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I have a number of packets of Aquigelia seeds that I traded a couple of years ago. I believe they are all '06. I would like to try to start these seeds via the baggy method. I am understanding that not all of the seeds will sprout, given their age. But I also think that I should get better germination from using the baggie method.
I have seen where using the baggie method recommends putting the baggie with the coffee filters into the fridge for 1 day. I believe that Aquilegia needs a cold period in order to germinate, so I question whether this is long enough in the fridge.
Has anybody else started Aquilegia from seed using this method? I'd appreciate your input on this and how you were able to get your seeds to germinate.
If the seeds were freshly harvested, they would germinate more or less right away. Also, if they were hybrids, then they should start without having to be cold stratified. But if they are from the species, then they most likely need a period of cold stratification lasting 2-3 months. I don't think putting them in the fridge for one day is going to do anything one way or the other.
I just lay mine on top of the sterile seed starting mix. Do not cover them with more mix as they need light to germinate. I slide my seed tray in a gallon baggy and put on kitchen table under light and in about 5 to 10 days they are germinating.
Soon as I se e sevral coming up, I open the baggy a tiny bit so the seeds don't mold, when I have a good bunch germinatign then I take the whole tray out of the baggy and put under grow lights.
I never have put the seed sin the fridge to try to germinate. Now I do as soon as my seedlings fairly big enough slowly subject them to a cold chill from the outside weather if I want them to bloom the first year. They will lose the leave s they have put up while chilling in the cold and then when warmign back up will put up new leaves and eventually blooms.
Thank you both for your replies. What I ended up doing was to broadcast half of the seeds outside. The other half are in the fridge - I am trying the baggie method.
The Columbine seeds are from 06. I can't remember if the lady I traded with told me whether they had been prechilled or not and I beleive they were open pollenated - although I am not positive of that either. I guess time will tell. I would be happy with even a 20% germination rate.
Paracelsus is right about the common cultivars - many do not need any prechill. Many of the species do need a prechill - probably a minimum of 4 weeks, 8 weeks is usually better. GA-3 gives good germination for many of the dormant kinds. As for 2006 seed, two-year old seed of some Aquilegias will germinate better than fresh - the dormancy diminishes with aging, and they won't need as much cold or GA-3. Figure Aquilegias will give you good germination for 5 years unless stored in a hot humid place.
Broadcasting outdoors now should be fine. I think you will end up with plenty of nice plants.
I've had really good luck winter sowing columbines (Aquilegia). That's a method that provides them with any necessary chill period. Broadcasting works too, but winter sowing in containers gives me a better chance of getting seedlings that survive... I baby my seedlings a little more than most folks on the winter sowing forum, potting them up for the summer and planting them out in fall.
I store my Aquilegia seeds in the fridge. I'll sow some more on Groundhog's Day... look for my article on winter sowing that day and join me! :-)
JL - I hope you are right and that I end up with some plants.
Critterologist - interestingly, I have wintersown the aquilegia seeds for 3 years in a row and that is the one type of seed I always had a problem with. I must have been doing something wrong - I had good germination with a whole assortment of other types of seeds, but always a problem getting the aquilegia to germinate. I am looking forward to your article - maybe I will find out what I did wrong.
Carolyn, I've only had a couple of varieties that didn't germinate from WS seed, and I assumed that was because there was a problem with the seeds... I'm not sure what to suggest, other than offering to send you some seeds to try if you think that could be the problem.
Last year I started a columbines (Aquilegia), in the greenhouse, It took a long time for them to germinate, I just about gave up on them, (these were seeds I ordered from Mountain Valley seeds and I always have great luck with them). I checked my plant guide, and they are it listed germination temp at 50 where usually its 70, and also listed germination time as 30 days! So now I keep them cooler.
Let me know how they do.
I've never had problems getting my columbine seeds to grow either. I winter sow my seeds since they like wet stratification. You really have to keep them from drying out to do well.
I watched Gardener's diary where the lady sowed her hardy seeds directly into her brick path. The bricks kept it warm and wet and then she just had to move the bricks to replant stocky, fat seedlings. I decided to make a 4x4 raised bed with bricks and sand and that's where I broadcast my hardy seeds all winter long as I get them. I cover the bed with a homemade hoop tent in February with an old rice cooker filled with water to keep it a little warmer only on the most cold of nights here in Iowa. I have always had strong, unstunted plants to move into my gardens by May this way. I think my success is that the bricks keep just the right amount of moisture by mimicking the way the seeds grow in the wild.
I am so ticked at HgTV -lower case "g" because they hardly have any GARDEN!
They canceled the show until a bunch of us internet gardeners screamed long and loud. Guess if it's not a remodel,
then someone isn't making enough money lol.
Oh neat, if you go to the website http://www.hgtv.com/gardeners-diary/show/index.html
you can click on episodes and watch online for free.
These are all repeats, will have to find the episode that had the brick lady on it. I loved
it when Erica asked her how she planned her garden. "Oh", she said, "Once
I was all about following other peoples rules and then one day, I figured out
I was old enough not to follow any rules at all" - LOVED it! :).
She says she just scatters seeds and grants the rain and the wind time to garden.
She also mentioned she butchers out any plants that don't thrive right quick like.
She was one of my most favorite inspirations for sure.
I haven't seen that one - I'll have to look for it. I love Gardeners Diary too. I have it set to record on my tivo whenever it comes on. I have to look for that episode - I don't think I have seen that one. Thanks for the infor
They do seem to be persnickety - but the thing that gets me is the plant growing out in the garden throws off these seeds and they sprout. So I am wondering if I am trying too hard with these seeds. Of the packets that I tried sowing last January, the ones that I broadcast outside did the best. I will probably do it that way again with the aquilegia seeds.
its seems that hgtv has lost there way to the g for garden and are only interested in bulky men doing reno programs lol some of us do not like those shows all the time a little variety would be nice lol
I hope this brings a smile. I've lost the first post I wrote with fat finger syndrome and hope I can recapture the fun.
