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How to cold stratify dodecatheon?

Hi there, I would like to establish some Dodecatheon plants under a beautiful old apple tree so that they flower in spring 2021 (I'll be moving house after that so would like to see them in bloom once before I go!). My seed packet suggests cold stratifying them (I'm guessing to force them to bloom sooner than they naturally would?). I have no idea how to do this and online guides vary in technique - does anyone have any experience doing this with Dodecatheon? Cheers! 


  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,966
    They will not flower next Spring.
    Plant them in a tray of seed compost, cover the tray and leave outside or in a cold frame / cold greenhouse. They will germinate in the Spring.
    How can you lie there and think of England
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  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,021
    Cold stratification is a technique used to hasten and improve seed germination.  The slow way to do this is to sow the seeds in trays or small troughs and leave outside t experience the freezing and cooling of winter then the thaw of spring which signals to the seed that it's OK to germinate.

    The quick way is to sow the seeds in a tray of moist compost, wrap it in a polythene bag to seal it and then keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

    Either way, they will not grow enough to flower this spring so I would save them for you new garden.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thankyou both, that makes sense. For some reason I thought that stratification meant earlier flowers, but if it just speeds up germination I will do it the long way and pop them in the cold frame. Perhaps I'll plant them in a pot instead so I can take them with me! 
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    I've been growing Dodecatheon for about 10 years.  It takes years to flower from seed, so unless you are very patient, I would suggest buying some plants and dividing them every few years.  Even using this method won't results in lots of plants, you really do need to be patient with them.  I did once try and get some seeds to germinate in a tray, and they did so very successfully, but once I read that it takes years to flower, I just gave up on them.

    I still collect the seed from our plants each year, and I scatter it in shady areas of the garden, hoping they will eventually flower.  They never have.  I'm sure I have weeded out the seedlings, in mistake for weeds.
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