Growing new plants from seed is one of the most exciting parts of gardening! Keep trying and testing and there is always a reward at the end!
Ordering and Sowing Instructions
How to sow for best results?
My usual answer on this question is ‘grow it as it would in nature’. If a plant comes from a Mediterranean area, then it will most likely sprout in autumn with the first rains. If a bulb grows in a very sandy soil then you should definitely try to imitate that free draining effect in your pot.
I generally do my sowing during fall, although people in colder climates would sow in spring. There are Mediterranean species though that have smaller sprouting rates if sown in spring. I like my soil media to be well drained, so I place a 2-3cm of perlite on the bottom of the pot, then a mixture of one part of very fine seed compost (I sieve it if necessary) and one part of coarse river sand or vermiculite. I water, then sow, then cover with a fine layer of the above mixture and at the end I sprinkle with some sand (or more sand for winter growing bulbs), then water carefully again. Try to maintain a good level of moisture for germination but not too wet or too dry.
South African bulbs tend to sprout best when there is a big difference between day and night temps (10 degrees is good) during autumn. Other plants are less demanding. There are bulbs that take 5 days to sprout and others that take 1 or 2 months, there are salvias that appear in 3 days and others that need all winter before they decide to do so. There is no general rule for sowing. It has to do with your skills, your climate, your available space and conditions, when you want to do it, what can you provide in terms of protection from cold and a million other things. The best you can do are two things. Experiment and research. Go online, find all the information you can about where a plant comes from, what other people have tried, what went wrong, etc. and then keep on trying! The more you sow, the more successful you’ll be at the end, this is a fact. Providing specific instructions of how I get my success in my very warm Mediterranean climate is quite irrelevant for a person who tries to do the same in i.e. London, UK. There are annuals that you grow during winter in the Mediterranean or as summer annuals in northern Europe. There are summer dormant bulbs that people successfully grow as summer growers in the UK. There are alpines that sprout without needing cold winter temps here and consider our winter their spring but one shouldn’t even consider starting them during autumn in northern Europe.
The one universal fact about better results is fresh seed. The fresher the seeds the higher (and more uniform) the sprouting. All the plants listed here are growing in my collection and I collect seeds of all species and varieties every year, so that’s your first ticket to success. And that doesn’t guarantee that an individual seed is viable or destined to live. The fun is up to you! But if you believe that you’ve done everything right and nothing appeared, do not hesitate to contact me and we’ll find a solution together.
Will it come true from seed?
I believe that all plants in my collection are true to name. That doesn’t mean that there is the odd case of owning a plant wrongly named, but I can provide you with pictures of everything that is listed here if you have a doubt for a particular species. On the other hand, my plant collection is quite big and my space is limited. That means that many different species of the same genus are grown together. And as all plants are grown outside and are naturally pollinated, there is the chance that a hybrid might occur. If you’re like me, getting excited with new things, you’ll probably will be happy about it, but if you’re a pure species kind of person then you should probably be seeking wild collected seeds.
How to order?
That is quite simple. You make a list of what you want (use listing codes, or full botanical names, whatever you prefer). You send them to my email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible with availability for your order and then you can send your payment exclusively through PayPal (email@example.com). There is a minimum of 5 packs of seed per order and a shipping and handling cost of 5 Euro per order worldwide, or 8 Euros if you want your order tracked (best option for non-EU orders). Orders are packed in paper envelopes with bubble wrap in order to arrive safe, or small boxes for bigger orders. You are responsible for getting your order through your country’s customs so if there is a specific procedure or paperwork that I should fill, please let me know in advance and I’ll be happy to do so. If you live in a country where specific plants are not allowed, then please refrain from ordering them. Orders usually take 5-15 working days to reach destinations within Europe, and 10-20 working days for the rest of the world. Of course, in a worldwide shipping network, delays and problems could arise. Please cooperate and let me know if there is any problem with your order.
If you have more questions please use the contact form on this website or email me at: