Balvenie, I saw your comment about wanting to grow Meconopsis from seed. I actually got mine started last year under lights in the basement. 28 out of 50 seeds germinated. I kept the shop lights far enough away to keep the soil temp down to 60 F. I sowed them in Ball mix because it contains no lime. The peat pellets have lime in them. Trouble is, they got some sort of fungal (?) infection after they were about 4-5" tall, when I was hardening them off (and so did a lot of my other starts).
It was so tempting ... I think I'll try it again. Anyone have any organic-type suggestions on protecting them from infection?
I'd still like to be able to grow Mecs from seed, but after so many failures I'll go on to something else. One of the forums mentioned using chamomile tea to prevent damping off, and that had been one of my problems too. The only ones to grow were varieties of M. cambrica. For some reason the Welsh poppy likes it here. I wish you lots of success in the next batch, the blues are my favorite of all the flowers.
Thanks, balvenie, I took a look at the thread where that suggestion was made (damping off). Lots of suggestions, like putting perlite on top, and spraying a hydrogen peroxide solution. I've always watered seedlings from the bottom, but I've never sterilized the mix in the oven before. Tell me what you've tried that didn't work. Is it still "damping off" if the plants are 4-5" tall? I thought damping off applied mainly to teeny seedlings.
Damping off does apply to seedlings, but that's as far as my 'success' with Mec. seeds has gone. I've planted seeds in potting mix, seed starter mix, soil, under lights, and directly in the garden. The only way I have had flowering plants has been to buy budded plants from a Nursery. I suppose the $ 8.00 or so per plant is reasonable for the exquisite flowers they provide, though it would be nice if they stayed around for awhile. This year I didn't buy a single Mec seed, perhaps next year I'll relent and try it again. Please keep posting on your progress.
To prevent dampening off, wash all containers in bleach water, sterilize the planting medium (internal temp of 180F for 1/2 hr), and don't plant too thickly. Meconopsis grow wonderfully here, and I collect lots of seed every year, so if you would like some seeds with which to practice, just click on my name and check out my trade list. They have been in my freezer since harvest. Here's a picture of my white M. betonicifolia.
Weez, it's great to hear from you (I've been a fan of yours for a while now). That's a gorgeous picture. OK, I finally did it. Soaked everything in bleach yesterday (trays, cell packs, bowl for mixing, sprayer, ...). Soaked the seeds 24 hrs. in Seedsoak solution. Today I mixed in 10% grit and 10% perlite with some Pro mix (new bag). I wet it with hot chamomile tea. Popped those teeny seeds onto the mix, pressed 'em in, and put on the dome. Now they're in the basement. Lights will go on at 8 a.m.
Thanks for all the good advice! What time is it getting light these days in Seward, Weez? Hey, I once spent a summer in Chicken working for the BLM as a river ranger. I'd sure love to see the northern lights again!
Sounds like you are off to a good start with the meconopsis seeds. It gets light around 8 or 8:30 in the morning this time of year. Gosh, a summer in Chicken... that's really stylin'! LOL! The story goes that they called it Chicken because no one could spell ptarmigan.
Yes, and there were lots of ptarmigans. And peregrine falcons. And wolves, and caribou. The BLM folks thought I was nuts because I didn't want to carry a rifle (for bear encounters). I told them I had already spent 9 years hiking and working in grizzly country (Yellowstone) without a gun, and that since I couldn't shoot, what was the point?
I know that black bears spook relatively easily, but the brownies are a bit more unpredictable. However, moose are one of the more dangerous visitors we have here. They do not necessarily run when shooed away. Often they turn and charge... I know this personally... but that is another story.
Oh, I think we could have a great time trading moose stories, and by the way, I had a wonderful time looking through your seed offerings. I'll D-mail you if I think I can handle any more than I already bought! Most of them are Eschscholzias, so they're going to get sown outside. But I'm trying some very challenging ones indoors: the Meconopsis B. & Lingholm, and then some Schisandra chinensis, Rhodiola rosea (from Russia) and Gardenia jasminoides. These last three I'll try with the coffee filter method.
Weezer, the only way I've ever been able to get any poppy to germinate for me was to winter sow it. How well would the blue poppy do with winter sowing? Or would I be farther ahead to sow it and keep it inside for two weeks and then take it out side?? I have two packages that I'm itching to try it with. :)
If I were you, I'd try it both ways. Here is what Tom Clothier's germination tables show: "Germinates in low temperatures; 5 to 15ºC (41 to 59ºF) Meconopsis germ. quicker in a peat-based soilless compost." I've had Meconopsis sprout indoors under lights, and I've winter sown it. My first choice would be to wait until your temps are starting to warm in the spring, then winter sow them in a container under a clear domed lid or in a bottle that will allow moisture and light. In my opinion, it is much harder to keep the seedlings going than it is to sprout them. If you need more seeds, let me know. Mine have been in the freezer since I harvested them last fall. It is better that way... to keep them fresh.
I have just been directed to this cause I have not been successful with my Meconopsis. I got mine as a plant and it I guess has turned out to be a not Meconopsis. I will try again this year. I want one badly. Thanks Weesingreens. Steve.
