The Q&A Archives: Germinating Tips for Silver Lace' Dusty Miller

Question: Two questions: 1) For the second year, I sowed Dusty Miller Silverdust' and Silver Lace'. The Silverdust' germinates normally within 14 days, but I can't get the Silver Lace' to germinate at all. 2) A companion question involves Cleome ( Rose Queen' and Helen Campbell'). I chill the seeds for 5 days in the fridge and then sow. I've also tried sowing seeds without pre-chilling. Either way, I can't get the seeds to germinate. I sow seeds in flats with plastic lids to maintain moisture until germination starts. The flats are placed in a "southern" room, but with no direct sunlight. Temperatures are maintained around 72F. After germination, I move the flats into the greenhouse. So, what's the secret to getting Silver Lace' Dusty Miller and Cleome seeds to germinate? What am I doing wrong?? Lee Deed-Luce Warwick, NY

Answer: Try this for the Dusty Miller Silver Lace'...Sow seeds on the surface of pure vermiculite and water only from below. Provide light and keep at 65-75 degrees F. (The seed may be germinating only to be attacked by fungul pathogens!). Use sterile growing media. Increase the time in the cold to two weeks for the Cleome seeds. Be sure they are in a moistened growing medium in the cold (moistened vermiculite). Keep at 70-75 degrees F. thereafter. Sow on the surface.

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