Delphinium Seed Germination Percentages

During the past few years we have concentrated our breeding efforts upon increasing the germination rate, storage life and vigour of our delphinium seed while not compromising the quality of the plants.

We even had a post graduate university student working with us on this for her Masters Degree. We are pleased to report considerable success and now expect most of our seedlines to germinate above 80%, some much higher. This is generally considered very good for hand crossed hybrid delphiniums. As a comparison, the open pollinated, field grown delphinium seed you buy in your garden store will have started out life with a germination percentage in a similar range but, depending upon how long it has been held in the store at ambient temperatures, could be very low by the time of purchase. It will not however, even if it is still relatively fresh, produce plants of similar quality to our New Millennium hybrids.

How many seedlings will I raise?

You should be able to raise 50 good seedlings from 100 seeds. This allows for less than optimum conditions and the culling of any weak seedlings. Some of our more exotic crosses from our "Specialist Colours and Mixes" section on our order form may give fewer plants per 100 seeds. This is because certain traits (usually the most complicated flower forms) may carry a cost, and one of the costs may be a low germination rate. It's just another take on the adage that "Good things come in Small Packages! In these cases the price you are paying for a really outstanding plant is that you may raise less than 50%, but those that you do will be outstanding!