How to Grow Perennials from Seed
Perennials can be sown indoors or out.
Sow perennial and wildflower seeds outdoors in raised beds or spacious nursery pots (the kind you get big flowers in at the nursery), and let nature get them ready to sprout. Hardy perennials and wildflowers often have a special defense called dormancy that keeps them from sprouting prematurely during a temporary midwinter thaw (which would be damaging when the frost returned). They require a certain amount of cold -- or alternating freezing and thawing -- to indicate that winter is truly over and spring has begun. The easiest way to accommodate the cold requirement is by putting them outdoors.
Another way to give plants a cold treatment is to stratify perennial seeds that require it. Sow them in a community flat of moist seed-starting mix. Label each row with the date planted, the seed source, and the plant name. Wrap the entire flat in a plastic bag and close with a twist tie. Set the flat in the refrigerator for the time indicated on the seed packet or in a seed-sowing handbook. When the recommended stratification time is up, move the flat into warmth and bright light so the seeds can sprout and grow.
For a sweet crop, consider growing strawberries in your garden. Learn about growing tasty and attractive strawberries on the next page.
Want more information about gardening with perennials? Try these:
- Perennials: Learn about plants that will continue to grow in your garden season after season.
- Perennial Flowers: Plant perennial flowers for years of blooms.
- Tips for Growing Perennials: Use these helpful tips to grow healthy perennial plants.
- How to Start a Garden: Find out how to get your garden in the ground and growing.
- Gardening: Learn the basics of successful gardening.