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Seed saving

lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 291

I love to save seeds and have sown several flowers successfully - the easy ones such as aquilegia, delphinium, foxglove, etc..  I have been told that Jacob's Ladder is difficult to reseed.  Is that true or is there some magic I can work on next year's crop (I've just chopped mine off and put them in our 'brown bin')?  I'd love to know if anyone has had any success here.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,537

    A lot of seeds need a winter frost or two before they will germinate. Sow fresh seed now in a cold frame, and they germinate next spring.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,336

    Much easier just to divide J's Ladder. That also means you get the same plant as the parent  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,992

    Jacob's Ladder seeds like a weed. Once you've got it, you've got it. But if you have a fancy cultivar it will always seed back to the basic species eventually.

    sow a few and leave them outside or just let them get on with it. The latter only works if you're an idle gardener like me and haven't touched a hoe in years

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,846

    I planted some 15 years ago when I started filling newly dug borders from the former cow pasture which is our garden and I still find odd seedlings coming up despite getting rid of the plants very quickly once I realised how freely they were seeding themselves.

    It's worth trying seeds from any garden plant.  You can look up many plants and their seed sowing needs on the net.    Companies like Seedaholic and Chilterns and Plant World give good sowing advice - when and how - on their sites and sell good quality seeds too.   Very tempting lists they all have.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 568

    As a simple rule, unless you're an ace gardener, it's only worth keeping seed that it is of a reasonable size ie. Can you pick it up between your thumb and forefinger? My humble experience of over 40 years of gardening is that very fine seed is difficult. It is much more prone to fall victim to bacterial or fungal infection, either during the storage period or after it is sown. Leave it to the experts. Good gardening! - Ian.

    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • ecokidecokid Posts: 138

    It also depends on your species of plant. I have "Northern Lights Jacob's ladder which is a sterile plant and so doesn't reseed; however, you can still divide it and replant the clumps. I've had some success with collecting smaller seeds from hyssop by placing a small paper bag over the spent flowers and waiting until their ripen.

  • lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 291

    Thanks for all that, Forkers.  I think, as the plant has doubled in size since I bought it 4 years ago (although still not huge) and I don't see any seedlings alongside it ever (so, as Ecokid says, it might be sterile), I'll try dividing it early next Spring.  They don't flower for great lengths of time, but the colour is so lovely, including the foliage.  They are also a 'tidy' plant, keeping themselves upright and not encroaching on any other plant (unlike my Johnson's Blue geranium, that seems to be marching backwards at a great rate this year).  And next year, I might try gathering seeds again just to see what happens!

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,992

    aym, grit on top of the compost does away with the algae/fungal thing.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,992

    ah, don't get annoyed aym. If you're stretching the boundaries a bit there will be some failures. I soon forget the failures. 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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