Straw Flower and Giant Columbine Seeds

Hayward (Z8b-9a), CA(Zone 8b)

Hi y'all. I was given a packet of straw flower seeds (tall mix from Burpee) and giant columbine seeds and I need any ideas/suggestions on how to sow them successfully? I haven't tried growing stuff from teeny weeny seeds before and I'm-a-gonna need guidance! Can I start them indoors this fall or just have at it right now (I know it's summer, but would really make a difference if I started them indoors right now- yes, me impatient:)? But I'd like to do this the right way, so any help will surely be appreciated!

Btw, I have ZERO knowledge/experience in seed-starting...

Thanks! Merci! Gracias! Grazie! Domo arigato! Danke! Go raibh maith agaibh! (yea, trying new languages this year too :) (haven't decided which one yet:)

This message was edited Jun 24, 2009 9:10 AM

Wakefield, RI

I live in zone 6 and have planted straw`flowers both indoors (about mid March) and outdoors (about`first week in June). My`wife wanted them for fall floral arrangements. They were a pretty ugly plant . When you sow the seed just press them into the soil as they require light to germinate. You living in zone 8-9 will have a longer growing period but I am not sure if they are affected by day length. When I planted them indoors I had good sized plants by mid to late May. The outdoor planting was not as successful.
I grow all my own perennials, will not pay $13.00 for one plant. Aquilegia`(Columbine) seed should be placed in the refrigerator for 5-7 days before sowing or you can sow them and then refrigerate. Do not cover the seed just press them into the soil and you should see germination in about 20 days. You can start them in pots or directly in the ground. I use 74 cell plug trays I obtain from a local garden center. You can also use cell packs.

Hayward (Z8b-9a), CA(Zone 8b)

Thanks, cyclops! Can I use egg cartons to sow?

As for the straw plant, didn't you at least love the flowers? :)

Btw, what kind of soil should I use or what's best for these seeds?

This message was edited Jun 24, 2009 11:05 AM

New Milford, CT

*I* love strawflowers! LOL I winter sowed some this year and got 2 seedlings. I also sowed them directly into the garden in mid-April, and hundreds of them came up. In fact, I'm still getting new seedlings, so maybe you could get seedlings now, too.

Wakefield, RI

You can use a commercial potting mix to start them in your egg cartons. When using egg cartons unless you make a drain hole in each cell be careful you do not over water. I have never been thrilled with straw flowers. They feel dried out and the colors are not anything I like but when the boss say I would like some straw flowers- well you know. CrabgrassCentrl is absolutely correct in saying they can be sown directly outdoors. When I plant seed outdoors I seem to be always battling weed,bugs and weather. I just prefer to plant indoors because I have more control over the issues I mentioned. Just my preference. Good luck with either of the methods you choose.

Hayward (Z8b-9a), CA(Zone 8b)

LOL! Thanks cyclops and CGC :). I will try both since i have like 300 or so strawflower seeds and a number of the columbines...

And tell-you-what cyclops, your "boss" sounds eerily familiar! :) (heheheh:)

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