Cherry Plum, Myrobalan Plum (prunus cerasifera)
5 grams (approx 13 seeds) £1.35
10 grams (approx 27 seeds) £1.85
25 grams (approx 68 seeds £2.25
50 grams (approx 136 seeds) £3.50
100 grams (approx 272 seeds) £5.50
250 grams (approx 568 seeds) £12.00
500 grams (approx 1135 seeds) £22.00
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Germination, Sowing and After Care for
Cherry Plum (prunus cerasifera)
First 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 or even just pure sharp sand has worked well for me. 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 first require a period of warm pretreatment and need to be kept in temperatures of 20 Celsius (68F) for 2 weeks - it is not critical if it lasts a week or two longer than this. During this time make sure that the pretreatment medium does not dry out at any stage or it will be ineffective!
Next the seeds require a cold period to break the final part of the dormancy, this is easily achieved by placing the bag in the fridge (4 Celsius or 39F) for 30 weeks, again if it is for a little longer it does not matter. 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.
Seeds that are ready to germinate will have split the hard outer case and can quickly begin to produce a root. For small quantities I tend to just leave the seeds in the fridge and remove the germinated ones as they arise and plant them up. I find that this way you can get the maximum number to germinate. After a few months any remaining ungerminated seeds can have the whole warm and cold process repeated again. For larger quantities it is easiest to sow the seeds in a well prepared seedbed once the warm and cold pretreatments have finished and wait for the seeds to germinate. Seeds that are ready to germinate will have split the hard outer case, if they have not done so the pretreatment is not yet complete or has been ineffective due to incorrect temperatures or incorrect moisture content of the pretreatment medium.
It has also been found that fluctuating pretreatment temperatures 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.
Do not expose newly sown seeds to high temperatures (above 25 Celsius) otherwise a secondary dormancy may be induced and the seeds will not germinate until they have been pretreated again. Germinated seeds can be planted in deep pots or plug trays in a good quality compost.
Keep the seedlings well watered and weed free. Growth in the first year is usually between 30 and 60cm and usually trouble free. Allow them to grow for 1 or 2 years before planting them in a permanent position.