The sleeping beauties

Part 1

After the seeds shop opening and an early winter arrival I am in the rush now to tuck in safely my sleeping beauties. Our garage serves as a ‘winter storage/garden’. In what I call sleeping beauties I include various species done from seeds that have one thing in common: that they are ‘sleeping’ in their first season, totally or partially. Sleeping is not quite a proper term because they are actually growing but mostly underground. However, for a long period of time you are staring and caring for what, some may call, empty pots.

They are mainly hypogeal germinators that in their first season will only emerge the radicle and grow a young tuber/rhizome: Paeonia species, Trilliums, some Lilium species… Paeonia mlokosewitschii seedlings resemble little creatures hungrily sucking water and nutrients from the soil mix ;)

Others like Glaucidium palmatum, will germinate totally underground or above, but remain arrested at the cotyledons stage and spend the season fattening up a growing point underground. The whole process can be sped up a bit if you can sow right away in late summer and/or treat with GA3.

 I can already envision their awakening next year, after the Spring’s big kiss!

I know that many don’t care to start from seeds species Paeonies because it will take at least 3-4 years until they start flowering but their spring foliage is equally mesmerizing. For the same reason it is not very easy to find to buy them and when available are quite expensive. Better start them from seed – in a blink of an eye they will grow, prosper and flower! I do not have such seeds to offer (unfortunately), but most often you will be able to get hold of a few Paeonia species through Seed Exchanges.

 more tucking in to do…

PS. NOT recommended to scratch the pots, or remove the seedlings, like I did; be patient until spring. In my excuse, I needed pictures so I can share the experience.

6 replies
    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Coming spring you should see some ‘leafy’ signs from them; in all my Paeonia pots, between the ones with emerged rootlets there are also ungerminated seeds, looking fine but
      still dormant. They’ll start germination in the next warm period ;)

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