The greenhouse staff does research on seed germination. We grow most of our plants from seed and some species have seeds that are hard to germinate because they may have particular requirements to break their dormancy. We experiment with different soils and temperatures. For example, we have found that natural woodsy soils contain communities of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) that stimulate germination of some recalcitrant species. Some seeds require alternating seasons of warm and cold; plants of these types may not emerge for two years after sowing.
Over the years we have developed seed germination protocols for more than one hundred different native plant species, and we continue to add new species to the list every year.