How to Raise Alpine Plants From Seed


Gardeners and landscape designers often use the term "alpine plants" to categorize many varieties of plants native to mountain vistas. However, true alpine plants are those that grow naturally above the tree line in high altitudes. This area is also referred to as the tundra. Plants that populate the tundra are hardy and capable of withstanding severe cold, strong winds and draught conditions. Raise some types of alpine plants from seeds.

Step 1

Select plant varieties during the bloom season. Many alpine plants blossom very briefly during the summer months. Choose your selections when they are in full display. Mark the varieties with a small flag to help you find the location when you return to collect the seeds.

Step 2

Collect alpine seeds after the flower blossom wilts and the seeds loosen and begin to fall or seed pods make a rattling noise when shaken. Cut the whole, dried flower heads with seeds and drop it into a plastic bag. Mark each bag, if gathering more than one type of seed from alpine plants. Separate seeds from plant debris after you return home.

Step 3

Gather native soil for planting your alpine seeds. Select soil near the base of the mature plants to re-create their native environment at home. Do not skimp when gathering soil. Alpine plants produce deep, long roots. These roots are necessary for finding moisture and nutrients in their native habitat.

Step 4

Stratify alpine seeds before planting. These seeds require a period of cold temperatures to encourage healthy germination. After separating seeds from their pods and flower heads, wrap dry seeds in a paper towel and wrap with plastic wrap. Set in refrigerator for four weeks to allow sufficient time for stratification.

Step 5

Plant seeds into the soil you removed from their native site. Use deep containers to provide adequate space for maturing roots. Plant to a depth two to three times the diameter of the seeds. Water seeds lightly. Place potted seeds in a sunny location to germinate. Most alpine plants require generous amounts of sunlight.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check on laws regarding removal of plants and soil from your selected location. Many state and national parks require permits to remove items.

Things You'll Need

  • Small flags or markers
  • Alpine plant seeds
  • Plastic bags
  • Shovel
  • Native soil
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic wrap
  • Large pots


  • Riverina Environmental Education Center: Alpine Ecosystems
  • Colorado University: Tundra
  • Rocky Mountain Rare Plants: Alpines from Seeds
Keywords: alpine plants, alpine flowers, native plants

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.