Native Plant Propagation Research

Establishing optimal germination requirements of open-pollinated native plants has been our goal for many years.  Launched in 2011, our research program into the propagation of native plants using open-pollinated seed is the largest of this type known to date.  Our objective is to discover and document optimal germination protocols to assist university research programs, botanical gardens, and nurserymen in successful conservation of  a wide array of uncommon, rare, and threatened native plant species.

Our research program uses the statistical methods developed by Genichi Taguchi for the innovative design of multi-variate experiments to isolate and understand the key factors affecting successful germination.  Factors being tested include:

    1. Container size
    2. Media composition
    3. Moisture profile
    4. Temperature profile
    5. Light profile
    6. Seed collection and sowing timing
    7. Seed preparation techniques
    8. Growth regulators
    9. Genetics and ecoregion origin
    10. Employee variation

While the focus is optimized nursery propagation, the research is also yielding insights into target germination requirements for broadcast seed as used in meadow building and stormwater retention basin projects.

Since 2011, we have amassed propagation research data on over 1000 American native plants growing from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

While we have not yet begun to publish our findings, we can produce work in progress reports upon request by interested organizations.

Get in touch with us to learn more or to participate.