About Dutchman's Breeches: This delicate beauty blooms with the earliest of the woodland flowers. It comes from the Dicentra genus, which also includes many Japanese species of wildflower such as the bleeding heart. The Dicentra name means “two-spurred,” referring to the distinctive shape of the blossoms in this family. The common name Dutchman’s Breeches is also a result of the shape of the blossoms, which look like white pantaloons hung out to dry.
Dutchman's Breeches Germination: For the fastest germination, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in a 65 degrees F location for 2 weeks, followed by 6 weeks in the refrigerator. For fall planting, the seed can be sown outdoors after the first two weeks of warmth; germination should take place in late spring. To start the seed indoors, direct sow the seeds just below the surface of the soil in a flat; keep the soil consistently moist and at a temperature of 65 degrees F until germination, which is naturally slow and unpredictable and may take anywhere from 1-3 months. Seedlings can be grown in individual pots over their first winter and transplanted in the spring after the last frost.
Growing Dutchman's Breeches Seeds: Keep developing and blooming plants evenly moist, but let the soil dry out after the plant goes dormant in the summer. Wet soil in the winter will cause root damage. This plant will reseed itself in good growing conditions, though it does not become invasive. After several years of growth, the clusters of tubers at the roots can be divided in late fall for new plants. Watch out for slugs and snails, which can cause damage. This plant resists deer.
Harvesting Dutchman's Breeches: This plant is mildly toxic to both humans and animals, and can cause skin irritation when handled.
Saving Dutchman's Breeches Seeds: After blooming, this plant will produce green seedpods that eventually turn papery and brown. Remove the seeds from their pods, and either plant them immediately or store them in the refrigerator until planting.
Detailed Dutchman's Breeches Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Staggerweed, Soldier’s Cap, White Hearts, Eardrops, Butterfly Banners, Bachelor's Breeches Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring Height: 6-12 inches Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Partial Shade to Woodland Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-7b Seeds Per Oz: 17,500 Produces fern-like gray green foliage and a flowering stalk with 4-8 dangling, double-pronged ¾” white blossoms.