The Q&A Archives: Hesperis Germination

Question: I have purchased white hesperis for several years and I never get them to germinate. If I start them in flats, what procedure should I use? Can I transplant the seedlings? I have been able to grow purchased plants of the purple variety with good luck.

Answer: Hesperis is an old-fashioned cottage garden plant that freely self-sows in the garden. The seeds need light to germinate and temperatures of 70F - 85F degrees. They usually take 20-25 days to germinate. If you start your seeds in flats, use moistened seed starting mix and sprinkle the seeds on top. Press the seeds into the mix with the back of your hand, but don't cover with additional soil. Place plastic wrap over the flat to help hold in moisture, and put the flats in a warm place like the top of your refrigerator. In about 3 weeks most of the seeds will have germinated. Remove the plastic wrap and put the flats under a source of bright light. When the weather warms outdoors you can transplant your new seedlings into the garden.

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