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Question about seedlings

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Aidan View Drop Down

Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Location: Leeds
Posts: 20
  Quote Aidan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Question about seedlings
    Posted: 28 Jun 2008 at 10:54pm
Hello everyone
Being a novice at this game, I wonder if someone can give me some advice about seedlings. I have about 75 seedlings separately from clematis orientalis hatherly and tibetana black tibet (they were not knowingly crossed). Unfortunately I commited the cardinal sin of not labeling them and getting them mixed up.
Anyway the seedlings are now about 7 and a half months old (they germinated in November 2007). About 4 of them are producing flower buds and one has produced an opened flower, even though they are only in 4 inch pots and are about 12" tall after having been pinched out at least once. The problem is that the flowers are all really tiny - they are like minature clematis flowers, but look nothing like either hatherly or black tibet. The flower is urn shaped (as in the flower shapes described in Magnus's book) and has not opened right out in the strongly almost recurved way that hatherly does.
What I want to know is, as the seedlings develop and grow bigger, will the flowers increase in size or will they always remain tiny? Is it normal for seedlings to have such tiny flowers?
Any advice much appreciated. Thanks.
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Nunn00123 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Posts: 139
  Quote Nunn00123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2008 at 12:43pm
Hi Aidan,
Sorry for not replying earlier.
It is quite common for the first flowers on small seedlings to be small, also flowers can be markedly different the next year. Lack of feed can also result in small flowers. I would sugest that you pick out the best plants, destroy the rest, keeping the selected ones for another year to see how they develope.
It is common to have a wide range of flower sizes on cultivated seedlings, therefore careful selection is required to pick the best plant. I destroy around a 100 flowered plants a year, keeping only the odd one or two. Possibly one in three hundred plants are worth keeping with one in a thousand possibly worth naming.
Remember that unless seed is wind collected and can be verified as to source is likely to come true from seed. Even then there are variati6ns in the seedlings.
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Ron.G.Carlile View Drop Down

Joined: 12 May 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 84
  Quote Ron.G.Carlile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2008 at 4:57pm
Hi Aidan,
I read your mail and was pleased to see the rate of success with your seedlings
to get then to germinate in November you must have taken them of the perent plant as soon as they were ripe ( can't think of the right word ) and sown them
 I have always maintained that better results are obtained from fresh seed . I have never had good results of seeds germinate after they have been dried
and and put in envelopes , I know this is the only way to distribute them , but I would at any time prefere the from plant to seed sowing .  I was amazed that
the plants were still in 4 inch pots  ,and producing flower buds , the mug I am drinking my coffee from is about that size , I know from experience that clematis prefer deep pots to large diameter one's .  I agree with Roy with his coments on quality of  resulting flowers ,  as Roy I have grown dozens of 
plants from seed , but alas I have had a few that I have kept because I like them , but non of comercial value .   I have the same trouble with labels
I blame the birds for pulling them out .  I wish you every bit of luck with your plants , feed them well and who knows you may have a winner .
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