Flowers: Early summer
Height: to 5m
Position: Sun or semi-shade
Packet of 25 seeds
These seeds have a double dormancy which needs to be broken before they will germinate, ie. they need to go through a process which simulates the changing seasons.
Sowing Instructions: Sow at any time of the year. Sow very thinly in trays or pots of moist, good quality seed compost (eg. John Innes), just cover very lightly with sieved seed compost and seal inside a polythene bag. Maintain an optimum temperature of 16-20C for 2 weeks, then place the container(s) in the fridge for a further 14 weeks. Then, return to 16-20C and germination should take place in 1-3 months. Throughout this process check regularly and ensure the compost does not dry out and do not let the temperature exceed 23C. Note: Germination can be very erratic, so sow thinly and prick out the seedlings as they become large enough to handle disturbing the rest of the compost as little as possible.
Alternatively, sow as above, place in a cold frame or sheltered part of the garden and let nature take its course as the seasons change. I have found this method usually yields the best results.
Growing Instructions: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm pots. Over-winter at a temperature of about 5C. Harden off and plant out when all risk of frost has passed in fertile, well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade.