Ask a Question forum: Mis identified seeds

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Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Feb 20, 2017 12:17 PM CST
A while back I participated in a seed swap where I received some tiny tiny seeds labeled Swiss giant pansy. Last fall I personally collected some burgundy pansy seeds and this spring I have planted the Swiss Giants and burgundy seeds in two different containers. The burgundy pansy seeds that I collected were much larger than the labeled Swiss giants. They've all sprouted and the Swiss giant Sprouts are tiny tiny tiny where the burgundy pansies are substantially larger. I'm thinking the Swiss Giants were mislabeled. Any comments or suggestions on what they might be? I'm pretty sure they were mislabeled but I've never grown pansies before so I'm not sure if all pansy seeds are the same size.

the Swiss Giants are in the top container and the burgundy are in the bottom container. You can clearly see a difference!
Thumb of 2017-02-20/mnmat/60ddfd

Meri
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Feb 20, 2017 12:24 PM CST

Plants Admin

Unsure how much difference there is from one cultivar to the next, but just about every type of pansy I've ever grown had very small seed and the seedlings started out very small. Some of those tiny seedlings grew into pretty impressive plants with big blooms so seedling size is not always a good indicator. Hopefully someone with more knowledge with these particular types will come along and offer their opinion as well.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

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plantladylin
Feb 20, 2017 12:54 PM CST
I don't know a thing about Pansy(Viola) seeds but I wonder if the size difference has anything to do with the amount of seeds sown and the Swiss Giant seedlings being so crowded? I checked our database to see if perhaps someone had posted images of seedlings but no luck: https://garden.org/plants/sear...

I googled and didn't find many images but halfway down this page someone posted photos of their Swiss Giant seedlings: http://gardenworld.proboards.c...

And also down this page, a photo shows different sizes of Swiss Giant seedlings; those in the right forefront of the photo appear smaller than the others in the tray: http://y9fvg.blogspot.com/2011...

Of course, once you get blooms you will know for sure if they are Swiss Giant or not.
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Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Feb 20, 2017 3:46 PM CST
Yes! Thanks for the links. I'll check them out.

The wait for blooms is gonna kill me but it'll be exciting when they do!
Meri
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 22, 2017 10:25 PM CST
I've never grown "burgundy pansies," but I do have Swiss Giants planted and they look like your first photo. (Pretty small.)
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Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Feb 23, 2017 9:57 AM CST
Wouldn't it be funny if I mislabeled the seeds I collected? I'm thinking back to last fall. I was taking care of a friends dog while she was on a trip. She had a hanging basket of Burgundy colored Pansies so I collected a few pods. Then I ran around town deadheading the city planters and collected some Moss Roses, Marigolds, Petunia, and Geranium seeds. The only seeds I could have mislabeled are the Geraniums as I've never started them from seed. Oh, I hate this wait and see game!
Meri
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Feb 23, 2017 11:03 AM CST
I know what you mean, anticipation ... makes me crazy sometimes. Green Grin!
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 23, 2017 5:43 PM CST
Meri, you won't need to wait for them to bloom to know if you have pansies or not. What you have right now are known as "seed leaves" or cotyledons. Lots of plants have little round leaves like that at first, then the second set of leaves that develop are the true leaves of the plant that look like what the mature plant will be. Those for sure are not Marigolds anyway.

You need to start very carefully thinning your baby seedlings into individual containers pretty soon. Especially the container with so many Swiss Giant seedlings is extremely crowded. How many plants do you want? Choose the ones to grow (biggest ones are best) and thin out around them. It's the hardest thing to thin baby plants, I know, but you must do it to let the others develop normally.

Keeping them too long when they are crowded like that is a recipe for problems. A nice pair of tweezers would look like the right tool to pick out some of those poor little crowded pansies. Btw, just my opinion but I think the Swiss Giants babies look like the right size for pansy seedlings and the others might be something else.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Feb 23, 2017 6:10 PM CST
Thanks Elaine, I agree I just need some true leaves to tell the Pansies.

When I have such crowded conditions I use a small baby spoon to scoop out the babies to replant. I've kept my boys baby spoon in the silverware drawer for 45 years! Hahaha

I never start Marigolds indoors, I always direct sow them into the pots they'll grow in. They and Moss Roses are always direct sowed.

I spent today getting my potting supplies out of storage so tomorrow I'll operate on the Swiss Giants. :)
Meri
[Last edited by mnmat - Feb 23, 2017 6:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Apr 11, 2017 10:02 PM CST
Update!!! The Swiss Giant Pansy seeds are actually Petunia seeds. Don't know what color they are yet tho. I've got a dozen growing nicely so I'll find out eventually.
Meri
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Apr 11, 2017 10:55 PM CST
mnmat said:Update!!! The Swiss Giant Pansy seeds are actually Petunia seeds. Don't know what color they are yet tho. I've got a dozen growing nicely so I'll find out eventually.


Glad you discovered the right identity of the seedlings. But you can't tell from small seedlings how large they will grow.

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