Soapwort and Echinacea Germination
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Gail Brooks
Posted on: September 7, 1998

Last spring we ordered soapwort seeds and were warned it was going to take 5 to 12 months for germination. Only 3 seeds germinated out of 20. Are we doing something wrong or is this normal. As for the echinacea, I can’t even get the seeds to germinate indoors or out. What could be wrong?

Soapwort seeds need frost or temperatures close to freezing to germinate and they also don’t last well. I suspect that it was already too warm last spring when you planted the seeds to get good germination and this spring a lot of the seeds had already died and the rest had been eaten by insects etc. Next time put the seedflat into the fridge for three months and your results might be better.

Mix Echinacea purpurea seed with moist sand and refridgerate in a plastic bag for 4 to 10 weeks. Then sprinkle the seed over a slightly acid potting mix, press into surface, water gently, enclose in clean plastic bag and place in a bright but not sunny spot at room temperature for germination. Birds and rodents love the seed and it must therefore be protected from them. If treated correctly the seed germinates in 4 to 7 days.

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