Wildflower seed stratification and scarification

Q: Do wildflower seeds require any special treatment prior to sowing?

A: The 2 forms of special treatment are as follows:

a. Scarification: This is where hard coated wild flower seeds can be encouraged to germinate more readily by rubbing between two sheets of sandpaper hence allowing moisture to penetrate more readily. A few examples within our own range of wildflower seeds include Rockrose, Meadow Cranesbill, Vetches, Bluebell, Ribbed Melilot and Sainfoin.

b. Stratification: (sometimes referred to as vernalisation) this is where a wildflower seed needs to be subjected to a period of chilling before germination will occur. Mixing with some moist compost and placing the seed in a refrigerator at just above freezing for approx 8 weeks can achieve this. Alternatively seed can be sown outdoors in the autumn for germination the following spring. A few examples within our own range of wildflower seeds include Mignonette, Bluebell, Weld, Sweet cicely, Hemp agrimony, Clustered bellflower, Wild Carrot, Yellow Flag iris, Water avens, Yellow rattle, Meadow sweet and most notably primulas such as Primrose and Cowslip seeds.