What's not sprouting?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

I'm going to turn the tables with this question. Here's what hasn't sprouted for me so far.

Planted Jan. 10th. Drummond Phlox, Balloon Flower, mexican hat, Heuchera, Mystic Merlin (All planted in coffee cups, inside Clear, Sterlite container

Planted Jan. 27th. 3 containers of scabiosa, Pink coneflower

Planted Jan. 29 Indian Summer Rudbeckia. This was planted inside qt. milk jug

Planted Feb. 14.. Purple coneflower, 2 types of coreopsis, pink malva, Sweet William and Summer pastels yarrow (These were planted in coffee cups, inside clear, Sterlite container

Planted March 1 Pink columbine, blue columbine, Baby Blue Eyes, Rudbeckia Hirta (Planted inside coffee cups)

Planted March 3rd. "Mission Bells" california poppy, dwarf candytuft(mixed colors) These were planted in coffee cups inside Sterlite container..Now some inside ths Sterlite container have germinated of these varieties but not all

Planted March 5th. Foxglove planted inside Red, cold cup

Would you believe he portulaca that I planted in the old birdbath that has no drainage holes, and the Press and seal covering came off in the wind..These are exposed now to the weather The portulaca was planted on March 10th.

Is it too early for some of these to have germinated?

No planting in styrofoam coffee cups next year..some did dry out and I had to water them, several times..may be the reason.
Ielements, still uncovered and are germinated. Really don't expect these to survivve because of no drainage holes. Don't know what I was thinking when I planted them in that bird bath.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'd suggest going with the tried-and-true one-gallon milk jugs. Kqcrna, the WSing guru to many of us beginners this past winter, advised us early on of the many, many, many types of WSing vessels she had used over the last 5 years. Milk jugs, hands down...

Her other alternative, that might suit you is to go ahead and sow your seeds only halfway in the 16 oz. Red Solo cups and then sit them inside a large, clear, Sterilite tub with a clear lid, and drainage holes in the lid and the bottom. As the seedlings start growing taller, add more potting mix to the cup (for those that grow roots along the stems, like tomatoes...)

This worked very well in protecting my tomato seedlings once they germinated and I potted them up into the cups. It was still too cold for plant out, but they needed protection from the cold winds and they needed light. Clear tubs!

Here's a pic of my WSing jugs that I sowed the 1st two weekends in January.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Here's a pic of Kqcrna's tubs...
Just make sure you drill drainage holes in the bottom of the cups as well as the lid and bottom of the tub.

Keep me posted on your success!

Godspeed and Good Harvest!


Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Lol My what orderly rows you have!

Pippi21, some of the wildflowers you mention (phlox, mexican hat, coneflower) are just now getting going good down here. So I'd guess it is too early for up there. If you absolutely can't stand not knowing, you can dig one up. (Carefully!) They may have started germinating, but are just going real slow because of the recent cold.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

I'm determined to be more patient. Maybe with the rain we had on Monday and it is overcast today but 63 degrees but doesn't feel like it because sun in not out. I think it is supposed to be in 50 and high 40's rest of week. Maybe a few days of warmer weather will spur them on. I went to a top quality nursery today and findally found the vermitculite that I've been looking for. It was so tempting to buy some Spring/summer bulbs, more flower seeds and a lot of other stuff I could use, like the stuff to make sure your hydrangea blooms are blue or pink. I've been wanting that for years. Pansies kept calling my name but I resisted. Can't believe I resisted. If I worked in a garden shop or nursery, I'd never take a pay check home! Flowers are a weakness for me.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Pippi: yes, flowers are a weakness for me also. I purchased pansies about two weeks ago. They're in the ground and blooming along with my daffodils and later my tulips. I am very glad I purchased them. I really like pansies. Starting them from seed just seems over whelming. I see some people do it. By the time they would be big enough to plant outside, the weather would be too hot.
I have certain flowers I intend to buy at the garden center. However, I am taking my daughter with me to tell me "Not so many"!! :)

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Folks are going to think Gymgirl is on my payroll for PR or something. ;-)

Pippi, it's most likely just too early for some of those seeds to sprout. I sowed a jug of coneflowers, too, and they haven't sprouted yet either. Coneflowers are always late for me.


Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Karen, that makes me feel more confident that it wasn't something that I did wrong.

