Today I’m going to tell you of a special technique for growing Echinacea or coneflowers from seed. You may have heard of this technique before and perhaps you’ve even tried it. Whether you have or haven’t this technique is worth trying I call it: forgetting you planted the seeds.
Here’s how forgetting you planted the seeds works step by step.
- The gardener plants the seeds in a container, in my case a long planter container.
- They water and watch the seedlings for a brief period of time.
- Nothing happens with the seeds, no growth, no sprouting and the gardener gives up or forgets about the seeds.
- Time passes.
- Then the gardener comes back one day 3-4 months later to find multiple seedlings emerging from the same soil!
Why does this technique work so well? Often seeds have a built in dormancy period. Either they need animals to nibble out the outer coating or the elements to wear it away so that the seed may germinate. Sometimes seeds need a period of winter cold to stratify and break their dormancy which is why fall or winter sowing of perennials works so well. Not everything needs a period of dormancy but if you have trouble germinating seeds check to see if the plant does need a dormant period. Or better yet, check that before you start!