Pronto perennials … from seed to bloom in their first year
After perennials die down, they come back the next year to repeat
their flower show. But perennials are expensive to buy as plants and
are slow to come into bloom when raised from seed. Or are they? Here
are nine that will bloom the first year from seed.
None is difficult, although a few have quirks you must deal with.
Order seed now from your favorite catalog and sow as soon as possible in
a commercial or sterilized soil mixture in a cool, bright place indoors.
(Most germinate best at 65| to 70|.) When the seedlings have two pairs
of true leaves, transplant them to give them root room, and set them out
as soon as the soil begins to warm in late winter or spring.
Anthemis tinctoria “Kelwayi’. Golden marguerite.
Long-stemmed yellow daisies on 2- to 3-foot plants.
Chrysanthemum coccineum (Pyrethrum roseum). Painted daisy. Pink,
white, or red daisies on 2- to 3-foot plants.
Chrysanthemum morifolium. Florists’ chrysanthemum. Many
colors, sizes, shapes. Seeds are tiny, and delicate seedlings need
Coreopsis grandiflora. Coreopsis. Yellow daisy flowers on 1- to
2-foot plants. Do not cover seeds.
Delphinium. Sow now and keep out of doors to germinate in the
spring, or grow in a cool, bright place indoors to transplant later.
Dianthus. Carnation, pink. Perennial carnations (border
carnations) and pinks will bloom the first year from seed. They may be
Gaillardia grandiflora. Gaillardia. Showy red and yellow ragged
daisies on 2- to 4-foot plants. Do not cover seed.
Gerbera. Transvaal daisy. Long-stemmed, elegant daisies; tops for
cut flowers, but hardy only in mild winters. Seed must be fresh; do not
Salvia farinacea. Mealy-cup sage. Violetblue spikes rise above
gray-green foliage on 3-foot plants.
Photo: September bouquet: bronze and yellow chrysanthemums go into
a vase with violet-blue sage
Photo: Transvaal daisies are choice for cutting, easy from fresh