Chinese Lantern
Chinese Houses
Sweet peas painted lady and sweet pea cupani original (not sure if they need cold stratification so just place 10 seeds of each in the fridge.)
Gilia Globe
Red raspberry and yellow raspberry (for each I presoaked10 seeds overnight before putting them in a zip lock bag in the fridge then I placed 10 seeds without soaking in another zip lock bag and then I put another 10 of each into moist dirt in a tapware bowel. So, will see if any of these methods produce better germination rates. Also, I have 10 seeds of each that will be planted withy out any pretreatment.)
Wood Betony
Anise Hyssop and Karean Hyssop
Sea Buckthorn
Echinccea purpurea and Echinacea Pallide
Evening primrose
Carlic Bear
Witch Hazel
Japanese lilac
Marsh Mallow
For more on stratification you can visit
or .
Another site for seed starting information visit .

Native Seed Propagation Methods  file:///C:/Users/ANNE/AppData/Local/Packages/microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe/LocalState/Files/S0/378/Propagation[379].pdf

Herbs that Benefit from Stratification file:///C:/Users/ANNE/AppData/Local/Packages/microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe/LocalState/Files/S0/378/Stratification-Chart[381].pdf

Seed Propagation Information

Time to Give Hardy Seeds Their Cold Treatment

Germination tips