Planting perennials - a step-by-step guide on how to start by sowing them indoors
In today's blog, Anna will share a step-by-step guide on how to get a head start with planting perennials by sowing them indoors. Perennials are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make your garden beautiful. In colder climates like Sweden / Norway, January is the perfect time to start sowing them indoors. By sowing indoors, your plants will be ready to be hardened off and planted in soil as soon as the warmth sets in early spring.
What do you need to start sowing indoors?
- Perennial seeds
- Planting soil
- Perlite. It is an expanded volcanic glass that is extremely porous. It is added to the soil to help with water absorption, and to improve drainage in the soil.
- Sowing tray
- Grow light
Temperature to succeed with sowing perennials
Most of the perennial seeds require a warmer climate to germinate (20-24 °C). Our recommendation is to place them in
- a warmer room (eg. living room) or
- cover the pots with transparent plastic with holes
- or buy a closed-lid sowing tray with holes for ventilation.
After germination, they prefer it to be a bit cooler (approx 16-20 °C). Once they have germinated, you can move them to a cooler place, eg. a pantry.
Placing the seeds in the pots
- Some seeds are very small so we use a tweezer to place them on top of the soil
- Other seeds may require very shallow planting. For these, we only place them on top of the soil and spray them gently with water.
Usually, there are good instructions on how to sow each specific perennial on the seed packet e.g. how deep the seeds need to be placed. Some gentle reading with a cup of tea is highly recommended.
Extra lighting for indoor sowing
It's important to add extra light on these darker days so a grow light is required, even if you place your seeds on a window sill. However, they need to rest from the light during the night. We suggest you get
- a grow light with a timer or
- separate timer to turn on and off the lights.
Planting them out
When your seedlings have grown into decent-sized plants, you can move them into bigger pots to make them even bigger and sturdier. Once the risk of frost is over, you plant them outside and water them generously during the first season to help them establish.
Some of the perennials Anna is sowing this year
- Eremus Robustus
- Veronicastrum virgicum (also known as Foxtail lilies)
- Echinacea purpurea (purple cornflowers)
- Agastache (Giant hyssops)
- Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
Anyone can sow perennials, and it's super fun! Never tried it before? Follow her simple tips to give it a go.
Are you a seasoned perennial grower? We would love to hear which ones you are sowing this year. Share a post in the Odla Mer app and inspire others to find joy in growing.
Loves growing veggies and perennials
Odla Mer's gardener, digital marketing, and community manager