Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds offers a wide selection of native plant seeds. You can purchase individual seed packets through our online shopping cart, or email us to inquire about larger quantities of seed available or seed collection contracting services.  SEE MORE

Author: Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds

Native Seed Success in 2019

Native Seed Success in 2019

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds are used for many different seeding and planting projects each year. We love to see how our seeds are successfully incorporated into habitat restoration projects, native plant gardens, pollinator habitat enhancement, ornamental landscaping, community planting projects, educational gardens, and much more! Our seeds are used to grow containerized nursery stock for native planting projects, or they are direct seeded, depending on the needs of the project. Our native seed or nursery plants grown from our seed are used on private and public land, as well as educational sites, botanical gardens, or are grown for small and large-scale nursery production.

We have featured some of the successful uses and applications of Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds in 2019 below. We’re looking forward to 2020. Happy New Year!

 

Siskiyou Mountain Homestead Wildflower Meadow Project

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds collected native seeds under contract for this project located around 5,000′ in the Siskiyou Mountains. The seed mix included 60 species of wildflowers and native grasses. 2019 marked year three of this successful seeding project. Many of the perennials have matured and have started to bloom alongside the annuals, creating a spectacular display around the home and gardens. The seeded areas started out as bare soil after hardscaping work, and have been restored into a fully functioning, high quality mountain meadow habitat. As non-native species have tried to get established, careful and persistent weeding has maintained a mostly native composition. Occasional summer irrigation has helped with establishment but the site will be further weaned from irrigation going forward. A diversity of pollinators are now feasting on the pollen and nectar of a high diversity of native flowering plants at the site, and many species are using the plants as larval host plants. Many caterpillars of various species have been observed. This project is now producing enough seed itself that further seed collection from the project area is helping seed other areas of the property.

 

Butte Falls Natural Resource Center Monarch Waystation and Native Plant Education Garden

Suzie from Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds highlighting false turtlehead (Nothochelone nemorosa) plants grown from Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds in a native plant garden at the Butte Falls Charter School’s Natural Resource Center.

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds provided native seeds for growing out native nursery plants for the Butte Falls Charter School’s Natural Resource Center. In collaboration with other partners, such as Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates and Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District, the students and staff at the Butte Falls Charter school constructed monarch waystations and educational pollinator gardens at a closed-down fish hatchery that was slated for demolition. Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds participated in a collaborative planting day with the students, planting 40 species of native plants grown from locally collected native seeds, in a designated monarch waystation area and in old fish tanks repurposed into native plant demonstration gardens. In 2019 the planting started to establish, and with the care and maintenance of the students and staff, the native plant gardens will thrive and provide excellent monarch butterfly and pollinator habitat, educational opportunities, and hands-on learning for the Butte Falls Charter School.

 

Klamath River Fishing Retreat Native Plant Gardens and Wildflower Seeding Project

This multidimensional project at a fishing retreat on the Klamath River used Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds to grow out native nursery plants for riparian restoration and native plant gardens, as well as direct seeding for dryland meadow restoration. Over three years of development the gardens have become established and are providing ornamental value for visitors, but more importantly, they are providing valuable habitat for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. The gardens now contain over 85 species of native plants, including, trees, shrubs, perennial wildflowers, annual wildflowers, and native grasses. This native garden has a diligent maintenance schedule that includes regular weeding and the use of bark mulch for weed management and soil building. Irrigation is used on a limited basis for areas that were designed for dryland species, while other areas that have more moist-loving species receive regular irrigation. Once established, the dryland areas and seeded dryland meadows will be further weaned from irrigation. The native dryland meadow was seeded with 57 different species of wildflowers and native grasses, all collected from native plants along the Klamath River corridor as well as on the land itself.

Grindelia nana-Idaho gumweed

 

Backyard Native Plant Gardens

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds are used to grow ornamental and useful native plants for backyard gardens. Our native seed packets are used for direct seeding, or for growing out nursery plants for transplanting into gardens. No two native plant gardens or native plant gardeners are alike. We love to hear about how our customers use our seeds in their gardens and what species they are successfully growing. Our customers have different techniques and styles, but they all have the love of native plants in common. Share your photos and success stories with us at klamathsiskiyou@gmail.com. Nothing connects you to native plants more than growing them yourself. In your garden you can observe each species’ growth habit throughout the year, observe the pollinator-plant interactions, see what species use the plants as larval host plants, and enjoy the beauty while you sip your morning tea barefoot in the summer right out your back door. Grow Native — Grow Wild!

