The Q&A Archives: Edelweiss Seed Starting

Question: I want to start some Edelweiss from seeds that I bought when I visited Europe. The instructions are in German. I do not know whether Edelweiss is an annual or a perennial. Do I need special care to raise the seeds? I want to start them now inside.

Answer: Seeds of Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) need a pre-chill treatment prior to germination. Mix the seeds together with some moistened growing medium, seal in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for three weeks. Remove, sow seeds on the surface of moistened seed starting mix and just press them in with your hand. (The seeds need light to germinate.) Seedlings should appear in 10-42 days at average household temperatures. Once the seeds have germinated move them to a source of bright light. If you use artificial light, leave the lights on 14-16 hours per day, keeping the source 4-6 inches above the tops of the leaves. Edelweiss is a short-lived perennial that grows best in full sun, average but well-draining soil, and regular watering. The plants will grow 4"-12" tall with small white flower heads. Wooly leaves radiate out from below each flower head like the arms of a starfish. Edelweiss blooms in June and July.

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