Ask a Question forum: too crowded

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Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Apr 14, 2016 8:38 AM CST
i have sown coleus seeds and there is a bunch of about 20 little seedlings in a circle of about 5 centimetres diameter.
i am experimenting.
i took the whole bunch with the soil and put it in a 15 litre container.
i know there is going to be a big fight but i cant decide who to kill especially when the whole story is about variety.
the seeds are from my own last year plants/
am i doing something totally wrong?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 14, 2016 9:38 AM CST
If possible, I would gently pull that little 5 centimeter circle at least in half, quarters would be better, and then plant them in the 4 quadrants of your bigger pot.

Daisy
Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Reine
Apr 14, 2016 9:52 AM CST
Hi David. I agree

I find it very hard to choose which seedling to kill. I've even tried potting the seedlings that have to go. Sighing!
So, I usually sow each seed individually. More work, but then I don't have to kill any of them. Funny how I have no problem pulling seedlings of weeds or other plants that pop up in the potted plants. Confused

I hope others can give you a better answer.
Name: Feng Xiao Long
Bogor, Java, Indonesia (Zone 13a)
Purslane Tropicals Plant Identifier
XiaoLong
Apr 14, 2016 10:34 AM CST
I usually use loose sowing media so i can separate the seedling easier and transplant them all into small individual pot. But separating the crowd to smaller group like daisy said is good idea too.

Agree with you all. Dont kill the seedling from hybrid parents. At least till them show their final leaf colour and pattern. Weak seedling sometimes have nice pattern and colour. They grow slower than seedling which greener or plain green which have more chlorophyl.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 14, 2016 4:52 PM CST
Sometimes if you wait a week or two, the seedlings are sturdy enough to be separated, David. I use a pair of chop sticks with small, round ends to gently pull them apart.

Coleus are pretty lusty plants, but as XiaoLong says, it sure would be better if you can separate them. I recently yanked a handful of seedlings all in a clump out of my garden, wrapped them in paper towel and brought them with me to my daughter's house in Utah. Here, I pulled them apart with chop sticks and potted them each separately last week. They all survived and are now growing happily. I'm going home tomorrow, so we'll see if these kids (with a toddler and new baby) will be able to keep them alive until I return.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Apr 14, 2016 10:38 PM CST
thanks for your ideas.till now they are o/k/ the wether is getting warmer and i hope to see growth.
i did the technique of mixing the seeds with sand to help sowing less crowded.somehow they decided to be close to each other.cant they just push downwards and slowly push aside and then when they are thicker it would be easier for me to seperate.also i can see the patterns?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 15, 2016 10:24 AM CST
As they grow, the roots will be more and more tangled together. You may have to leave them permanently in a herd at that point, but the smaller, weaker and center plants will be crowded out. By the end of summer, you will have just a couple large healthy plants. In some species, you could nip out the ones you didn't like as soon as you could see leaf patterns but I'm not sure a coleus wouldn't just re-grow.

To save as many as possible, split them up as soon as possible.

Daisy
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Apr 16, 2016 2:06 AM CST
thanks for your advice i feel that every time i press on the keyboard the coleus is growing.
Name: Feng Xiao Long
Bogor, Java, Indonesia (Zone 13a)
Purslane Tropicals Plant Identifier
XiaoLong
Apr 16, 2016 6:38 AM CST
Coleus are easy to send root when the stem touch damp soil. I think if the outer seedlings bend outward in search for light and bend down touching the soil, it will root there at a distance from the crowd.
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Apr 17, 2016 2:31 AM CST
xio long
i like your approach......i am still at a very begining stage where the seedlings are about only 1 centimetre tall.it also looks like i found more seedlings in different containers i did not sow(from last years wind) that means i can slowly slowly be less obssesive and posesive and let nature teach me a lessons.by the way to whom it may concern.....
i have three new plumerias giving leaves and ihope different flowers also......my dahlia bulbs which were seeded by me last year have now sprouted and looks loke i am going to have a party of flowers soon
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 17, 2016 11:47 AM CST
You can wait until they are 10cm. or so tall to try separating them, David. That's about how big the ones were that I took to my daughter. They separated very easily, although I kept them very wet to help preserve the roots, and potted them right away. They all survived and are growing like crazy now.

I'd still advise you try to separate a few to see how it goes and if you are successful, separate them all to 20cm. or so apart in that big pot. You will have a lovely mix of colors on healthy plants if you can do that.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Apr 18, 2016 3:13 AM CST
do you mean separating is using the ones you take out or both or only the ones that remain in the original place?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 18, 2016 8:42 AM CST
Yes, using the ones you take out - transplanting them all so they have enough space to all survive. That way you will get to see all the different leaf colors that seedlings of a hybrid will give you. It's called "thinning" if you throw away the ones you remove from the clump. But wait until they're bigger to do this, so they are more sturdy.

Then for next year, you can pick and choose the ones you like best and save cuttings. SO very much easier than starting from seed.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Apr 19, 2016 1:53 AM CST
thanks for your reply i knew about the cutting option i just want to be a"small creator" .the seed story started when i bought a packet of false seeds and it really pissed me off.so i decided to use seeds from my own plants.so i bought 5 different coleuses hoping nature would create some more patterns for me.thats the story

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