Landscaping with natives in the Klamath-Siskiyou

Native Plant Nursery Production

Agastache urticifiolia - Horsemint plants
Agastache urticifiolia – Horsemint plants

Thousands of native nursery plants are grown from Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds each year. We supply many nurseries throughout the West Coast with seed for growing containerized nursery stock. Gardening groups, botanical gardens, botany departments and researchers at universities, use our seeds, as well as habitat restoration non-profits, native plant societies, and everyday gardeners that choose to grow native seeds in the nursery environment prior to planting. Our individual seed packets can be used for nursery production, or we can provide larger amounts of seed when larger quantities are needed for large-volume nursery production. Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds is the only source for many species of seed. We strive to provide a diverse selection that will perform well under nursery conditions.

Cirsium ciliolatum seedlings
bird netting on native seed pots
Jackson County Master Gardeners with the plants they grew from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener's hot rock penstemon plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Ipomopsis aggregata seedlings
Eriogonum compositum - Arrowleaf buckwheat plants
Lomatium californicum seed tray
Lomatium californicum_seed tray
Wyethia angustifolia seedlings in tubes
Clematis ligusticifolia seedlings
KSNS booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener's Spring Garden Fair
Monardella odoratissmia - Coyote mint plants
California spikenard-Aralia californica
Blue mountain penstemon-Penstemon laetus
Roemer's fescue-Festuca roemeri
Narrowleaf milkweed-Asclepias fascicularis
Showing off shooting star success

 

Native Seed Packets

Each year we add new species to our online inventory of native seed packets. In 2019 we added 22 new species and we expect to add more in 2020! Our seed packet inventory fluctuates throughout the year, so check back often to see our updated inventory. If you see that the species you are interested in is currently out of stock, contact us to let us know that you want to be put on a waiting list for that species. When it becomes available we will notify you that we have it in stock again. Looking for something we don’t carry? If it is a species that grows within the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion we may be able to collect seed for you if we can find a suitable seed collection site. Let us know what you are interested in. We strive to supply a wide range of species for various uses and applications.

Wyethia angustifolia seed
Cirsium occidentale seed
Cynoglossum grande seed
Collinsia grandiflora seed
Eriogonum compositum seed
Grindelia nana seed
Lupinus albifrons seed
Lomatium nudicaule seed
Madia elegans seed

Happy New Year!

Grow Native for the Holidays

GROW NATIVE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Give the gift of native plant seeds!

 

Ipomopsis aggregata seedlings

Scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) Buy seed packets now!

Are you looking for a unique, eco-friendly holiday gift for a nature-loving friend or family member?

Shop for native seed packets on our website now!

Early winter is an ideal time to sow many species of native plant seeds in order to achieve cold-moist stratification over the winter to help break down seed coats and trigger springtime seed germination. Many species of native seeds given as holiday gifts can be sown outside right away.

Giving native seed packets as holiday gifts brings the promise of spring wildflowers!

 

 

We recently added Brown’s peony (Paeonia brownii) seed packets to our online inventory. Buy now!

 

 

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds (KSNS) now has over 140 species of native seed packets in stock through our online inventory. We collect seeds from around the Klamath-Siskiyou region to help others grow native plants for conservation, restoration, wildlife and pollinator habitat, beauty and so much more.

Grow your own native plants.

Grow Native—Grow Wild

Shop for native seed packets on our website now!

 

Cirsium occidentale seed
Western thistle (Cirsium occidentale)

Western thistle (Cirsium occidentale) Buy seed packets now!

KSNS also offers Gift Certificates that are available in any amount.

KSNS Gift Certificate
Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds Gift Certificate

To order a gift certificate just send us an email at: klamathsiskiyou@gmail.com

Happy Holidays!

Below are some of the new species we have recently added to our online inventory.

