Perennial plants are mostly long-lived and have plenty of time to reproduce themselves. These plants often produce less seed than other plants. The seeds take their time to germinate and the seedlings do not rush to mature and flower. Patience and persistence is helpful when growing these from seed. However, there are exceptions. There are a small group of perennial plants that flower in the first year from seed, especially when they are sown early in spring.
Here are three new introductions to try this year:
Cupid’s Dart ‘Armor Blue’ (Catananche caerulea) - an attractive border plant and good cut flower. Plants grow to a height of 60-80cm with grass-like leaves and appealing papery lavender-blue all summer from July/August to October.
Pale Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) - a Prairie plant with sturdy stems, up to a height of about 120cm, and distinctive drooping rose coloured flowers from June/July to September.
Scabious ‘Perfecta Blue’ (Scabiosa caucasica)- a clear blue variety of Pincushion from the ‘Perfecta’ series. These plants grow elegant blue flowers on long strong stems, making this an excellent border plant and cut flower.