Garner, NC(Zone 7b)

Pippi, some of the ones you listed-as Karen said-are ones that take a while to germinate. Columbines usually take more than a month for me. Other things may hang around and wait for the weather to warm a bit.
Of course, then there are things that might not germinate...we all have a 'dud' here and there, but then there are the big surprises, too. I had caesalpinia...old seed at that...germinate. I sowed it in a soda bottle way back in December. Audible gasp when I saw it up toward the beginning of this month.

Pittsburgh, PA

This was my first year trying WS, I only planted 5 jugs and everything germinated... I was surprised and delighted!


Chalfont, PA(Zone 6b)

Pippi, I agree with tggfisk. Columbines take a long time to germinate. My columbines and foxglove are just starting to sprout, where almost everything else that I wintersowed germinated at least a month ago. Hang in there, they could still germinate.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

the one year i did Columbine, they did not germinate until JUNE. they were probably sown in Feb, if not Jan. I was told not to pitch them as they can take a LONG time.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I W S Columbine 'barlow' last year. It was quite late when they sprouted. I planted them in the fall. They have all returned this spring and I am hoping they will bloom this spring. It was a mix of colors so it will be fun to see what colors show up.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

mine were sown in 08, planted in sept/oct of 08, and i've only seen 1 bloom. I think i planted about 8 chia/clumps... i'd better see more blooms this year.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the reassurances about the aquilegia germination.

I have been obsessing over mine for the past couple of weeks thinking they were a bust. I was especially bummed because I bought about 12 varieties of seed from Touchwood Gardens in England which is the 'National Plant Collection' of Aquilegia and so I had great fantasies about them! (-:

Here is the Touchwood Gdns. website (that seduced me into over-buying columbine seed): http://www.touchwoodplants.co.uk/aquilegiaseed.htm

Others slow to germinate for me this year: a few of the kinds of Rudbeckia, Echinacea, and Asclepias but I think they just are being pokey.

I planted in large/wide styrofoam cups placed in the Rubbermaid bins (with drain and circulation holes) and that seems to work for me. I don't have them in full sun, though, to keep them from drying out so quickly. t.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

This is probably my last year of columbines, at least for a while. Sawfly larvae nearly killed all of my established ones last year, and I found them eating the plants again a few days ago. Those plants might well be compost food soon. I'll just replace them with something else I guess.

I think the trick to the best germination on these is to sow fresh--REALLY fresh- seeds. When they just drop from a plant, they sprout like weeds.


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

T -- my milkweeds just germinated... so hang in there.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I'm in Zone 5 and some of my echies still haven't sprouted - columbines, no - very frustrating. Does staring at them every day help? LOL!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

None of my Asters have germinated.

I'm not too concerned, yet.

I should probably go thru my spreadsheet to see what's still not coming up.

Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

The only echi that has germinated for me is Magnus from klstuart and a purple from Herbspirit.

All of my columbines germinated except for the Chocolate Soldier that I purchased from Summerhill Seeds.

China Asters from Star and BSGardens - germinated, rest are still waiting to spring out of their shells.

Not a peep from the Daturas or Hibiscus, Easter Lily Vine, or Begonia, some grasses.

But overall, I am having good germination. YEAH!!!

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I assume it's too early to be bummed out on those that haven't sprouted yet?

Thumbnail by hanseycollie
Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

I haven't given up yet. I looked today, and found 2 little baby Datura's. Anyway, something is green in there. Somehow, some of my seeds seem to stray into another pot. I have pot hoppers.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I think i have a few pot hoppers too.

for one, i sown 4 hardy hibiscus seeds.. one germinated within a few days... but it's read like a Amaranthus... .so i'm thinking somehow, one jumped in there.

I think the only thing i have given up on are the Cup Plant... this will be the 4th yr in a row with zip on the germination.

but -- i have sooo much that has germinated, i'm really fine with what i have.... which is more than i know what to do with.

Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

Are you talking about wine cups? I have one seedling, but it may be a hopper. I find a stray poppy here and there. I also accidentally double planted some of LeBug's asclepias in with daylilies.

