Planting perennial seeds

Asked October 20, 2018, 2:42 PM EDT

When is the best time to plant the perennial seeds I collected from my plants. Please give instructions on how to plant them please. I live in Ham Lake Mn. Thank you very much.

Anoka County Minnesota

1 Response

This excerpt from a Purdue University publication explains how and when to plant seeds of perennial flowers:

"Although starting from plants is generally easier, some perennials can be successfully grown from seed. Always obtain fresh seed from reputable dealers. Many perennials are hybrids and their seeds usually produce a wide range of unpredictable colors and growth habits.

Seed can be sown in the early spring or late fall. Plants produced by early spring sowing should be large enough to overwinter successfully and bloom in succeeding years. Fall-sown seeds usually remain dormant until the following spring.

Many perennial seeds require a moist chilling period before they are mature enough to germinate. Fall sowing outdoors accomplishes this naturally. If you plan to spring sow, you can give the seeds a moist chilling period (called stratification) by mixing them with a small amount of vermiculite or other porous organic matter, moistening the mixture to even dampness (not soaking wet) and placing the mixture in a sealable plastic container. Then, place the container in the refrigerator for 10 - 12 weeks. Time the stratification so you will be able to plant the seeds immediately when they come out of the cold.

For best results, sow the seed in a hotbed or cold frame. Or choose a well-drained location in the garden which has at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.

Sow the seed in short rows, making the furrow the recommended depth. Cover with a fine layer of soil or vermiculite. Do not allow the seed to dry out."

Go here to read the complete bulletin:

Winter sowing has also become a popular way to start seeds of garden perennials. Go here to learn about that: