The Q&A Archives: Sowing Perennials Seeds In July

Question: I sowed some annuals and perinials earlier this year and they are doing great. I thought that I had to wait till next year to do anything else. However, I read that I could sow perennials in July(inside) and place them outside after I "hardied" them off and they would come back next year. Are there some perennials that will do better then others for this purpose? If so, could you recommend some.

Answer: Many perennials are started from seed in mid summer. I think the reasoning is that the spring rush is over so gardeners have more time and yet the plants will still have enough time to grow large enough to stay anchored during the heaving and thawing processes of the coming fall and spring. If you think about it, many perennials drop their seeds during the summer and those that do not need a cold stratification will subsequently germinate. Columbine is a good example of this. Seeds of other plants such as purple coneflower will possibly germinate when dropped or possibly not -- just as when starting them gardeners can try to germinate them, then if they do not, put them into cold stratification and often times they will germinate after all. If you have some seeds and know their germination requirements, by all means try some in the summer. Keep in mind though that it may be a bit late to start if they need a cold period first.

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