Stratify for 30 days. Sow in a container, cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate, or mix seed with damp clean sand or vermiculite, bag, and refrigerate at 35-40F. Check often for germination and maintain a lightly moist medium. Transplant any seedlings as they germinate. After the chill period, sow into soilless media and keep at 65-75F.
Direct sow in fall or earliest spring, or wintersow into pots in the shade, covered with a thin layer of clean sand and a wire screen to keep out mice and voles.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
A native flower of great value to native specialist and bumblebees bees and tantalizing to many butterflies, ironweed grows strong and tall in amenable sites such as wet meadows and rain gardens, its strong stems providing nesting sites. However, it can be kept shorter by cutting back by one third in June, if desired, or by planting in regular garden soils in larger gardens. Handsome, rugged dark green foliage endears, as does its low care requirements. Curtail its self-sowing ways with a trim after bloom.
Prefers to be kept moist. Be sure to water during dry spells.
Provide with about 2" of compost prior to planting and annually in early spring.