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Sow Be It- Seed Germination Requirements

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As temperatures warm up and the hint of workable soil can be seen, many of us get that itch to get our fingers dirty. Here are basic seed sowing requirements for various garden favorites.

 

Plant

Approximate Weeks to Plant Before Last Frost Date

Days to Germination

Min. Temperature (oF)

Light/Dark Requirement

Abelmoschus

8

10-30

70

Dark

African Daisy

6-8

10-15

60

Dark

Ageratum

8

5 to 10

70

Light

Alyssum

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Amaranthus

6-8

10-15

70

Dark

Amsonia

8-10

28-42

55

Dark

Anemone

2-3

15-180‼

60

Dark

Asarina

10-12

9-21

60

Light

Aster (Annual)

6

5 to 10

70

Either

Aubrieta

6-8

14-21

65

Light

Balloon Vine

6-8

21-30

65

Dark

Balsam

6

5 to 10

70

Either

Basil

4-6

8-14

55

Light

Bean

4-6

4-5

60

Dark

Bee Balm

8-10

10-40

60

Dark

Begonia

12 or more

10 to 15

70

Light

Belamcanda

8-10

14-60‼

65

Dark

Bergenia

6-8

15-180‼

60

Light

Black Eyed Susan

10

7-14

70

Either

Bloodroot

8-10

30-90

50

Dark

Boltonia

6-8

14-21

60

Dark

Broccoli

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Browallia

12 or more

15 to 20

70

Light

Brugmansia

12

21-60

68

Dark

Brunnera

8-10

30-90‼

55

Dark

Bunny Tail Grass

6-8

15-21

55

Dark

Butterwort

8-10

30-130

55

Light

Cabbage

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Calendula

6-8

6-14

70

Dark

California Poppy

2-3

14-21

60

Dark

Campanula

8-10

14-28

60

Light

Candylily

8-10

15‼

70

Either

Candytuft (Annual)

6-8

10-20

70

Dark

Candytuft (Perennial)

6-8

10-60

55

Dark

Canna

2-3

21-365☼

70

Dark

Cantaloupe

2-3

3-12

60

Dark

Catchfly

8-10

21-30‼

70

Light

Catmint

8-10

7-21

60

Either

Cauliflower

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Celosia

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Centurea

6

5 to 10

65

Dark

Chilean Bellflower

4-6

7-30

60

Either

Chrysanthemum (Annual)

6-8

10-13

60

Either

Chrysanthemum (Perennial)

6-8

7-28

60

Light

Clarkia

6-8

5-21

55

Light

Clematis

3

30-365‼

70

Either

Cleome

6-8

10-14

70

Light

Coleus

8

5 to 10

65

Light

Columbine

2-3

30-90‼

65

Light

Coneflower (Echinacea)

8-10

10-21

70

Dark

Convolvulus

5-6

5-14

70

Dark

Coral Pea

8-10

30-90

55

Dark

Coreopsis (Annual)

6-8

5-25

55

Light

Coreopsis (Perennial)

8-10

5-25

55

Light

Cosmos

4 or less

5 to 10

70

Either

Creeping Zinnia

6-7

7-10

70

Dark

Crocosmia

6-8

30-90

55

Dark

Cucumber

4 or less

5 to 10

85

Either

Cupid’s Dart

6-8

20-25

65

Dark

Dahlberg Daisy

8

14

65

Light

Dahlia

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Daylily

8-10

15-49

60

Dark

Delphinium

8-10

14-28

50

Dark

Dianthus (Annual)

10

5 to 21

70

Either

Dianthus (Perennial)

8-10

14-21

60

Either

Dill

6-8

5-14

55

Dark

Edelweiss

8-10

10-42‼

50

Light

Eggplant

8

5 to 10

70

Either

Euphorbia (Annual/Biennial)

6-8

10-28

70

Dark

Euphorbia (Perennial)

6-8

10-28‼

65

Dark

Eustoma

10-12

10-21

65

Light

Everlasting Flower

6-8

5-20

65

Light

Fairy Foxglove

6-8

20-25

65

Light

False Indigo

6-8

5-36§

70

Dark

Fennel

4-6

10-14

65

Dark

Flameflower

6

21-30

60

Light

Flax

6-8

20-25

65

Dark

Flax Lily

10-12

30-180

60

Dark

Floss Flower

6-8

5-14

70

Light

Flowering Tobacco

8

10 to 14

70

Light

Four-O’Clock

6-8

5-7

70

Dark

Foxglove

8-10

14-21

60

Light

Fuchsia

14-18

21-120

65

Light

Gaillardia (Annual)

4-6

7-20

70

Light

Gaillardia (Perennial)

6-8

15-20

70

Light

Garland Lily

6-8

20-25

70

Dark

Gaura (Annual)

4-6

14-30

65

Either

Gaura (Perennial)

8-10

14-30

65

Either

Gazania

6-8

8-21

60

Dark

Geranium

12 or more

10 to 20

70

Light

Gerbera

12

15-30

70

Light

Geum

8-10

21-28

65

Dark

Globe Thistle

2-3

15-60

65

Either

Gomphrena

7-8

14

70

Either

Gunnera

6-8

14-60

60

Dark

Gypsophila (Annual)

6-8

14-60

60

Either

Gypsophila (Perennial)

8-10

14-60

60

Either

Hacquetia

10-12

30-180‼

55

Light

Helenium

6-8

15-20

70

Light

Helianthemum

6-8

15-20

70

Light

Heliopsis

8-10

10-15

70

Dark

Heliotrope

10-12

2-42

70

Dark

Helleborus

3

1-18 months‼

60

Dark

Hepatica

12-14

30-360‼

50

Dark

Hollyhock

6-8

10-14

60

Light

Hosta

6-8

15-90

50

Dark

Hyssop

8-10

14-42

60

Either

Ice Plant

6

10-40

65

Light

Impatiens

10

15 to 20

70

Light

Inula

6-8

14-42

55

Either

Jasione

8-10

10-25

70

Either

Kaffir Lily

8-10

30-90

55

Dark

Knautia

4-6

10-30

65

Light

Lablab

6-8

3-30§

70

Dark

Lagerstroemia

6-8

14-21

70

Light

Lamium

8-10

30-60

65

Either

Lampranthus

6-8

15-30

65

Either

Lantana

6-8

30-90

70

Dark

Larkspur

6-8

14-21‼

55

Dark

Lavender

6-8

15-90‼

60

Dark

Layia

6-8

8-36

70

Dark

Leonotis

8-10

10-21

60

Light

Leopard’s Bane

8-10

15-20

70

Light

Lettuce

8

5 to 10

70

Light

Lewisia

10-12

1-2 years‼

55

Light

Liatris

6-8

20-25

55

Either

Ligularia

6-8

14-42

60

Light

Lily

2-3 months

1-8 months‼

70

Dark

Lily of the Altai

8-10

30-90

50

Dark

Lilyturf

6-8

30§

65

Dark

Lilyturf

6-8

30-42§

65

Dark

Linaria

6-8

10-15‼

55

Either

Lisianthus (Eustoma)

14

10-14

75

Light

Lobelia (Annual)

6-8

15-21

65

Light

Lobelia (Perennial)

8-10

15-21‼

65

Light

Loosestrife (Lythrum)

6-8

5-30

65

Either

Luffa

3-4

8-28§

70

Dark

Lunaria

6-8

10-14

70

Dark

Lungwort

7-9

30-42

60

Either

Lupine

6-8

14-60☼

55

Dark

Malope

4-6

15-20‼

65

Either

Malva

6-8

5-21

70

Dark

Mandevilla

6-8

14-30

65

Dark

Marigold

6

5 to 10

70

Either

Marjoram

6-8

10

55

Either

Matthiola

6-8

3-20

60

Light

Meadowsweet

8-10

30-90

55

Either

Melissa

8-10

14-21

70

Light

Mignonette

6-8

5-21

70

Light

Milkweed (Hardy Perennial)

8-10

30-90‼

50

Dark

Milkweed (Tender Perennial)

8-10

7-35

50

Dark

Moluccella

8-10

8-35‼

60

Light

Monkey Flower

10-12

7-21‼

70

Light

Morning Glory

3-4

5-21§

70

Dark

Muskmelon

4 or less

5 to 10

85

Either

Myosotis

8-10

8-30

65

Light

Nasturtium

5-6

10-14

65

Dark

Navelwort

10-12

14-42

65

Dark

Nemesia

8-10

5-21

60

Light

Nicotiana

8

10 to 15

70

Light

Nigella

6-8

8-158

65

Either

Nippon Daisy

6-8

7-28

60

Light

Obedient Plant

8-10

15-30

60

Either

Oenothera

8-10

5-30

65

Either

Onosma

10-12

30-60

50

Either

Oregano

6-8

8-12

60

Either

Painted Tongue

8-10

8-30

70

Dark

Pampas Grass

8-10

14-21

60

Light

Passiflora

8

30-365§

70

Dark

Pearlwort

6-8

10-25

55

Either

Pennisetum

6-8

15-20

70

Either

Penstemon

8-10

18-36

55

Light

Pentas

8-10

7-40

60

Light

Pepper

8

5 to 10

80

Either

Perilla

10-12

15-30

65

Light

Peruvian Lily

8-10

15-365§

65

Dark

Petunia

10

5 to 10

70

Light

Phlomis

8-10

14-42

60

Either

Phlox (Annual)

