Always label your seeds…

I wanted to share some insight with you.  As you find yourself starting to plant seeds for the first time, or you are an experienced green thumb who tends to get lazy with a seed here and there, do yourself a favor and put a label on that little seed.  You might think that you couldn’t possibly forget what it is that you planted.  You might think that if you just plant one, and you move it off to the corner of the seed tray, that you will remember the name of the plant.

I always tell myself that it’ll be easy to remember the name of the plant.  It never is!  I had a seed sprout yesterday, and I didn’t remember planting one in that pot.  I think it is a tree, given the time frame of it’s germination.  It could either be a really late yellow Brugmansia, or an early Ylang Ylang tree.  It’s in a tray filled with Gunnera manicata seeds, but I’m fairly certain that is not what it is.  Who knows?  Only time will tell, I guess.

While I’m here, I might as well share a few more of the large leaved plants that have sprouted up lately.  Another one that is new to me this year, Aristolochia elegans seems like a good choice to train up my arbor this summer.  I’d like to try some of the larger versions of Aristolochia, but that’ll have to wait for another year.  After a month of warm darkness inside an insulated lunch bag, they’ve finally begun to sprout.  So far they’ve been pretty quick to add height.

This one has been a little tough.  Tecoma stans ‘Sun Dance’ should be fairly winter hardy here once established, but germination has been really poor for me.  I think my seeds may have been a little stale, as I’ve had only 2 out of 12 germinate.  I’ve heard that the freshness of the seed is very important for this species.  One succumbed to something about 3 or 4 days ago, and now I’ve just got the one.  Hold on little guy!  Spring (and real sunshine) is almost here!

And now to one of my new favorites for this year, Senna alata.  Known as the Candlebush, Candelabra Bush, or some other variation of the same thing, it’s fairly common (as far as Youtube is concerned) in the SE US.  It’s a new one for me in the PNW, and I’m hoping the fast growth and root hardiness make it a perennial in my garden, whether by seed or roots.  It’s the fastest grower in the seed trays, except for possibly the cannas.

Hoping to continue my fast growing cactus collection in the right direction, I’ve got the old faithful Myrtillocactus geometrizans started in a couple of seed pots.  They make great grafting stock because of their fast growth.  I plan to keep them all natural.  They shouldn’t have much in the way of spines, they’ll have neat blue berries to taste, they’re relatively tolerant of our local climate, and they’ll shoot up (with any luck) at a foot a year.  What more could you ask of a cactus?

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