The Q&A Archives: Seeds Started Too Early

Question: I planted some saved hardy hibiscus seeds in order to test their viability. I now have a dozen baby hibiscus plants which are about 2 in. tall. How can I save them for planting out in spring? I'm sure we'll have temps around -20 this winter. I dohave a greenhouse where they now abide, but aren't they supposed to go to sleep this time of year ?

Answer: Well, you have gotten yourself into an interesting predicament haven't you? Don't worry, I have done the exact same thing. Once, around Thanksgiving, I planted about 100 hosta seeds just out of curiosity. I didn't expect much germination, if any. Well, I ended up with about 50 hosta seedlings, and it wasn't anywhere near time to set them out. So, like you, I had no choice but to leave them in the greenhouse (although you are in a little better shape than I was - I had to call around and "borrow" one). Remember this; there are commercial greenhouse all over the world growing 2" baby hibiscus at this time of year getting ready to sell them to us in the spring! Go ahead and leave them in the greenhouse. More than likely they willbe just fine - my hostas are and that was several years ago. Since you have a greenhouse, I am betting you know the protocol on caring for seedlings (feeding, lighting, watering, transplanting as needed, etc.) so I won't bore you with those details.

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