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Growing Heucheras from Seed

PostPosted: Apr 07, 2006 10:34 pm
by GrannyNanny
You've asked for it, so here goes -- directions for growing heucheras from seed:
1) Harvest heuchera seeds from stalks when they've become dry and brittle. Don't wait too long, however, or the seeds will have fallen off the stalks before you get to them. Just start at the bottom of the stalk, grasp the stalk between thumb and forefinger, and run up the stalk, collecting all the seeds (and chaff). Be sure you have an envelope with you to put them in before they blow away.
2) Heuchera seeds are tiny -- like fairy dust -- and there is no way to separate them from the chaff -- you will just sow both together, after you've put the collected stuff through a strainer to get out the remainders of the stalks and the big pieces of seed pod.
3) Use a regular kitchen strainer, hold it over a light colored bowl (so you can see the seeds), and crush small amounts of the collected seeds and pods through the strainer. (This opens up the tiny pods and releases the seeds.)
4. Put the resulting dust-like stuff into an envelope. Be sure you tape all the edges of the envelope shut, because those tiny seeds will leak out of the tiniest hole.
5) Growing medium -- use seed-starting mix, mixed half and half with perlite. Heuchs like to be well drained, and too heavy a mix will damp off the seedlings. Moisten until damp but not soaking wet.
6) Fill seed trays, and sprinkle the seeds/chaff mix evenly over the top of the growing medium. Be careful not to get it too thick -- there are more seeds in that mix than you think!
7) Do not cover with any more seed starter -- they need light to germinate, so must stay on the soil surface. I spray lightly with water, just to make the seeds stick to the top of the soil.
8. Put seed trays under plastic domes, and keep close under lights. Mist occasionally to keep surface moist.
9) Germination should take a week to ten days -- sometimes a bit longer. When seedlings begin coming up, you can bottom-water the seed trays.
10) When seedlings have a second set of leaves, transplant them to another, deeper seed tray with the same growing medium in it. Even small seedlings can have a very long center root, so be sure you get it all when you transplant.
11) when seedlings are large enough to be transplanted into separate pots, use a mix of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 perlite. Heavy soils are death to heuchera seedlings at any stage.
12) plant outdoors after a week or so of "hardening off" on your deck or patio. They get fairly bushy the first year, but really take off their second year.

I hope this answers questions. If you have more, ask and I'll try to answer them. Oh yes, one more thing -- heuchs are like hostas in that offspring do not look like the parent plant. Some may resemble mama, but most will be very different, so it's exciting to see what you are going to get. Any leaf markings don't usually show up until the plant has about 8-10 leaves, so don't cull too soon. Phyllis

PostPosted: Apr 08, 2006 7:38 am
by LucyGoose
Chris, can we sticky this?

Thanks so much Phyllis!! I know they are the most fun to do.... :P

PostPosted: Apr 08, 2006 11:27 am
by toomanyanimals
Thanks Phyllis,
I still don't know what happened to mine before. I know it was me or what I used, cause you sent seeds to lots of people and they had great success.
I think I will try from my seeds this fall. I have Story Seas and would like to try those seeds. :D

PostPosted: Apr 09, 2006 11:53 pm
by doublemom2
Thank you Phyllis for these wonderful directions. I've always propagated heucheras from cuttings, but I'm definitely going to try seeds this year. I have a lot of volunteers out in the garden, some look wonderful, so starting from seed might give me even more fun babies :)


PostPosted: Apr 20, 2006 4:34 pm
by thy
Thank you :D :D :D
It is saved and I will try it one day for sure

Never really knew what to to with that sot of tiny, tiny seeds :wink:

PostPosted: May 17, 2006 10:59 pm
by Dee_dla
LG, told me this was here glad I found it! If I don't have any luck with the seeds I planted without instructions, I will give it another try. Think I have some left. whewwww!

Thank you for posting this, Phyllis! :D

PostPosted: May 18, 2006 8:53 pm
by GrannyNanny
You are most welcome. The only things that really prevent germination of heuchera seeds are: 1) the soil doesn't have enough perlite in it to make it light and fast-draining; and 2) the seeds get covered with soil. If you make sure those two things are right, you'll get more plants than you ever thought possible. Phyllis

PostPosted: May 28, 2006 5:55 am
by wishiwere
So? How long from seeding until they are large enough to put in the gardens? Is it best to save the the seed till next late winter/early spring, or when? I must be in a similar zone as you in Minn, so figured you'd know best for zone 5? :)

Your instructions are great! I can't wait to try this!

PostPosted: May 28, 2006 6:33 am
by caliloo
THis looks like LOTS of fun! Thanks for posting the instructions.

I finally have a few varieties of Heuchera so I'm interested to see what sort of work the bees will do for me this year. In the past all I had was Palace Purple so any volunteers were.. ummmm... boring! :lol:
Thanks again and I can't wait to give it a try!


Re: Growing Heucheras from Seed

PostPosted: Jun 03, 2014 5:34 pm
by wrrplodder
What time of year do you sow the seeds?