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Your experiences with Astrantia

I have fallen in love with Astrantia and would love to grow it for my garden. I have been told that they are very difficult to grow from seed. Is this true? Am I likely to have success with sowing or should I just buy the plants? Suggestions would be great and very much appreciated. Thanks.



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,441

    I love them too, but rarely see them here in Dordogne. I have two fairly pathetic ones. I think it's just too hot here in summer. In August the ground can be really dry.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,027

    My understanding, although I have not tried it myself is that astrantias are actualy quite easy to grow from seed. They seem to need a cold period in order to get them to germinate, so sow them now put them somewhere shelters over winter and then yhey will germinate next spring. Lots of plants virtually for free.

    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • Verdun, That's great. Thank You for the advice. I'm hoping to go with a purple, white and black colour scheme but that will probably change due to my will power lol. Nigelcoad, I will do that this weekend. I have a couple of seeds I managed to snuffle from my sisters garden and really hope they take. I will let you know how I get on. Thanks folks image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    Astantias are very easy from seed, needing cold as nidelcoad says. If you want to have those really dark ones you'll probably have to buy them, the seedlings are rarely as dark. As generations go on they become the colour of the wild ones, sort of pinkish.

  • Thanks Nutcutlet, So when are they best sown? Is now too soon??

    Verdun, I understand totally lol. The only problem I have here is that the plants found in our garden centres are reared down south and they get a shock when they come up with the change in temperature. If I rear them myself, they are accustomed to the temperature so have a better chance of survival. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    I've always sown them as soon as they're ripe. They germinate quickly then because they haven't gone dormant. The down side is you can end up with babies to see through the winter. I'm now experimenting with sowing very early in the new year, so they get the chill to break the dormancy but won't germinate til after the winter (in theory). I should think now would be fine, winter is well and truly here so you're not going to get anything germinating too quickly. It's too cold and they will be dormant.

    I've found this site quite useful  

    My seeds are outside, covered in grit, which stops all that green growth that comes on compost and I think it helps things stay where they should be in heavy rain.

    I keep an eye on them, when they germinate I bring them into the cold greenhouse so I can supervise them and stop birds etc having them for lunch. After about February I bring them in anyway. I think for some seeds the higher daytime temps and the cold nights stimulates germination. A lot of this is theory and I'm still working on it.

  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

     Hope I've done mine right. I had a great show this year from my astrantias and someone on the forum suggested collecting the seed by means of tying a bit of ribbon around the strongest plants . I've done this but planted mine in pots in September and left them outside . I know they have to have a cold period to germinate but just hope they're not too cold .

    Be interesting to see what happens next year.

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