I thought it might be fun to see what perennials and biennials are blooming in their second year after winter sowing. I'm seeing my first blooms on an Aquilegia canadensis that I winter sowed last year. Anybody else seeing blooms from plants that were winter sown in 2009?
Perennial/Biennial Blooms from Winter Sowing 2009
I don't have any pictures to show...this is my first year but I have a questions. How much growth did you see in the greenery the first year from winter sown plants? Did they grow to the expected width and height the first year? I hope you don't mind if I lurk to look at the pictures.
diamond, They were mostly small the first year. I'd say about 1/2 the size of expected final width and height (this varied depending upon the plant). Some of my perrennials/biennials bloomed the first year (Echinacea "prairie splendor", Foxglove "camelot rose", Daisy "Alaska" and "crazy", Delphinium "Connecticut Yankee"). But, I'm expecting most of what I wintersowed last year to bloom this year. I can't wait!!!
still too cold here for anything blooming that was sown last year.
It's still too cold here, too. Even my established perennials 2 or 3 years old are just waking up from winter.
I have a question about echinacea. I have a few that are just too tall. They're nice enough but because they're so tall they have trouble standing up to our heavy rain and wind, and are often blown over. Does anyone pinch coneflowers? Will it make them shorter? Or just delay bloom?
Eat my heart out with that Aquilegia Canadensis, pgt! It's gorgeous!
I don't know why but I really slipped up and forgot to plant that columbine~~I wanted it for the hummingbirds. And also because I saw it planted in a historic garden with a coral bell that was red-flowered (something like H. firecracker, but I think it was native/natural)~~and it was a wonderful combination. So I sinned and ordered several A. canadensis plants from Prairie Moon nursery! Oh, well.
I don't have any pics of my 2008/2009 WSed plants, but I have a lot of them around in the garden~~I just spent the day thinning them out and rearranging. My digitalis looks great. Belles of Ireland, Canterbury bells, milkweeds, ironweed, echinaceas, rudbeckias, bowltonia, all look good too.
I love WSing!! So fun!
Let's see some more pics...?!
Kqcrna, you should try dmailing Echinaceamaniac - his name is actually Clint - he is an expert on coneflowers. If anyone on this planet will know, he will know!
My Verbascum "Shades of Summer" (seeds purchased from "Botanical Interests") that I wintersowed last year are starting to bloom. Looks like they are going to be a nice mix of purple, rose, and white. Here's a link to the seeds http://www.botanicalinterests.com/store/search_results_detail.php?seedtype=F&seedid=194
Absolutely georgous! Now I want purple tulips and purple verbascum. LOL
Thanks diamond! It makes me wish I had winter sown some more verbascum this year. They really make a nice cut flower, and I want MORE :)
Darn! I didn't wintersow verbascum either and yours are so cute! Lovely with the tulips, too!
I WSed them the first time I did it and had them for a few years but I guess they died out (or I pulled the seedlings thinking they were weeds.).
karen, I cut back some of my rangey echinaceas as Ms. Knapke advises for leggy perennials in her W-TPG book.
k., googled for some more experienced advice on echies and cutting back and found this advice from WFF:
"(Echinacea) Plants can be cut back by half in early summer, resulting in a later bloom time but more compact form."
I have to go into the basement to find my "Well-tended Perennial Garden" (Knapke) book today. It's about that time to start cutting back judiciously and dividing and separating and she is so good with all of that advice.
Do you cut your coneflowers back before winter? I was told that I should cut everything back before winter. This will be the first year I will have coneflowers. in my MG class they told us that everything should be cut back and cleaned up to prevent disease and to prevent pest from attacking plants. If I remember correctly, shrubs and bushes can be cut back 1/3 of the size of the bush and others can be cut back to 6 inches about ground. Cutting back is supposed to make the plant bushier.
You were talking about midseason trimming? I would love to know what you find out about cutting back during the growing season. I will have merlot, white and apricot coneflowers for the first time. I honestly would prefer more compact coneflowers over tall spindly. I will check my books to see what I can find out as well.
diamond, Yes, I was talking about mid-season trimming to keep the plants bushy rather than leggy. BTW If you don't have The Well-tended Perennial Garden book, I'm sure as a master gardener you will find it worthwhile. You can get it for $5 from Amazon's Used Book division: http://www.amazon.com/Well-Tended-Perennial-Garden-Planting-Techniques/dp/0881924148
I don't cut back too many perennials before winter anymore. According to some of the latest research it seems perennials with hollow stems seem to survive better if they are not cut back, at least in my winter wet climate (more rain than snow). The theory is keeping the plant intact will keep the rain water from running down inside the stems and causing rot.