8

5 to 10

65

Dark

Pitcher plant

8-10

30-90‼

65

Light

Platycodon

6-8

15-30

70

Light

Plectranthus

8-10

14-35

65

Either

Plumbago

10-12

30-90‼

60

Dark

Polemonium

8-10

20-25

70

Dark

Polka-dot Plant

8-10

7-21

65

Either

Poor Man’s orchid

8-10

7-20

60

Dark

Poppy (Annual)

6-8

20

70

Either

Poppy (Perennial)

6-8

10-30

55

Light

Portulaca

10

5 to 10‼

70

Dark

Potentilla

8-10

14-30

65

Dark

Primula

8-10

10-40‼

60

Light

Prunella

8-10

30-60

55

Either

Ragwort

6-8

10-21

65

Light

Ratibida

4-6

7-42‼

70

Dark

Red Hot Poker

6-8

10-30

70

Dark

Ring Bellflower

5-6

10-30

60

Light

Rodgersia

6-8

12-60

55

Surface

Rudbeckia

6-8

5-21‼

70

Light

Ruellia

8-10

30-60

65

Either

Rumex

4

7-10

65

Dark

Salvia farinacea

8-9

10-14

70

Light

Salvia splendens

8

10-14

70

Light

Sandersonia

8-10

30-90§

75

Dark

Sandwort

6-8

8-30

68

Light

Scilla (Squill)

2-3

30-180‼

50

Dark

Sea Holly

2-3

5-90‼

65

Light

Shoofly

6-8

15-20

60

Either

Sidalcea

6-8

14-42

50

Dark

Sleepy Daisy

6-8

25-30

70

Dark

Slipperwort

10-12

14-21

55

Light

Snapdragon

10

5 to 10

65

Light

Solenopsis

8-10

10-60

60

Light

South African Daisy

6-8

7-21

60

Dark

Sparaxis

8-10

30-90

50

Dark

Spiderwort

6-8

10-40

70

Dark

Squash

4 or less

5 to 10

85

Either

St. John’s Wort

8-10

20-90

50

Dark

Statice (Annual)

8-10

7-10

70

Either

Stipa

6-8

21-30

70

Dark

Stock

10

10 to 15

70

Either

Stoke’s Aster

8-10

20-30

70

Dark

Strawflower

6-8

7-10

70

Either

Sunflower

3-4

5-7

70

Dark

Swan River Daisy

6-8

10-21

65

Dark

Sweet Cicely

8-10

14-42‼

55

Dark

Sweet Pea (annual)

6-8

10-20☼

60

Dark

Sweet Pea (Perennial)

6-8

20-30☼

60

Dark

Sweet William

6-10

10

70

Dark

Tagetes

6-8

4-14

70

Dark

Tanacetum

6-8

7-30‼

60

Light

Thrift

8-10

10-21

60

Dark

Throatwort

8-10

15-21

55

Light

Thunbergia

6-8

10-21

65

Dark

Thyme

6-8

15-30

55

Light

Tithonia

6-8

5-14

70

Light

Toad Lily

12-14

30-90‼

65

Dark

Tomato

6

5 to 10

80

Either

Tree Mallow

6-8

15-20

70

Dark

Tree Poppy

6-8

30‼

55

Dark

Tritonia

6-8

30-90

55

Dark

Turtlehead

6-8

14-48

55

Dark

Tweedia

6-8

10-15

70

Dark

Valerian

8

21-30

60

Dark

Valerian

10-12

21-25

70

Dark

Verbascum

6-8

14-30

55

Dark

Verbena

10

15 to 20

65

Dark

Veronica

8-10

15-90

60

Light

Vinca

12 or more

10 to 15

70

Either

Viola (Annual)

10-12

14

65

Dark

Viola (Perennial)

8-10

10-21‼

65

Dark

Watermelon

4 or less

5 to 10

85

Either

Wax Begonia

10-12

14

70

Light

Wishbone Flower

6-8

7-30

70

Light

Wisteria

6-8

30-35☼§

55

Dark

Woundwort (Stachys)

8-10

15-30

70

Dark

Xeranthemum

2-3

10-15

70

Dark

Yarrow

8-10

10-100

60

Light

Zinnia

6

5 to 10

70

Either

Chip seed
§ Soak seed
‼Cold stratification required

Source: Various resources including North Carolina State University, Iowa State University and The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers from Seed to Bloom written by Eileen Powell

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