So I had started the seeds late May/ early June and they took a while to flower. However, here we are well into September and they have plenty of blooming. What I would like to see is an earlier start but it's generally too cold for the seeds to germinate in April. I decided to do a little experiment. And lo and behold I was able to start these in a plastic ziploc on saturated paper towel.
So it looks like I'll be able to get a decent hardy start for these next year and hopefully get a longer flowering season.