SJW Seed Germination: Plant in Fall?
Answered by: Ginny
Question from: Eric
Posted on: October 10, 2012

I purchased "SJW Topas" seeds from "Richters." It is now October, 2012. I live in Toronto, Canada. I’ve heard that SJW seeds should be treated to a frost or winter chill to ensure proper germination and optimum growth. Is it safe to plant outside in 6-gallon pots filled with organic soil before the first frost, resulting in flowers in spring 2013? Or do I wait just before the last frost of 2013 (some time around late March I would imagine) before planting?

St. John’s wort "Topaz" will have improved germination with a winter chill, or stratification. By sowing the seed now in your outdoor planter, you may risk loss of the seed from erosion, winds, birds, or any number of happenstance. You could reduce this risk by sowing in the pot later in the winter, as you suggest, in March. Alternatively, you could put the seed in a little bit of slightly dampened soil, in a baggy. Store this baggy in the refrigerator or freezer until next Spring. Then sow in to your pot. Good luck with your future planting!

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