Is it too late to start perennial flowers from seed indoors in So

Soul_Flower(7)May 25, 2011

I currently live in South Carolina that is a Zone 7 for planting. I came across a perennial flower garden plan that would look beautiful along my front walk. I was wondering if it is to late to start the seeds indoors being that it is now the end of May and they would not be ready to plant for at least another month or two? Also would planting them so late in the year cause them not to come back the following year?

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I suspect that they wont look like much this year. I am in zone 4, but my experience with growing perennials from seed is that they stay pretty small and don't bloom the first year. Many people plant perennials in the fall, so the late planting shouldn't be an issue. In fact it might be better to not put them out until after the July/August heat that you get. If I were you, I would start the seed indoors in July and put them out in September. You dont get frost until December or January do you? That would give them a good 3 months to establish themselves.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 5:26PM
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Thanks! I know I shouldn't have any high expectations for them this year. But my main concern is whether or not they will be healthy enough to come back next year. Late planting makes sense. I mainly plant bulbs in the fall but was unaware you do the same with perennial seeds.I start all my veggies indoors so that will be no problem. Thanks for your input it was very helpful!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 7:44PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Soul Flower, it would still be helpful to know which plants you'd like to sow seeds for. Perennial seeds can differ from annual and vegetable seeds in their germination requirements. There are many that need cooler temps or a period of moist chill before they will germinate. It's possible none you are considering have any pre-treatment necessary to break dormancy, but I hope you will ask, or check for yourself....

Here is a link that might be useful: Clothier germination database

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 8:19PM
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I often start perennial and biannual seed in July. Right now I have shasta daisy, sweet william, foxgloves, painted daisy already germinated and am waiting on delphinium, columbine, salvia and sage to get started. I find it much easier to get them started outside when the soil is already warm and the temps make germination faster. If you start seed in July you can expect the plants to flower the following year. Some perennial and biannual seeds are very easy and some are hard. I follow directions on back of packet as far as if the seed needs to be covered or needs light and some need to be frozen for a while, set them on wet miracle grow potting mix, water well, but gently and put in a shady place until germination starts and then I move them to an area that gets a few hours of morning sun a day. Once their first set of true leaves is out I will move them into a place that gets 4 or 5 hours of morning sun. When their second set of leaves shows up the seedlings will be moved to either a nursery bed in my veg garden or for some into their permanent spot right away. The bulk will go to the veg garden and those I might cover with shade cloth if it is very hot (it will be in Arkansas in August). The hardest thing is to keep the soil moist while germination is going on and when they are vey small. Sometimes I have a complete failure, but for some like shasta, sweet william, foxgloves, painted daisy, gillardia they are so easy you will get dozens of plants. Almost always I get at least a few. Well worth the couple of bucks the packet of seed costs. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 3:58PM
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I'm in zone 5 also and do the same as claire1--sstarting biennials and perennials about now and planting them in ground in early fall.

BUT, I was wondering if you have any tricks for delphiniums. My last sowing was early July and I only have about 5% germination. Last year it seemed to go a lot better, so I am wondering if it is my seed source or if it the high humidity and temps we have been experiencing. Any tips on good delphinium germination appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:01AM
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