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How to Soak Plumeria Seeds

Soaking Plumeria Seeds

Soaking seeds before planting is an old-time gardener’s trick. When you soak seeds before planting, you can test the viability and significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for a seed to germinate.

What happens to plumeria seeds when you soak them?

Mother Nature actively assaults seeds; she also gave those seeds an internal gauge to help them know when they should grow. For seeds, moisture levels play a big role in alerting a seed to optimal grow times. By soaking plumeria seeds, you quickly boost the moisture content around the seeds, which signals to the seed that it is now safe to grow.

Why should you soak plumeria seeds?

Soaking seeds before planting helps you to soften the outer shell and break down the seed’s natural defenses against what it expects from Mother Nature, which then allows it to germinate faster.

Soaking a plumeria is a good way to test the viability. If the seed plumps up after several hours you know, it is a good chance that it is still viable. In nature with natural rainfall, this process can take some time. But when you soak your seeds, this process is sped up and only take a few hours or overnight. Usually, after a viable seed absorbs water, usually it will not float.

How to Soak Plumeria Seeds before Planting

Seed soaking, at a basic level, needs two things: seeds and water.

Some methods for seed soaking may substitute the water for a solution with Super Thrive, B1 or Hydrogen Peroxide. The addition of vitamins to the solution is meant to enhance the germination process and give the seed a stronger start. But these solutions are not necessary in most cases. For most plumeria seeds, water will work just fine.

Take a small bowl and fill it with water from your tap, as hot as your tap will allow.

Once your bowl is full with hot water, place your seeds inside the bowl, then allow the seeds to stay in the water as it cools down. Common questions at this point include “How long should seeds be soaked?” and “Can you over soak seeds?” Yes, you can over soak seeds. Too much soaking in water and the seed will drown. Only soak plumeria seeds for 8 to 12 hours or overnight and no more than 18 hours.

There are things you can do to improve how well your seeds react to soaking. Large seeds or seeds with particularly hard coats can benefit from scarification before soaking. Scarification means to damage the seed coat in some way so that the water is better able to penetrate the seed. Scarification is done using several methods. These include rubbing the seed on fine grain sandpaper or nicking the seed coat with a knife. Usually not necessary for plumeria seeds, due to the outer shell of the plumeria seed is not very hard.

After soaking your seeds, plant directly into media. The benefit of soaking seeds before planting is to reduce the germination time, and you can see which one are most likely to germinate. The seeds absorb water and plump up if in a bowl the seed will not float, which usually means the seed is viable and you can have growing plants faster.

Example Method for Soaking Plumeria Seeds

This is a method I’m using to start the first batch of 70 Camelot seeds this year on Feb. 16th, 2019. From the first double pod to open this year at 9:30 AM. I filled one of Kay’s plastic containers about half full of hot tap water (not so hot that I couldn’t hold my finger in it). FYI, We are on well water. The seed will absorb hot water quicker and it adds some heat to the germination process. The seeds are less than 2 weeks old.

It all comes down to water’s viscosity. Cold water is more viscous than hot water, which means that its molecules more readily cling to one another. When water is heated, the water molecules begin to move around much more rapidly, keeping them from clinging together and making the water runnier, that is, less viscous.


Camelot plumeria seeds put on to soak in sealed container with hot water.

Plumeria seeds after 2 hours soaking in sealed container, water still warm.

The third picture is after 3 hours of soaking. Only a few left floating…I knew two very thin ones looked like they would not be viable.

The Camelot seeds are fresh, less than two weeks old. Older seeds will take longer to absorb enough water. I like to soak a minimum of 4 hours, (overnight is good) especially if they are 3 years old or older seeds. When I plant for rootstock, I do not soak them.

Example Method: Planting Plumeria Seeds using FCN FlexiPlugs