Starting perennials from seed is one of the most cost-effective types of gardening out there. First, seeds are MUCH less expensive than seedlings or mature plants. Second, once you get your perennials growing, they'll come back year after year. Third, you can harvest some of their seeds and plant even MORE perennials. It's a lovely circle of life, isn't it? Anyway....if you think actually GROWING perennials from seed is easier said than done, you might be surprised at this list from Fine Gardening. Their top 10 choices include:
- Allium (aka flowering chive, pictured above) grows in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 11. Plant in full sun.
- Penstemon, for zones 3 to 10. Plant in full sun to partial shade.
- Delosperma (aka hardy ice plant), for zones 5 to 11. Full sun.
- Primula (aka primrose), for zones 3 to 8. Full sun to deep shade.
- Silene, for zones 3 to 9. Full sun to light shade.
- Dianthus for zones 3 to 10. Full sun to light shade.
- Draba, for zones 4 to 6. Full sun.
- Lupine, for zones 4 to 8. Full sun.
- Aquilegia (aka native columbine), for zones 3 to 8. Full sun to partial shade.
- Eriogonum (aka wild buckwheat), for zones 3 to 11. Full sun.
For MUCH more information about these plants, including optimal soil conditions and photos of each, visit finegarding.com.
Dianthus gratianopolitanus, photo credit by Jennifer Banner.