In my blog, I am testing sowing methods for columbine. The first test was 1 part verm/2 parts peat moss and then winter sown. I put it in clear Dixie cups so I could calculate germination rate. ďPoorĒ brother was tossed out last night where temps got down to -2.
Now thatís a test of hardy seeds eh?
Test 2 was pampered Gardenerís Diary style. Where I live, columbine grow in the crevices of limestone bluffs. I went to Menards where this young man was loafing and made him go out in the frigid yard to get me my bag of sand and medium limestone. The joy on his face was a sight to behold. After three attempts to pick up the brittle bag of stone, I got a box and helped him shovel in my now three bags of pebbles, which now I purchased for a dollar. You donít think that I didnít put that little tidbit in the evil part of my mind now do you?
I wondered if peat was too acidy so I used 1 part sand, 2 parts composted leaf mold (my own compost thank you), 1 part verm and 3 oz of dolomitic limestone. I then topped it with a layer of pebbles, making for a lean, mean limey mix. To replicate the action of the seeds being creviced in the rocks, I added a nice blanket of snow that will melt one day hopefully and bury the seeds. Out he went to join his brother.
Thus is my interpretation of putting seeds to bed ;). Bets anyone on who will be the more rugged strong seedling?
The named seeds will go in my brick bed but I have more fun coming in the mail, How shall I sow it next??????
LOL! I can almost hear Igor in the background asking "Do you want the electricity on now?"
You've inspired me - I'm going to take some seeds and toss them onto the ground tomorrow to see which ones come up and do best - those that Mother Nature takes care of, or the ones I pretend I'll get to grow :-) All I gotta do is scoop the snow away first, so the birds don't get them.
Mindy - you have inspired me too. I have a couple of packs of aquilgeia seeds that are sitting here. I need to do something with them. I want to put them outside, but once again we are getting hit with another storm of the century! That gets old
Dryad - I try to see Igor in the back with the electricity too, but somehow I end up seeing Marty Feldman in 'Young Frankenstein'. LOL - If I remember correctly he pronounced it "I"gor...
I found that the best way to grow them is to go out as soon as the ground starts to melt and just put them where I want them to grow it still get cold at night and they are usually up in about a week and what works even better and is easier is to put them in place just before the first winter storm cover them with a little bit of soil and leave them in place for winter in the spring they do their thing and voila columbines
I have started some by just filling the bottom of the flat with two inches of soil and making it wet then putting in the seeds and putting it in the garage for two weeks in zone 5 it is very cold out there and then bringing it in to heat up and then they come up in about two weeks good rate like that
Thanks Mona - that will be much easier for me, first because I'm generally inclined to let Mother Nature do the work for me, second because we got a gift of about 10" of snow overnight, so there's no way I could be spreading them now :-)
Carolyn, I actually had Young Frankenstein in mind too!! GREAT movie. (Although my parents didn't find it funny for some reason, they preferred Blazing Saddles.)
You have Purrfect weather for winter sowing - ra-ha-ha-ha-ha
I would put something like a showbox with the bottom cut out so I know where the seeds are
pull back just a bit of snow and then toss the seeds on top of the snow. I've used
food coloring to spray the snow and mark the bed too. Then as the snow melts, the seeds
will scarify on thier own. I like having a container for portability and to lessen
the weed germination.
Tonight I'll be out in my MG fence popping out those seeds right on top of the snow.
We are supposed to get 8 inches this weekend so perfect timing :)
Well, covering in 4" shouldn't be a problem - it's getting to the area to "pull back" a bit of snow that may take some time...I had planned a bit over to the right, where the leftover Aster is sticking up...
that's it - far more people with experience than me have had WS luck with these beasties. I'm gonna plan out how to get them where I want them, and then do some traipsing later today. Some will go on the north side of the house, by the neighbors drive - where no one walks, so they should be fine there. The others - gonna have to find a shoebox to sacrifice to the seeds.
I cant get to where I want mine the snow is to deep up to my ying yang so I will have to wait till it melts about half and then maybe I will make so that is why I started some and will sow the rest when I can make it there
paying for global warming here to since it has been colder this year than any winter in many many years he made a mistake I thing and its the ice age lol
as far as your weather in spring its the same here as soon as you see soil just pick at it and drop the seeds or now under some snow they will be fine they are real perennials just make sure they will have shade since they are shade plants
ya me to I start twelve or more flats every year but now with the bigger property last summer I ran out plant I couldnt believe it never happened before so I just called up my sisters and they gave me a big bunch since they do the same thing
ah - a family of enablers!! Fortunately our house is so old that the electrical system is the older 100 watt (or whatever it is) vs. the newer 200 - or I'd have four more light racks set up, and then I'd be in real trouble...
how are the columbines doing for everyone mine are starting to sprout since I planted the flat and then I left it in the garage for three weeks then brought them inside to warm up yesterday the one came up and another today
so now I have two babies hoping for more since I put in about 75 seeds lol
OK, the big rains are done here - so today's the day I'm gonna get some of those babies sown on the north side of the house. I've got some William Guiness, Roman Bronze and Road House Dwarf that I'm putting out to see how they do "au naturale". I ponied up some money a couple years ago for the long white plastic stakes, and will put one of those in the middle of each patch so I know where they're supposed to show up, and which ones they are :-)
I also remember from last year's Piggy Swap discussion that the Aquilegia with the spurs are the ones the hummers like, so I'm trying to focus on making sure I get those out there too. I've got a yellow with spurs that I'm trying to figure out where to squeeze in for the hummers...
