Rainbow Chard

flowersnhens(Maine 4)April 26, 2014

Can anyone tell me if the seedlings of Rainbow Chard will all be Red to start out and then turn to their actual color as they grow larger? Or should I assume they will all end up Red Swiss Chard. Some do look Pink, but most are Red. I did a trade here on the seed exchange with two people and all are looking to be the same color so far. They are pretty tiny, about 1 1/2 inches up so far.

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Some are yellow, some are red, some are pink and some are white. If they are all red, that suggests they are stressed out. Assuming you direct-seeded them, cold and wet soil could be one cause. Normal colors should return once the soil warms.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:20PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

Yes, thank you for your response. What I was asking was.....since rainbow chard includes orange, yellow, red, pink, and white stems, will the true color of that small seedling show up right away, or will it change to its true color after it is a few weeks out of the ground, or older? I am seeing all red, and just a couple pink. They are very small just out of the soil in trays in the house under lights.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 1:13PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

As far as I recall the seedlings are different colours from the start. If you did a trade you have no way of knowing how the parent plants were selected. It is possible that the seed you got was the product of a Rainbow Chard mix which had interbred. I find that after a couple of years interpollination and self sowing the yellow gradually peters out and I end up with only red and green, the red being the most vigorous. The yellow is always the weakest grower for me. Some plants are always more vigorous and produce more seed and they would then presumably comprise the majority of the seed in a traded mix. If you want to be more certain of a good mix of colours it might be better to get a commercial mix.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:24PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

OH bummer !! Okay, thank you. I guess I will have to buy some. Thank you ! I appreciate it ..=)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:44PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I am growing some right now. They are growing second set of true leaves. I know that whit/normal chards have green leaves. Red ones have red/purple. It is possible not to be able to distinguish yellow and orange at seedling stage from red.

I will look at them closely tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 1:42AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

There's no need to ditch the seedlings you have, they'll produce perfectly good chard. Maybe buy a pack next year?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 3:50AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

First, The color, IMO, is just visual. All will be tasty,

I checked mine. (waiting to be transplanted into bed). I have two kinds : Green/white stem and red. They look like beets. (same family ?). I am sure, orange/yellow ones would've matching leaf color. What I am trying to say that the color of the variety is there from early on, and it does need to mature and show the color . So if you don't have one or more of the rainbow color , then the seeds were not there. That is always a risky case buying mixed variety/colors of a lot of thinks. It is like tossing a coin.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:23AM
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gardener_mary(6 MA)

The stems of yellow or orange chard will be yellow or orange as soon as they germinate. When I plant Bright Lights I usually get about half red ones, so I usually plant extras to make sure I get a good mix. I transplant extra red ones into a container planted with lettuce. we pick leaves small, they are great in salad.

Good Gardening, Mary

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 3:25AM
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It could be the seed mix. I have sowed a multicolored mixture twice this year, and so far only one yellow seedling. Some of the pinks look red as seedlings, but the yellows and oranges should be obvious. I also have had red seedlings in Fordhook seeds, which is supposed to be white. Go figure.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 7:52AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

Some years we've had a nice mix of colors and some years it's been mostly to just about all red/pink. There's no way that i can figure how to tell until it actually comes up. But yes, the baby seedlings show the color they will be when they get big. I've also not really noticed difference in flavor from one color to the other, but then I've not tried to segregate colors when cooking it.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:12AM
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