I hope your columbines blooms this year.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Lynn -- a "Cup Plant" is a native plant in IL... i'm sure in other places too.


they are so pretty. but i just cant grow them. I've had a few peeps offer me plants...
should jsut take them up on it.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I only had about 5 sweet pea seeds sprout. THis is the first year they have not sprouted. I ordered from Diane's Seeds and have ordered from Select Seeds in the past. Does anyone have any experience with the sweet peas from Diane's Seeds this year?
I transplanted 99 Columbine 'McKenna Giants' this past week. I think every seed sprouted! I have trouble throwing plants away. I don't know what I am going to do with them.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Birder, send them to me, LOL, as I did the same with the McKenna Giants and nada, nothing much has sprouted. Some jugs are just barren w/o any sprouts at all (in fact, most of the McKenna Giants are bare.) Very discouraging. My best have been lupine, shasta daisies, coneflowers (the seeds from actual plants much more than packaged seeds) and alaska daisies. I have a spreadsheet so I'm going to mark which ones are worth winter sowing again next year and which ones are a bust.

Thumbnail by hanseycollie
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Well, hansey, it looks like you've had pretty good germination. I planted about 12 different aquilegias and about half have sprouted, but I think they each have different germination requirements, so I've not given up on them yet. For some stupid reason I forgot to plant the Eastern Red Columbine. I just visited a 'historic' garden with the most elegant circle of them around a faux bois fountain, and I'm sick that I don't have any coming up. Oh, well.

It's nice and cold and wet here now so maybe that will help with some stratification issues with my late-planted perennials. If we have a good warm-up next week, then, I think we'll see some sprouts really popping out.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Hey, a have a columbine sprouting, wooohoooooo! I can't believe it as we haven't seen the sun in days and days - it's supposed to keep on raining for the next few days too - and a couple little seeds sprouted. That makes me so happy as they will be my first.

Yes, I've had pretty good germination. The chia pet milk jugs are being moved into smaller containers - a little bit each day. Not single plants, just three or four hunks to a few containers. It'll make them easier to visualize when I do my big flower garden.

Today is a good day, yes!

New Milford, CT

McKana Giant columbines, asclepias & shasta daisies are my no-shows so far. Waiting patiently.

OK, not patiently. [taps foot furiously and peeks into the same jug again five minutes after the last time ...]

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Oh my gosh, I have shasta daisies coming out of the woodwork - but only a couple McKana columbines. My poppies didn't make it, though my friend's (same seeds) are popping out of the top of her milkjugs. Say, are red corn poppies annuals or perennials? I have not been able to get a straight answer off the web.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

The red corn poppies are annuals.


Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Good, then I don't feel so bad with so few of them sprouting, LOL! You are a wealth of information - it seems each thread I read you've been on it giving wisdom - do you work at a garden shop or just been doing this for a few years? Cynthia

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Cynthia, no real professional experience or education in my past. I have been wintersowing for 5 years though, and have always done a fair amount of gardening since I bought this house in 1983. I'm not an expert at all, just a home gardener.


Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Karen, out of 175 jugs, 30 didn't germinate and some only have a few sprouts. Some that DID germinate are chia pets, though, lol. Is that about a normal percentage? I think the ones that haven't germinated by now are going to be used as potting soil - and if I get an extra flower or two, so be it, LOL!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)


I think the ones that haven't germinated by now are going to be used as potting soil - and if I get an extra flower or two, so be it, LOL!

that is what i do too.

and it does seem your germination is about right.

i just did a rough count, 130+ containers, 33 no germination.
a few containers i've already re-used and have germination.

I spent the day yesterday weeding some area, and then sprinkling seeds. what comes up, comes up.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

It depends on what seeds are in those unsprouted jugs. Some things can take a couple of years. Some seeds need warm-cold-warm to sprout, so those would have to go outside in fall to show up in spring. Some take a couple of years...

Sea holly is one that has a reputation for being hard to germinate. I sowed a jug of them last summer, around July. I just left it sitting around out there all winter, and now there are 4 tiny sprouts. So if you hold on to them, if you can stand the clutter and just throw them somewhere out of the way, they could still show up, if not this year, maybe next. Neal recently reported similar results with something from last year, though I don't remember what.


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I guess i have a place where i could store some jugs for a year.
some are small nursery pots. maybe i could just leave them in the sterilite container/box.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I can't do the clutter, lol, as they're along our new fence and driving me nuts. I have sooooo many plants from ws that I think I'll just use it as potting soil for the next batch! I am glad my ratio is good. I never believed it would work for me, and I am so excited for next winter now! I think WS is the most fun ever!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

i was just out surveying... found a new baby seedling. yay

**edited to add..

It's Hybrid x Mesa Purple Salvia.

This message was edited May 5, 2010 12:16 PM

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