I've attempted to grow Meconopsis (Himalayan blue poppy) from seed and plant. Two years ago, I started them inside in peat pots and got a single seedling for my efforts and even that succumbed within a few weeks. Last year, I purchased plants from Michigan Bulb and while they were really healthy plants, I managed to kill every one of them. I also winter sowed the seeds and got nada.
Growing anything from seed can seem like a daunting venture when you think about it. I mean, honestly, just how can a teeny tiny seed ever hope to become a relatively gigantic plant with colorful flowers? Take the petunia for example.
A petunia seed is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. An ounce contains 245,000 to 285,000 seeds. They need light to germinate, but a seed that small can get lost in the cracks, even when you can't see any cracks. That's probably why a single seed pod on a petunia contains so many seeds. Chances of many of them reaching maturity is pretty small.
I enjoy growing things from seeds, because 1) it's a challenge, 2) it's an inexpensive way to try new things, and 3) I enjoy watching the tiny seedlings emerge and go through all the stages of growth. There are plants that I love that are not easily available at our local garden centers as an already grown plant. Seeds allow me to grow them.
But all is not ideal in Eden. As much as I would love to say that I have a 100% success rate with my seed planting ventures, I can't. There are those plants that elude me, some of them time and time again. I am a persistent sort and don't like the thought of a plant getting the better of me, so I try again.
Has anyone had good success with growing Bells of Ireland (Molucella laevis) from seed? I don't want to know, unless you have a tried and true secret for it. I've tried to grow them every single year for the last four years and only had one plant with bells on it two years ago. I love them and would be quite thrilled to see just a few plants looking good in my garden.
Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) are a favorite of mine, but I have yet to be able to grow a single one from seed. I'll be trying again this spring by planting some 'Lauren's Grape' oriental poppy seeds that I purchased from Botanical Interests. I bought two packets of seeds and will probably plant them all, hoping to get at least a couple of plants from them.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)are supposed to be easy to grow and self-seed, right? Well, there isn't going to be any self-seeding of these going on in my garden this year, because I only got one blooming plant out of the bunch I planted last year and it was so close to frost that it never made it to seed-pod stage. These are readily available at the garden centers so I might purchase some and then let them go to seed. Romie loves them and calls them "dragonsnaps."
Jodi's Livingstone Daisies (Dorotheansus bellidiformis) captivated me from the moment I saw them on her blog, so last year I decided I would try to grow them from seed. No luck, but I'm going to try again this year, because they're so gorgeous and I want them growing in my own garden.
And finally, what kind of gardener can't grow Johnny Jump-ups (Viola cornuta) from seed? Me. I've sown them several times and have yet to get even one blooming plant.
It's a sinister plot meant to discourage me from seed sowing, don't you think? But it's not working. I will always sow seeds, even those that are my own personal nemeses.
And waits to see, believes in God.