Violas and Primrose a bust

emcd124(5)June 4, 2012

I tried starting violas and primrose from seed in a self watering seed starting tray. I covered the violas with cardboard to give darkness until they sprouted. Every container sprouted, and when they were all tiny little 1 cm sprouts I removed the cardboard to give them light. They all stayed spindly, flopped over, and died.

The primrose barely germinated, I think I only got maybe a 25% germination rate, and then a hot spell killed them all.

Can anyone help me out with some suggestions? Im no master gardener, but usually I dont have quite this bad a black thumb. Would direct seeding be a better route? is it too late to DS in Z5 (Northern Indiana)?


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beachgrub(4 northern michigan)

I wintersowed violas and ended up with about a thousand seedlings! They're in the ground as of last week and have doubled in size (are now about an inch tall). Maybe if this year is a wash for you you could try wintersowing. I think you can direct sow violas anytime, wouldn't hurt to try. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Primrose seeds need light and really cool temperatures to germinate.Once the day temps stay over 65 the seeds go dormant.It's hard to germinate them without a cool greenhouse.They should be sown no later than the middle of February since day length also affects them.You could try winter sowing them or sow them indoors in January but keep them in a cool bright room.Barnhaven in France has seed of some beautiful forms. Their site is worth a look if you want to go through all that.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Okay, thanks! I'll try wintersowing the violas next year. I LOVE wintersowing. This was my first year, and I'm addicted. I guess I didnt realize I was buying into a fussy plant when I got the primrose. They rarely advertise that on the seed sites sadly.

Thanks for letting me know!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Violas should be easy. I suspect to much water with your self watering system. Mine have been blooming for weeks, and last years came back which was unexpected.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 6:51AM
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For years I tried growing pansies/violas from seed, indoors. Tried everything, never very good germination. 2 years ago I Wintersowed them, and couldn't believe the germination I got. This year I did 16 containers of pansies/violas, took me a whole day to plant them out, the germination was at least 90%. To me, it only makes sense, pansies/violas are a cold weather plant. Pansies are my favorite flower and now I can have as many as I want. I'll never sow them any other way.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:17PM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

I wintersowed five containers of primrose and got very high germination. They were planted out probably three weeks ago and are thriving.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:45AM
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