ive done that to lol planted some seed of something and they next spring I was all happy well it was not what I planted but some weed it never did flower by august I figured it out
oh well one mans weed is another ones treasure hahahahha
well do not have any of the three leaf stuff I checked that out before we bought the house
actually after talking to many people in the area none of them have ever seen poison ivy around here so I am happy with that since the stuff is so hard to eradicate
as weed is anything that multiplies faster than you can pull it out lol hahahhaha
There's another layer of snow coming tonight so I went and put the seed into just another ara of my garden for another test plot. This really works well with my bachelors buttons. I've gotten the earliest blom by waiting until the weather was in the 40's with anticipaction of new snow. The plants really don't like to be moved.
I was really worried about my winter sown ones. We had temps in the 60's here and I was hoping they wouldn't think spring was here and germinate early. So far so good although I did put another pile of snow on them. Cna't wait to post pictures of the earliest seedlings!
I know it's still February - but I just don't want to deal with more snow. Perhaps it will have burned itself out by the time it reaches the east - my fingers are crossed. For the first time in a very long time, I was able to see my fish - oh and the birds were singing this morning. I am so ready for Spring - I have already been out in the yard looking to see what is growing so far - nothing yet - but one can hope!
I took one of my winter sown container ones and left it outside just for two weeks
and then brought it in the greenhouse. I had to look with a magnifier but the top
layer of dirt is crusted up and I can see leaves - if you can call them that :).
The rest of them are all nestled in the inch of snow we got last night - lovely :&
I just also potted up 380 trees I received from DNR, my cup overfloweth and I need a bigger
greenhouse already! thank goodness for winter sowing!
I live in an area (Southcentral Alaska) with a short growing season, so I start most seeds indoors. Aquilegia love my climate, and it is one of my favorite perennials. I start them indoors under lights. I chill seeds for a week or so just to give them an edge, and after I plant them in trays, I leave them under lights in domed flats, misting as needed, until germination. If they don't germinate, I put the domed flats out on the porch when the temps start getting in the 40's F. I usually have more columbine seedlings than I need.
well mine sat in the garage at -16 to -39 for three weeks brought them in and I just put them in the basement where its about 15C and two weeks later all kinds now they have a second set of leaves and doing well about inch and half tall four different kinds in the flat I just put the soil directly in the flat and it works great now I also have four flats of them sitting outside in the snow they will come up when ready those I will plant late summer or early fall for next year blooms
They mentioned that dratted word AGAIN Carolyn. At least we are only getting a few inches here and there. My Aunt that lives in BoothBay Harbor, Maine is still trying to get back to normal after the dumping they had!
I definitely had enough season for all my winter sowing projects!
Here's a tale to make you grin:
A packet of Globemaster alkiums must have dropped out of my shopping bag last fall when I bought all the leftover seeds from Walmart. Hubby was using tractor to get the snow off and I saw the package
just before he dumped it. Thought it would NEVER germinate so I tossed it in the compost pile. Went to turn it over and here are these three seedlings desperatly trying to get some sun. I rewarded that kind of effort by potting them up
Looked this morning and only ONE is surviving - CRAZY! Guess benign neglect is better than providence :).
I think I will start another flat now that the fist ones have two sets of permanent leaves
maybe its time to start more counted have about 82 of them so far not sure it will be enough to fill the area so I am thinking a second flat would make sure to have enough for the area and if any left over oh well I have space in other areas
That's a good return on seeds, Scicciarella. You must have the knack. Every year I plant columbine seeds of all sorts, thinking my little pots of them outdoors will not winter over, but most all do. Consequently, every summer I have a table 4 ft wide and 24 ft long full of aquilegia of every kind. I'll never sell them all or set them all out anywhere. I have short-spur, long spur, clematiflora, stellata, flabellata, and much more. They love our cool climate and always do well for me.
they look wonderful! I think I see what I am doing wrong. How long are they out before you bring them in and how long are they inside before they go back out? I ws'd some more and I am beginning to think that I will need to bring them in for a couple of weeks and then go out again. I always just left them out in the past.
I sowed them in the flat itself with 3 inches of soil damp and put them in the garage which was really cold left them out for three weeks and then brought the flat inside allowed it thaw over night made sure there was enough moisture and put a dome on it would check soil and spritzed it as necessary it only took about 10 days and they all started to germinate as soon as the baby leaves started to come out I opened the dome a couple of inches for a few days and then a little more at the end of a week I took it off
now they are sitting in a east window so they only get sun first thing in the morning but bright light all day and they are growing like weeds
second flat I just took the dome of this week end so they are about a month behind but will catch up by planting time outside this is the third time I have done them since this is my third house after the first one are out I just transplant babies in the spring since I just take the seeds of the mother plant and add them at the base for more plants the next year
I didnt get a change to put the seeds out in the garden last fall that is why I am doing them inside this winter could have saved myself so much work, all perennials can be sown in the late fall just before the first snow storm and they pop right up in the spring
I start mine in the basement, and except a few, they don't really need the special stratification. I have so many pots of aquilegia wintering over in pots under the snow, that I have no business starting any new ones, but I can't help myself. This one is called green apple. It is very similar, if not the same as a white Barlow, but claims to be green in the opening stages. I guess they know that green flowers are sought after.
