Seeds forum: Starting Pincushion Seed

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Aug 28, 2012 3:24 PM CST
I sure hope this is the right forum for this question. If not, please forgive me!

I was deadheading one of my taller pincushion flowers last week, and noticed that I waited a bit too long. The seeds were falling all over the place, so I gathered what I could and decided to plant a few. It's probably the wrong time of year to be doing that, but it's nothing lost if it doesn't work.

Today, while watering the pots that I put the seed in, the dog decided to bump my arm at 90 miles per house, and I dumped a bit more water on one of the pots than I had planned on. A bit later, I went out to finish watering, and noticed one of the seeds was laying on top of the potting soil and had spouted. Hurray! for the sprouting, not for it being on top of the soil!

I don't know what it is that is growing! It is a root? Is it foliage? I guess it would help if I knew which end was up on these seeds, and if I should poke them into the ground, lay them on their side, or leave them on top. The end of the seed that the growth is on, is at the opposite end of the seed that I poked into the ground. So, this would be "up", based on how I poked them into the ground. It could have been from one of the seeds that was on it's side though.

To me, they look like a badminton birdie, and it seems obvious that they would poke themselves into the ground. However, I really have no idea as to whether or not this is correct. So, I poked some into the ground, pointy end first, and set others on their side. All were covered lightly with potting soil.

About the only thing I could think of to do was to lay it on it's side, back in the pot, and covered it again with potting soil. I'm hoping that it will do what it needs to do, either growing up, if foliage, or down, if it's a root.

Is there a proper way to plant these seeds? Thanks for any help!

Thumb of 2012-08-28/Natalie/8d3fe0
Natalie
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Aug 28, 2012 3:38 PM CST
I assume you're referring to Scabiosa? Do you know what kind it is? Seems a bit late to be starting annual ones, but there are perennial varieties.
I believe you're just supposed to press the seeds into the soil, not cover them. They require light to germinate. Usually, they figure out which way is up! I think some seeds are smarter than we are! Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 28, 2012 4:20 PM CST
Hey Woofie! Yes, it's Scabiosa. Thanks - I couldn't for the life of me remember the name! I don't know which exact one it is without digging for the tag (I will, if needed), and they are perennial.

I covered all of the seeds with a little soil, so it's obvious that they don't have to be on top of the soil. I probably just got lucky though. Should I just lay the seeds on their side, or poke them in part way, leaving part of the seed exposed? They are rather large seeds, but not all that heavy, so I can see them blowing away if a good wind picks up.
Natalie
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Aug 28, 2012 4:39 PM CST
I've noticed that the planting instructions for a lot of seeds that require a bit of light to sprout will say either "surface sow" or "lightly cover." This is just a guess, because I've only grown scabiosa a couple of times, but with gerbera daisy seeds, you poke them about half the length of the seed into the soil. Kind of seems like they're designed to do that on their own, anyway! Other thing you could try is covering them lightly with fine gravel, like bird grit, to keep they from getting blown away.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Aug 28, 2012 4:45 PM CST

Moderator

yep sounds right to me.. cover .. very lightly.. they do just self sow that way on the surface
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 28, 2012 4:48 PM CST
Thanks to both of you for the help. Below is a picture of the one I got the seed from.

I'd still love to know if the first picture, above, is the root, or the foliage. From the way the seed is shaped, I would think that the foliage would come from that end, but I thought seeds grew roots first. I'm stumped!

Thumb of 2012-08-28/Natalie/26ba0b
Natalie
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Aug 28, 2012 5:18 PM CST
Hmmmm, very nice! And that first pic looks like a root to me, which is weird because it's coming out of the end you'd think would be "up" naturally. But come to think of it, when I start morning glory seeds (which I do in a paper towel), the root comes first and it always seems to curl down, no matter how the seeds are placed in the towel. Hey, you could try that, just to see! Just wrap a few seeds in a damp paper towel, stuff it into a plastic baggie and put it somewhere warm till they sprout.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Aug 28, 2012 5:21 PM CST
And while you're at it, you can just send a few of the seeds for those gorgeous blue flowers this way! Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Aug 28, 2012 8:13 PM CST

Moderator

I am not sure.. sorry I can't help answer that
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 28, 2012 9:47 PM CST
Woofie, I had thought about doing that, but I still wouldn't know if it was a root or foliage without planting it, and then I wouldn't be able to see it. I'm assuming it would still look the same as the thing above!

If I have any extra seed, I'd be happy to share them with you. The only problem is that the ones I started last time from this plant came out more of a light purple, instead of the dark blue color I was expecting. The plant is usually covered in bees, and I've got several smaller Scabiosa, all a lighter purple, in the same area. This one is much taller than the others, between 3 and 4 feet, so I love it.
Natalie
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Aug 29, 2012 7:43 AM CST
Actually, when I've started morning glory seeds, I've occasionally left them too long and had leaves develop too! And they still survived! But everything I've ever tried ALWAYS has the root form first.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
Image
Natalie
Aug 29, 2012 9:01 AM CST
That's what I'd expect, that the root would grow first. This just sort of surprised me, since I wasn't expecting a root from that end of the seed! It just doesn't make sense when I look at it! I'll try the paper towel thing though, and see if I can get something to grow from the other end too!

I've had the worst luck with my morning glory this year. I've got oodles of purple growing (Grandpa Ott), but almost all of it was from seeds that dropped last year. I've never started my seeds inside before planting, but do soak them first. I've never had them not grow either. This year though, as soon as I put the seeds in the ground, it jumped up to the upper 90s, and was just too hot for them to be happy about growing. I even bought some fancy seeds for the first time, so I'm really disappointed! Oh well, there is always next year! I've got about 60 feet of fence that I like to cover to block out my nosy neighbor, and she's got all kinds of bald spots to stick her nose through!
Natalie

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