Anaphalis margaritacea-Pearly everlasting
Anaphalis margaritacea-Pearly everlasting
Brodiaea elegans-Harvest brodiaea
Brodiaea elegans-Harvest brodiaea
Rhus aromatica-Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica-Fragrant sumac
Lonicera conjugialis-Purpleflower honeysuckle
Lonicera conjugialis-Purpleflower honeysuckle
Cercocarpus ledifolius-Curl leaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus ledifolius-Curl leaf mountain mahogany
Symphoricarpos albus-Snowberry
Symphoricarpos albus-Snowberry

 

KSNS Seeds and Plants at the Talent Harvest Festival September 21st

Come visit our booth at the Talent Harvest Festival on September 21st!

50th Annual Talent Harvest Festival
Saturday September 21, 2019
10am to 4pm

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds (KSNS) will have a booth at the Talent Harvest Festival on September 21st. We will have a variety of native seed packets for sale as well as many potted native plants grown from our locally wildcrafted native seeds. Since we don’t ship live plants this is a great opportunity to purchase plants for fall planting.

Coming to the Talent Harvest Festival? Check out the PDF link below of our current nursery inventory to see the wide selection of native potted plants we have available. Email us at klamathsiskiyou@gmail.com if you want to pre-order nursery plants for pickup at the festival.

Click here: KSNS Nursery Inventory Fall 2019

Fall is the perfect time to plant native seeds and native nursery plants.

Agastache urticifiolia - Horsemint plants
Agastache urticifiolia – Horsemint plants
Eriogonum compositum - Arrowleaf buckwheat plants
Blue elderberry-Sambucus nigra spp.caerulea
Blue elderberry-Sambucus nigra spp.caerulea
Douglas aster-Symphyotrichum subspicatum
Douglas aster-Symphyotrichum subspicatum
Bigelow's sneezeweed-Helenium bigelovii
Bigelow’s sneezeweed-Helenium bigelovii
Broadleaf lupine-Lupinus latifolius
Broadleaf lupine-Lupinus latifolius

For many years KSNS has been the go-to source for retail native seeds in southern Oregon and northern California. Our motto, Grow Native-Grow Wild, says it all. We want to provide a wide diversity of native plant seeds from the wild to enhance botanical diversity and native plant conservation.

Can’t make the Talent Harvest Festival? Purchase local native seeds from throughout the Klamath-Siskiyou region through mailorder on our website.  KSNS offers nearly 150 species of native seed! You won’t find this wide selection anywhere else in the region. Shop for native seeds now!

See you there!

Balsamorhiza deltoidea seed
Deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea)
Deltoid balsamroot (Balsamhoriza deltoidea)
Silver lupine (Lupinus albifrons)
Lupinus albifrons seed
Agastache urticifolia siskiyou mountains
Horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) in the Siskiyou Mountains
Agastache urticifolia seed
Horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) seed
Jackson County Master Gardeners with the plants they grew from KSNS seeds!

Happy Native Plant Growers

KSNS booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener's Spring Garden Fair
KSNS booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener’s Spring Garden Fair

There were many happy native plant lovers and growers at the Jackson County Master Gardener’s Spring Garden Fair last weekend!

Those of us at Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds (KSNS) had a great time talking to gardeners about the benefits of growing native plants in gardens and landscapes at the fair. The interest in native plants has grown so much that we sold out of some species of seeds and plants at the fair. It was great to see people going home with native plants to put in the ground right away and with native seeds to grow on their own.

Suzie from KSNS gave a presentation on how to “Grow Your Own Native Plants,” focusing on ten easy-to-grow native plants for the home gardener. Additional native plant presentations were given by other native plant enthusiasts, with a focus on how to use native plants in pollinator gardens and why native plants are good for pollinators, wildlife, and beauty! Although the fair is more known for garden veggie starts than natives, it’s great to see native plants receive the increased attention they are due.

KSNS booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener's Spring Garden Fair
KSNS booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener’s Spring Garden Fair
KSNS booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener's Spring Garden Fair
KSNS booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener's Spring Garden Fair
KSNS booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener’s Spring Garden Fair

The best part about tabling at a large event like this is the interaction with people from all over southern Oregon and northern California. People tell us about their successes with growing native plants, and what they want to try and experiment with in the future. Here at KSNS we keep experimenting with lesser known native plants that have great potential in native plant gardens, to help people grow an even greater diversity of native plants for the benefit of pollinators and wildlife.

One of our happy customers even brought a two-year old seed pot of Henderson’s shooting star (Dodecatheon hendersonii) plants that he germinated from our seeds for us to see. After the seedlings went dormant last summer he nearly gave up on them, thinking they might be dead, but they grew from the dormant bulbs again this spring and will be planted in the fall. Success stories like this warm our hearts and invigorate our own enthusiasm for growing native plants.

Jo with KSNS plants
Jo with KSNS plants
Showing off shooting star success
Shooting star seed germination success by a happy customer from Ruch, Oregon!

This year we were thrilled to see the Jackson County Master Gardeners themselves selling native plants grown from our seeds at the Spring Garden Fair! Their plants looked great and were a nice addition to their wide selection of plants at their booth. We appreciate their efforts to educate gardeners about the benefits of growing native plants, and providing native plants for gardeners to purchase that are sourced from local native seeds.

Below is a selection of plants the Jackson County Master Gardeners grew from KSNS seeds this year. We’ll see you at the fair next year, or you can stop by and see us at the Talent Harvest Festival in October where we will again have a wide selection of native seed packets and nursery plants.

Jackson County Master Gardener's grand collomia plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener’s grand collomia plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener's coyote mint plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener’s coyote mint plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener's horsemint plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener’s horsemint plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener's goldenrod plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener’s goldenrod plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener's hot rock penstemon plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener's leafybrack aster plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardener’s leafybrack aster plants grown from KSNS seeds!
Jackson County Master Gardeners with the plants they grew from KSNS seeds!
Monardella odoratissmia - Coyote mint plants

Spring Garden Fair

JCMAG 2019 Spring Garden Fair

It’s Spring Garden Fair Time!

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds will have a booth at the Jackson County Master Gardener’s Spring Garden Fair, May 4-5 at the Expo in Central Point in southern Oregon. We will have a wide variety of native seed packets available for purchase, as well as a large selection of native potted plants from our native plant nursery.

We have updated our spring 2019 native plant inventory and availability list that you can view at the link below.

KSNS_Nursery_Inventory_Spring_2019

With over 40 species of native potted plants available, you’re sure to find something you’ll love! Our native potted plants are grown in our small nursery in the Siskiyou Mountains, with seed we have sourced from the Klamath-Siskiyou region of southern Oregon and northern California.

We welcome pre-orders for pickup at the fair. Just email us at klamathsiskiyou@gmail.com with a list of the plants you would like (including plant name, size, price, and quantity) and we will email you an invoice preview. We’ll have your plants boxed and ready for pickup at the fair. This year we will have a credit card reader, and people will be welcome to pay with cash or credit.

Support native pollinators, wildlife, and our diverse native flora by planting native plants in your garden this spring!

Rudbeckia glaucescens - Waxy coneflower plants
Rudbeckia glaucescens – Waxy coneflower plants
Monardella odoratissmia - Coyote mint plants
Eriogonum compositum - Arrowleaf buckwheat plants
Agastache urticifiolia - Horsemint plants
Agastache urticifiolia – Horsemint plants
NPSO Oregon Native Plant Appreciation Week

April Native Plant Week Celebrations in California and Oregon

The Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion is located in both California and Oregon, so we get to celebrate two Native Plant Weeks, one for each state!NPSO Oregon Native Plant Appreciation Week

Celebrate Native Plant Appreciation Week with the Native Plant Society of Oregon (NPSO) April 21-27

Celebrate California Native Plant Week with the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) April 13-21.

 

California Native Plant Week
California Native Plant Society

 

Mountain arnica-Arnica latifolia
Eremogone-congesta_capitate-sandwort
Bumble bee on Oregon checkermallow
Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum)
Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum)
Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds-Presentation

Upcoming Events

 

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds Upcoming Events

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds-PresentationKlamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds will be participating in numerous presentations and events this spring. Many aspects about native plants will be covered during our presentations to help you learn more about growing and using native plants on your land and in your garden!

You can also purchase native seeds and native potted plants from us directly in May by visiting our booth at the Jackson County Master Gardeners Spring Fair.

Come learn more at one of the following presentations and events.

 


Seeds of Spring SeminarSeeds of Spring

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Josephine County Master Gardeners host the annual Seeds of Spring Seminar each year in March at the Rogue Community College Redwood Campus in Grants Pass.