I threw some Green Apples seed out last year and 1 germinated. I see that it is coming back, so I am anxious to see flowers. I put it, all by itself in the front, in the Heuchera bed. I am hoping with the other Aquilegias out in the back yard, that this one stays pure and doesn't cross pollinate. I know, tell that one to the bees! ☺
I think people are always looking for unusual new flowers to grow, but, if you think about it, a truly green flower is likely to get lost in the foliage from across the yard. This is a rose pink clematis type with single or semi-double blooms. The plant was grown from seeds I received in trade from a DGer from England. It's a lovely plant.
These are not clematis, but Aquilegia that are considered a clematis type. (but you probably already knew that!) They do hang from the plant like a clematis and the petals are much the same. Though I guess they could be considered single varieties of the types that are considered in the Barlow family, they just seem a bit different to me. I have no idea what the name of this one is. It was seed collected from her garden allotment. If it comes up and does well, I should have some seed this coming fall.
This is a lovely short spur type that has two shades of pink. The seeds came from New Zealand... another DG trade from years back.
I thought thats what it was since I have one that is probably the same but never heard it called that since I buy so many seeds I may have forgotten the name I have almost every columbine grown and known to man at this time lol I just love them I think I am just a little obsessed with them hahahhahahah
Hi, Onewish. Mine is more of a shortspur, but yours reminds me of a rose version of the Rocky Mountain columbine. Whatever it is, it's a beauty!
Scicciarella, I grow lots and lots of aquilegia, as well. They like our cool, damp summers. I haven't started a lot of them this spring, because I have hundreds of plants in pots I need to sell already. Some are already three year plants, so they'll need bigger pots this year.
Here is a picture of the same pink McKana in my south bed. I don't have big beds of aquilegia, as I am an avid seed collector, and I like to keep them separated out to avoid cross pollination. However, many of my close-ups are from isolated plants or the ones on the sales tables that are in pots. As a group, they don't make for a very pretty picture, but up close, they do.
Here's a Nora Barlow... the first of the Barlow's I grew before I purchased a package of mixed colors. Since then, I plant the individual colors, as it takes two to three years to know what color it will be.
Weezie - I have to disagree. The picture of the many aquilegias is gorgeous. The colors are spectacular. I love the Nora Barlow too. I am trying Nora again - I didn't get her to germinate before. I had tried a packet of seeds with the Barlows and ended up with a Granny's Bonnet - Dorothy Rose type of plants - some pink and some white.
Mindy - wondering if you have seen anything yet on your sowing methods that you showed us above or is it too soon?
I have been growing them for 15 years havent found a single one I dont like I have pretty well every kind know I also collect the wild woodland kinds which are very small, also all of the barlows and mckanas and the orientals this winter I started again four full flats of them and they will bloom the first year if started in the fall and planted outside so the leaves fall of and regrow the first year they will bloom in june but it is a change to take because if the plants are to small they will die and not leaf out again
That surely is a beauty! Since Aquilegia grow so well here, I've been trading seeds with people all over the world over the years, thanks to Dave's Garden. In the process, I've been privileged to share seeds, as well. From the dwarf flabellatas to the Giant McKanas, they are all beautiful, and most start easily from seed indoors. A few need a bit of winter sowing or stratification, but for the most part, I grow far more than I can sell or plant in beds.
Or local wild columbine is A. formosa, similar to A. canadensis, but the flowers have longer spurs and are more star-like. Here's a photo.
the wild ones I have here are also the red like yours but without the spurs
they are very simple and only 5 to 6 inches tall I call them the shrimps for lack of size
I dead head mine and keep them blooming till the end of july of the beginning of august
most people dont do that and wonder why they have such a short bloom season
I only allow the last blooms to go to seed
I would guess that yours are A. canadensis, but I don't know that for a fact. They are very similar to our A. formosa. I allow the A. formosa to grow in beds along the perimeter of my yard, but I discourage them from growing in my beds, as they hanky panky with my cultivars and I like collecting seeds from the domestics. This one is what I believe to be A. canadensis. It popped up alongside the A. formosa, but looks quite different.
I was so sad last year when I had to sell my house and move from toronto to ottawa
that is why I am starting so many this year since it was not possible for me to take the plants the purchaser actually stated in the offer that nothing could be taken from the garden beds lol I still took some spring bulbs and stuff that was not visible when they came to the house but since we only had to weeks before the close and it was a government transfer it went way to fast for me.
so now I am trying to get some garden beds going at the new location
found a few things but obviously the old owner didnt like columbines and I found only the wild ones, but since I had grown them for so long I had many seeds of each kind that I am growing now but will not have the blooms till the fall or next spring some will bloom this summer since I started to grow them last fall but only had so much space
so as you can tell I am one very sad columbine lover lol since I will not see any blooms early this spring
they are clementine red
I like them
what I did find on this property that I have never seem before is
one that looks just like clementine but in yellow so cute but cant
find any into on it starting to wonder if its a columbine at all will
have to look for it again this spring and take good pics and
post them to confirm they are columbines lol the leaf is right
and the flower looks right but in yellow lol
Weez - great photo - everything looks so healthy and fleshy :).
I'm at work so I don't have thier names. I mean to get on the computer every night but all those seeds
keep calling my name :).
The seeds I put in a bag with homemade paste didn't do anything despite the cold stratisification (sp). This weekend
I just put them in the garden to hopefully sow on thier own.
The 10 9x13 containers I am winter sowing is still outside. It's still a bit too cool yet gor germination.
I brought in 5 containers and they germinated within 7 days insdie the greenhouse. One of the varieties has varigated leaves. They are just too cute :).
The ones I did in baggies have been in the baggy for a week now post sprout. I keep forgetting to put them in their own pots but they are still doing well.
