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Sowing allium seeds

msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 311
Just collected some seeds from the allium heads (bog standard ones bought from supermarket, nothing fancy). Wondering what I can do with them... After reading some old posts here and on other websites I learnt that:
  • They may not come true to original plant, which I don't mind
  • They may take a few years to reach flowering size, which I'm happy to wait
Still not sure about:
  • Shall I sow them now in pots?
  • Or put the seeds into a fridge and wait till spring to sow?
Would love to hear some advice from anyone who's got experience with this please. Thanks!

Posts

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,871

    Sow the seed fresh. It germinates better straight from the plant rather than being dried off.

    Cover lightly with grit, gravel or whatever rather than compost.

    Sow in a deep pot rather than a seed tray (reasons later).

    Leave exposed to weather. They need a period of cold followed by warmth to initiate germination.

    When (if?) they germinate do not be in a hurry to p rick them out. This is the reason for deep pot rather than seed tray. They have only one root to begin with and if it is damaged, it dies and a new one has to be produced from the base of the seedling,  usually they die.

    Feed the seed pot with dilute Baby Bio type stuff, until the leaves go yellow then allow the pot to dry off.

    Repotting may be done when they are dormant. Some types never really go dormant so be careful.

    I often do not repot until they have had another seasons growth. Remember many of them actually grow in late winter/early spring.

    Cannot think of anything else for the moment.

    Not as hard as it seems.

     




  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,309
    They will self-seed very prolifically if you just leave them to it.
  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 311
    Thanks both! My alliums are growing in a big pot right now so self-seed would be tricky as I plan to use the pot for something else. 

    If I sow them in pots now, when will they germinate please? If only next spring then keeping the pots regularly watered for half a year is quite a task...  :D
  • borgadrborgadr KentPosts: 365
    Interesting!  @Palustris - do you know how many years before they would flower?

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,871
    How long they take to germinate depends on the species. How long they take to flower ditto. The bigger the species/hybrid the longer they take to flower.
    I have had some of them germinate within weeks of sowing and others the following spring.
    All I ever do is put the pots outside and let nature take its course as far as watering goes.
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