Suzie Savoie from Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds will be presenting on the topic:

“Grow Native — Grow Wild, Preserving Biodiversity”

Native plants support more biodiversity than non-native plants. Bring a little bit of wild nature into your garden with tips about the best native plants to grow and how to propagate them.

To learn more or to register for the event go to:

http://www.jocomastergardeners.com/seeds-of-spring.html

 


LOYL Conference flyer 2019

Living on Your Land Conference

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The OSU Extension Land Steward Program and Tree School Rogue present this annual, one-day conference at the Rogue Community College Redwood Campus in Grants Pass

Suzie Savoie from Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds will be presenting on the topic:

“Growing Native Plants from Seed: Seed Collection, Cleaning & Propagation”

Learn the tricks of the trade to propagate your favorite native plants from seed. This class will present basic skills for successful seed collection, cleaning and propagation to grow native plants for land stewardship, biodiversity, habitat restoration, native plant conservation and pollinators. Native plant seeds have a reputation as being difficult to grow, but with some basic skills and a willingness to experiment you can propagate beautiful native plants from seed. Topics will include ethical native seed collection techniques, seed cleaning with basic home supplies, seed germination requirements for specific species, growing native plants in containers, and direct seeding techniques. Information presented in this class will be tailored to landowners and land stewardship in the Klamath-Siskiyou region.

To learn more or to register for the event go to:

https://www.livingonyourland.com


2019 Jackson County Master Gardeners Spring Fair flyer

Spring Garden Fair

Saturday, May 4th & Sunday, May 5th, 2019

40th annual Jackson County Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair at the Jackson County EXPO.

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds will have a booth at the fair with a large selection of native plants and native seed packets for sale. Come see us at our booth!

Suzie will also give a presentation during the fair, “Grow Your Own Native Plants,” at 1pm on Saturday.

For more information about the Spring Garden Fair: https://jacksoncountymga.org/spring-garden-fair/

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds tablingWe will also be presenting on native plant propagation for the Applegate Garden Club on March 28th at the Ruch Library, and guiding a native plant walk on Mount Ashland for the OSU Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion Master Naturalist Course on June 16th. Stay tuned for more events this summer!

Spring Garden Fair-KSNS Booth
Spring Garden Fair-KSNS Booth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, Third Edition

Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, Third Edition

Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest Edition 3
Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, Third Edition

An updated, third edition of the classic book, Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, will be available soon!

Pre-orders can be made online through Barnes & Noble before the projected release date on March 24th.

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds provided many native plant photos for this new edition and we are excited for the book’s release!

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to bring the third edition of this classic book to life, and to Art Kruckeberg for the original inspiration!

Agastache urticifolia bumble bee

Updated Seed Germination Chart

Native plant species have different seed germination requirements. Grow your own native plants from seed using Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seed’s updated and detailed Seed Germination Chart. With seed germination information for 167 species listed on the chart, you will have the information you need to grow beautiful native plants!

KSNS Seed Germination Chart

Want to grow native horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) for pollinators? Our Seed Germination Chart can help!

Go from this:

Agastache urticifolia seed
Horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) seed
Agastache urticifolia seedlings
Horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) seedlings
Agastache urticifolia nursery plant
Horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) nursery plants

To this:

Agastache urticifolia siskiyou mountains
Horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) in the Siskiyou Mountains
Agastache urticifolia bumble bee
Horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) with bumble bee
Agastache urticifolia-parnassian butterfly
Horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) with parnassian butterfly

With many years of native seed collection and propagation, and lots of experimentation, trial and error, and research, we have developed a handy Seed Germination Chart as an easy, go-to reference for native seed germination for native plant species that grow in the Klamath-Siskiyou region.

Although our individual seed packets come with seed germination instructions written on the back of the packet, having a chart with the seed germination requirements for many species is a helpful reference when planning a seeding project. Growing native plants is a lot easier when you know the specific seed germination needs for individual species.

Click on the link below to view or download the 5-page chart with 167 species!

