Chinese Dogwood (cornus kousa)
1 gram (approx 19 seeds) £1.25
2 grams (approx 38 seeds) £1.85
5 grams (approx 95 seeds) £2.70
10 grams (approx 190 seeds) £3.50
25 grams (approx 475 seeds) £6.50
Please note that these seeds require up to 16 weeks stratification before they will germinate. For a March 1st sowing this should begin around November 8th -further information detailed below
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Germination, Sowing and After Care Information for
Chinese Dogwood (cornus kousa chinensis)
First pour warm water on to the seeds and leave to cool for around 24 hours. The water must not be too hot or boiling or the seeds will be killed.
Next prepare a free draining substrate into which the seeds are to be mixed, this can be a 50/50 mixture of compost and sharp sand, or perlite, vermiculite. The chosen substrate needs to be moist (but not wet), if you can squeeze water out of it with your hand it is too wet and your seeds may drown and die. Mix the seeds into the substrate, making sure that their is enough volume of material to keep the seeds separated. Place the seed mixture into a clear plastic bag (freezer bags, especially zip-lock bags are very useful for this -provided a little gap is left in the seal for air exchange) If it is not a zip-lock type bag it needs to be loosely tied. Then write the date on the bag so that you know when the pretreatment was started.
The seeds of this species require a cold period to break the dormancy that is within the seeds. This dormancy is their to prevent the seed from germinating during the autumn and winter when conditions outside would be unsuitable for growth. The breaking of this is easily achieved by placing the prepared bag of seeds in the fridge at (4 Celsius or 39F) for a period of between 12 and 16 weeks. During this time make sure that the pretreatment medium does not dry out at any stage or it will be ineffective!
It is quite possible for the seeds to germinate in the bag at these temperatures when they are ready to do so, if they do, just remove them from the bag and carefully plant them up. When the period of pre treatment has finished the seed should be ready to be planted. Small quantities can be sown in pots or seed trays filled with a good quality compost and cover them with a thin layer of compost no more than 1cm deep. For larger quantities it is easiest to sow the seeds in a well prepared seedbed outdoors once the pretreatment has finished and wait for the seedlings to appear.
It has also been found that fluctuating pretreatment temperatures that mimic the natural cycle can give the best germination results and I have myself had excellent results by keeping the mixed seeds in a cold shed through the winter for the cold stage of their pretreatment and allowing the temperature to fluctuate naturally. Ungerminated seeds can have the cold pretreatment process repeated again to enable more seeds to germinate.
Do not expose newly sown seeds to high temperatures (above 25 Celsius). Keep the seedlings well watered and weed free. Growth in the first year is usually between 15 and 30cm depending on the time of germination and cultural techniques and developing seedlings are usually trouble free. Allow them to grow for 2 or 3 years before planting them in a permanent position.