This year, one of my main goals was to grow as many new-to-me flowers as possible. Last year, I had accidentally grown one canterbury bells plant. So, I wanted to make sure to grow multiple (on purpose) this time around. Since these plants are biennial (blooming the second year), I began the process of seed sowing around the end of September. Here in Kentucky, zone 6b/7, these plants will overwinter without issue or protection.
Sowing the seeds is also a simple process. All I did to start the seeds was fill a seed tray with moist potting mix. I then surface sowed the seeds and left them in a warm location. Since the weather was really nice (around 70F), I simply left the trays outside in a shady location. Within the week, most all of the seeds had germinated. If choosing to germinate the seeds outdoors, make sure to account for insects. Since these seeds were started at the end of summer, there were A LOT of bugs that wanted to devour the flower seedlings. Insect barrier was an absolute necessity.
Since the plants are biennial, it’s likely that you can start the plants sooner in the season. However, I’ve never personally done that. Once the seedlings had a few sets of true leaves, I transplanted them into their final location. The seedlings remained dormant throughout our cold-ish winter and resumed growth in the spring.
By the end of May, I had some really gorgeous canterbury bell flowers blooming in the garden. Unfortunately, this spring has been really rainy. The thunderstorms and heat have definitely taken a toll on these plants. Regardless, I would definitely plant them again. Thanks so much for reading!