when can I plant foxglove, fairy wand, hollyhock seeds?

aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)June 2, 2010

Hey folks, I wasn't sure if this was the right place to ask... but I figured a lot of you grow these. I'm in Southern California, zone 9-10, SWz 18.

Can I plant foxglove, fairy wand, baby's breath and hollyhock seeds now...? If not, when should I sow them?

Thanks, my seed packets don't say and it's hard to get a good google hit for the information (I must be searching poorly).

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Where in SoCal are you?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 1:27PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

I'm near Santa Clarita, sunset western zone 18

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 2:29PM
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My rule of thumb for various plants that normally self-sow in the garden if I miss an early planting is to sow the seeds when the normal time the plant would set seed and drop them. They will go thru the normal cycle that way and bloom the following season. I'm not familiar with your growing climate - but if things are blooming now, give them a few weeks to set seed and it's good time to sow.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 3:04PM
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I think the trick is to find out what are your normal temperatures.

For foxgloves: they are good from zone 4 to 8. Germination. Min temps 16C or 61 F. Max. temps. 21 C or 70 F

I note you are from zone 9 and so assume it must be hotter there than the max. temps for growing foxgloves. Based on this, I doubt you will have success in growing foxgloves. However -- there are such things as microclimates and so who knows....

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:25PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I just checked out your weather, and if you find a slightly shady spot I think you can germinate all of these within a month, now.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:56PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

so I should sow them about a month from now perhaps? the normal foxgloves I had in my garden this spring are just now spent with their bloom.

Also, the foxglove seeds I bought are slightly different variety which is a little more tolerant? They're listed on the sites I looked at as going to zone 9.

I bought DIGITALIS Mertonensis, Digitalis thapsi, Digitalis grandiflora, Dierama pulcherrimum, CHAMOIS HOLLYHOCK, Gypsophila repens rosea.

on PlantFiles someone said "Digitalis x mertonensis seems to be more drought tolerant than Digitalis purpurea, and it blooms a couple weeks later." ? if that helps at all? but I figure it was worth a try regardless.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 5:56PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

No, sow them now. They should be up within the month. Yes, Digitalis Mertonensis is more tolerant.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 11:24PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Aimeekitty, you will have the best luck with direct-sown seed in SoCal if you wait until late fall through February to sow.

There are some annuals we sow in spring/early summer, like morning glories, cosmos, amaranth, zinnias, and vincas, but most seedlings will die in the heat come July and August.

You can sow hollyhock seeds now, but you will have better germination sowing late fall through early February. I would wait, since we have Hollyhock rust here and you usually only get a few seasons before your hollyhocks are toast. Make sure you get your plants off to a good start.

You should start your foxglove seeds six weeks early indoors for planting in the late fall. They will then bloom that spring. It is easier to buy small plants in the fall or winter and plant them. Also, when people say something is drought tolerant, they don't usually mean Southern California drought, so it's important to check their zone.

I have had no success with Baby's Breath and I have never seen it in a Southern California garden. I sure hope you grow it, because I would LOVE to see it. I grow a white Euphorbia instead to get a similar effect. We can also grow Bridal Wreath Spirea in partial shade here, and it looks a bit like Baby's Breath, but it's a large shrub.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:02AM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

I figured the seeds don't cost that much so I can give it a try. :)

The company I bought the seeds from recommended sowing them in August or Sept (I just heard back from them). I don't mind waiting, I just didn't want to do it wrong.

Thanks for the suggestions like Euphorbia and Spirea! My mom gave me a cutting of spirea that seems to be coming back after it's initial shock, I'll see how it goes!

I haven't seen my local nurseries carry these different types of foxgloves, or I'd just buy small plants in fall like you say.

Can I sow in small pots and leave them outside as long as I water them a lot? or do I have to get that whole fancy seed sewing indoor system going? haha... I know so little!

or should I just direct sow? Our ground is pretty hard clay, so that's my only concern with direct sowing

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:27PM
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