This year, I propagated polyanthus plants from seed for the first time. Normally, I buy polyanthus as established seedlings in 6-cell punnets. Since I have been gardening for over a decade, I enjoy finding new ways to challenge myself. In my humble opinion, polyanthus are not difficult to grow from seed but they take a long time to develop, so lots of patience is required. The trick is to get the germination method right. In my case it was second time lucky, because I was lucky to receive some very helpful advice from John McCullough, the owner of Egmont Seeds, the company I purchased the seeds from. Without the right techniques, you might struggle to achieve a good germination rate, which is why I thought it might be helpful for me to share my top tips for growing polyanthus from seed.
I sowed two varieties, CA Woods Mix and Supernova Mix on 9th January. I purchased the seeds from the Egmont Seeds Commercial Catalogue, which is available upon request from the company. It is different to the home gardener’s catalogue which is on their website and is mailed out annually to customers.
Sowing the seeds
Be patient! Polyanthus are slow to grow. Eventually your seedlings will start to look like this
Caring for the seedlings
Here are the same plants awhile later after they had grown quite a bit.
Planting out the seedlings
Images of my flowering plants are at the top of the blog post.