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5 month old babys stil infants without blooms!

Posted by baxb none (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 16, 11 at 15:20

These were sown in april-
Aster, dahlia, sweet pea, mini snapdragon, lobelia, sunflower, Poppy, larkspur, impatien, and viola.
They germinated well n potted on in may.
But none have grown to correct sizes. They look very healthy and green but are all so small.
Sweet peas are only 1 foot tall,
sunflowers are giant types but are now 2 foot tall,
The others are only inces high.
Its been a poor summer this year and forecast for more rain next few weeks. I have limited space so its a container garden which faces NE. I have a bedroom window facing SW.
Can i overwinter these in the window and hope for early blooms next spring? I have fertilzd correctly and also used a product higher in P with low N. All the other older plants also have great foliage and no blooms except for cosnos thats just started flowers last week. What am i doing wrong and will they last til next year?
they have plenty root space.
Is this due to bad weather? Or is it due to the NE face?
I sowed these expecting many cheerful flowers but i only have very green small ones. Last year the annuals i sowed were nice but it was more sunny. This year i think Ive had only 2 or 3 days at over 30 degrees and loads rain. What a headache!
Should i restart after winter, or take cuttings, or cont to feed, or pray for the sun?


Follow-Up Postings:

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sorry for double post!

  • Posted by baxb none (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 16, 11 at 15:43

I hope the double doesnt put you off replying. Has this happened to you with the seedlings and did they eventually grow up?


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RE: 5 month old babys stil infants without blooms!

Aster, dahlia, sweet pea, mini snapdragon, lobelia, sunflower, Poppy, larkspur, impatien, and viola. Dahlia, sunflower, and probably aster larkspur and snapdragons would prefer more sun.

They look very healthy and green but are all so small. So many things can "go wrong" when growing in containers.

I have a bedroom window facing SW. Can i overwinter these in the window and hope for early blooms next spring? Are you saying these are all outside now with NE exposure and you'd like to bring them inside when it gets colder? It's hard to advise without knowing your zone. I think some of them would be fine left outside. The sunflowers, sweet peas, and larkspur can't live any longer no matter where you put them. As true annuals, they're already senior citizens. I think the rest are tender perennials. What kind of lobelia?

All the other older plants also have great foliage and no blooms except for cosnos thats just started flowers last week. If it's been cold, wet, and overcast, the plants may just not have had the light they need to produce flowers. Do the pots have drain holes? Do the pots have saucers? Are they full of water?

What am i doing wrong and will they last til next year? It sounds to me like a combination of too much water, too little sun, possibly a soil issue. What else can you tell about the soil?

They have plenty root space. If the plants do not like the soil, the roots will go to the edge of the pot, down, then around and around, strangling themselves.

I sowed these expecting many cheerful flowers but i only have very green small ones. You may get more enjoyment out of foliage plants if you are in the same situation next year.

Should i restart after winter Absolutely!

or take cuttings, I think only the impatiens from your list would be good candidates for this.

or cont to feed, or pray for the sun? I would stop fertilizing unless/until you see some growth. It doesn't sound like it's helping, just wasting the fert.

Has this happened to you with the seedlings and did they eventually grow up? Usually not, unfortunately. Once a plant gets stunted or unhealthy for whatever reason, it's hard to rescue them in a container situation (not including house plants in this remark.)


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RE: 5 month old babys stil infants without blooms!

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 16, 11 at 18:34

I can step in and say likely a Z8 with cool summers, damp gray winters....UK should be much like my own climate.

Aster, dahlia, mini snapdragon, viola may remain perennial but that doesn't sound like an ideal site for other than possibly impatiens and the viola - where summers are cool, the sun lovers need as much as the climate will allow :)

Sometimes garden seasons are as much of a learning experience as anything, just please don't be discouraged. If NE is the exposure your gardening area receives, plan next season on growing things that will be happy in less sun. Spend less on fertilizer, and more on soil amendments if needed, good drainage will be critical in a high rainfall area.

