Rhodiola rosea from Russia

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

I have some seeds. The website where I ordered them claims they are the native Russian variety that has the incredible medicinal properties. The website was oddly formatted, the English was fractured in a very Slavic way. When it arrived, the envelope had a return address in Croatia, and was postmarked in Budapest.

So far so good. This plant is apparently hardy to zone 2. The seeds have been sitting in my fridge for a couple of years. Now I need opinions: Sow outside right now in my xeric garden? Wait until next fall? Sow indoors & stratify? Wintersow in a vented container?

Thanks.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I would wintersow in a vented container. That way you could see if they really germinate. They sound like really interesting seeds. Croatia and Budapest aren't that close together if memory serves me correctly. Somebody must have gone to some trouble to send you those seeds.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Oh wow how very cool is that!?!? How many seeds are there? I have to agree that wintersowing is probably the best approach, but if there are enough, you might want to do that plus sow inside and stratify -- hedge the bets, like.

I hope you will post as progress occurs!

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

OK, looks like I'd better go visit the wintersowing forum and find out how it's done!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Well, there's a lot of info there, don't let it overwhelm -- and I should probably confess that I am new to it and taking on faith that it will work as splendidly for me as it is reported to by most everyone. But I am hedging bets with some things here, sowing some things inside as well as wintersowing them, partly as an experiment and partly to give myself the best chances of success.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Here's what my germination guide says:
Rhodiola rosea , Sow at 18-22C (64-71F) for 2-4 wks, move to -4 to +4C (24-39F) for 4-6 wks, move to 5-12C (41-53F) for germination do not cover

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Hmmm. Sounds like I should sow them in a wintersowing-type container, keep them in the house for 2-4 wks, and then move them outside, and then they'll germinate sometime in our yo-yo spring.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I would do just that picant: start them inside for the warm period and then put them in a clear plastic bag and put them outside. I use a fridge for those that don't need light to germinate but these do according to the guide.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Knowing that about the light makes a big difference, too. Where did you find those directions, dahlia?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

This is my bible and a very good web site. http://tomclothier.hort.net/

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Ahh, yes. That is the site where the iris photos go from the iris-photos list serve. I didn't realize it had a seed section. I will be looking into that. For me I think I will start to unearth my grow light from all the hats and boxes and other junk that has accumulated there over the last two years when I didn't use it. I probably won't actually start anything until March though.
This year my only spring trip will be to Denver for the DBG trip. I am going to have to be here to help DH get pills into the old lady dog. It takes two people and she is very much in pain if she doesn't get them. Too bad about the iris conventions. If we go to the farm we might try taking her with us in a crate. Raja can stay at a kennel-- we have a friend who operates a very nice one, but I am not sure my friend would be able to pill Keisha.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Aha! That website is great. Now I'm privy to the secrets of sowing. Thanks, Dnut.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I follow guide over the seed packs for perennials as its been so reliable for me.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Nice site dahlianut.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Yes! Thanks, DN, I bookmarked that one. ;-)

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

So did I.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

THERE. It's St. Valentine's Day, and I just sowed the Rhodiola rosea. And the Pulsatilla turkczaninowii. They've been listening to songs like
Voroneshkaya Kadril
Cherevichky and
Troika
I can just feel their little Russian souls stirring in there. They get to spend 3 weeks inside, and then OUT they go into Montana's yo-yo weather. They're gonna love it here. It's just like southern Siberia!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

You are probably right, picante. Keep that Russian music going and they will want to dance! I bet Montana is a bit like Southern Siberia.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

How very exciting!!! I spent an hour oooing and singing to my seedlings this morning. There have been quite a few birthings:
violas of every kind
stokesia laevis
geranium 'Silver Shadow
polemonium 'Apricot Delight'
scabosia
lychnis chalcedonica 'Dusty Salmon'
Adenophora 'Bulleyana' (but not the 'Amethyst' yet :( )
coreopsis tincoria 'Mahogandy Midge'
eryngium leavenworthii (but maybe not because it looks like a blade of grass :O)
NOID yellow columbine

I also made 2 dozen baby spiders to go out in the shady containers.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Sounds wonderful! How did you make baby spiders?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I bring in a few big plants in the fall and then I just pot up their babies in a mix of pro-mix and poop. Fertilize and pot them up as they grow and TAA DAA! The look very prettiful in full shade and don't need alot of water. Here's a baby early in the season.

Thumbnail by dahlianut
Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Good idea! Is the hosta the baby or is it the plants in the pot?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

O I forgot to say that often I use a mix of compost and promix but I ran out of compost this fall. Poop works just as good.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Oh, that kind of baby plants. Didn't quite catch on.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Yupper easy/peasy shade plants.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Glad you got your seeds in picante. I am a Sedum/Rhodiola fan too.

Congrats on your spider babies dahlianut. I planted some at work at one time. The building I was in had spider plants lining the banister on the 2nd floor overlooking the large atrium in the building. I helped myself to some babies. Being more organically inclined, I fertilized them with fish emulsion. This was on a Friday. I came back to work after a day off on Monday to find my plants sitting in the hallway in a plastic bag. The fish emulsion smell had gone through the ventillation system and been recycled and our entire office space smelled of it. I had to take my plants home for a couple weeks to air out. I was given some "Jobe's Plant Food Stakes" at the suggestion of my boss.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

That's a great story. Sounds like the time a neighbor and I jointly ordered a load of chicken manure. Ohhh, was I in trouble with my neighbors! Some people believe in organic gardening only so far!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

One time I was gardening in NC and did not yet have a source of alfalfa which I was attached to using for mulch so went and bought some horse feed pellets and used that on someone's garden. The lady phoned me up after about a week and asked me if it was normal for it to be so moldy ?

I said something something and drove out there and my god it was all covered with this thick white hairy mold and smelled to high heaven! so I quick turned it deeper in and covered with soil..... turned out the horse feed pellets I had bought had meat meal in or something, yuck. Was terrible. Fortunately the lady in question was very very nice and not the kind to raise a fuss about anything. But still I never told her why the mold got so thick. ;-)

And that bed did extremely well that season!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

That is barbaric, to feed horses meat! They are not built to digest it! Not to mention the feelings of the lady who ended up with it in her yard. Apparently some of it contains molasses as well. It is important to make sure one's alfalfa pellets package says 100% alfalfa -- but so far I have never seen one that wasn't 100% alfalfa. You have all the luck!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I much prefer the smell of organic fertilizers to the smell of an aisle of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Possibe exception is rotting meat - which in no way should be put into alfafa pellets for horses. That is wrong.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

dparsons that is too funny. I used fish emulsion only once inside. I thought I was going to erp. I only use it on the clemmies outside now.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I put some fish emulsion down a gopher hole once -- hoping to discourage it from moving to my property. It didn't discourage the gopher, but my dog, not normally a digger, dug about 1 1/2 feet down trying to get the fish. Poor guy -- he didn't ever find it.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

LOL

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

LoL. Dogs do like some disgusting (to us) things.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

I agree about the meat incident, t he only reason it took me by surprise like that is, it simply did not occur to me to ever check! Ye gods.

Fish emulsion --good thing the doggie did not get to it , it smells like rotten fish but some of it has other stuff in that can poison animals, so.

arent I just a bundle of cheer t his morning/afternoon. I am going to go drink more hot tea.

ciao bellas

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