I haven't yet germinated Salvia pisidica, after a couple of tries, both times at room temp without other treatment.
From my limited and sketchy records, the following Salvia spp. (not necessarily Turkish) germinated at room temperature without any other treatment. Bear in mind, though, that this is not to say it's the most effective means; it is merely what I did, and managed to get a seed or two to germinate - I don't recall any outstanding successes. (And I usually don't have enough seed to do the sort of controlled experiments that would be truly useful and nor would I likely, anyway, simply out of sheer laziness.)
Salvia barrelieri, candelabrum, cryptantha, cyanescens (in 2 different seasons), dolichantha, hypargeia, indica, verbenacea, huberi, pachyphylla, quezelii, tchihatcheffii
I also had germination from the following after cold stratification, though, again, not in any outstanding numbers:
Salvia cryptantha, blepharochlaena, daghestanica, kuznetzovii
If you read Deno's publications, it is rather mixed in the Salvia species he studied, though it seems to me warm germination was generally favoured. However, Alan Bradshaw of Alplains included Salvia in the genera that he considered to usually require stratification, in an article on seed-starting that he supplied to the local rock garden society.
I will pose your question on some other forums, to see if anyone can advise. And if anyone who corresponds (or lurks) here can advise, please do speak up!
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, especially so thoroughly. I watched Flowers By The Sea's video and they remarked about how all salvia's require light to germinate, but then didn't go into specifics about temperature. They also went through their process of sowing, and what kind of potting media etc. they use. They specialize in Salvia's and are here on the California Coast.
I also looked through The germination guide on the Ontario Rock Garden Societies web site, they mentioned light as a requirement for salvia's.
Everything I have read previously about Turkish Salvias indicates that they are difficult to germinate. No one mentions any specifics.
I have notes from Betty Lowry's years of seed sowing. (She kept meticulous records.) She lists two different years of sowing Salvia pisidica. If I've interpreted her notes correctly, she had only 10% germination after soaking the seeds for 4 days, and 20% germination after light filing and soaking for 2 days.
Bellevue, Washington Zone 7-8
Could you please relate what else was done, Claire, if it's noted? E.g. were the seeds cold stratified (either in a cold room or fridge or outdoors) or set to germinate at room temperature? Were the seeds covered with soil or surface-sown? Were the seeds fresh or dry-stored?
Thank you very much for looking into this, Claire.
Unfortunately, I don't have a key to completely decipher Betty's records. She can no longer remember and Ned is gone. I'll do my best to translate.
Betty used a soil mix of 2 parts (1:1 compost:peat) and 5 parts "soilless" (3:2:1 sand:pumice:perlite). All components were heat sterilized, compost/peat separately from the "soilless" mix.
In February, 1994, 10 seeds were soaked 101 hours. One seed germinated after 62 days.
In January, 1996, she tried 2 methods. For the first method, 10 seeds were lightly filed, then soaked with a wetting agent for 45 hours. 2 seeds germinated after 94 days. For the second method, 10 seeds were lightly filed, soaked in 30% hydrogen peroxide for 14 minutes, then soaked with a wetting agent for 45 hours. 2 seeds germinated after 77 days.
There is no note of stratification or how seeds were covered. I assume she set the pots outside, and I know she often covered seeds with a layer of granite grit. But these are my guesses.
Thanks again, Claire.
I have also posed the question elsewhere and got comments from a greenhouse grower in the Denver area. This person surface sows various Salvia and Phlomis and gets "good luck" with germination in a greenhouse that stays pretty warm, I guess (therefore, no cold stratification occurring). Germination usually occurs in 2 - 3 weeks, with a failure "every now and then"; less success is reported with cold stratification. This person didn't think dry-stored seed should be a problem (vs. fresh seed).
An opinion about S. pisidica from a different source says they are best sown fresh as possible and may be slow to germinate.
That's great information, Lori. It also tells us that sometimes seeds are easier than Betty's elaborate treatment might indicate.
Yes. I never soak seeds (unless as part of GA-3 treatment; I just allow them to imbibe water from the moist soil and from watering), nor use wetting agents or hydrogen peroxide (which I believe is only effective as a disinfectant?), and I've not yet tried scarifiying Salvia seeds. That said, I usually get one or two... or sometimes none... germinating - perhaps not significantly different results than Betty noted, without those additional steps.
I don't get, though, what the greenhouse grower is doing that is significantly different from what I've been doing when I start them indoors.
I suppose a wild card may be the condition of the seeds, that is, whether they are fertile/viable (something that's beyond me to determine).