It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

Too late to start perenials??

Black Creek, WI

Would it be too late to start prennials?

Mount Bethel, PA(Zone 6a)

I started mine in September last year to give them a chance for a good root system before the first and MOST OF ALL, since perennials usually take the second year to bloom, I had blooms this spring because their first year began in the fall of 2007.

Mine were successful, but I'm not sure that this works for all perennials that are directly sown in the ground as I did. (Lots of watering to keep the seeds and seedlings from drying out).

Hope this helps,


Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

noQgardener I start my perennials seeds in feb or march in the greenhouse or indoor growop so they have good root systems to get through their first winter but then I'm in a much lower zone. As Roses_R_Garden says most of mine do not bloom the first year.

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

I started some canterbury bells the spring of 2006, potted them up for the summer, planted them in the late fall and they bloomed this spring, these are biennials. This spring I did Foxgloves. I winter some of the new plants in larger pots in a bed of leaves outside in a some what protected area, not a lot of wind. Possible a micro-climate area.
I would give it a try, as long as you don't let the seedlings dry out.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Excellent question, I've been wondering the same. And have been doing it, regardless of the answer!

Black Creek, WI

I decided to start my perenials and a a few bi-anuals too, right now they are in the entry way (which is like a greenhouse this time of year) and I can keep them there over the winter (it is cold in there in the winter but not as cold as outside)

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I'm thinking about sowing some Hollyhock seeds. Hope it's not too early, but we're starting to get a lot of rain again, so....

Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

I planted some holly hock seeds last week but they aren't up yet ( We are getting some rain right now though so maybe this week I hope.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Yay for rain!

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Oh, good! I am going to start a bunch of different kinds of seeds. I guess I should sow the lettuce in the beds and then thin them out there, instead of statring them in containers then transplanting them. It will give me more room to start my floewers seeds. I have grown tomatoes from seed, but not flowers. My plant-buying budget was shot this spring, and then I realized I could get a lot more plants in the gardens if I grow some from seed. I will probably have too many, and then get on the plant exchange, or seed exchange, if I don't overdo it.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I started some Catananche (Cupids Darts) this past March just to see if I could. They are getting bud blooms on them now. I'd read they bloom late summer so I guess one never knows unless they try.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

No rain here, though some clouds passed by. One day it hailed for 5 minutes, then it all went away. So goes the story of the "Long, Hot Summer".....


from the Northern California foothills of the Sierras

(Rosie) Belturbet, Ireland

I start my perennials this month and next month. In this zone they get to put on good growth before the winter but as roses_r_red has pointed out it very much depends on what type they are. As you don't have a problem with too much rain noqgardener (sigh!) I wouldn't mind betting that you will be successful with most of them.

Winston Salem, NC

This is a bit off message but it relates to annuals that self sow and become "perennial" in both Brooklyn NY where I used to garden and also here in NC. I'm going to put some larkspur in the soil this fall for bloom next spring. For seed germination they need the cold and will come up in early spring. Cosmos will do the same thing but I have too many of those and they will self sow on their own.

Thanks for all the suggestions above. I'm going to put some perennial seeds in the ground asap..

Thumbnail by sawpalm
Floyd, VA(Zone 6b)

I have been sowing seeds since June, and I am still starting things inside under lights: delphinium, verbascum, shasta daisies, hollyhocks (lots,) lupin, etc. I plan to start three kinds of agastache this afternoon along with a few other things. For many kinds I use the wet coffee filter/plastic sandwich bag for faster germination. Salvia blue bedder was very fast as are hollyhocks.
Here I still have all of August and I hope all of September. If a freeze
comes along, I will protect them with remay.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

I can see I'd better get busy!

I have a long list of perennials I wanted to get going for next year, too.

gloriag, what seeds are you starting this summer?

Did you cold stratify with the coffee filters or just leave them out?

Thanks. t.

Floyd, VA(Zone 6b)

t. I just left them out in a container in the kitchen. Right now I am very disappointed; I made the same mistake twice. I planted Blue Bedder Salvia
and Puchella Gaillardia. I didn't look closely enough at the packets. They are perennials, but tender perennials. At this time I have three shoeboxes of them outside. I guess I will just have to dump them because it
does get very cold here. But I did start delphinium and probably something else. I would think easy things like shasta daisy and other quick germinators
would help. Usually, there are some seeds you just have to give up on: the few remaining from the sowing or all of them which do not germinate at all.
It's hard to throw them away, but that seems to be the only thing to do.
So I have three ways to grow from seeds: under lights, winter sowing, and coffee filter sowing. I think I will also add direct sowing as well in order to get larkspur, poppies, and other things that don't like transplanting.

