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Old 04-16-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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Default Growing Prairie (Northern) Dropseed from seed

Has anyone successfully grown Prairie Dropseed from seed? I am having trouble getting the seeds to germinate. I've given it moist cold stratification. Does it just take a very long time to sprout? I hope someone can encourage me.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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Ohhh pretty pretty plant!!! I've grown it from seed. Give it time.... don't let the medium dry out. You need to keep it damp not moist. My guess is we haven't had enough days in a row that were warm enough to raise the soil temps high enough to where it should start germinating is all.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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I think you're right that I'm being impatient. All of my other seeds have sprouted... the ones that I sowed in January ... but not the dropseed. I think the plant is just beautiful, too. I was interested to see it last year at the landscape arboretum here in Minnesota. Now if only I can grow it. How many years does it take to become that large beautiful plant, when it is started from seed?

Interestingly, another plant that looked very attractive at the arboretum was the Diervilla (Bush Honeysuckle). I added one to my yard last year after seeing it there. The fall foliage was a mix of red and yellow and green...very nice. I wish I had a picture to share.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:18 PM   #4
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Hey bee, I grow prairie dropseed from seed. I agree you need to wait longer. It is truly a warm season grass and the seeds need warm nights as well as days. By the third year it is looking nice by the fourth a good sized clump.

The first picture is after one full year.
The second has dropseed on the left and is third year clumps.
Last picture is some I started by wintersowing in milk jugs. The seed came in sparse but filled in quickly. I took 4 plugs from each jug. This year I have 8 jugs planted.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:55 AM   #5
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I was going to advise a call to Prairie Moon as their catalog notes no special techniques and merely states warm growth spurts. Some seeds like the warm soil before venturing out. Of course with the knowledgeable posters here we both learned something and won't have to contact P.M.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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Gloria, those are very helpful pictures. Thanks for posting those. After just one year your dropseed clump already looks very attractive. It doesn't seem it takes as long to form a clump as I thought.
Sprucetree, I also found it interesting that Prairie Moon lists dropseed as needing no stratification. But I winter sowed it anyway.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:04 AM   #7
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I've grown it from seed as well, and it does take a while to germinate in the spring AND to grow to maturity (3-4 years). But worth it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #8
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You might consider bringing it inside or putting it in a very warm spot for a week or two. Heat (70 - 80 degrees) seems to be an important element for germination. After it germinates it could be put back outside.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:06 PM   #9
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One of the 8 milk jugs wintersown this year with prairie dropseed has begun to germinate. 7 more to go...
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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That's great Gloria! Since it's a bit colder here I see that I just need to wait a little longer.
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