KSNS Seed Germination Chart

KSNS Seed Germination Chart Preview
KSNS Seed Germination Chart Preview

 

Lomatium californicum seed tray

Basic Seeding Methods for the Native Home Nursery

Wyethia angustifolia seedlings in tubes
Wyethia angustifolia germinates
Narrowleaf mule’s ears (Wyethia angustifolia) seed germinates

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds provides seeds for native plant research at universities, botanical gardens, commercial nurseries, non-profits, and other professional fields; however, our largest customer base is composed of those who are propagating native plants in a home or homestead nursery on a small scale. Many have never grown native plants from seed before, but we’re here to help everyone succeed at growing the native plants they love from the wild. Grow Native, Grow Wild!

Basic Seeding Methods for the Native Home Nursery

When it comes to growing native plants on a small scale or in a home or homestead nursery, there are many methods one can take to propagate the seeds purchased from Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds. Small scale, DIY native plant propagation can be a fun and productive way to add native plants in your landscaping, or to increase native plant diversity on your land. Whether you want to grow a couple plants, or hundreds of plants, the methods we highlight may help your project succeed!

Large, commercial native plant nurseries utilize high-tech equipment to propagate native plants: soil mixers, seed flat fillers, seeding machines, dibblers, conveyor belts, misters, fertilizer injectors, walk-in refrigerators, seedling heat mats, etc. Even without all this equipment, however, home nurseries can still grow some amazing plants! Using simple methods you can grow like the pros in an efficient and inexpensive way. Home nurseries can use available containers already on hand to propagate native seed, or can purchase or reuse specialized containers specific for the species you are growing. From a tablespoon of seed placed in a single gallon-sized pot, to a dozen seed trays or a few seed flats, any size seed project will get you on your way to growing native plants.

perliteThe native home nursery can use bulk soil from soil suppliers, or readily available bags of soil from nursery supply stores or garden centers. Keep in mind that many very drought tolerant native plants will need extra drainage in the soil mix in order to prevent the roots from rotting. Adding extra perlite or pumice to the mix can give you the extra drainage needed to successfully grow native drought tolerant plants in containers.

Many of you may have developed your own tried and true methods over the years that work well for you. Everyone does things a little different and these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg — there’s always so many more exciting ideas out there! Experimentation is the key to successful native plant propagation.

Nurseries can use a lot of plastic, and with serious issues with plastic pollution around the world, it’s best to clean and reuse as many nursery supplies as possible. While growing native plants for the benefit of nature, we should be very conscious of the amount of garbage produced. If you need to purchase new containers or seed starting trays and other nursery supplies, Stuewe & Sons in Tangent, Oregon is a good place to find what you need.

The following seed sowing methods and options should be taken after learning the specific seed germination requirements for the species you are growing. Each product page we feature has seed germination requirements listed below the species description. Our seed packets also come with seed germination requirements right on the packets. For more information about seed germination please check out the links on our Seed Propagation page on our website.

Sowing Many Seeds in Single Containers

Ipomopsis aggregata seedlings
Asclepias cordifolia seedlings
Heartleaf milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia) seedings in a large band pot.
Sidalcea oregana seed
Oregon checkermallow (Sidalcea oregana) seeded into a one gallon pot.

This method uses a single container to grow many seedlings for transplanting. Any size container will work, depending on the plant species. Seed is sprinkled onto the soil medium with the expectation that many seedlings will emerge within the single container. The seed should be lightly covered with sieved potting soil, perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, poultry grit or nursery grit, depending on the species. The general rule of thumb is to cover seeds twice as deep as the seed is wide. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should remain uncovered on the soil surface. 

Transplanting is normally done when two to three true leaves have developed. Transplanting involves “pricking out” the seedlings after loosening the soil medium around them. This method works well for species with fibrous root systems that are easy to transplant, but is not recommended for taprooted species that can be more difficult to transplant.

Pros: Sowing many seeds into single containers and “pricking out” transplants saves space in the nursery and is less work up front. Many plants can be grown from seed originally sown into only a single container.

Cons: If seed is sown too thickly dense seedlings can be susceptible to “damping off” and other diseases. Transplanting and “pricking out” can be laborious and time intensive.

Label your containers as you sow seed in them. It’s good to put the seed source information on the labels, along with the sowing date and any other relevant information you want to keep track of.

Seed Trays

Lomatium californicum seed tray
Lomatium californicum_seed tray

There are many types of seed starting trays, with varying size cells and soil capacities. Starting seeds in seed trays is probably the most familiar method of native seed propagation. In this method either a single seed or several seeds are sown into individual cells within the seed tray. If several seedlings emerge within a single cell they can all be retained for a fuller plug, or they can be cut and thinned to a single seedling. Placing more than one seed per cell ensures at least one seed germinates in each cell.