Will post pictures as soon as I can. My hubby got my hoop house up and running so I'm rotating out the ones that can handle the 60's that's in there and only keeping the seeds that need 70 to germinate (squash, tomoatoes ect.) You know when they tell you the greenhouse is never big enough - it's never big enough :).
I love the columbine with unusual leaves, as they keep green all summer here, and unusual foliage adds interest in the garden. The first variegated ones I grew were 'Woodside', a form of A. vulgaris, short-spurred and usually pale blue. The foliage is really the calling card, but some have lovely flowers of different colors, as well.
Yes, I have used the baggie method, often called Deno. I use it for 99% of my seed sowing. I don't use filters because they are too stiff. Instead, I use kitchen paper towels because they are softer and hold moisture better. I get a higher germination count with this method, rather than sow straight into sowing mix.
Here is how I do it:
Cut a kitchen paper towel in half, wet and squeeze out excess. Fold the towel in 1/2 and place seeds in a corner. Fold one end over the seeds, then fold again. You will have a square. Place this in a ziplock baggie, zip it but leave room for you to blow it up like a balloon, then quickly close it. The air will stay if the track are lined up correctly on the bag. This allows the seeds to "breathe", rather than have the plastic laying on the package. Place the baggie in the fridge for stratification for 2 weeks. After that time, place it in room temperature. Should begin to sprout within 2 weeks, with stragglers taking longer.
When you see a radical (root) develop, the seed has germinated and ready to grow. Pick the seed up with a tweezer, holding the seed by the seed coat. Make a hole in the sowing mix with a pencil and gently guide the seed into it. Make sure that when you plant the sprouted seeds that the roots are placed downwards in the soil. Place the seed just under the level with the surface so it receives some light. Do not cover with soil.
Aquilegia chrysanthea seeds sprouting by the Deno method prior to placing in sowing mix. Those that haven't sprouted have swelled and are ready to sprout. These were placed in paper towel on 2/17. Photo taken 3/20.
This variety is native to the canyons of the southwest and easiest to grow and maintain.
I forgot to mention that seeds don't have to be fresh to germinate. I have germinated seeds that were 5 years old. It is when seeds are harvested, and how they are stored that is more important than the age.
The 2 secret ingrediences for germinating all Aquilegias seeds are cold (refrigeration) and moisture for at least 2 weeks, followed by room temperature.
for some reason I first two flats did really well and the last one has yet to spout anything
and I am an old hand at doing seeds lol but they are just being mean to me it now has been almost three weeks and not a one has come up oh well I will be patient and if nothing in another 2 weeks they will visit outside again for more cold and at that point it will be good to just leave them out since they are perennials
this is a picture of the second flat that I just transplanted into pots last week they are doing great
Hi, I store my seeds in prescription plastic bottles, then all are placed in a plastic shoe box in the fridge. Those that are hard to germinate that have double dormancy, I store in my freezer if I run out of room in the fridge.
The seeds that I buy from wherever, I keep in its original package, then place in a ziplock baggie to keep moisture out.
To collect seeds from your plants, wait until they are ripe. You can tell by the stem the seed head is attached to. It will turn lifeless and hard since plants shut off nutrients to seed stems to save energy for the rest of the plant. It also enables the seeds to dry and fall so they can germinate.
Best time to collect seeds is early afternoon on a sunny day to prevent moisture. Spread out the seeds on a kitchen paper napkin placed in a container. Move the seeds around each day so each side will have a chance to cure. Allow at least 2 weeks for them to cure and dry before storing.
The Deno method works great but you need to know if a variety needs stratification, or not. Those that do, need to go in the fridge for at least 1 week. Some have double dormancy and need cold, warmth, cold, then warmth again. Such is the case of some Penstemons and Clematis. They sprout erratically. Aquilegias, in variety, can also be difficult to germinate. They too need stratification.
Be aware that seeds from hybrids do not come true from seeds. They have the genes from their parents. To me, that is fine since I have most variety of plants that will grow in my zone and dry climate. I collected the dust-like seeds from Delosperma cooperi (Iceplant) last year. Since I have 4 varieties that bloom all summer, it will be interesting to see what I will get. The seedlings are adorable, see photo. These were directly surface sown in fine seeding mix. Germinated in less than 2 weeks without stratification.
those look so cool I have some maybe I will try to grow them
this morning as I cleaned out flowerbeds I found all kings of seeds from last year so I collected them and now have to decide where I want them since I will just directly sow them outside
I have to many inside right now no more space lol so now perennials will just have to do the natural thing
Woodside seeds produce mostly variegated seedlings, though some are not. I imagine they were a hybrid from some sport a long time ago, but have been bred for so long that they come back pretty true from seed. The variegation does vary from plant to plant. Some have a slight mottling, while others have vivid stripes... some are just a very yellow-green... all interesting.
Believe me, my plants don't have a chance to get too much sun. Between the mountains & the trees, I'm lucky to get a full day's sun. The color of the leaves in the picture is normal for this variety, but I agree, it looks abnormal when you first see it.
I've grown a couple with blooms that huge... I think they're McCanna's Giant, but my columbines tend to lose their labels between sowing and planting out.
WZ, how likely is it that adjacent columbines will cross? Is it even worth saving seeds from one or the other separately, or should I just save a "mix" from my garden? I've got them interplanted with irises, so different varieties are at most 3 or 4 feet from one another.
Beautiful collection! You should get some lovely colors from that flat, Scicciarella. As for the size of the columbine blooms, the McKana's are always amazing, but I think we get particularly big blooms here due to our climate. You can see from this picture how big the blooms are on my pink McKana.
