I would like direction about how to increase the number of two perennials I have now from seed. The process may be different for you southern gardeners, but I'm hoping for advice. The two plants are blanket flower and Stoke's Blue aster.
I started the first blanket flowers from commercial seed many years ago. Since then, they've self-seeded and produced enough volunteers to keep the spot nicely filled. This year, only one volunteer sprung up, so I want to use the seeds from it to ensure I'll have plants next year... Plus, a friend would like some seeds or seedlings from it for her own garden. What do you think is my best bet for success with these? Save the seed and start them under lights in spring, scratch them into the soil now for germination in spring, or overwinter the seed indoors and sow outside in spring?
The Stokes' aster was bought from a clearance rack years ago. It survives and blooms, but has never spread or self-seeded despite my best efforts at multiplying it. I've taken mature seed from it, tried starting them indoors in early spring, and tried spreading the seed in the outdoor bed in fall. (Haven't yet tried sowing it in spring, however.) Neither method ever produced any seedlings. Any suggestions about how to get these seeds to sprout?
Nettiejay - I am hoping for some good answers for you...since I've never had any success with either of these plants. The aster I've bought numerous times and they never come back the next year, so I quit buying them. A garden club friend gave me seedlings of the blanket flower, they died....I bought seeds, they didn't germinate. So, hopefully, someone here can help both of us.
I've only started commerical seeds but I don't have any luck getting asters to grow here at all.
The blanket flowers need light to germinate, so you just lay the seed on top of the soil & gently press...then keep it moist. I'd try in early spring with the seeds...I have better luck doing it then than at other times. And I would start inside to prevent any birdies or wind from taking them away.
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
I don't know anything about Stokes blue asters. Blanket flower,(Gaillardia) is native to the central U.S. I'd direct sow in late spring if I lived in a cold climate but I wouldn't expect any flowers the first spring. Where I live we direct sow the seeds in fall and they will flower the first spring. They need constant moisture to germinate. Moist not super wet until they germinate. I wouldn't plant them any deeper than 1/8 of an inch. I mean I wouldn't sow the seeds any deeper than 1/8th of an inch, not plant. Yikes the heat it making me brain dead.
Have you considered planting some indoors now and saving some of the seeds to direct sow outside in the spring? Gaillardia is any easy perennial to start from seed. I'd thin them to 14-16in apart if I direct sowed the seeds. The seeds can take 14-42 days to germinate so be patient. They like well-drained, lean soil. You probably already know about the tap root so I doubt you need any advice about transplanting them since you've already grown them.This message has been edited. Last edited by: still tryin,
Like many other seeds, annual or biennual, perennial seeds have many needs that might include a certain number of chilling hours to a certain amount of light. Stokesia apparently is not one that needs stratification, but germination is dicey. Since this is a wildflower its needs for germination may be less critical then others.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
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