Hi Master Gardener, I saved some seeds from our New England asters. Should I plant them next spring before the last frost to stratify them?
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
The best time to plant New England Aster seeds is in the fall – this way they will be cold stratified naturally by the winter, ready for spring germination and growth. This method is ideal if you know which location in your garden you want these plants.
If this is not workable for you, then save the seeds now in a cool, dark, dry space (brown envelope) and then cold stratify them for 60 days before planting them out in the spring. For successful stratification, mix seeds with a moist medium (moss, perlite or vermiculite), place in a plastic bag and put into the back of your fridge for the recommended time.
Keep in mind, once stratified, it takes anywhere from 21-45 days for them to germinate once planted, Planting is easy as the seeds are sprinkled on the soil surface and then just gently pressed in.
Hope this information is helpful.