Growing from seeds
I have a 2 part question. I have the following in pots in various places in my yard. 4 o'clocks 4-get-me-nots and Bachelor buttons All of these have grown from seed. They are still growing, but none of them have any flowers on them, is it just to early or ? Second part of my question is that I also planted from seed Cardinal flower (in pots) and Turtleheads (both in pots and in the ground last fall) but nothing has come for either of them. What have I done wrong?
Anne Arundel County Maryland
Hi- For the first part of your question, you may not have flowers yet due to the timing of your seed sowing and the temperature. For example, bachelor buttons grow best in the cool season. Fall-seeded bachelor buttons are flowering now. Spring-sowing should be done very early-- as soon as the soil can be worked and is still cool. They are not plants that like the mid-summer heat. When did you sow your seeds and do the plants look healthy? If they do, just give them time and you may get a flush of blooms in late summer/fall.
Four o'clocks are more of a warm-season annual that is best planted after frost and then will bloom from mid-summer to fall.
For your cardinal flowers and turtleheads, poor germination can occur because of improper seed depth (some seeds need light for germination), insufficient cool temperature during their dormancy, insufficient moisture during germination, or poor quality seed. Cardinal flower seeds can be scattered just on the surface of the soil and it needs a three-month period of cold to break dormancy, so usually fall sowing outdoors is sufficient. The seed area should be kept consistently moist.