All you experts I need help - germination techniques

Hi all I would love to know how to germinate..... Echinacea Verbena rigid Centaurea amethyst dream Scabiosa Beaujolais bonnets Liatris All my own seed. Thought I would give it a whirl as it will just be wasted if not!


  • Im batteling with Echinacea at the moment but verbena but, get them in the fridge for 2-3 weeks to make them think they have had the big chill...sow it and leave it. It can take aagggeeeesssssss to germinate so be patient. Scabiosa, I did in a seed tray in a cold green house and they are all up. Took about 10 days. Im not sure about the rest, sorry image

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,113

    Hi Red,

    I have had success in the past with echinacea, verbena and scabious - sowed them on the surface of seed compost, covered with thin layer compost, put lid on propagator and given some bottom heat - all have come up in a couple of weeks.  Take the lid off when they have germinated to stop them getting too damp (makes it easier for them to go mouldy).

    Verbena also comes up all over my garden from plants that went to seed the previous year - so I'm sure that would be alright without bottom heat.

    Good luck!

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • Thanks Sam. Loved the scabiosa was gorgeous and stayed green over winter. Thinking will give that a go then.

    Took cuttings of the verbena but they just look half rotten so unsure if they will come! Just hope the original plant comes back ok, no life as yet!!
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,064

    I'd just put them all on some seed compost with grit on top. Water and leave in the cold greenhouse. It won't be cold in there much longer.

    I'd have probaly sown some when I harvested them. Half then and half now, bound to have success one way or the other. Rarely use any heat though I've got a few in an electric propagator now and a control sowing in the cold GH. If I get round to it I'll keep records of what did  best. Some seeds really don't like to be too warm and some respond well to the alternate hot and cold of an unheated greenhouse There's a lot of information here about how to germinate specific seeds

  • Chicly - did the echinacea come in 2 weeks. Did you chill your echinacea and verbena first?? Really want to give them a go but don't want to be dissappointed!

    Do you think trying a few in a pop bottle propogator would work??
  • ^^^My seed guru imageimage

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,064



    Just sow them Red Dahlia, nothing to lose. Seeds grew before propagators were invented.

  • Thanks nutcutlet. I put soone scabiosa down as ripe seed and nowt, nada, niet, nothing!!

    Think will try some in a pop bottle cut open And cotton wool in spout then stood back in its own base as a water reservoir! Worth a punt do you think?
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,113

    Red - I only remember ever having chilled aquilegia seeds, so definitely didn't chill first.  But Nut is right, I'm sure a greenhouse will be plenty warm enough for them now (I planted mine in Feb).  I would try the bottle propagator - they like damp as well as warm until they pop up.

    One warning, I have never got echinaceas big enough to flower in their first year - but they make good enough plants to over winter well.  I have 10 "pink parasols" sitting in my greenhouse ready to wow me with their flowers this summer (or elseimage!)  Sometimes it feels like you need a lot of patience for this seed sowing lark !!

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,064

    I can germinate an echinacea but I absolutely can't keep the b......s alive for more than a season.

  • Thanks chicky (funny name as its my nickname!!!)

    Just saw the seed heads screaming at me and I harvested and got v excited. Then realised I had no clue how or when to sow and how long they would take!!!!

    I sowed some gazania bronze and for some reason they came up and then lifted themselves in top of the seed compost root and all, just laying there on top -!!!
  • OH Nut lol image

  • Nutcutlet that's what all have said, at work. I have 2 in the garden and as yet no life! Hope I haven't wasted money. Took seed as insurance policy. Even stabbed myself trying to get the damn stuff out the cone! Blood everywhere lost lots of seed to my own blood! Eugh!!
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,064

    Mine only current one,  I bought it last year, was dug up and potted in autumn on advice from this forum and spent the worst of the winter in the cold greenhouse. I await signs of life.

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,113

    Red - its my nickname too !!  And there's me thinking I was the only one...

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,294

     I'm finding the echinaceas and verbena quite tricky as well. Sowed both earlier in the year, got 3 echinecias up which are now the cold frame. Similar results last year with the echinaceas, but have at least one plant that is coming back throughimage

    A lot my scabious too has somehow managed to survive the winter, thinking they might even put on a show this year as well. Lots of green shoots coming up from the bottom of the plant


  • Hehehe, my nickname is Red lol.

    The Verbena I am sending you Mandy will be much better than the last lot. I chucked some in a pot and abandoned it on the 20th of Feb and they germinated in a cold greenhouse on the 27th of March.

    image I knew my nerdyness for seed sowing and germination would come in handy sometime hehe image

    I am now over run by them lol

  • Chicky - my twin calls me it all the time!!!

    Holly - I have 2 late winter cuttings that have so far made it but I want more to dot about!!

    Sam- are they the rigida type. The big tall verbena I have is def alive but the squat rigida I'm just jot sure about, it's currently coarse brown leavesimage he he we are all mixing up names!!!
  • Yea Red...the tall bonsiarsis? Bonsinarsis?...Bon something lol

  • Oh! I just love the little rigida. Wondering if I should have a furtle around at my cuttings and see what's happening. Have you taken cuttings before then had leaves go partially brown but then just stay in that state??? It's most perplexing. Been around 2 months with no changes and no sign of new growth!!
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