Hi, Steve... not a meconopsis? If it is a very blue poppy, it is most likely of the Meconopsis genus. Now, there are several species to chose from, and some are more tolerant of cold or heat than others. I think that purchased plants are often mis-labeled, but it's pretty hard to miss that bloom color. I think our mild summers are more friendly for blue poppies. In hotter country, I think they are best planted where it is semi-shade with lots of moisture, but good drainage... not an easy combo. What did your poppy look like?
That is just it. It has grown here for 3 years and despite the texture of poppy leaf never Bloomed. Therefore I doubt that it is a Meconopsis. Though my friends say that it is a thistle. Well thistle thrives here and again it has never bloomed, it is soft and does not grow over 5" tall. This is the picture. I don't know what they sold me. Please note I have placed it on the east side of a tall bolder and it is shaded all the time except morning. So I don't know.
weezengreens, you should take a pH meter to that area that you said that they proliferate and self seed, and see if there is something special about the pH. If it is 4.5 to 5 or some other really low pH, then you may be up against a pH wass. Many plants only feed and thrive inside their pH feeding range, and outside that range they are most subject to soil born deseases like the 5 major damping off fungi. In addition, it would not be surprizing either to find out that two months in moist vermiculite, in the refrigerator helps them get going. If I had a stash of them in the freezer right now, I would be wetting them down and putting them into the fridge to absorb some moisture. I would probably want to germinate them in something sandy for a lw=ow pH. Hope that helps, Frank
Hi, Frank... all good ideas. I know that keeping the seeds as fresh as possible is important. Mine go in the freezer right after harvest. Peat is suggested for germination, so I would think they prefer a bit of acidity. I've had germination under lights, indoors, in a sterilized starter mix with a peat base, vermiculite, and some finely ground perlite. Germination is far less difficult that keeping them going. I saw a few germinating in the mix yesterday, so it is my plan to put them on the lowest shelf where it is cooler once they have fully germinated. It is certainly too early to set them out, as it was 6F this morning. The growers at the Blue Poppy said the seedlings are surprisingly cold hardy, but I'd like to see it in the upper 30's before I took a chance.
Hi, Bluewolf -- I got my seeds from Swallowtail. I know they were viable last year, since I had 28 out of 50 germinate. (That's with not a lot of experience, too.) Now I am waiting for this year's batch to germinate.
I clicked on your name, went to your home page, then to trade list, but then didn't know where to go from there.
I haven't had much of a chance to play on this board so I have no experience.
I had "registered" in July but couldn't kigure out how to get it to work so I just gave up.
And yesterday I got scolded for hoggin the puter so I had to quit again/
And now I have to get ready for work so alas no time again.
Maybe this afternoon
Bluewolf, Weezer is in the address exchange. On the DG's homepage go to the extras tab and from there go to the address exchange and you should be able to find Weezer there... I think to get access to that part of Dave's you have to put your address in the exchange, too.
I take it you're not a subsciber? Well, then you can send Weezer a d-mail and ask for the information directly from her. You should also know, that sometimes folks prefer to trade only with subscibers. You can always subscribe and reap full benefits of Dave's Garden. It's the best money I've ever spent.
Wolfie, forgive you for what? There is nothing to forgive! :) People are supposed to ask questions, that's what this place is mostly about. :)
So, like did you have to jump the two hours ahead thingy? Wasn't there some place in Indiana that had to do that? I'm actually doing better with DST this year than I thought I would... or maybe it hasn't hit me yet. :)
Here in Indiana ALL of the state now has to "jump" ahead one hour.
I was just really really tired yesterday. We had a long past 5 days.
My boyfreinds granny died on Wednesday had to leave work run his Mom all over the countryside( he is a truck driver ) and of course she wasn't buried here in Ft. Wayne.
Then work on Friday. Saturday the festivities for me started at 3am (couldn't sleep in noooo that would be to easy! :)) didn't get to bed till 10pm. Sunday was exhausted.
Monday back to work and DST and not much sleep (he snores)
Don't know if I am going to get the swing of this or if I am just going to stay tired for 6 months
I know it is good for the whole more daylight thing but for some of use really early risers it stinks
Well gotta get ready for work
Take care and have a beautiful day (it's supposed to rain here all day)
Hi, Roserairie. This is an old thread that I just happened to still have on my watch list. I think winter sowing could work just fine, since Meconopsis can self-seed on their own. Two things could stand in your way... the first being the number of seeds you purchased. If you only got a few seeds, winter sowing may not afford the success rate you need... the second is how the seed was stored before it was sold to you. I freeze my seed right after they are harvested to keep them fresh. Fresh or frozen seed is the best bet. I start mine under lights in propagation trays indoors in the spring.
I bought these sees this year from an ebay seller. Don't know where she gets them but I am thinking it might be a wholesaler like Hazzards. I'll toss them in the freezer and try to winter sow them. I think I have 10 seeds. I don't have much luck with starting indoors but I had really good succes with wintersowing. I could try both and just buy new seeds again. I don't even know if they do will in my zone but they're so beautiful. Have never come across them in a nursery though.
Thanks for responding to my post. Wish me luck!
Rose, if you have good luck with winter sowing, then give it a try. I'm just concerned that your seed may not be viable, or as viable as needed for 10 seeds. Putting them in the freezer is a good idea, but if they have not been stored in the freezer or freshly harvested this fall, you may not get good results. Last spring, I started trays of seeds collected in 2006 and 2007. Both trays had good results, but both years' seeds had been stored in the freezer after harvesting. E-mail me if you'd like to trade for some of my fresh seeds.