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Perennials from seed

Hi, I'm hoping to grow some perennials from seed to help fill out my borders. I've spotted Chiltern Seeds has a good variety (first thoughts are hosta, deschampsia) but they don't show the seed packet or much info so I don't know when I should be sowing these things until I've purchased and the packet arrives. Can anyone give me any rules of thumb as a general guide, or perhaps suggest a seed website for perennials? Thanks Noodle


  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Hi, chiltern are great, but there is no info on their seed packets at all! As a rule i try to sow just after the plant would flower, usually do well with seeds as long as they arent the tricky types which take a year to come up, or need to go in the fridge image

    T&M are pretty good image
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,007
    Chiltern seeds do send a leaflet with sowing advice for their seeds and they're good quality seeds. Another good site is Plant World - again no or Little info on packets but instructions in a leaflet.

    Have a go. It's no more effort than sowing annuals and the rewards last for years.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    I must have been left out with the leaflet! I have contacted chiltern by email for advice, they were very good and i agree the seeds are good image
  • unlike the annuals, perennials don't need a lot of warmth to germinate - I sow usually in spring, but later on will do - just don't expect them to bloom the first year, and if the plants are still quite small in the autumn I keep them in my cold greenhouse over winter

    I've used  Chiltern a lot - they have some unuusual varieties and I think they send a booklet on how to germinate the various sorts of seed - ask for it when you place our order

    I also collect seed from friends plants if I like the look of them and generally sow them straight away (that's what would happen in nature isn't it?)

    have fun...


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,415

    I lke to sow when the plants shed seed. When you're buying seed this depends on the seed company selling fresh seed.

    Lots of info on this site but not all seeds are covered. I would sow hostas when ripe and leave cold over winter. Cold frame or cold GH is good. I used to leave them all outside but everything seems so much wetter no sow I have them under cover. well drained compost and cover with grit.

    Germination mostly happens in spring though sometimes it's very quick when seed is fresh

    Chiltern are good and Plant World. Also Derry Watkins who does a fresh seed list


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954
    Aw, thanks guys. Knew you'd be able to help me out. Sow seed after seed shed - obvious now!!! All I have to do is look up flowering time on or like! Thanks for the sites too.

    I've just got a greenhouse. I'm thinking of getting a heater to just about keep it frost free for overwintering. Would this count as a cold greenhouse?

    (Haven't definitely decided re heater yet as so far I've only got a fuchsia, geraniums and argyranthemums to overwinter, thinking might get away with putting on shelves with polystyrene, fleece etc.)

    And another q, would frost free be better for winter salads?
  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    If you fancy growing something strange, seeing as you have a green house, have a look at jungle seeda too. Good luck image
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,415

    Hi Snoodle.

    no heat in a cold GH. 

    Get a cold frame for the seeds if you want to heat the GH

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954
    "No heat in a cold GH" (giggle!) makes me sound like a right muppet! Love this forum- you can ask and not get laughed at!

    Seeds are priority so I'll not heat ( and not buy anymore overwintering stuff and use fleece for those I have). Can always expand to cold frames at a later date. Wanting to get a feel for how much Ill do, what floats my boat etc.

    thanks image
  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    I can confirm that eupetorium seeds grow if they are sown now as do passion flower, guess what ive just been checking! image
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