Also known as American cowslip, shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia) is a perennial wildflower native to the Pacific Northwest and other areas of the United States. Shooting star gets its name from the star-shaped, downward facing blooms that appear in late spring and early summer. Hardy to USDA plant zones 4 through 8, shooting star prefers partial or full shade. This lovely little woodland or mountain plant usually disappears completely when temperatures rise in summer.
Growing shooting star from seed is the easiest way of propagation. Let’s learn more about shooting star seed propagation.
When to Plant Shooting Star Seeds
Plant shooting star seeds directly in the garden. The time of year for planting depends on your climate.
Plant after the last frost in spring if you live where winters are cold.
Plant in autumn if your area has mild winters. This allows your shooting star plants to get established while temperatures are cool.
How to Plant Shooting Star Seeds
Prepare the bed a couple of weeks ahead of time by tilling lightly or digging about an inch (2.5 cm.) deep. Remove rocks and clumps and rake the soil smooth.
Sprinkle seeds over the area and then press them into the soil by walking over the planted area. You can also place cardboard over the area, then step on the cardboard.
If you’re planting seeds in spring, shooting star seed germination is more likely if you stratify the seeds first. This is especially important if you harvested the seeds from plants in autumn. (You may not need to stratify purchased seeds, as they are probably pre-stratified, but always read the instructions on the seed packet).
Here’s how to stratify shooting star seeds:
Mix the seeds in a plastic bag with moist sand, vermiculite, or sawdust, then place the bag in the refrigerator or other cool location for 30 days. The temperature should be above freezing but under 40 degrees F. (4 C.).