Critter, I wish I knew the answer to your cross pollination question. I suppose it depends on what or how many are pollinating your plants, as well as how many blooms per plant they have to hop to and from. I know that the pink McKana has produced many volunteer seedlings and they seem to be much like the mother plant. It is some 6 ft from the nearest other columbine variety, but it also has many blooms to offer a bee.
Oh, another stunner! I do like those huge blooms, especially as the columbines and irises are along the back of my perennial area.
It probably won't hurt to try to collect some separate colors this year... even if there's been some crossing, there's a better chance of getting the color you *really* want that way than if I just do a mix again. I did a mix last year just because I couldn't remember which was which after they were done blooming. This year, I intend to get them labeled, even if it's just an indication of color & form.
I planted Aquigelia seeds back in February. The McKana Giants came up just a couple of weeks after planting, and the Green Apples seeds have sent up a few starts, but I have several others that have not even tried coming up yet.
I am still hoping for the best...maybe even sit them outside for a day or so to chill them, then bring them back inside the greenhouse and see what happens. I am fearful they may have rotted by now.
I also sowed a flat of mixed colors mckana and the other flat of the bonnets from white to sky blue,red, pink, in half and the mix barlows in the other half so I think I am pretty well covered for now hahhahahah at my last house my garden brought a little much attention it was nice to win awards and such and pics of the property ap peared in the local calender and such but what was a pain was people just stopping and taking pictures in the front was not so bad but when the would knock at the door and asked to see the back yard lol some people do have a lot of nerve even more than me hahahhahah
For some reason I thought ice plants would be hard to get started but they popped right up for me too. We are getting 6 inches of snow this weekend so the last of my stratification ones that didn't sprout is gonig back outside. The one thing I do like about baggies is that you can keep the plants in them for quite a bit and they have yet to wilt or mold. Will be busy as a jaybird this weekend!
The Woodside mix I have that is coming up is variegated! I am thrilled and also surprised. I would have thought the cotyledons to be a solid green with the variegation starting on the next true set of leaves.
No snow here and I am delighted by that. It's been raining most of the day and tomorrow is supposed to reach 60. I know for this time of year, we could get dumped on at any time, but I would be quite happy to not see snow again.
after checking today my last tray of columbines are starting to come up, they just wanted to be difficult lol since the first two sprouted with problems I had to put the last one outside for a few weeks maybe the seeds didnt cool for long enough before I planted them or something no matter they are coming up now and that is all that counts.
startingtoluvz4 Delosperma (iceplants) are real easy to germinate at room temp and surface sown. Dustlike seeds that need light---don't cover. I just sowed them in a flat with fine seeding mix. They do not need stratification.
Here is a 6-pack that I potted up. Once they sprouted, they grow pretty quick for the size of the seed. Photo taken 3/30/09. D. cooperi, open pollinated. These were the largest. I have more not quite large enough yet to pot up. Sowed 3/4 and up 3/12.
This spring has really sucked rotten eggs for Iowa!!!
It's currently snowing - oh joy! My hubby JUST put up my Weatherguard tent greenhouse http://www.dgiworldwide.com/lawngreenhouse.html
in time for the 50+ mph winds to blow it all away along with the 300 pots of trees.
Luckily the trees didn't have too much damage since they are this point just a stick
but it's getting to be quite the maze in my greenhouse!
Have I mentioned it's snowing outside right now and will be doing so again on Sunday?
They are calling for 4-6 inches. I think Pecsontony Pete went to Hawaii this year!
my understanding of global warming is that it is not just the warming, but all of the erratic weather. We seem to be a lot colder in some respects too and in the last couple of years, it seems to start earlier. I know on the zone maps though that some of them say we are now a zone 6 and not 5 anymore.
oh ya that works for me yes yes today we are the warmest in canada at 12C so hitting 53F this afternoon but its snow still in many places in canada i have been lucky this spring so far it has all been in rain
Mona Send me the rain and I will send you snow. Another forecast of snow for the next couple of days. Where or where is spring?!!! Grrr!
I got things to do borders to make, plants to divide, yard cleaning, etc, etc. not to mention all my seedling want off the light tubes.
I was just getting started when it was 60 F degrees for almost 1 week so my spirit soared. The next morning, I woke up to what you see in the photo---1 ft of snow. The seeds in my coldframe must be sprouting for joy---I hope. Just about the time the snow is melting, another storm. We have had more snow this year than any other years. When we do, we usually get warm weather too quickly and plants grow fast. Too fast, since I like to divide when they are just starting to grow.
Was so worried about the seedlings I put in my pup tent, I went out at 2:00 am to check on them. With a small heater running, it's still 50F in there and everything is really green. I'm going to bring in my winter sown Aq seeds I think so I will have plants large enough to transplant before the summer heat blasts them. I had some donated windows left over so I think I am going to put the glass over my 4x4 brick bed and put an old rice cooker in there for some additional heat. Good thing my solar panels still work in snow/cold or my electric bill would be something else this year!
wow and I thought it was bad in zone 5 I use to live in a 6b I cant imagine what a four must be like longer and colder I would not survive that what I have is killing me already
we all have to chip in and get a huge place in zone 10 or 11 for the winter and we would have the gardens ship shape in no time maybe we could trade using the place for landscaping it over the winter I feel that would work and get us free accomodation
what do you think, are you in
We had another HARD freeze last night with four hours at 23 degrees (15 Wind chill). Perennials did great in pup tent and of course my greenhouse was fine. Thank goodness for both, couldn't stand living in Iowa without them.
