|I bought 3 perennial seed packets- Dianthus-Spring beauty-mixed colors, Dianthus Ipswich Pinks, & Dianthus Rainbow Loveliness. None of the seeds came up.I planted them outdoors at the end of May and nothing came up at all. They were packed for 1998. I bought them for my sunny flower bed and looked forward to them coming up for years to come. Can you help?|
|What a disappointment! While the dianthus in my garden occasionally self sow, it doesn't happen very often -- in my experience it is better to start dianthus seeds under more controlled conditions. Dianthus germinate fairly quickly at 68 degrees; I usually sow them very lightly and thinly on a clean commercial peat-based soil mix to which I add sand. Dianthus seeds absolutely require good drainage and seem to rot if buried too deeply or kept too moist during germination. After germination, I take care not to overwater them and pot them up into a well drained mix; finally when they are large enough I condition them and set them out into the garden. Once in the garden, most types can be propagated by cuttings and by division. |
Perennials can be "touchy" with regard to seed starting, at least in comparison to most annuals, but it is really rewarding so don't be discouraged!