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Hard to germinate?

Posted by Geraldo Cent. WA z6b (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 17, 03 at 9:44

Are flowers such as celosia, larkspur, Bells of Ireland, and just generally all of the flowers that are used for drying, hard to germinate and grow to transplant stage? I know, very broad question. How would they compare to peppers and tomatoes?
What are the better seed companies from which to place orders? I buy from Johnnys every year and will likely get my seeds from them if they do as good with the flowers as the veggies, but I have been looking at Park's website, also. Oh, I wish it was spring. I can't wait!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hard to germinate?

Many flowers for drying are very easy. The easiest ones are helichrysums, annual statice, gomphrena, xeranthemum, helipterum, winged everlasting (ammobium) and golden everlasting (lonas annua). Celosia is a little tricky because it is extremely frost sensitive and it also hates to be stunted. I start them late in the season indoors, make sure it's warm when I plant them out, and move them up from smaller to larger cells/pots if necessary so their roots don't get crowded.

Larkspur seems to be very easy for some folks in some places, especially places where it can be sown in the fall to overwinter and bloom in the spring, then self-sow. I have not found it easy sowing in the late winter/early spring, whether I sow direct, sow in peat pellets in a cold frame, etc. One problem may simply be that the foliage is attractive to the local fauna.

I think that bells of Ireland requires a cool spell for germination. I haven't grown them, since I understand that they don't dry particularly well -- they need glycerine, and even then lose the green color that makes them attractive as a fresh cut flower.

Johnny's is a good source, and Parks is ok, but you might also look at Stokes -- they have a good selection of things like helichrysums in separate colors.

RE: Hard to germinate?

Thanks, Neil. Saved me from trying Bells of Ireland, at least this early in my experiance.

RE: Hard to germinate?

Hey there: I have found a lot of interesting seeds for dried flowers in Thompson & Morgan's catalog. Usually more colors, more variety and exellent quality.-Sandy

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