The seeds in the brick bed still have not germinated. Has been snowing/freezing except for the week of 60 degree weather we had. I'm just getting fairly impatient with the weather :). Snow forcasted for Wednesday now also... That warmer climes is starting to get VERY tempting!
well its snowing here right now hahaha so I really feel for ya honey it is suppose to be rain but with the windchill its the white stuff again ahahah been told I am full of hot air so I tried blowing out the door didnt work
sorry to inform you its not a mistake it coming, toronto is suppose to get it pretty bad in ottawa it shows us on the edge and we are suppose to get most of it in rain but with the windchill who knows what we will really get
it has stopped for now only a dusting I hope it gets just warm enough to get that rain
We're getting our share of snow this morning. It accumulated about 6-8" overnight, and flakes as big as cottonballs are coming down... quite beautiful, but a bit disheartening in April. Here's a view of my greenhouses from the upstairs dormer.
We were in Watertown NY earlier this week. It was snowing there - it always snows there. I was very glad to get home. The grass was green and the temps were in the mid 40's, but thankfully there was no snow. It is raining now - I am glad as I have a number of clematis that are starting to get some fat green leaf buds - they need plenty of water.
A neighbor came by to plow my driveway, bless his heart. I broomed off my old Suburban and parked it in the garage. It's still snowing, and it's almost noon. I don't see any sign of it letting up. I always take comfort in the fact that this is transitory. The snow will not stick around much longer.
Just enjoyed a nice few minutes reviewing all of your columbine seed sowing tips! Thanks for all of your recommendations!
In the last few days I've become infatuated with aquilegias (when I saw them growing beautifully with some old roses) and ordered several packs from a lady in England (Touchwood) who offers many kinds.
So, do you think it's too late in the season to start the seeds if I use the Deno method and put them in the fridge for a couple of weeks?
Do you think the little seedlings will perish is the hot summertime?
its not to late just make sure to keep them in full shade and dont plant them into the ground till the fall when they are bigger they will not bloom this year that is for sure but they will all bloom next spring so go for it I do perennial seeds all summer outside the shade plants in full shade and the full sun ones in part shade so they dont dry out to much
I love to start plants from seed to see them bloom the next year
this year I have 8 different kinds of echies that will bloom for the first time cant wait to see them all the different colors
You shouldn't have any problem with them germinating this summer and as long as they don't sit in the hot sun and dry out. I almost always germinate and grow some Aquilegia during the summer. It seems that I forget to start all of them earlier, or discover someplace I want to add some. I grow almost exclusively the "species" as I prefer the native forms rather than all the wild hybrids. I currently have some A. canadensis and A. alpina in the fridge stratifying and they won't come out until the end of June. Most of the species need up to 60 days of stratification, while hybrids typically need much less if any. I try to get mine into the ground as soon as possible to maximize root mass (and blossom numbers) for next springs' bloom.
Thank you for your confidence building! I don't often have success growing from seed this late in the season because I forget to water, but I'm going to make special arrangements for these so that I stay committed!
I have some A. seeds (purchased from J.L. Hudson) stratifying in the fridge right now so I can get going fairly soon. I think it's interesting that J.L. Hudson, the seedsman himself, commented on this thread and I may get some GA3 as he mentioned. (-:
These are the 'mixes' I bought from Touchwood:
Touchwood Riches Mix
Essex Mix (my free packet)
I suppose the above seeds are mostly 'mutts' of the aquilegia world, but perhaps there will be some very interesting true to form aqs in there too!
I also started a packet of Aq. canadensis (which is our native here in Ohio) hoping to plant them in my woodland garden (under development). They are so natural and pretty in the part shade and the hummingbirds like them, I am told..
I would love to see some of the aquilegias all of you started from seed this year...maybe I should start an Aquilegia thread in the Perennials forum?
I am still organizing my sales table of aquilegia. I have so many varieties that they take up about a 30 ft. stretch on the table... that's at least 30 different varieties or colors. I organize them by 'long spur', 'short spur', dwarf, clematis, doubles, etc. Most are in 3.5 " pots, but I must have 20 in 6" pots, as well. I've got many flats I wintered over in 4-cell packs that need transplanting, as well. I'm afraid I've overdone it again.
Here's a picture of 'blue fan', another A. flabellata dwarf.
LOL, jmr, I love to cruise thru Lowe's and see what they have~~often times some very nice plants at good prices, although I always like to support my local growers, too.
'Hardening off' means getting your little plantlings accustomed to the outdoors by setting them out for short times in mild conditions and then increasing their exposure 'til they build up their resistence to natural elements and can survive full time in the garden.
(I set out my various seedlings that are ready to be transplanted for a few mild afternoons in the springtime before I plunk them into the garden. Other people are more careful.)
Jane, here's an article on "hardening off" if you're interested: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/914/. I did a "seed starting 101" series last year that you might like to check out this winter... it's fun to start some from seed as a way to try varieties that you might not be able to get locally. Plus, I just get so excited seeing those little sproutlings!
actually I just transplant my perennials in the early spring before it get hot and the nights are still cold and they dont need hardening its the annuals and vegies that need to aclamatize to the outdoors and I just put them out in the shade for a few days then move them so they get morning sun then just plant them before its going to rain for few days to get the roots settled and they do great
Boy, it's been awhile since I checked this thread! I've got most of my columbine out on the sales tables now, and some are blooming. I've sorted them by dwarf, short-spur, long spur, pleated, clematis/Barlow & misc. I keep so many varieties that it is difficult to manage them, but I just can't help myself.
most of mine are planted only one tray that is not doing well they seem to have a problem with leaf minor lol but I grew them from seed and dont get that and it has never happened before so I trimmed them right down and now waiting for leaves to grow if the problem persist I will chuck them and start more seeds from new packages
Your leaf miner problem may be a seasonal problem. Cutting back the affected foliage may work just fine, unless there are eggs in the soil, or just a lot of leaf miner problems this year. Of course, that's been months ago, so the problem has probably resolved itself by now. Please let us know.
