Choosing Seeds to Sow
We advise beginner native seed sowers to start with seeds marked with germination codes A and B.
Seeds with germination codes D, E, F, and G, as well as fern spores can be tricky and take patience; they’re for more experienced native seed sowers. See How to Grow Natives From Seed for detailed instructions.
Your seed packets are marked with a germination code that indicates sowing instructions for the species.
- A Seeds — Seeds marked with germination code A do not need a winter cold period to germinate. Sow outdoors in pots from November through April.
- B Seeds — Seeds marked with germination code B do need a winter or cold period to germinate. Sow outdoors in pots from November through February.
- C Seeds — Seeds marked with germination code C need light to germinate. Sow them on top of the soil’s surface, and leave uncovered.
- D Seeds — Seeds marked with germination code D need an alternating warm-cold-warm cycle to germinate. We recommend that you sow them outdoors in pots from May through June (warm period). They’ll germinate the following year, after a winter (cold period) and then spring (warm period).
- E Seeds — These seeds will not germinate if they dry out. Sow them immediately.
- F Seeds — These seeds have a double dormancy and may take two winters to germinate. Sow outdoors in pots from November through February and look for germination in the second spring.
- G Seeds — These are large seeds that should be soaked overnight in water before sowing.
- Fern Spores — These are quite challenging to sow. Sow spores in a warm, bright location in a sealed container, and keep moist. Further instructions will be enclosed with your package.
If you have questions about seeds and germination guidelines, please contact us.