Maltese Cross (Lychnis Chalcedonica)

JBtheExplorer

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I purchased some Maltese Cross seeds a few days ago. I was wondering If these can be started now (July 20th) or if I should wait until Spring to start them indoors. I've said on this site multiple times already that I really don't know much about seeds but I've been getting into planting them this past year. Having a resource like this site is a big help to reassure I'm doing things the best way.
 
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I purchased some Maltese Cross seeds a few days ago. I was wondering If these can be started now (July 20th) or if I should wait until Spring to start them indoors. I've said on this site multiple times already that I really don't know much about seeds but I've been getting into planting them this past year. Having a resource like this site is a big help to reassure I'm doing things the best way.


I think you would be a bit disappointed if you were to sow your seeds now as it would be unlikely that they would germinate and although Lychnis Chalcedonica can be sown outside in Spring just before the last frost - the best results are normally obtained when Lychnis Chalcedonica are sown outside in late Autumn early Winter - as this is the optimum time for sowing the majority of perennial seeds :)
 

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Where is it that you live? Also, if you check the seed package it will tell you how many days it takes from germination to bloom.

zone 5
seed packet does not say how long to bloom, though I read online it blooms in its second year, which is why I thought giving it a head start may be an option. germination takes 10-15.
 

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I think you would be a bit disappointed if you were to sow your seeds now as it would be unlikely that they would germinate and although Lychnis Chalcedonica can be sown outside in Spring just before the last frost - the best results are normally obtained when Lychnis Chalcedonica are sown outside in late Autumn early Winter - as this is the optimum time for sowing the majority of perennial seeds :)


I tend to start my seeds indoors since I haven't had much luck when sowing them outdoors. Since I read online that it takes two years for it to flower, I thought I could possibly give it a head start?
 
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I tend to start my seeds indoors since I haven't had much luck when sowing them outdoors. Since I read online that it takes two years for it to flower, I thought I could possibly give it a head start?

Although I have to agree with you - there are some seeds that do best when started indoors - especially annuals as it means that you can get the plants well underway without any fear of losing them to inclement weather and of course they are ready to plant out as soon as the last frost has gone - this method however is not very effective when it comes to perennial seeds - mainly because the majority of perennial seeds are cold germinators and need the fluctuating cold temperatures of an outdoor environment in order to break their dormancy - so after many, many years of growing perennials from seed my best advice would be - that if you wish to grow perennials from seed - you will have a great deal more success if you sow them outside in late Autumn early Winter.

Even though there are few varieties of perennials that do flower in the first year - the majority don't and am sorry to say that yes you are correct - Lychnis Chalcedonica is one of those that doesn't flower until the second year and unfortunately there really isn't anything that can be done to speed up that process - the only benefit in this case - is that at least the foliage does look attractive - even without the flowers :)
 

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Although I have to agree with you - there are some seeds that do best when started indoors - especially annuals as it means that you can get the plants well underway without any fear of losing them to inclement weather and of course they are ready to plant out as soon as the last frost has gone - this method however is not very effective when it comes to perennial seeds - mainly because the majority of perennial seeds are cold germinators and need the fluctuating cold temperatures of an outdoor environment in order to break their dormancy - so after many, many years of growing perennials from seed my best advice would be - that if you wish to grow perennials from seed - you will have a great deal more success if you sow them outside in late Autumn early Winter.

Even though there are few varieties of perennials that do flower in the first year - the majority don't and am sorry to say that yes you are correct - Lychnis Chalcedonica is one of those that doesn't flower until the second year and unfortunately there really isn't anything that can be done to speed up that process - the only benefit in this case - is that at least the foliage does look attractive - even without the flowers :)


darn.... Ok, thats what I'll do then. Anything special I have to do to keep them safe from birds, mice, or anything else over winter? I tried BES seeds last year and none ever grew this spring. I feel like I did something wrong.
 
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darn.... Ok, thats what I'll do then. Anything special I have to do to keep them safe from birds, mice, or anything else over winter? I tried BES seeds last year and none ever grew this spring. I feel like I did something wrong.


I know how frustrating it must be feel - but just think how rewarding its going to be when you see your young plants pop up and start to thrive :)

Even though I have plenty of wildlife in my garden - I have to say that I've never ever had to take any precautions with my seeds over winter - I literally just sow and leave and although I do often sow directly in the garden where I want the plants to grow - I've found that - especially for the smaller seeds that only need pushing into the surface of the soil - that they do best when sown in pots as that way if strong winds or heavy rains are forecast - it gives me the chance to pop a clear plastic cup over the top of them to stop them from being disturbed - which is something that you may well find that you have to do with your Lychnis seeds - as if I remember rightly they are pretty small.

The main thing with sowing seeds is to remember to keep them moist but not too wet and not to sow them too deeply.
 

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