I hope this is of some help.


Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks, gloriag, your blue bedder salvia might overwinter, don't you think? Worth a try to put it in your garden...and some sites say the other one is hardy to zone 3 (which sounds too cold to me) but my experience with gailardia is that the drainage has to be perfect...

Am going thru my seed box as we write, picking out some nice seeds to start. Always fun.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Only a box? I think I am moving up to a trunk, lol....

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Ha, ha! Isn't that the truth??

I just stopped in to Smith & Hawkins going out of business sale and bought a bunch more seed packets (half off). Like I really need them! (but I felt bad about S & H going out of business).

Have decided to start more perennial milkweeds, some perennial ironweeds, penstemons, and maybe some others.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

gloriaga I think the Puchella gaillardia is hardy to zone 5 so should be ok for you. I grow gaillardias from seed that are hardy here but they are a short lived perennial and none last longer than 3 years for me. Bummer about Smith & Hawkens. I luv drooling over their catalogue.

Moundridge, KS(Zone 6a)

This isn't quite the same as starting perennials, but does anyone know if I could start ornamental cabbage now? I thought since the color is actually in the leaves it wouldn't be like waiting for it to flower and I think cabbage is sometimes grown as a fall crop around here. Also, I had recently read that one way to know which perennials would do well with fall sowing is to look at which ones were producing seed now, that would (in the wild) be the source of next year's crop. Those would also do well to be started and set out by gardeners. Kinda makes sense I guess, but I haven't actully tried it.


Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Definitely I would start ornamental cabbage now willowwind. I've had it going til late November.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

wilowwind, your idea caught my fancy so I googled around for a little more info on ornamental cabbage and kale.

Some sites said for ornamental kale (similar to cabbage) to start seed no later than first week in august. I'm guessing, but since Kale is not so much a 'head' like cabbage, it would be ready for 'show' in the garden a little faster than cabbage.

The research mentioned 7 to 10 days to germination, and sometimes seed is slow to germinate if it's hot outside, so you may want to start it indoors in a flat.

I have never grown it from seed before, so I'd like to try it too.

Moundridge, KS(Zone 6a)

Thank you dahlianut and tobasco. I have seed and think I will start it inside as we are to have a hot bit of weather here for the next week. Dahlianut, if you've had it going 'til late November up there I should be in good shape here. Thanks,


Troy, NY(Zone 5b)

I still have lupine and hollyhock seedlings I just planted up last week. I am planning on fall planting.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

You never know. A few years back I seeded some pink and white platycodons in mid-June indoors, and put them outside in August, and they formed buds in mid-September and two of them bloomed in October.


Port Vincent, LA(Zone 8b)

I went ahead and started a thread for my question. Thanks again for any suggestions.


This message was edited Sep 13, 2009 8:09 PM

Thumbnail by Debbie2007
Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Wow! It actually rained the day before last. We don't usually get any rain until November. At least most of the fires in California are almost out. (Still, it would be good to get more than one day of rain, though....) It was cool yesterday, but now it is warm today, and is supposed to be hot again for the next few days. The poor plants can't move around to get cool, so I will just check their soil to see if it needs water. I am growing a lot more drought tolerant plants in the garden area near the road, which turns into the driveway. I read that I have been overwatering them. I will only water the "just planted ones", and leave the others alone.

I am ready to start some seeds and also sow seeds of some hardy annuals, like cornflowers. I think that they are my favorite hardy annual, but if I start them in spring, they don't get very big, since our spring up here can turn into summer any minute! We never know when winter will be spring then summer, so spring is always a "rush" to get things done.

Also it is time to sow seeds for my winter veggies, which get covered if there is frost. The lettuce lasts a very long time, but I have no greenhouse for tomatoes. What else besides cabbage would you suggest for winter sowing?

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Broccoli, brussel sprouts, collards, beets, spinach and some lettuces...

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

Gloriag, your blue bedders should bloom the first year. I started some this spring, and they have been blooming through the summer. I'm hoping that they make it through the winter.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.