The seed should be lightly covered with sieved potting soil, perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, poultry grit or nursery grit, depending on the species. The general rule of thumb is to cover seeds twice as deep as the seed is wide. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should remain uncovered on the soil surface.

Transplanting is normally done when two to three true leaves have developed. 

Pros: Each plug can be easily removed individually and transplanted into a larger container. Damage to roots is unlikely during transplanting if done with care.

Cons: Seed trays can take up a lot of space in the nursery. Some taprooted species may require deep seed trays to prevent transplant shock and/or root deformation. Most seed trays are 2.5″-3″ deep, but taprooted species may do better in deeper trays, like 5″ deep.

Sidalcea oregana seedlings
Oregon checkermallow (Sidalcea oregana) seedlings in a seed tray
Lupinus latifolius seedlings
Broadleaf lupine (Lupinus latifolius) seedlings in seed tray
native seed tray
Native seeds in seed tray

Seed Flats

Clematis ligusticifolia seedlings
Cirsium ciliolatum seedlings
seed tray ready for seed
Seed flat ready for seeding

Utilizing seed flats is similar to sowing seeds into individual containers, however, flats are generally larger and more shallow. Seed is sprinkled onto the soil medium with the expectation that many seedlings will emerge within the seed flat. The seed should be lightly covered with sieved potting soil, perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, poultry grit or nursery grit, depending on the species. The general rule of thumb is to cover seeds twice as deep as the seed is wide. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should remain uncovered on the soil surface. 

Transplanting is normally done when two to three true leaves have developed. Transplanting involves “pricking out” the seedlings after loosening the soil medium around them in the seed flat. This method works well for species with fibrous root systems that are easy to transplant, and is not recommended for taprooted species that can be more difficult to transplant, but experimentation is always good.

Pros: Sowing many seeds into seed flats and “pricking out” transplants saves space in the nursery and is less work up front. Many plants can be grown from seed originally sown into a single seed flat.

Cons: If seed is sown too thickly dense seedlings can be susceptible to “damping off” and other diseases. Transplanting and “pricking out” can be laborious and time intensive.

Small Pots

Agastache urticifolia seedlings
Horsemint seedings in 4″ pots
pots for native seed
Tray of 4″ pots for seeding

Much like a many-celled seed tray, placing many small pots into a tray and sowing seeds in them can also be a good way to grow individual plants without crowding. Any size small container can be used for this method. Do you have a lot of 4″ pots around from purchasing plants from nurseries or from veggie starts? Put them to use growing native plants!

Sow one to a few seeds per individual small container. The seed should be lightly covered with sieved potting soil, perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, poultry grit or nursery grit, depending on the species. The general rule of thumb is to cover seeds twice as deep as the seed is wide. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should remain uncovered on the soil surface. 

Pros: Small plants can be grown directly into a container that can then be transplanted directly into the ground or upsized into a larger container. Root damage and transplant shock are minimized.

Cons: More soil is needed upfront to germinate seeds in individual small containers. This method takes up more space for germinating seeds than seed trays.

Pony Packs

Lupinus albicaulis seed tray
Seeding pony packs with native seeds

People that buy vegetable starts in the spring end up with a lot of extra pony packs that can then be reused to grow native plants.

In this method either a single seed or several seeds are sown into individual cells within the pony pack. If several seedlings emerge within a single cell they can all be retained for a fuller plug, or they can be cut and thinned to a single seedling. Placing more than one seed per cell ensures at least one seed germinates in each cell.

The seed should be lightly covered with sieved potting soil, perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, poultry grit or nursery grit, depending on the species. The general rule of thumb is to cover seeds twice as deep as the seed is wide. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should remain uncovered on the soil surface.

Transplanting is normally done when two to three true leaves have developed. 

Pros: Each plug from a pony pack can be easily removed individually and transplanted into a larger container. Damage to roots is unlikely during transplanting if done with care.

Cons: Pony packs may be too shallow for some taprooted species that require deeper seed trays to prevent transplant shock and/or root deformation.

