Seeds germinating, second year bulbs (happiness)

Travis O
Sun, 24 Jan 2016 10:02:11 PST

This is a very exciting time of year for me, because it is the time many of my seed pots start to show signs of growth. Seeing something I've sown germinate for the first time is almost better than the flowers they produce (because it means I didn't kill them!)

Iris chrysophylla is germinating en masse, although I was told some time ago by an "expert" that germ rates were low. I have near 100% germ! It was surface sown and left outside under an old window to prevent mechanical damage from rain (as happened last year).

Erythronium oregonum is the first of the fawn lilies to break the seed coat, with hendersonii close behind. The latter is native here, so I should expect good germ there. Both sown as the Iris above.

Pseudomuscari azureum and Dichelostemma capitatum are both germinating, too. Neither is particularly showy unless mass planted, but I like them anyway. Seed of both surface sown and left out.

Narcissus seed collected from my own bulbs are germinating, my attempt to raise a strain that is best adapted to my garden. Second year seedling bulbs are also appearing. Seed was sown 1/2" deep and left out.

Other second year bulbs are coming up in pots. Chlorogalum from seed collected in the area two years ago are appearing like clockwork, the wild plants that created the seed are likewise breaking the soil surface.

Also, arguably not a bulb in any way,  a native Delphinium (probably D. nuttallianum) is showing up again. It is in it's second year of growth, the first years' appearance was so brief I thought I killed them. The leaves are tiny compared to the mature plants, yet they have the characteristically palmate divided leaves.

I am growing a variety of questionably hardy seeds under lights on my covered porch. These tend to be species which don't require a cold period and germinated over a month ago. These include Toxicoscordion fremontii, a few Alliums, Arisaema heterophyllum, Crocus goulimyi, and a few others I'm forgetting. Barnardia japonica seed sown last Autumn still shows no signs of growth, so I requested bulbs from the recent BX anyway. Hopefully the seeds will germinate and I'll get a dozen bulbs to play with.

Question: My Arisaema heterophyllum is dying back now, is this typical? Should I let the pot dry out a bit?

(Completely unrelated to bulbs, but somewhat comparable to germination, our due date for the birth of our second daughter is in the beginning of March, which obviously dwarfs anything to do with anything else anywhere! It's going to be epic, just wanted to share that!)

Anyone else have seed successes/failures to share?

Travis Owen
Rogue River, OR

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