too late to plant perennial seeds

SusanF123(5)June 11, 2013

Sadly my newly planted perennials ( started from seed ) have fried in the last 2 days of 90+ degrees. Is it to late to start again? I was thinking to start in pots and keep them shaded when needed, until they are better established and a better chance of survival.

My front yard is an ugly scene :-( with NO Shade, so it is extremely hot these days. I am desperate to get things growing. I am sure my neighbors would appreciate it also...
Any help / advice would be greatly appreciated.

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What are you wanting to start? Do you have a master plan for the front yard? What is the soil like?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Yes I have a master plan, but that can be changed. My soil, I am not sure about. There used to be grass, that is all gone now. I have planted and had success with yarrow, liatis, penstemons, catmint,russian sage and salvia. These were not from seeds. This year I was trying some different penstemons, shasta daisy, bee balm, evening primrose, and liatris, but I am open to suggestions on anything that does well here. I did start a Palmer Penstemon last year from seed and it will be blooming soon, can't wait to see it :-) I am in the Springs area.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 7:47PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Susan,

If you're going to start them in pots you can start perennial seeds anytime. I'd recommend you start them in small pots, when they root to the bottom of those pots pot them up to a slightly bigger size and because of the summer heat grow them in those pots till it starts to cool some, probably in August sometime--by then they should be really well rooted and should transplant easily. Then they'll have all winter to be rooting in well and by spring you probably won't believe how quickly they take off. (Do water occasionally over winter if we're not getting precip.)

If you want to get a lot more things "the easy way" over winter consider trying Winter Sowing. If you've never heard of that go to the search box on the BOTTOM of the main RMG page and search "this forum" for "winter sowing" and you'll come up with some of the past WS threads on this forum. There's also a separate Winter Sowing Forum which will give you the basics. Starting them that way will get you small seedlings next spring that you can plant in the ground before it gets too hot so they'll be smaller than the ones you start this summer but they should do well next summer too.

If the "evening primrose" you're considering growing is the pink Mexican Evening Primrose, Oenothera rosea, I suggest you read the thread I'm linking below first! Invasive is an understatement!

Can't start these from seed, but if you want to put something in NOW that can take the heat even when it's getting started look for succulents, most common are the hen & chicks (Sempervivum) and sedums, both the groundcover kind and the upright ones. I'm on the far north end of Denver, up in Thornton, so you're a long ways away from me, but if you ever do get up this way give me a few days heads-up and I can get some sedum cuttings and some hen & chicks starts ready for you to pick up--along with directions about what to do with them!

You might also want to keep an eye out for the Fall Swap--we usually have two swaps a year--and if it happens this fall you could pick up some small starts for more perennials. Go to that same search box on the bottom and search for "swap" to find out more about them.

Have fun growing,

Here is a link that might be useful: PLEASE! Help me get rid of Oenothera 'rosea'

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Hi Skybird,
Thanks so much for the great info. I will get started asap. Also thanks for the heads up on the primrose. Wouldn't you know that is one of the few seeds that is thriving even in this heat. :-)

I will plan on going to the swap this fall, sounds like fun and lots of great plants to be found.
Thanks again and have a great evening.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Elraes Miller

If you are in Co Springs, a wholesale nursery is going out of business. There are many xeriscape plants and trees. The prices are low, low. 5 for one and five gallon shrubs, 20 to 30 for big trees, 2 for quart plants. The tree pots are huge and you would need a truck. I bought 3 flats of succulants for 2 bucks a flat. Some are not marked, so you need to know the plant. Lots of vines too.

It is the nursery next to the Humane Center off of 8th st. across from Walmart. Drive down the road on the west side. Hours are 10 to 2, Mon through Thurs. Their sign says closed or for sale, just ignore it. If the gate is open, they are open.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Hi Technicolor, Thanks for the tip, I will check it out!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 2:37PM
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