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Re: seedling question

Kate, have you ever heard of the old adage, killing them with kindness?
Maybe you were too wet to begin with?  Water, in my opinion can be a real
detriment in growing seeds, again, IMO the biggest and maybe the only one in
germinating hosta seeds.  Soil should be of the non-soil type for
germinating seeds and water saturation should be moist but not have water
escape if you were to squeeze a handful of soil.  I use a flat with holes in
the bottom and then place that flat into one that does not have holes so
that I can bottom water always.  The cover is important to keep the seed
flat from drying too quickly but too much humidity and moisture under these
can, IMO, cause other problems.  From the very first time I grew hosta seeds
I have not had problems of the type you are having.

These are all things you have to work out in your environment.  Don't give
up!  They are really easy and I say that because I have never had luck
growing seeds for anything else.  I think maybe I could now but not really
sure because I haven't tried anything else lately.  The other thing I think
to consider is consistent temp.  You may have different day and night temp,
but hopefully consistent as to the degree of each day and night.  They are
really fun!  Mine are really beginning to get exciting.  I have been
transplanting into individual pots and some are looking great!

The one, and I do mean one, seedling that I am watching the closest right
now is one of two seeds that germinated from Spilt Milk.  I had hundreds,
maybe thousands of seeds from SM that came from variegated scapes and only
two seeds germinated out of the lot.  One was green, now gone, and the other
is variegated.  It is also very cupped.  Cut little guy, cupped like H.
Abiqua Drinking Gourd and variegated, green and white.  It has been really
slow to grow but is now putting up a third leaf and it looks to be still
variegated and I hope it keeps the same leaf characteristics in the third
leaf.  I will input another opinion here.

There have been discussions in the past about the first true leaves of
hostas from seed.  I have been of the opinion that the first leaves are true
because they do look like hostas leaves and not like the first leaves that
other seeds put up.  I have been observing more closely this year and I find
that the first leaves do indeed look like hosta leaves but the third leaf
always seems to take on different characteristics in shape.  Even those that
seem undulating or wavy, maybe keep that characteristic but still the shape
changes.  So now I am of the opinion that the first two leaves are not true
leaves.   I welcome your opinions, if interested, in discussing this topic

So, all you that have Spilt Milk, it will give variegated seedlings but you
have to grow lots to get one, or so it seems.  I have one vari. seedling
from my SM last year also, but not as much variegation as the one appears to
have this year.  Now that spring is upon us (almost) I am anxious to see the
last years crop as it was the best I have had over the past seven or eight
Beth Arnold
Peoria Illinois  Zone 5

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