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swim

Viability after storing trichocereus seeds in the freezer

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Posted (edited)

Hey guys,

 

The temps in my fridge fell to subzero (furits, veggies and eggs froze) because of my flatmate messing with the settings. I had some hundreds of trichocereus pachanoi, bridgesii and peruvianus seeds in ziplocks in a big jar. I am really worried that the seeds might outright die. I had a few packs from SAB and Herbalistics and don't know how dessicated they were. Just put them straight into the fridge at the beginning of the summer when the temps were above zero. Do you have experience with freezing and germinating trichocereus seeds, and if you do does that impact seed viability. I checked the forums and also other websites but no one gives a straight answer. I saw in an earlier post that nitrogen might be freezing some of his crosses but I could not tell if that was pollen or seed.

 

All the best :)

Edited by swim

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Hi mate, i will jump in on this since no one else has. To be honest, regarding Trich seeds no idea as i am a total cactus newb. I do however freeze all of my other seeds be they be my next season's vege seeds (i never buy these, have been collecting, freezing over winter and propagating the same ones for well over a decade). I immediately freeze my choof seeds i buy online as well as my wollemi pine seeds, just to name a few. 

 

Many seeds freeze over winter, start to thaw early spring and germinate when the temps are within range. Even seeds that this doesn't happen to in  nature do not seem to suffer from  doing this. I normally defrost in the fridge for a week to simulate the beginning of the spring thaw then germinate. I have had excellent germination rates on seeds which have been in the freezer for literally many years. I guess in my ignorance the quick freeze then defrost again may be a problem, i really don't know but am sure someone else with more knowledge can comment on this. Worse case scenerio, get a heat mat and germinate them now.

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Thanks man, appreciate the answer. I am surprised that no one popped in except you. I was so sure someone has made the same mistake (or more likely a sound decision) as I did. In the meantime I dug around in other forums and found that some people claim freezing is the best way to keep trichocereus seeds going for a good while. They were talking about years to be more precise. Some advice that the seeds must be acclimatized to the room temperature over a few days before planting though so I would say what you do is good practice.

 

 

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**UPDATE**

 

The seeds that were exposed to freezing temperatures seem to be germinating just fine. I even included a fresh batch of peruvianus of the same type, from the same vendor in the same takeaways I am germinating all in and I can't notice a difference between the fresh ones vs those that saw freezing temperatures. Mind you this was not at -20 as in the freezer itself but at a temperature in the fridge section which caused fruits and eggs to clearly freeze. If it adds to the viability of the seeds on the long run proper freezer storage may even be a superior method. My friends have actually mistakenly put a few hundred seeds into the -20 freezer straight up. It will be interesting to see how those will do and will probably remove any doubts around my question.

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On 08/06/2020 at 7:34 AM, swim said:

**UPDATE**

 

The seeds that were exposed to freezing temperatures seem to be germinating just fine. 

 

 

Great news! Thanks for the update!. I might start storing seeds along with my pollen in the freezer. I put pollen in multiple layers of snappy bags and then a small plastic jar, then a larger (peanut butter)jar, then a Tupperware container. Not sure why. Just to protect from any extreme temperature fluctuations. 

 

Love picking up hints and tips from the Corroboree, thanks again mate! :)

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Thanks Halcyon,

 

Growing tips is why I made an account in SAB forums in the first place. There are also some serious old timers helping around. I like going through my little trials while keeping logs instead of leaving things unfinished and this seemed like a good place to write things down.

 

I also zipbag my seeds one after another like russian stacking dolls and put them all in a jar in the end. I would say in freezer proper packing helps prevent frost formation on seeds since each opening & closing cycle introduces humidity that can freeze on cold surfaces. In lab, cells of tissue sections that get exposed to creeping frost end up getting pierced by ice crystals forming within (freeze lysis). So the seeds need to be stored in a sufficiently dessicated container in my opinion.  I suggest storing some seeds of various forms ( big, small, plump/inflated, caved in/deflated etc.) you can sacrifice for the sake of experimentation and then we can say for sure freezing is the way to go with trichs. I doubt my friends will be germinating the ones they froze any time soon since they slack off big time without me around pushing :uzi:Will be posting another update when they do though.

 

Hi Zelly,

 

I knew about the seed banks at near arctic regions for storing orthodox seeds but could never verify without the shadow of doubt that trichocereus produce that kind. One wouldn't expect those seeds to face freezing temperatures in their habitats, at least according to my research, which gave me a bit of worries but all seems fine now.  We need to get a dedicated trichocereus freak among those scientists to make sure pedros survive the doomsday :lol:

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