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Seeds not germinating

Hi, can anyone advise on the above please? I’ve had columbine, forget-me-nots, verbena and water avens on the windowsill for what feels like months now (Except the water avens) but nothing is emerging. I’ve recently bought a heat mat hoping that will help as I’m on the west coast of Ireland and it’s not been the greatest of summers. Anyway, is it too late now, will the seeds have rotted? Should I start again or wait a bit longer? Thanks!


  • AstroAstro Posts: 356
    I've grown columbine and forget me nots from seed, and my thought would be to get them outside into the light. They self seed and are hardy to cold so my thought is they don't require too much heat to germinate and grow.
  • Great, thanks so much! So just leave the trays outside uncovered?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148
    I'd agree - outside. Try and think about the plants would function normally in order to reproduce  :)
    It's sometimes tricky to get good germination with autumn sowings because, even naturally, many would rot or get eaten etc, so if you do some just now, it's worth doing some in spring as well, if you have them.
    Some basic protection against really bad weather is a good idea too. Under a bench or table, as long as they get enough light, or against a house wall.
    It's also important to have a good medium for many seeds to germinate in, so make sure your compost/soil medium is free draining. Columbines, for example, will seed into gravel with virtually no soil. I've got quite a few this year as I got new one last year. :) Verbenas will do the same - assuming it's bonariensis you have, and forget me nots are the same. I don't know how readily the water avens will germinate, but you can also divide those if you have the plant.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • AstroAstro Posts: 356
    Well I have mine in a greenhouse but it's just a small plastic one and it's open, I just keep them moistened.

    There are mixed suggestions about growing them from seed, some advise putting them under some heat others not. Naturally they do well just dropping their seeds and they appear in spring so I figured there would be enough warmth to grow them outdoors.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148
    That would be ideal for most seeds @Astro :)
    Any seeds dropping in summer get a good chance to grow into small plants - like my Aquilegias did. Anything which doesn't drop seed until later, is more at risk of rotting or being eaten. 
    Local climate and conditions are big factors though. V.bon doesn't often seed around here successfully, which is why I do cuttings :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Excellent advice both, thank you! My problem is I don’t have a greenhouse and I live on the west coast of Ireland so it gets ridiculously windy. That said, the columbine seeds were collected from a local graveyard in similar conditions so perhaps they’ll do well!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148
    You don't need a greenhouse  :)
    You might find seedlings popping up in places you don't' expect them too, as they can get carried a fair distance in wind. I had a handful of V.bon seedlings a few years ago, they were in the gravel where my car's parked, over the 6 foot fence and about fifteen feet away from the original plant. I actually discovered some a month ago which had got into the 'window box' along that same fence. They had shelter from another plant in there, and we didn't have a proper winter here last year, so they'd germinated.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,881
    At you tried with these seeds in the spring/early summer I would say those are no good now.
    You could sprinkle a few of the forget me not seeds in the garden now and just rake them in a bit, once you get one plant growing you’ll have them forever.
    Try the Verbena Bon next March around the middle of the month, on your window sill.
    Columbine is best sown in February. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148
    Definitely @Lyn. The ones sown already are done.
    When I first grew V.bon, I bought seed rather than buying a plant. It germinated well sown later, so that it was warm enough. I sowed them in pots outside in about May. Decent little plants by the end of summer. You could try both methods next year @terri_stella:)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks so much everyone - such an interesting learning curve!
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