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Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

Posted by prairiemoon2 zone 6/MA (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 10:54


I was not able to winter sow this year, but I am getting ready to spring sow. One of the seed packets that I am really sorry I wasn't able to start are my columbine seeds. I am thinking there is not enough cold weather left to sow them now, should I leave them for next winter?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

Sorry...I should have added, California Poppy. I am getting conflicting information about how to sow these. I tried them last year and didn't get very good germination and that was winter sowing them. I see from a chart I am looking at, that they want dark to germinate but the directions are not to cover. Confused. It also said I could chill the seed for two days, so if that is all the chilling it needs, then I imagine I can just throw them out there now. I just need to know should I cover them with soil or just sow on top of the soil?


RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

  • Posted by karendee 5Wst. of Chicago,IL (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 11:47

I sowed my poppy on top and did not cover. I have tiny sprouts from one of the containers so it must have worked.

I also direct sowed some on the snow a month ago but have not seen sprouts from those yet. I may go look around today and see if they are sprouting but it may be early.

I am a newbie so I cannot answer all your questions.

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

you have better chance if you start them now than if you wait till next year. Soak them up overnight.

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

Columbine seeds are 'supposedly' short lived. In that case you should get them out now as opposed to next year. Don't need to soak.

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

I'd go for it... I WSed jugs of columbine a few weeks ago and no germination yet.

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

Let's all remember that columbines are notorious for playing mind games with you. They can germinate a bit later than other plants and then they like to play the 'Sporadic Germinator' game.

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

  • Posted by pvick z6B NYC (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 15:36

Tiffy - you can say that again!

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?


go ahead and sow both the columbine and the California poppies now.

Those columbine seeds will germinate whether you plant them out during the winter or in the spring.

Just remember that columbine can be very slow to germinate or very fast. Don't give up on them if they aren't any sprouts in June, or July or even August.
I had several containers out and nothing all spring and summer, then low and behold come, Labor day weekend, the seedlings decided to say "hello".

They grew very quickly too, much faster than in the spring and I planted them out in early Oct.

One good way to plant the columbine seeds is to use an individual container for one plant. make it at least 5-6 inches deep. Then put about 15-20 seeds right in the center of the container. Press the seeds into the soil, but do not cover them with any soil. cover and let mother nature do her thing.
When the seedlings are ready to plant, then just take each container and make that one plant.

That's how the seeds are sown at nurseries and that's why the plants we buy are so large. They put that many seeds in one container to make one plant.

Oh, no need to soak the columbine seeds.

The California poppy seeds. I never put them out before mid March at the earliest and have put them out as late as mid April as well.

Just sprinkle them on the top of the soil, press them into the soil and do not cover the seeds with any soil. They will germinate just fine and no need to soak them either.


RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

Fran, I did pretty much the same with the columbine I planted out today. I broke the 2-liter container into 2 pieces since most of the seeds ended up on one side or the other. I didn't fuss with trying to separate it. I noticed the containers we got in last week at Lowe's had lots of plants, not just one.

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

Thank you all...thanks Fran.

Columbine are sown. Poppies tomorrow. :-)

RE: Is it too late to winter sow columbine?

Thanks for asking this one, I was wondering the same thing (though I did sow some indoors here, none of which have sprouted, so thanks for the info about their tempermentality)! So they should be WS'd, not just popped into the ground yet?

Also, littleonefb, thanks a bunch for the secret info there. :)

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