The Q&A Archives: Aubrieta Seed Starting

Question: Within this year I bought two packets of seeds of Whitewell Gem perennial Aubrieta. Both where seeded outdoors with a few months in between. But none of them have germinated. Why not?

Answer: Aubrieta seeds need light to germinate and should sprout in 14-21 days, at temperatures of 65F-75F degrees. Here's the best technique: Use moist seed-starting mix, sow the seeds on the surface and barely press them in with your hand. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, until the seeds germinate. Alternately, you can start the seeds indoors under more controlled circumstances and then plant them outdoors once they've developed three sets of true leaves. Germinate the seeds in trays of moistened seed-starting mix by sprinkling them on the surface of the soil and pressing them in with your hand, then covering the tray with plastic wrap to help retain moisture. Place the tray in a warm place, like on top of the refrigerator, until most of the seeds sprout. Remove the plastic wrap and put the tray under a source of artificial light. Keep the plants watered well, but allow the top of the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. Good air circulation is important or damping-off disease will attack your seedlings. Transplant the Aubrieta into individual pots when they've developed two sets of true leaves, and then plant them outdoors after they've developed into sturdy seedlings. Better luck next time!

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