Where there's smoke, there's germination!

california fire
Photo by Ross Stone on Unsplash

In fire-prone areas, fire or smoke has been shown to be crucial for the germination of seed from a wide variety of plants.

For seeder (fire-sensitive) species and fire ephemerals, habitat burning is the single most important cue for triggering germination of the dormant soil seed bank. Following the discovery that smoke stimulated germination of the rare South African plant, Audounia capita, the exploration of the benefits of smoke-mediated germination has expanded to different continents and has been applied in nurseries, for land management and in rare flora conservation. Smoked water can be useful for direct priming or pre-germination of seeds prior to sowing. Application of smoke via water has the advantage of not requiring the use of the smoke tent and the convenience of priming seeds at will. Smoke-water-primed seeds may germinate better than those in smoked seedling trays. There are some commercial sources for smoke water and watch the video below showing how to make your own at home.

Smoke Water Native Seed Germination