The Q&A Archives: Sowing Myosotis Oblongata

Question: I purchased Myosotis Oblangata (Blue Bird variety) seeds from Burpee. On the package it states that the seeds should be sown outdoors in late summer. I would prefer to sow the seeds in flats outdoors before planting the seedlings in their final position in the garden. If I were to do this, should I sow the seeds in flats sometime before late summer so that I can get them into their final position in advance of the first frost of the season? If so, when would be an ideal time to sow the Myosotis in flats outdoors? Additionally, do they transplant well or should I sow the seeds in peat pots? Also, is this type of Myosotis perennial? I have read in different places that Blue Bird is considered a biennial and then in other places I have seen it listed as a perennial. I live in Zone 6 (southeastern Pennsylvania).

I would like to pose the same questions outlined above regarding Coreopsis Early Sunrise. I have better luck starting seeds in flats or peat pots outdoors than sowing them directly in the ground.

I would greatly appreciate your advice.

Thank you,

Cynthia S. Sabatini

Answer: I'm very sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. Fortunately, you have plenty of time yet to start your flowers!

M. oblongata 'Blue Bird' can be either biennial or perennial. Fortunately, they self sow easily, so if the growing conditions are favorable for them (light shade and humusy, moist soil), this designation shouldn't make a difference in terms of bounteous bloom, year after year. Plan to transplant your peat-pot grown seedlings at least 6 weeks before frost hits. By then the heat of summer will have passed, but they will have time to acclimate before winter. Start your seed 8 to 10 weeks before transplanting them out. Seeds germinate in 1 to 3 weeks, and are very succeptible to damping off, so use vermiculte and bottom watering for best results. Plant seeds on the surface and cover the flat of peat pots with an opaque fabric or cardboard to provide the darkness needed for germination; ideal temperatures for germination are between 65 and 70F.

Coreopsis 'Early Sunrise' is a perennial. They are hardier as seedlings, so you can start them in germinating medium instead of vermiculite at the same time you sow your forget-me-nots. Plant them on the surface as well, but allow them light, which they need to germinate. They should sprout within the same time period as the Myosotis, perhaps sooner. Take care that they don't overheat if you wish to start them in outdoor flats, since their optimal germination temperatures are between 55 and 70F.

Best of luck to you!

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