Shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is a problematic weed in citrus orchards and crop fields in northern Iran. In a series of laboratory and greenhouse experiments, we evaluated the effects that treatment with gibberellic acid (GA3) and potassium nitrate (KNO3), as well as environmental factors, including temperature, the duration of pre-chilling (wet and dry), drought stress, salt stress, pH, and sowing depth, have on seed dormancy breaking and germination in C. bursa-pastoris. Treatment with GA3 strongly stimulated germination of C. bursa-pastoris in conditions of light/dark and continuous darkness. The germination rate was highest (40.08%) for seeds treated with 400 ppm of GA3 in the light/dark condition. Treatment with KNO3 did not significantly influence seed germination. Longer wet pre-chilling promoted germination and was more successful in seed dormancy breaking than was dry pre-chilling. Seed germination occurred at 10-30ºC and within a range of pH of 3-11. Drought and salt stress both strongly inhibited germination. Seedling emergence decreased in proportion to sowing depth. The rates of C. bursa-pastoris germination and seedling emergence were highest for seeds on the soil surface.