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Planting Flowers that Require Stratification

Not all seeds germinate the same season they are planted. Some seeds must be sown the fall before
their first blooming season because they require a process called stratification. When planting flowers that require stratification,  the seeds must be exposed to the proper cold, moist conditions in order to germinate in the spring.

How to Plant Seeds that Require Stratification

If you think about how nature works, the process of stratification makes sense. Seeds are made by flowers in summer, dropped and left exposed until the next year. The seed’s hard coat is softened by the weathering process and by springtime, it is soft enough to break through.

You can simulate the necessary conditions to stratify seeds, or you can simplify the process by working with nature and planting them outdoors now. Why simulate an environment when you already have the perfect one outside your door?

If you do not get the seeds in the ground in late fall, just make sure you get them on/in the ground while there are at least 2 months of winter weather left. I suspect you could probably toss them out in January and still have germination, but look at the back of your seed packet to determine the best time to plant seeds. Be sure to sow seeds thickly, some will not germinate while others may be picked up by birds. Cover with a light layer of leaves or straw to reduce loss due to birds.

One of the reasons I love growing from seed is that they fit well within the budget. Potted plants are pricey, especially when you want ALL of them, but at less than $2 a packet, it’s much easier to expand the garden. For a longer list of flowers that require stratification, visit this post from A Garden for the House.

What is your favorite spring bloom?


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