Tubes

Wyethia angustifolia seedlings in tubes
Wyethia angustifolia germinates
Narrowleaf mule’s ears (Wyethia angustifolia) seed germinates

Most home nurseries don’t have tubes on hand, however, if you find yourself with tubes you’ve bought from other nurseries, or were given tubes by someone to reuse, they are a great way to grow species that require a deep container, like taprooted species, or other species that are difficult to transplant.

In this method either a single seed or several seeds are sown into individual tubes. If several seedlings emerge within a single tube they can all be retained for a fuller plug, or they can be cut and thinned to a single seedling. Placing more than one seed per tube ensures at least one seed germinates in each tube.

The seed should be lightly covered with sieved potting soil, perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, poultry grit or nursery grit, depending on the species. The general rule of thumb is to cover seeds twice as deep as the seed is wide. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should remain uncovered on the soil surface.

Pros: Great for taprooted species that need a deeper container for taproot growth. Individual plants can be grown in each tube, witch can then be easily planted in the ground or transplanted into a larger container when ready. Damage to roots is unlikely during transplanting if done with care.

Cons: Tubes require special trays to hold them, which can take up a lot of space in the nursery. Tubes and their trays can be expensive to purchase brand new.

Ellepots or Jiffypots

Prunus virginiana seedlings
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) seedlings planted as germinates growing in Ellepots.
Lupinus albifrons seedlings
Silver lupine (Lupinus albifrons) seedlings in ellepots

Ellepots and Jiffypots are examples of premade miniplugs or small-volume, mostly biodegradable containers that you can purchase for starting seeds. Products like these have fully or mostly biodegradable wrappers  and the entire plug can be transplanted, eliminating transplant shock and preserving healthy root structure. Take note that not all products like these are eco-friendly. Jiffy pellets (a type of Jiffy pot) have nylon mesh that is photo degradable that can break down in several years, but it is still a plastic product.

In this method either a single seed or several seeds are sown into Ellepots or Jiffypots. If several seedlings emerge within a single pot they can all be retained for a fuller plug, or they can be cut and thinned to a single seedling. Placing more than one seed per pot ensures at least one seed germinates in each pot.

The seed should be lightly covered with sieved potting soil, perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, poultry grit or nursery grit, depending on the species. The general rule of thumb is to cover seeds twice as deep as the seed is wide. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should remain uncovered on the soil surface.

Pros: Ellepots and Jiffypots come premade and are easy to work with. After roots fill out the pots the entire pot can be transplanted without transplant shock.

Cons: Special trays may be required to hold Ellepots or Jiffypots, and the product is expensive and needs to be shipped to you unless you can purchase them at a local nursery supply stores. This method isn’t for everyone and a small trial run should be made before investing heavily in Ellepots or Jiffypots. Also, make sure the soil mix is right for the species you will be growing. Jiffy pellets are primarily composed of peat moss, which is beneficial for some species but not for others.

Sowing seeds vs. germinates (i.e. sowing sprouts)

Prunus virginiana seedlings
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) seedlings planted as germinates growing in Ellepots.
Prunus virginiana germinates
Chokecherry seeds germinating in cold-moist stratification
Prunus virginiana germinates
Chokecherry seed in cold-moist stratification, wrapped in cheesecloth and kept in cold-moist conditions in peat moss.

Depending on the species being grown, some people prefer to germinate seed prior to sowing the seed. Seed germination requirements are followed to trigger seed germination and then germinates are individually planted into containers. This ensures that each container will have a viable plant, without the risk of germination failure, wasting less soil and creating a more uniform planting. This method is definitely not necessary, but it may be worth a try if you are unsure about the germination success of a certain seed lot, and you just want to be sure each container has a viable, germinating seed.

Pros: There is a higher seedling establishment rate and less soil wasted on “blanks” or seed that doesn’t germinate.

Cons: It is more work up front to germinate seeds ahead of sowing.

Prunus virginiana germinates
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) germinates after cold-moist stratification
Wyethia angustifolia germinates
Narrowleaf mule’s ears (Wyethia angustifolia) seed germinates

Nursery Manual For Native Plants: A Guide for Tribal Nurseries

Seed Germination and Sowing Options

For more detailed information on seed germination and sowing options you may find the following link helpful:

https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_series/wo/wo_ah730/wo_ah730_133_151.pdf

Happy Planting!

If you have any further questions email us at klamathsiskiyou@gmail.com

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Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds