SUMMER GENTIAN Gentiana septemfida
An extremely hardy gentian, this Gentian produces masses of cobalt-blue flowers in summer. Plants are compact, and form a mat-like ground cover reaching 5-6" tall (10-15cm). These Gentian like to be planted in a sunny location, and are ideal planted at the front of the garden, in a rock garden, or trailing over walls. We've been growing this Gentian for many years now, started from seed, and we find it to be very easy to grow, and does well even in our sandy-soil location (though probably not it's favorite soil type). If you like cobalt-blue flowers, this is a beautiful Gentian to try!
Type: Hardy perennial
Location: Sun or part sun
Hardiness zones: 2-9
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them begin to grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! This is especially important with Gentian. Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container at room temperature for 1 week (they will not grow yet), and then place them in a refrigerator for 5-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container back at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period. They require some patience, but are well worth the effort!
These seeds can also be planted in a cold frame outdoors in very early spring (or in winter if you live in a warm climate), while the temperatures are still cold and fluctuating, as long as you are able to keep the soil consistently moist. They will still need several weeks to germinate.