Here’s a quick report, on the seeds from Plant World Seeds that I was so excited to order way back last winter. For a bit about the seeds arrival and the actual packets, see here.
First of all, only about 40% of the seeds germinated despite careful following of instructions. Now, I realize that when one orders unusual, exotic (at least to me despite 40 years of professional growing) seeds one must expect them to be harder to grow. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be unusual, would they, if every garden center had them? So, I was prepared for low results and difficult germination. There were some good results. The “Oranges and Lemons” columbine germinated extremely well, and are growing happily in the North Island. The variegated dames rocket shown above germinated well (as expected for a wild flower) but only two plants are slightly variegated. However, if they truly bloom white next year, I’ll still be pleased. I think every yellow hollyhock seed has thrived and one is budded and nearly ready to flower. The golden penstemon had poor germination, and two truly golden-leaved plants, but I’m thrilled to have them and they are definitely worth the price of the seed packet. I’ll grow the non-gold ones on to sell next spring at the garden club plant sale. There is one lonely erigeron, a few peach-leaf bellflowers and lavenders (both with which I’ve had great success in prior years.) None of the rest of the packets yielded anything. And, somehow, the lunaria got lost in the shuffle, and was just now planted!
So, my feelings are mixed. Part of the problem was that “I can grow anything” feeling that overcomes one in the depth of winter, as catalogs and websites lure and feed the desire for something new. There were no doubt more complicated seed varieties that I could handle during the rush of seeding, and some of the exotic varieties probably were not happy in basement conditions. I’d give Plant World Seeds another go. Their prices are reasonable, the number of seeds per packet is acceptable, and their instructions are more detailed than many companies. Next time I’ll try fewer new things, and try to give them more attention. Did you try any new companies this year? What were the results?