I found if the plants are big and healthy the miners are, well, minor :) They stay mostly on the leaves near the ground and I stopped bothering to take them off. They were much worse on the spindly ones that the builder planted in full sun and wind, which mostly didn't make it thru a winter. I think I read that it's cosmetic damage anyway? Once your babies got bigger I'll bet they were fine.
yes I just cut all the growth twice and the third one had no damage so I planted them they will bloom in the spring I grew from seed and planted over four hundred columbine plants last winter I am getting so impatient to see them bloom its not funny, I grew so many different kinds what I did was sow about 25 seeds of each kind but some have multiple colors so it should looks good next spring
I get some leaf miner problems every year, but the aphids are more of a problem for me. Like Scicciarella, I have hundreds of plants, and mine are potted and sitting next to each other on tables, so it invites pest problems. I mulch with leaves, as straw is about $15 a bale here, so I suppose that invites the leaf miners, as well. At any rate, I just remove affected leaves and the plants do fine. Of course, I'm in a climate with cool summers, so it may temper the enthusiasm of the leaf miner.
mine completely die off to the ground in the winter and come back in the early spring I use powder for earwigs and other pest which works great but leaf minors are harder to deal with and are almost impossible to get rid of my sister just pulls the plan and take some of the soil out and replants in the same area the next year it has worked for her since she will only replace with a plant that the minors dont like but it seems that if you buy the plants most will have them I grow my own and some still have the problem I dont know how that works
Because we are a cool climate, we just don't have all the pest problems that many areas do. I wouldn't know an earwig if I saw one. Everything dies back over the winter here, as well, and I can't say that I've had leaf miner problems with the same plants from year to year. Of course, most are in pots rather than a garden plot.
what is interesting is that the columbines that I started last winter must think its early spring since some of them are blooming now which is intersting since perennials do not usually bloom the first year but I did start them in january which is very early
the plants are hug so next spring they will be amaxing
bought a few more columbine seeds from ebay this week different colors than the ones I already have and I need more of them for another area now everyone do remember that they are a short lived perennial five to six years so put your seeds in the dirt around the mother plant every year so you will always have new babies every year to keep them growing
In my area, some are short-lived, some are not. The dwarf varieties, such as the A. flabellata seem to die after a few years, but I have McKana's Giant that are at lease 12-15 years old. Our summers are mild, as are our winters, so that may have something to do with it.
I was just checking my garden and admiring my newest aquilegias thanks mostly to the good gardeners on this thread and their encouragement!
But, the ones that germinated and are blooming so far are the shortish blue and purple-ish ones and while they are lovely and I want more more more of them, I do want some tall ones too. But I can't figure out what they are called...? Maybe McKana's? I would like to have some to interplant with my Clematis vines...
Any thoughts on tall varieties? And are they easy to grow?
(I thought I sowed some of these (taller plant) seeds but so far none have turned up.)
It all depends on what color(s) and forms you might want. My favorite is A. canadensis, it is very winter hardy and one plant I have next to my deck tops out at about 40 inches and blooms for 4-6 weeks each year
My tall ones are the pink bonnets and the white bonnets. I did buy both the blue pinky winky and the red pinky winky last year. I scattered the seeds from the winkies and the bonnets last year. I see I have a lot more plants coming this year than I had last year. It should be interesting to see what I end up with...
Tabasco - do you have any pictures of your aquilegias?
Ahh, candensis sounds perfect. I wonder if I can get mine to top out at 40 inches!?!
I have a package of seeds from Touchwood Gardens for the pink bonnets and I think I'll get those started. Although it seems late to me, after reading the thread I think maybe I should give it a try.
I confess I did stop at Costco today and they had a huge shipment of generic Aquilegias in so I succumbed and bought 3 in a tray. (My personal gardening challenge this year was not to buy ANY plants, but, oh, well...)
Thanks for sharing those photos... I didn't know about A. formosa, and I think I have a clump of it that's labeled A. canadensis.
Thanks to you & other DGers who have shared/swapped seeds with me over the years, I have a lot of different columbines scattered among my irises, and I think they've done their own share of crossing! I never know quite what's going to pop up...
You introduced me to the little dwarf A. flabellata varieties, and they're still some of my favorite columbines -- so sweet! I think you're right that they may be short-lived perennials. I've still got some out there, but I'm pretty sure they are new clumps that self-sowed from my original seedlings.
It's funny that I am less impressed with the A. formosa because it is practically a weed around here. It pops up all over the yard and beds, and though it usually is in an awkward spot, by the time I get around to weeding, it's already blooming and I relent.
The A. flabellata are a favorite of mine, as well. They bloom considerably earlier than the other columbine. I sell quite a few when they are blooming... white, pink and blue. They put out lots of good seed, so I'm sure you've had lots of volunteers.
Since I have a little nursery business, I'm so busy all spring that I no longer have time to dig around in my flower beds until July or August. One of the nicer results is that I don't disturb those young volunteers that pop up. Of course, the columbine, like violas, cross pollinate and nice surprises result. Sometimes Mother Nature knows best.
My oldest columbine are McKana's Giant. When in flower, they are easily 5 feet tall, and the long spurred blooms are beautiful. I have three of them in my south bed and they are all over 15 years old.
Weez~~thanks for sharing your pics! So lovely. Didn't know about the two similar aquilegias, either.
I'm becoming a really big fan of columbines and was able to start some collected seeds this summer (and that really surprised me!). I have visions of vast clumps of columbines waving in the spring breezes next year!
(My digitalis seeds germinated too, which also put me in shock! I don't know why I'm always surprised, but I am. )