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Fairly new gardener - a couple of questions!


I have bought and also collected some seeds from various spring flowering plants. - Foxglove, Nigella, Allium, Fritillaria and Grannie's Bonnet - When is the best time to plant these? Should I do it in Autumn outside in the ground or pots, so they come up in Spring?  Or wait until Feb/March and start off in seeds trays indoors?

Also - with cuttings I've taken this year - like Verbena and Hydrangea, is it best to keep these on my windowsill over winter (I don't have a greenhouse) and plant out in Spring or should I plant them out in pots outside now so they acclimatise?



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,268
    Most of the seeds can be sown just now - where you want them to grow, or in trays/pots. No need for any special treatment  :)
    Alliums are very slow from seed, and I think fritillaries might be, but the others are quick. They might need some protection - I've never done them from seed  :)

    No need for any protection for the V.bon [if it's that] and Hydrangea either. Just tuck them against a house wall or similar.  Some other verbenas aren't hardy, so it would be helpful if you can clarify that one  :)
    Hydrangeas will take years to be big enough for planting out though. 
    Protection also depends on where you live etc, but that's what I do here  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,268
    I should have clarified @laurathomas5000 - the alliums and fritillaries might need protection, not the others, although I doubt it as they're hardy plants.  :)

    Fritillaries are more likely to need cold spells, rather than heat, for germination though.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Great, thank you!  Yes, it's verbena bonariensis.
    I did read that the Alliums will take a while to flower and that I would need to put them in the fridge first. I might just buy bulbs instead!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,268
    Allium bulbs are fairly inexpensive,and most GCs and other outlets including supermarkets etc, sell them just now. It depends on what kind you want.

    Take a look at the online specialists too - Peter Nyssen, Avon etc. You'll get very good info on there as well as loads of choice. 
    Warning though - you'll buy far more than you intended  ;)
    The V. bons will be fine with very little attention. I took some cuttings recently, which were really because of rough weather damage, and they're against a wall, but with a bit of basic protection as they're a bit vulnerable due to the timing. All the ones taken through summer are outside just under a bench or among other plants. That's quite a good way of doing it, as it saves having to bother with watering etc if you have a lot of dry weather. It helps keep mine a bit drier!
    If you're in a warmer area, they often self seed too, so keep a look out next year for small plants  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I do half now, half in spring, just to hedge my bets
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