Since I stopped cutting back Buddlieas until new sprouts shoot up in March, I've had excellent return.
Also I don't cut back such plants as coneflowers, rudbeckias, verbena bonarienses, etc. because the birds love the seed pods. Especially those goldfinches.
Diamonds the thing to remember about growning perennials is .. the first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap when it comes to their growth and bloom patterns.. so be patient which is hard I know...lol.
I will have to remember the sleep, creep and leap. I will order one of the books that givrs step by step insttruction on ca3ing for you plants/perreniels.
If I remember correctly, shrubs and bushes can be cut back 1/3 of the size of the bush and others can be cut back to 6 inches about ground. Cutting back is supposed to make the plant bushier.
I have two Spireas that are looking terrible.... like half dead. If i trim them all the way back, would they 'spring to life' ?
I'm honestly getting ready to pull them but i currently do not have anything to put in their place.
They were originally planted to hide things... 1) the water meter, and 2) i believe the irrigation system pipes.
I moved to my home 3 yrs ago and the azaleas were horrible... over grown, weirdly shaped and not full at all.. I butchered and I mean butchered them back.. and in 3 yrs they are now beautiful in bloom.. they filled in and look great so yes you can do it but you have to live with the results for a few years before they get to where you want them again..
Terese, yes I'm sure the rule of thumb is 1/3. But at the extension office we cut back two bushes back next to nothing. One had a disease (can't remember what) and the other was out of control. We cut it back 1/3 in the fall then trimmed back to "pretty" in this spring. We won't get blooms this year but we will have a healthy more attractive plant. I will post a picture tomorrow.
Beautiful pictures!!! PGT what is the pretty pink bush in the background?
This message was edited May 3, 2010 3:27 PM
diamond, thanks! The pink bush in the back of the geranium is an azalea.
Tabaso, I ordered the book you recommened. Thanks for the suggestion.
Terese, I will check my MG book to see if I can find more info for you.
PGT, your azalea is beautiful. I had one and my kids beat it to death with a basketball. Now I have a rhondo that I am praying thrives in the spot I have it in. I think I read they do best in eat sun. I am thinking about moving mine. What kind of sun does your azalea get?
We have azaleas all over all property, and they mostly get dappled sun/shade.
I would love to have azaleas/rhododendrons and blue hydrandeas instead of trees in my yard. LoL Unfortunately, azaleas don't live long in my area. Rhodos do a little better.
I found the info in my MG book for pruning Spirea. I have a publication from the Purdue Ext. Office. I can send to you if you want to have a copy. It says that if you need to immediately reduce the size of the Spirea, you can cut it down to ground level and new shoots will grow from the base. Let me know if you would like a copy. There's a lot of info on how, when and why to thin or prune.
This message was edited May 4, 2010 12:37 AM
diamond, Thanks for mentioning the Purdue extension info~~I googled and found their link (above) where they explain the two ways to rejuvenate a spring flowering shrub. I should get out there and do something with my forsythias.
pgt, love your perennial geranium. I haven't had loads of luck growing them from seed but did get some nice WSed ones last year. I think I bought my seeds from Specialty Perennials. Next time I'll try Swallowtail since yours are prettier.
diamond, I think you'll like the WTPG book. I love shaping my perennials and manipulating their growth patterns and timing to make the garden more 'artistic'. Like they say, gardening is 'art' only in four dimensions.
Tabasco, I can hardly wait to get the book. I think most of my books are about propagating. LOL I need a few reliable reference books that answer all of my questions about my plants/flowers.
Has anyone been able to put any compost down with all the rain?
I forgot : I HAVE the Well Tended Perennial Garden! Duh! Santa brought it.
k., that's what I thought! I think I bought it because you liked it so much!
LoL @ Karen you'll have to share some info from your book. What info is in the book that we may not know?
I read bits and pieces after Christmas, then put it away on a shelf. Can't even find time these days to read my novels, and I love to read.
That's understandable. My book should be arriving any time.
Another bloom from 2009 Winter Sowing! This is Aquilegia "Coral Star" (seeds from Swallowtail Gardens http://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/perennials/columbine.html)