I'm pretty good at growing tomatoes and other vegetables from seed, using grow
lights and heating pads, but flowers are always a big problem. I can get them
to sprout, but very seldom can get any decent survivors to plant out in the
patio. They are more delicate and require more attention, but what can I do
to insure more productivity of these flower seeds? I am buying good quality
from places like Thomson & Morgan. Some of the more exotic flowers never even
Too many variables for a simple answer.
- Describe the growing conditions for your seed starting activities. Light,
- There are what...a million kinds of flowers? You can't say "They are more
delicate...." or anything else about them without providing the names of the
plants. Marigold seedlings are pretty tough. Impatiens, portulaca and wax
begonias require more care. Whattya got?
- Exotic generally means "Not a lot of people grow them", and sometimes,
there's a reason for that.
Sorry for not being more specific, but I have planted so many different
flower seeds in the past that I've lost track of what they were.
I thought I explained grow lights and heating pads. The lights are kept very
to the seed bed, and the pads are adjusted to the temperatures recommended on
the seed packets. I can get most of them past the germination stage, but
them transplanted into bigger containers and/or moving them outside is the
challenge. I sometimes use a cold frame to adjust them to the outside
but that does not cure the problem. I do not have a good sun lit window in
house to get them better established inside, so I am trying to get them to
outside, as soon as possible. Although many of the seedlings are recommended
direct sunlight, maybe I should keep them in more of a shaded place until
First of all, once the seeds sprout, turn off the heating pads. Plants don't
want warm roots, for the most part. As far as transplanting, you don't say
when you actually do this. I generally leave seedlings in their 6-packs
until the pots are almost filled with roots. This prevents one type of
problem: Soil ball falling apart when you take it out of the pot, which puts
mechanical stress on the roots, and sometimes the stem, if it's delicate
enough. This may not be the best solution, but the opposite's a mess: Losing
80% of the soil and having to handle the roots too much.
The other issue is how to duplicate the life cycle of the plant as closely
as possible. Some seedlings grow in the shade of the parent plant. Some grow
in direct sunlight. Some seem bulletproof, like portulaca. I think you need
to do more reading about each individual variety. Library time.
Yes, it is on the main floor. There are forced air ducts running
through the crawl space.
There are some air vents in the crawl space to the outside air.
I'm not sure where you are going with this, however keep in mind that
my vegetables grow profusely. It is only the flowers that get stunted.
My questions relate to something called damping off, a fungal disease that
causes the stems of small seedlings to rot. One day, they look fine. The
next, they turn brown and die, within a matter of hours. It can be prevented
by providing some air circulation, like a fan on a timer. Also raising the
room temperature can help.
Furnace: My old one would produce a very slight smell of natural gas, when
it first turned on, if I recall correctly. One year, I moved my plant table
to a spot near the furnace. Small plants died with no apparent reason. I
mentioned it to someone at a farm supply store where I bought my seeds, and
learned that gas will kill some plants, even in tiny amounts. Moved the
plants, problem gone. The furnace was replaced shortly thereafter.
Just some random thoughts re your problem:
Most vegies are annuals with big robust seeds
Annual flowers also seem to have large seeds
Annuals (veg and flowers) grow quickly and easily so that
they can accomplish what they have to do in a short time
Many perennials have very tiny seeds and when they germinate,
they have tiny roots and tiny stems.
It's difficult to care for them: too little water and the tiny roots
too much water and the tiny stems rot!!
too cold and they shrivel, too hot and they dry up
Many per. also have strange germination times: from a week to
a year or more........
Some need stratification; some need scarification--oh my
So it's probably not you. We all are lucky to get **any per. to grow.
I now buy most of my perennials as plants!!!
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.