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Seeding advice for a new gardener

For the first time in my life, I'm attempting to grow something from seeds. I keep spending endless money on plants at a gardening center and they die so I decided I'd try seeds.

I just got three (3) sets of seeds and am hoping you'll help me with how I can get them going (I'm in the Northeast/USA).

I have: Rose of Sharon, Feather Reed Grass, and Trumpet Creeper. While its warm here, for some reason I decided to start the seeds indoors in containers. I followed the directions I was given and currently have them in the room on my top floor (considered an attic but its more of a very warm room lol). I have them in "indirect" sunlight in a spot in the room that is at the back of the house and they're in ziploc backs (which I noticed has some condensation in it.)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    With the temperatures you get over in the US at this time of year, you'd be better off sowing the seed outside in a prepared seed bed. Move what you have outside straight away, keep them well watered from underneath, by standing them in a tray of water. Your enemy over there will be the humidity and possible damping off disease, so watch them carefully. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, usually when the first true leaves appear, pot them on into 3 inch pots and keep them outside. Give them some shade during the day, full sun will only scorch them.

  • Thank you Dave. So are you saying I should take the seeds - in their current little pots (and in the ziploc bags) - outside? I had thought about doing that so they could get more sun but the directions said "indirect sun." The feather reed grass also said to "broadcast seeds on top," which I took to mean "leave the seeds on top of the soil and not to plant IN the soil." Also, what is the general "sowing" time for these plants? I just want a general idea so I'll know if they're growing or they are goners.


    Thank you!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,417

    Less sun, get them in the shade or they'll fry when they germinate.

    I'm handicapped by not knowing what you're growing. Rose of Sharon is a name applied to many hypericums here. Trumpet Vine has a number of different plants as well.image


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,872

    If you google images of Rose of Sharon you get photos of lavatera - not what I was expecting at all - so as the OP is in the US perhaps that's what she's growing image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,417


    I love the binomial system

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • So, Nut, are you saying I should just leave them in my back facing window in the attic for now? I've seen no growth - or anything in fact. Just a lot of dirt. The insides of the ziploc have condensation. Is that meant to make it something of a hothouse?

    Dove, here in the Northeast (US) we call them Rose of Sharon. I bought three (3) types of seed (that I was "told" were easy to grow from seeds) - Rose of Sharon, Feather Reed Grass, and Red Trumpet Creeper.

  • I think you are taking two risks. First sowing and growing indoors, whilst often necessary in cold climes, risks the plants becoming leggy ( tall and thin and weak) as they reach for the light which is never as good as outside, even in shade. Second using plastic bags will risk damping off ( technical term for quickly going mouldy, followed by death!). 

    If you have time why not start a new batch out of doors as recommended above, as belt and braces?

    Good luck, we all learn as we go. i still do after yonks imageimage

  • Hi Wonderboy, yes, I had begun to wonder if all that condensation and limited sun would be any good. I only started them inside because it is late in the season here in Northeast USA and I also have rabbits, etc., and I didn't want them taking off with the seeds.

    So now that I have all of this in pots, should I remove them from the ziploc and find them a place outside in the sun? I'm a bit too nervous to attempt now to put them in the ground. I don't know where the seeds are located in the soil.

    Thank you!

  • I would take them out of the plastic and find a sunny spot. Don't forget your watering. If they are in pots place the pot in a tray which will help with water and atmosphere. As said above individual pots when big enough to handle. Pick up by the seed leaves not the stem.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,417

    In pots outside NG. Then you can bring them inside if necessary in winter. Stand them up on something to keep the rabbits off, 

    I'm a bit dim and haven't really caught on to what you're growing. Are they hardy plants?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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