Sowing – basic information
For each species in our offer, the information regarding the appropriate time for sowing is provided. This information applies to the conditions of the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere and serves as guidance only. The species with any specifics for sowing always have this information provided. It is possible to sow the seeds either in the containers or into the soil. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as supporters and opponents. For some of the offered species, I recommend sowing straight into the soil as the sowing of those in the containers tends to be significantly less successful. Of course, this is only my recommendation, which you do not have to follow. Depending on the method of germination, the seeds can be divided into several categories.
Seeds not requiring cold stratification:
These are sown in late winter and spring, some of the Mediterranean species in autumn. They germinate within a few days, with a maximum of weeks. Only rarely does the germination take years. This category contains a wide range of plants, e.g. the most of the annual plants, succulents, ferns, many woody plants and perennials.
Seeds requiring cold stratification:
The sowing time for these species is indicated in the catalogue, ranging roughly from June to February (a simplified guide). Many of those require a warm period before the cold period, therefore sowing in the summer is recommended. This is typical, for example, for the monocotyledonous plants. Others it is possible to sow in autumn or winter. Most of the sowings then germinate in the spring of the following year, after their first winter. Some species requiring cold stratification will germinate gradually (e.g. each year only a part of the sowings) or have their germination considerably delayed (they germinate all at once several years after sowing). Fortunately, there are not many such species as this more common for the seeds of trees and shrubs. Therefore patience is needed, and above all not to dispose of sowings prematurely. This information especially applies to frost-resistant and partly to subtropical plants. The tropical species do not require cold stratification.
Seeds requiring immediate sowing:
These seeds require sowing immediately after the delivery. See the separate post for more information.
Seeds of semi-parasitic and parasitic plants:
These plants are partly, or completely dependent on the host plant. Such species have this information stated in the catalogue. If known the host species are listed as well. The semi-parasitic species are capable of surviving partially independently, therefore, can be sown in containers and replanted later. The parasitic species must be sown directly to the roots of the host plant.
Seeds of mycorrhizal plants:
This is a very specific group of plants for sowing and growing. In their initial phase of development, all these species are completely reliant on their coexistence with the symbiotic fungi (some species all their life). It is necessary to sow those usually tiny seeds directly into the soil (old, well-established soil), ideally in the vicinity of adult plants of their own or related species, with already established said symbiosis. However, the outcome of such sowings is often very uncertain. Another method (significantly more successful) is sowing in sterile laboratory conditions, but this option is not available to most of the amateur growers. These specific conditions are, of course, also listed in the catalogue for individual species.