Many perennials frustrate beginning gardeners when it comes to planting seeds. They take too long to germinate or require stratification (cold) or scarification (damage) in order to finally, after an interminable wait, germinate. Planting perennials in the fall is often the easy solution. Put the seeds in their new home, tuck them in for the winter and let Mother Nature do the rest. It can't get much easier.
Daisies are generally perennial in USDA Zones 3-9. Sow seeds in beds in early autumn for flowers the following summer. The plant usually grows a month or so before going dormant for the winter. The following spring produces faster growth and the plant will usually flower by mid summer. Space seeds three inches and thin to six inches in rich loamy soil and full to part sun.
Icelandic, oriental or just plain poppy, these cheery flowers atop long stalks can be planted in early spring or better still, late fall. The tiny seeds require surface sowing on a bed of fine soil. Rake the soil smooth and scatter seeds by hand. Do not cover but pat the soil lightly after scattering. Spring will bring plants and summer flowers for years in USDA Zones 2 to 9.
Plant lavender seeds a month or two before the first frost in USDA Zones 5 to 9. Patience is required as germination may not occur for 30 to 90 days after sowing. Spring will hasten germination but flowering may not occur until the following year. Sow seeds in average soil and just barely cover. Do not fertilize or the flowers will have no fragrance.
The coneflowers are prairie plants native to America. Sow seeds in early fall about 1/8 inch deep in a full sun garden. These hardy natives grow two to four feet tall depending on variety and are an essential addition to any wildflower garden. Coneflowers are available as purple, white or raspberry flowers with yellow centers. They're hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9.
Carnations and Pinks
So many varieties to choose from in so many shapes and colors. Carnations and pinks belong to the dianthus family which includes annuals, biennials and perennials. Sow perennial dianthus in early spring or early fall and just cover the seeds. Carnations and pinks are hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9, grow up to 24 inches tall and are perfect for borders and rock gardens.
Dainty flowers hang in rows like tiny hearts, or pairs of pants hung out to dry. Bleeding hearts are shrubby perennials with fern-like foliage and white or pink flowers. Very difficult to transplant, sow seeds in their final home during mid fall in shady or mostly shady garden beds. Barely cover sown seeds. Plants can be carefully divided in very early spring.
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