Ask a Question forum: Young Coleus seedlings

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Name: Jimmy Z
Point Pleasant New Jersey
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LovetheseBuggers
Feb 19, 2016 5:02 PM CST
Good Evening!
I am new to Coleus propagation and so far I'm becoming even more intrigued motivated as the many Coleus seeded trays appear to be germinating with many many small plants. I started these in mid January. I have a small 5 shelf covered indoor greenhouse with a hydrophobic led growlight which I credit for this as well consistent warmth , moisture monitoring and a nearby Super Sunny Bay window which I rotate the plants in & out of .
As below picture shows the plants are still small but many of the trays were overseeded and appear to be cramped with numerous germinating plants. Are these too small to split up and transplant in potting/seedling soil filled foam cups or should I give them a few more weeks. I hope the picture is adequate for your info.
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Feb 19, 2016 8:46 PM CST
Welcome! to ATP!

You really didn't mean your lights are hydrophobic, right? Well, I guess they should be as they are running on electricity. Spell check working great again..... Rolling on the floor laughing

Its such a common problem, putting too many seeds in each planting cell. But it happens to all of us. Sighing!

At this point, you may be able to work those tiny tender roots apart but I wouldn't try it. Decisions!

1. Wait until they are bigger and at least have secondary leaves and then try to divide them

2. Sacrifice a few for the good of the many (cut some off at the soil line)

3. Try to tease them apart now

Thay's all I've got.

Daisy

Name: Jimmy Z
Point Pleasant New Jersey
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LovetheseBuggers
Feb 19, 2016 9:10 PM CST
Hi and Thanks for the reply. Yes autospell.....The light I have is an Advanced Spectrum LED Grow light. It was listed as a HYDROPONIC . I have many Coleus cuttings rooting in water as well which I have for years now successfully transplanted into pots then eventually outdoors. ....then rotate back indoors thru cuttings over the Winter.
As for the overseeding....I have about 200 seed pods which I've seem to have seeded more carefully yielding a more manageable 6-8 plants. Luckily there are only about 4 seed starters pods which I inadvertantly waaaaay overseeded . I did split one of them up , successfully I believe into 8 separate foam cup containers. You were correct..the roots were very thin & fragile but I used a very light seeding medium so they separated very easily. Can you believe I had close to 20 plants crammed into the one pod pictured above!!!?? Anyway Thank You very much....the others I will wait until they are a bit more mature.
I think between the LED Grow light, my spectacular Sunny Bay window and careful moisture monitoring Ive so far had remarkable germination percentages . THANK YOU!!!!
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 19, 2016 9:22 PM CST
We all do that at least a few times, and lots of us are STILL sowing too densely. (Most of us?)

If you have enough seeds left, starting over might be the most satisfying path. You clearly have a high germination rate and they look very happy except for being too crowded already. Maybe start a few more seeds right now while you wait for them to get big enough for surgery!

If you have another crop "coming on", you'll feel better about yanking, chopping and pulling the current crop of seedlings. BTW - what a great way to learn how to untangle seedlings! This might make you an expert, and lead to your own unique method of starting seeds. There is someone else on ATP who sows densely, deliberately, and then just rips them apart and uses the survivors. (Shudder!)


If you pop one of those clumps out and tease it apart on a plate, you should get least SOME viable seedlings from each clump. Remember you can cut away and kill several seedlings for each one you rescue, if they are too tangled.

Plant them when you get them untangled, but only one (or two) per cell or per pot. The reason to plant two per cell is if you expect half of them die. If most of them live, you still have to cut half off at the soil line.

While waiting to see if the brutalized seedlings survive, start a few more with just 1-3 seeds per cell, and separate those seeds as widely as possible within the cell.

Yes, it is very hard or almost impossible to get JUST ONE tiny seed in a pot or cell! Or even three.
There's a few things you can try, but I sure never mastered it with tiny seeds.

Pour the smallest number of seeds you can onto a saucer of contrasting color.
- - Maybe cut a soda straw diagonally and then cut it to a fine point.
- - Use the fine point to pick up a FEW seeds to drop on the saucer.
You'll still get too many seeds, so spread them around until there's an area with few seeds.

Use the point of a pencil or toothpick.
Moisten it.
Use it to pick up just ONE seed (or if you get 2-3, oh well).

Touch the pencil tip to the pre-moistened soilless mix in a small pot, cup or cell.
The moisture in the mix will grab the seeds.
If there were more than one seed, try to drag some of them away from the others.
After they germinate, cut all but one off at the soil line.

P.S. Tiny seeds need a fine surface on the mix, if they need to be sown "on the surface".

If you find a way to sow seeds THINLY (widely separated) , you can sow them in a "flat" - any old cup or shallow pot that's 3-12 inches in size. Let them all germinate and hope they ARE all separated by 1/2" to an inch.

When they have 1-2 pairs of true leaves, they will probably tolerate your "pricking them out" of the flat.

Treat them like harvesting potato plants: push a fork into the mix a little ways away from the seedling, so you avoid the roots.
Lever up a clod of mix including the seedling.
Transfer the whole clod to another pot.
Repeat for the other seedlings.

Or dump the whole "flat" and pick seedlings out of the mess. But that's tougher on the roots, I think.
Or use a fork to remove each clump of seedlings, drop the clump on a plate, and tease the clump apart.

I think it started being called a "flat" because people made them out of scrap wood, like 12" x 24" x 2-3". Overall, it was pretty "flat" compared to a pot.




Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Feb 19, 2016 10:09 PM CST
I would love to see photos of your yard with all these coleous plants in it. Please send updates. As you are in New Jersey, I also expect to see a full compliment of hostas growing amongst the coleous. Smiling

Daisy
Name: Jimmy Z
Point Pleasant New Jersey
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LovetheseBuggers
Feb 19, 2016 10:45 PM CST
I have a few Hosta but I have a magnificent Seasonal flower/ shrub and Tree garden in my Rear yard which have a vast array of plants that provide constant Flowering from simple Early Spring Daf's in March ......Two huge Butterfly Bush ( Summer TREES!!) , Montauk Daisy's......Mini and Jumbo Hibiscus and BlackEye Susans to Mums through October!!
Here is a picture of one of my Sun Hardened Coleus Planter of which I've saved and currently have many Wet rootings going strong..... Hurray!
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Name: Jimmy Z
Point Pleasant New Jersey
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LovetheseBuggers
Feb 19, 2016 10:49 PM CST
And Here is a wonderful picture of some Visiting Monarchs polinating away on one my Butterfly Tree Bushes !!!
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