The Q&A Archives: Flowers for School Experiment

Question: My son is doing a science fair project observing soil pH and <br>rate of plant growth. He would like to grow a flower from seed, such as marigolds. Can you suggest an appropriate flower and where to get the seeds this time of year. The project needs to be complete by Feb. 10. A friend suggested beans, but he would really rather grow a flower.

Answer: Marigolds are a common, easy-to-grow flower to use in experiments. However, you may not have enough time to actually get flowers--my reference says they will reach maturity in about 11 weeks. Morning glory 'Heavenly Blue' is said to reach maturity in 6 to 8 weeks, so that might be a better choice. Morning glory is a vine, so you'd need to provide some supports for it to climb. And still it's very possible you won't get any flowers--Feb. 10 is just about 7 weeks away. If you choose morning glories, soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting to hasten germination. <br><br>Beans aren't quite as exciting as flowers, but they may be a more reliable choice, given the time constraints. <br><br>You can purchase seeds from Burpee by calling 800-888-1447.

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