Henbane Germination
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Viktoria Reck-Malleczewen
Posted on: June 24, 1999

The henbane I ordered from your company is not germinating. I tried to give it a cool spell, tried to just germinate it at room temperature, soaked it before planting the seeds, but got no results. Please send me a tip.

We are sorry you had such poor results with your seed packet. As a gesture of good will we are sending you a replacement and hope it gives you better results.

Henbane germinates best if it has some pretreatment of the seeds. Some suggested treaments are :

Keep the moist seeds at 5 degrees Celsius for 3 months before sowing them.

According to Professor Norman Deno, the best germination is obtained by adding a few drops of 1000 ppm gibberellic acid-3 (add 6 drops of water to 1 cubic millimeter of gibberellic acid-3 powder-the amount of powder that fits on the first half millimeter of a toothpick point of the type that is pointed at both ends) to the seeds after sowing them. Or hold them in a paper towel moistened with the gibberellic acid-3 in a loosely closed clean plastic bag and plant them as soon as they germinate.

Other authors have suggested briefly treating the seeds with 95% sulphuric acid-but this is a rather hazardous material.

Another suggestion was to split the testa of the seeds- hard to do without destroying the seeds.

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