I absolutely love orach. Also known as atriplex hortensis, orach is an absolutely amazing green plant. These things seriously come in an insanely stunning range of colors – the lime greens and golds are definitely my favorite. Regardless, when allowed to go to seed, these flowers are perfect additions to the cut flower garden and to cut flower arrangements.
After growing these for the first time last year, I was so pleasantly surprised with the results. While I’m still not sure how cold tolerant they are, they definitely are able to withstand some frost and cold temperatures. Plants produced both with winter sowing, as well as when direct sown as soon as the soil can be worked.
This coming fall, I think I would love to experiment to see whether or not I would be able to successfully overwinter atriplex in my yard. Anyway – to winter sow, I begin to sow the seeds into containers or seed trays around the beginning of February. These seedlings will then be transplanted into the garden around mid March.
A lot of sources will say that orach doesn’t transplant well, and I will agree that I believe that is at least partly true. When transplanted, there is some definite transplant shock. Often, the plants will completely collapse. Even though it looks really bad at first, the plants have always recovered and resumed growth within the same week.
Do you have experience with winter sowing atriplex? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!