Callirhoe seed starting.

Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What kind of pretreatment do Callirhoe seeds need, and how successful is the germination rate? I've heard they can be difficult. I would love to start a couple species of perrenial poppy mallow next year. Hopefully I will have better results with them, than I've had with the perrenial rose verbena, which never makes it through the winter here. The last rose verbena I grew was a very happy, spreading monster of a plant, but still shockingly didn't return.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I got my seeds from prairie moon, the germination code says to do the boiling water treatment and cold stratify. I poured boiling water over them in a tea cup and let them soak for a while, removed floaters and planted seeds in plug trays, then set it outside in winter to cold stratify. 3 out of 10 germinated and are growing very slowly.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I get most of my native seeds from Prairie Moon too. Their bareroot policy could use a little change, so people with small gardens like me can order only one or two plants of each kind instead of having to buy larger quantities. Izel is the same way, except their plants are of a lower quality than Prairie Moons. I ordered 7 (no choice) native Astilbes from Izel, and not a single one made it! Also, Prairie Moon needs to expand their selection of native milkweeds, and they don't offer any rare and endangered Asclepius, like for example Mead's Milkweed. But basically the best place to get native seeds and plants for our growing area. I have Bush's Poppy Mallow seeds from Prairie Moon, Wine Cup, C. involucrata seeds from Wildseed Farms. I was thinking of winter sowing them this year. Would the hot water treatment still help when winter sowing? Other seeds obtained from Prairie Moon are Prickly Poppy, Thimbleweed, Tall Thimbleweed, Showy Milkweed, Pasture Thistle, and Tall Thistle. I'm working on my new Prairie Moon order, which includes Cup plant and the perrenial Blue Mist Flower. Thank you for the advise!!!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I would try winter sowing all of those, and I would still do the hot water treatment before sowing. I tried wintersowing for the first time last year and I am by no means an expert.

I tried a few different ways- 1 gal milk jugs with potting mix straight out of the bag, 2L soda bottles with 511 mix, 2L soda bottles with potting mix straight out of the bag, and deep plug trays in a hoop house with potting mix straight out of the bag. I filled all the jugs with 5-6" of soil to give the roots some room to grow. I had success with all of them, but the straight potting mix got too wet and heavy, next time I will use something with better drainage. Check this thread for soil suggestions: https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/3773498/seed-starting-mix  Scroll down to the post by dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal for a way to encourage germination (the sand or grit mulch).

I will probably try Callirhoe involucrata and blue mistflower again, wintersowed in 2L bottles instead of the deep plug trays, with better draining soil.

Some of the plants were slow to come up and Ive potted them up instead of planting them. I've never ordered from Izel but some plants have different growth cycles and might not take if theyre planted during an off season, or if they are grown for the retail trade they might have to be babied more. The wintersown plants I did all look like survivors so far.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, thanks for the tips, and the link. Do you think it's ok to winter sow in the ground, in a cleared and prepared bed, or do you think I would have better success sowing my seeds in pots ? The only drawback I can think of with sowing them directly in the ground is competition with weeds. Regarding Izel. I posted on here a couple years ago, asking if anyone knew of a source for the native Astibe. A member referred me to Izel. I wanted no more than 3 plants, but you have to purchase no less than 7 plants. The bare roots came cleaned and wrapped in peat. They were showing new growth, and appeared healthy. I planted them in prepared soil, in spots where they would get the required sunlight. 5 of the 7 never really grew and died not long after planting. Two held on by a thread and did not return the following spring. I can't say for sure it was Izel's fault. Maybe when the new growth emerges they might need cooler temps, and maybe the higher temps at the planting time was detrimental. Anyways, I was so mad that I haven't ordered from them since. Now that I'm talking about them, I'm thinking that maybe I should give them another chance. When I told the member who directed me there, my story, he said he also ordered 7 Asilbe biternatas, and that only 2 of his 7 survived. Actually the plants native range is further south from me in Appalachia. Don't know whether that was a factor or not. Izel does offer some very cool, rare and unusual natives that you can't find anywhere else.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I think direct seeding in the ground is the best way, given you can control weeds, erosion and pests. I have that book Garden Revolution that recommends a seeding rate of 100 seeds per square foot if you are direct seeding. Plant the seed on prepared soil in late summer or fall (depending on species) then mulch with straw. I direct seeded my echinaceas and lupines last year and they were the best looking plants this year. I have an incredible weed presence on my lot, not to mention the tree seedlings, I would direct sow my whole garden if I could get the weeds in control. If you have a spot in mind, start clearing and preparing it now. Water lightly often, even daily, to encourage the soil seed bank to germinate, then hoe or cut the weeds off at the ground. If the weeds are larger cutting is better than pulling so you dont bring more buried seeds up to the surface. Another way, if its in a sunny spot, is to cover the area in clear plastic which will encourage germination like a green house, while also baking any seedlings that emerge.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, thanks again. Sounds like a plan.

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

I wintersowed C. bushii (also from Prairie Moon) in a milk jug with no pre-boiling, germinated just fine. Since planting 4-5 years ago they've spread via seed to a couple of other locations in the yard, though not aggressively.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

WoodsTea, I remember you posting a picture of yours. They were beautiful.

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