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Friday, February 24, 2012

Starting Perennial Flowers Indoors: Lupine, Foxglove, Painted Daisy, Carnations

The perennial flowers are great for gardens because they come back year after year. They grow well and need to be divided every 2 years or so. Before you know it, you have lots of flowers to landscape your whole yard and some to trade. That saves you a lot of money. At $6.99 to $8.99 a quart/gallon pot, you quickly run out of cash. Gardening is about the moment and the vision of the future. Here are some perennial that are easy to grow indoors for the moment and hardy enough for your vision.

Starting Lupines Indoors: Gary Pilarchik

Lupines don't like the heat I found. If they bake they won't grow. Some shade in Zone7 will help them. Stay away from full southern exposure. They produce large seeds. Soaking them for 4-6 hours before planting, helps jump start them. 

Germination isn't great. Two seeds per cell works well. You can thin them by removing the weakest or let both grow. I press my thumb into well packed cells and cover as seen below.

2 Lupine Seeds to a Cell: Gary Pilarchik

Red Carnations: Gary Pilarchik

Red Carnations grow well in the ground or in containers. They are hardy but sometimes die out because of hard cold Winters with consecutive deep freezing nights. Plant about three seeds to the cell and just let them go. If you must, you can gently divide them.

Foxglove is also know as digitalis which is or was once used as heart medicine. It is poisonous. Please don't add it to your salads. I over plant the cells with 15 seeds or so and divide them into cups and then I divide the cups again when I plant them in the yard. I think these are more biennials then perennials.  The plants release tons of seeds and repopulate the area. Some shade helps these plants too. Don't let them bake in dry soil.

Very Small Foxglove Seeds: Gary Pilarchik

Painted Daisy Adds Great Color: Gary Pilarchik
Painted Daisies like the heat and grow most anywhere. Rabbits do like them so beware. They are easy to grow and can be started as below and divided when you put them into cups. One benefit of over planting this plant is the variety of colors you get, in the bunch, when transplanted into your yard.

Seed Starting Painted Daisies: Gary Pilarchik

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