Categories
BLOG

what seed takes the longest to germinate

Jesus-era seed is the oldest to germinate

(Image: Guy Eisner/Science)

(Image: Guy Eisner/Science)

Forget cryopreservation – hot and dry conditions might be all you need to awake far into the future. A date palm seed some 2000 years old – preserved by nothing more than storage in hot and dry conditions – has germinated, making it the oldest seed in the world to do so.

Advertisement

The ancient seed was found along with several others in the 1960s in the Masada fortress on the edge of the Dead Sea in Israel. Recently, three were planted in soil and one germinated.

To determine their age, an Israeli and Swiss team carbon dated the two dud seeds and found them to be approximately 2000 years old – making them possible contemporaries of Jesus.

When the germinated date was 15 months old, the researchers moved it to a new pot and retrieved fragments of the seed shell so they too could be carbon dated.

Skewed result

Although the plant is now just 26 months old, the dating process indicated that the seed was around 1750 years old – 250 years or so younger than the seeds which had not germinated. However, this figure was not a true reflection of its great age.

“During its growth the date plant had taken up modern carbon and this affected the carbon dating results,” explains Sarah Sallon of the Louis L Borick Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem.

The modern carbon skewed the result and made the seed appear about 250 to 300 years younger, she says.

Previously, the oldest seed to have germinated was a 1300-year-old Chinese lotus seed, but the plant that grew from it had serious genetic abnormalities.

Useful genes?

Sallon thinks that the extreme dryness and heat of the Dead Sea region may have helped conserve the seed in a way that it was able to germinate 2000 years later.

In the first century AD, the area was famous for its high-quality dates, but the plants were later lost. Preliminary genetic analysis suggests the ancient date plant is quite different to its modern cousins, but the researchers caution that with only one plant to test, the results are not conclusive. They are seeking more ancient seeds to carry out more genetic studies.

If the ancient dates are very different, they could carry genes that make modern varieties more successful or resilient.

Journal reference: Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.1153600)

An Israeli date palm seed, preserved by nothing more than hot, dry conditions, has sprouted after around 2000 years in the dust

Longest time for a seed to start?

Sourbandit710
Member

I am starting to get a little nervous my baby may not work out. My friend gave me a northern lights fem seed and also a rapid rooter to start off the plant. I soaked the RR for 24hrs in distilled water and a drop of thrive alive red squeezed out the water and popped my seed in. That’s all my friend has had to do and has had 100% germ rates so far with 6 plants. After about 5 days went by nothing was out yet I peeked in and there was a little root popping out of the seed. A few more days went by and still nothing substantial was there so I ripped the RR open to investigate and the seed had germinated, and had about a 1/4-1/2″ root starting to turn to stem and could see the small beginnings of leaves inside of the seed starting to form and cracking the seed off. I put it in a 3×3 pot the size of a solo cup with fox farm light warrior about a 1/4″ down and made the soil moist before planting. It’s been 2 days and nothing has sprouted yet. I’ve let the soil get to the drier side before I water again and am certain I’m not overwatering.

How much do you normally water a freshly germinated seed and what’s the longest it’s taken to see it pop up from the dirt?

Sourbandit710
Member
qwizoking
Well-Known Member

Dont uncover the seed, you risk tearing roots and hairs plus light will stop root growth. It may have some rot.
If the shell sticks on the seed it can keep it from sprouting, sometimes gently removing the shell is necessary.

What i do.
Germ in wet papertowel with chlorinated tap water at 80-82°, place inside open gallon bag to keep moisture. 24-36 hrs later taproot has emerged and is ready for transplant. Wet soil the night before and till, or moisten till it will compact and hold its shape, either way tilling before inserting seed is important. The seed does not necessarily have to be covered. You want very little dirt. I use solo cups..
Place sandwich bag over the cup and put in the dark at 80-82° still, ideally you should have beads of water on the bag.
When the shell falls off its ready for side lighting, when first true sets of leaves form its ready for whatever..usually about 4 days total

This will have the highest rates

xSwimToTheMoon
Well-Known Member

If they’re stunted early, it could cause them to grow slow, if at all. Later on.

I’d start another seed.

Seedlings are the toughest part imo for new growers. Once you get a couple to harden off you’ll hit a groove and the plant will run the show.

Looks like you germed right, but that 2nd day flood sounds like trouble to me.

harris hawk
Well-Known Member

I am starting to get a little nervous my baby may not work out. My friend gave me a northern lights fem seed and also a rapid rooter to start off the plant. I soaked the RR for 24hrs in distilled water and a drop of thrive alive red squeezed out the water and popped my seed in. That’s all my friend has had to do and has had 100% germ rates so far with 6 plants. After about 5 days went by nothing was out yet I peeked in and there was a little root popping out of the seed. A few more days went by and still nothing substantial was there so I ripped the RR open to investigate and the seed had germinated, and had about a 1/4-1/2″ root starting to turn to stem and could see the small beginnings of leaves inside of the seed starting to form and cracking the seed off. I put it in a 3×3 pot the size of a solo cup with fox farm light warrior about a 1/4″ down and made the soil moist before planting. It’s been 2 days and nothing has sprouted yet. I’ve let the soil get to the drier side before I water again and am certain I’m not overwatering.

How much do you normally water a freshly germinated seed and what’s the longest it’s taken to see it pop up from the dirt?

Hey Guys, I am starting to get a little nervous my baby may not work out. My friend gave me a northern lights fem seed and also a rapid rooter to start…