Sunflowers here are about thigh high and weeks away from blooming, we've had a disappointingly cool summer too. Asters are showing some buds, no blooms. I don't grow sweet peas but my neighbors have usually provided all of us with bouquets and this year are short, unproductive. Some of these things are just out of our hands and don't give us the results we wish even if we are doing everything else right :)

My own interest is more in perennials and I don't do a lot with annuals these days, but the site you describe would give you some color with hydrangea, hellebores, astrantia, corydalis, cimicifuga, astilbe - plenty of others :)


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thx purpleinop for reply!

  • Posted by baxb none (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 17, 11 at 3:20

Last week i brought indoors into the SW window-
2 aster
2 dahlia
10 lobelia (packet name Cambridge Blue)
2 Poppy
5 Delphinium
4 livingstone daisy
*its only been 7days and compared to those outside, they all seem to have been reawakened!
The asters are looking very like the dahlias which i thought should be tiny leaves.
Yes, have adequate drainage holes and Ive not watered garden myself since late june which was the last time it didnt rain for nearly a week!
All the soil i use is shop bought multi-purpose compost which i mix with vermiculite and fertiliser pills if required.
They are stil actively growing but just really slow. Its impossible for me to bring in anymore babys indoors into window.
I have also just noticed that in the dahlia, aster, and s pea, there are many holes eaten by prob slugs? I never had this problem here and more than half of dahlia and aster have been munched on leaving very little leaf and the main stem (these were the fastest growers too).
I cant find any culprits so i dont know how to deal with this problem and its getting worse now (its also been raining heavy for the last 2weeks constantly.
Also, if i was to keep pinching tips and pinching off any new formed buds, could this help towards ensuring the plants do not flower yet so therefore will stay alive until next spring?
Thanks for your advise n time. Its all really helpful.


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thx Morz8 for yr time!

  • Posted by baxb none (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 17, 11 at 3:38

I tried to find out which zone i am in from few web sites but Ive had various results like zone 3, 4, 7, 11! But zone 7 was popular so maybe im 7 (NW England near manchester)?
You are spot on about next year, il try plan ahead and aim for plants that love shade rather than sun. I sowed these this year for the cheery colours. I too would be happy with all perenials, but as im a beginner, im making mistakes all the time!
I already have some perenials that are fine like Rodgersia, Astilbe, eunony fortuni.
Flowering types are Hydrangea, Potentilla miss wilmot, geranium cranebil, fucshia and they all seemed to stil blossom despite lack of sun.
The only other plant that has not flowered yet (NOT started from seed few months ago) is Clematis president, which is its 2nd year. Am i right in thinking that this flowers in the 3rd year or is this another result of the poor weather?
Now i just need to research upon other suitable perennials that give exciting colourful bloomage.
I really grateful for your time. Thanks.


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RE: 5 month old babys stil infants without blooms!

With annuals that have yet to flower, if i cont to keep pinching them back and cut off any buds, will this give me stronger plants if i manage to overwinter and they survive? Many of them have had a sudden spout of energy and its nearly september now so it quite late in the year. Im thinking to prevent the flowering stage until after last frost so the plant will stil need to bloom to carry on its life stages. Am i right or is this a bad concept?


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RE: 5 month old babys stil infants without blooms!

Aha - I have just realised where you live.

The following are hardy annuals or biennials and can overwinter outdoors in the UK: aster, snapdragon, sunflower, poppy, larkspur and viola. However, they will need good drainage and protection from slugs and snails. The dahlia, lobelia and impatiens will die with the first frost. Personally I would not bother to bring them inside as they are highly unlikely to make it through the winter in the house. If you have a greenhouse with above freezing temps they might live over. The shrubs and perennials will be fine and need no help to overwinter. The Fuchsia might die depending on whether it is a hardy variety or not.

It sounds as if you need a good basic book on gardening in the UK. The sweet peas, for example, would have been best sown indoors in late winter. All should be in the ground by now, not in pots, and that may well be part of your problem. You have quite a mixture of plants there some of which need quite different conditions so I'd recommend looking them up. Also some are very easy eg Euonymous fortuneii and some are quite tricky eg Rodgersia. Advice from the US, while sometimes helpful, is often from people unfamiliar with our kind of climate. The whole zone concept means very little in the UK. Theoretically we are in z 8/9 but it doesn't mean much as we do not get the highs and lows of US zones 8/9.

The link is to an article on sowing hardy annuals. You need to look down the page.

Here is a link that might be useful: When to sow annuals


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