MidWest Gardening forum: Experience growing stock flowers

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central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
May 30, 2020 12:16 PM CST
You know, this stuff: https://garden.org/plants/sear...

Have any of you ever grown this successfully in this region? From seeds or transplants? Any tips? I hear things about it being finicky about transplanting and intolerant of heat, which make it seem like a bad idea, but then I see comments from people who seem to grow it easily.

Is it a lot of trouble? Is the fragrance worth it?
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
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pepper23
May 30, 2020 7:01 PM CST
I say give it a shot. Gardening is one big experiment anyways. Thumbs up
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jun 1, 2020 6:31 AM CST
Different zone here but I started some from seed this spring. It germinated easily and transplanted without a problem. I wasn't gentle with the seedlings as the seed were so small they came up thickly.

They took off just fine and then got overpowered by the shade caused by neighboring plants. I think they are now goners.

I hope you will try them and post your successes or failures with them. Their fragrance is supposed to be wonderful!
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
Jun 1, 2020 6:34 AM CST
Mostly I'm looking at the right way to go about it in OUR climate.

Buy transplants? Sow directly? Start indoors? When? I find a lot of contradictory stuff, and want as much of a head start as I can get Hilarious!
central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
Jun 1, 2020 6:42 AM CST
Hi @pod ! I think we posted at the same time. D'Oh!

In Texas, were you growing it as a winter annual? What sort of temperatures were you having when you planted them out?

I did grow some Virginia Stock (Malcolmia maritima) this year, and it was cute, but not fragrant unless you stick your nose right on it. (difficult when it is only 3" tall!) It would probably need to be planted fairly heavily to put on a decent show. My little seed packet ended up pretty sparse.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jun 1, 2020 7:00 AM CST
I started seeds in early spring. We have had a mild spring so I don't think heat or humidity was the problem. I really think they had too little sun and we've had a good deal of rain.

Seeds germinate easily and transplanted without a problem but I would find transplants if you can. They will develop faster than seedlings.

Now I need to research and see if they would grow and bloom in our winter temps. Thanks for that thought.

Do let us know what you decide and how it does... Thumbs up
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Jun 1, 2020 8:54 AM CST
I have grown stock from seed in Texas. I was not going to reply because of the zone differences, but I will tell you what I know about it. It is not rated for your zone, but bare with me. I sow seed in spring and get little plants. I grow it in dappled shade in Texas. It is a biennial. No flowers the first year...but the next year in the spring...the flowers and fragrance are a wow. Usually the plainer single flowers such as the single white are the most fragrant. Fancier colors and double blooms generally have less fragrance.

The plant does not die over winter. In fact I have had some stock plants for over three years, before taking them out. I think they are biennial for flowering at first, but can be a tender perennial plant for a while. They do not die to the ground and come back as some biennial and perennials do. "Edit" in your zone try.... In spring, sow seeds in larger pots, let it grow and over winter in a green house or somewhere with sun. Here I plant directly in the ground.

I have heard that they were developing an annual, but not sure. Sometimes they call a plant an annual when they sell you a plant because it can not survive your zone. Which is how you would treat it, but realize its been grown the previous year. It does not flower on first year growth. And not all my stock plants have survived each year. Hopefully this helps a little bit!

May everyone be blessed with good health and a great gardening season!
One to take to heart....1 John 4
[Last edited by Altheabyanothername - Jun 1, 2020 10:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jun 1, 2020 9:08 AM CST
I have grown stock from seeds in the past and gotten them to bloom. Think of them as a spring/early summer flower like pansies. They like cool temperatures. I've only grown the dwarf varieties. I've had no problem getting the seed to germinate indoors under lights. I've also had no issues transplanting them. They bloom for me the same year. I do follow the instructions on the seed pack so I think I start the seeds in mid-late winter.

I'd be surprised if you can find any transplants for sale now. Where I am you can only find summer plants and it's been that way since late April.

I'd definitely try some next year from seed. They do smell wonderful!
central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
Jun 1, 2020 9:36 AM CST
Oh yes, I am definitely looking ahead to next year. The beds are full this year to start with Hilarious!

Do you remember what variety you used so I can read those directions?

Part of what I'm trying to tease out here is whether there are different varieties more suited for use as an annual, or if it's just a technique thing.

And if there is any approach that works better in the cold winter-short spring-hot summer climate given that there are obviously a lot of different ways to grow them.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jun 1, 2020 10:33 AM CST
This is the one I attempted https://sowtrueseed.com/produc...

@Altheabyanothername Hello! My heart is so happy to see you posting again. I am glad to hear your experience with Stock. I always appreciate your knowledge and your willingness to share it! Thank you, hoping all is well with you.
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Jun 13, 2020 4:34 PM CST
Good afternoon Planting Oaks!

Yes, Stock is happiest in cool weather but there is a heat tolerant Stock out there called Katz. I've grown it in zone 4b where the summer ranges from 75 to mid 90's and it did great! The spicy scent took over the yard. I planted them in mostly shade due to the heat intolerance but they bloomed rather quickly. In our colder areas Stock is considered an annual. How lucky the Texans are to have this wonderful plant come back every year! I am so jealous!

They seem to be finicky to start from seed though. At least to me. This spring I planted 4 2" peat pots and none of them sprouted. With me & Stock its always hit or miss.

Katz is 16" tall, plant the seed 1/4" deep, it likes cool temps to germinate 60-65 and can take up to 20 days to germinate.

I think I'll need to relocate the seed trays to a cooler room and just be patient!

I hope you get it figured out next year. If you do let me know your secret!

Meri

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