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Planting Bitterroot Seeds

Sprouting Bitterroot plant
Sprouting Bitterroot plant
Sprout at first appearance
Sprout at first appearance
Mature Bitterroot sprout
Mature Bitterroot sprout

Bitterroot seeds do the best if you put all the seeds in your seed packet into one hole about 3/8th of an inch deep.

When Bitterroot plants sprout, they will look like the picture to the right.

Bitterroots should be planted in an area where it is easy to recognize the sprouts -- otherwise they may be pulled up with weeds because they are very tiny and fragile.

My suggestion is to plant them in a planter that will withstand the winter weather because the seeds need to stay outside. These plants -- at all stages of growth -- need to be frozen at some point during the winter months.

My seeds have already been acclimated and are ready to plant. If you plant these seeds in the fall, they will sprout in the spring and vice versa.

When a sprout first appears, only the green leaves will be above ground. At this point they should not be disturbed. Bitterroot plants are very fragile in the sprout stage and should not be handled (middle photo).

By the following year the plant will have more leaves and the root now looks similar to a carrot (bottom photo).

At this stage it is safe to separate each of the plants* from the others and put them in a container or in a garden bed.

Mature Bitterroot plants come up the during last part of September or first part of October. They will stay above ground sometimes, covered by snow all winter.

*All seeds may not sprout the first year. If you have fewer sprouts than seeds planted, the other seeds will sprout later if left in the planter.

 
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