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Verbena Bonariensis - tiny seedlings?

LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,256
I have a tray of verbena B seedlings that have remained tiny since they appeared about three weeks ago. They have been in a heated propagator in my greenhouse. They often seed freely in the garden so why are these struggling? Should I take them out of the propagator?



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    The compost doesn't look very hospitable. I think that might be part of the problem.
    They need nice light soil.
    They certainly shouldn't still be on any heat once they germinate.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,475
    VB don't need much heat at all. Once they have germinated I woud put the tray in a bright place but off the heat.
  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,256
    They are in seed compost that I sieved, but I agree it doesn't look great compost, but then non of it is these days.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    It's certainly part of the problem just now @LeadFarmer.
    MPC is fine at this time of year for seed. Bit of additional grit or Perlite really helps to keep it lighter. It's only when autumn sowing that seed compost is really needed, because you don't want lots of nutrients for small plants over winter. 
    I tried a peat free compost this year and did a trial when I sowed my sweet peas. I used a compost I normally use, with some Perlite, and used the peat free one [Miracle Gro] as it was. There didn't seem to be too much of a difference. Maybe I was lucky.
    I think it could be better to use sieved garden soil with grit, rather than some of these composts. There's been a lot of threads recently about how poor many of them are.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,151
    I bought a bag of compost a while ago....a well known brand  
    It looked exactly like the dust found in my vacuum bag. 

    Seed compost above looks dire.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    I agree @Silver surfer. I've just posted on another thread about snapdragons, and another poster has loaded a photo of potting on compost. It looks equally dreadful. 
    I didn't use the stuff I had for my tomatoes or basil, but I used most of it in a border I was redoing with some new, or moved, plants etc. It's very fibrous, but the plants are all fine.
    I'd be quite wary of using some of these composts for anything very small or anything that needed a light medium to grow in. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,256
    Think I'll buy another pack of seeds and sow in better compost.
    As a general rule, once seeds have germinated in a heated propagator, can they be taken straight out and left on the greenhouse bench?
    My Vitapod has extendable walls to make them higher, for taller plants, I guess they shouldn't be needed.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    When I've sowed them in the past, rather than doing cuttings, I just did them in May, when I could have them outside.
    I think you could  probably do them in the greenhouse, without any heat, from just now  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,102
    Looking at the way they are weeds that will even grow through paving slab cracks in the sunny side of my garden and are a rarity in partial shade and absent in less than partial shade, I would that it's nothing to do with soil or temperature. It's all to do with light.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    Temperature does matter though. It's why they don't seed around readily up here. The seed isn't often viable by the time the plants are actually seeding. Too cold and wet.
    It's why the main plants don't always survive winter either     :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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