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Leggy seedlings

My cosmos seedlings are tall and leggy.  Can I save them or start again?

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  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 17,613

    Bit too early for cosmos, how big will they be before you can plant them out in May.

    you could repot them plunging them right down deep into new compost then chop them in half, they may sprout out from the bottom, if they really are to leggy you can sow some more in March/April.

    One year I took Montys advise and sowed some at the start of June, they then went on blooming  well into autumn.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 17,613

    Same here Verdun. They are definitely better for keeping in and getting them well prepared first. I have given up growing the tall ones now, the wind takes them, but I had some lovely dwarf ones on the patio last year.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • A tip I picked up years ago (Possibly from the late, great Geoff Hamilton) is to cover a piece of card in foil, place it behind the seed tray to reflect the light. I always used to sow cosmos indoors (though not his early), but discovered one year (when I was ill and didn't weed the border much) that they will happily self seed (though the resulting plants were admittedly smaller). I like Verdun's idea of pinching out several times - I've never done that.

  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    Don't bin them Tarten Rose, Cosmos are brilliant.  Mine always bolt, are leggy but it doesn't make any difference, I plant them out, (I'm not very patent with hardening off) and they just cope, grow like mad, esp in August them seem to double in size, and then they flower through to the first frost.

    Honestly I can't ruin them, there is hope for everyone.  Good luck.

    Have to say I'm holding off longer now, experience might be paying off in the end, but the first time I did them, I did them in January image Any they bolted, and were still fab.  Love them.

  • Hi Verdon, thats a great idea! Will try your technique of getting bigger/bushier Cosmos this year. Would you do the same with all annuals and perennials or just some of them?
  • Thankyou everyone.  I thought living in the north of Scotland I would give them a head start.  So I will keep them, plant them deep and sow some more in a couple of weeks,  I love cosmos.  

    And this is my first post and you've all helped me,  I guess it won't be my last.  Thanks guys image

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