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Why Growing Plants from Seed Should be on Everyone’s Bucket List

It's all kinds of wonderful and poetic the way a plant grows from a single seed. The whole phenomenon is something of a magic trick. If only seedlings could talk to us, and explain how they appeared out of thin air from nothing but water, air, and a little pod they lived in. . . I don’t even think even a seedling understands how they did that. And to be honest, the first time I planted seeds and watched this whole cycle come alive before me, I had felt like my childhood dream of becoming a fairy had finally come true.


Now prepare for me to get a little nerdy on you. The first leaves that a seedling will produce are called cotyledons, or in other words, seed leaves. These are only temporary so that the seedling can start doing photosynthesis and making those sugars it needs for growth. As a result these first leaves tend to be very simple. Once the second set of leaves appear, the party really starts. This next set of leaves are called true leaves, which often look drastically different from the initial seed leaves. This is where the plant really starts to show its true shape and color.


Out of all my seedlings I have a few favorites (although don’t tell them that). My number one has to be red leaf hibiscus. They were one of the first seeds I ever sowed for the farm, so not only do they hold a place in my heart, but they are also the winner for appearance. Red leaf hibiscus will never bloom, but its foliage generously compensates for the fact. Its unique fall-like motif is eye stopping.

Red Leaf Hibiscus

Number two for me would be Snapdragons. Not only are they troopers -- surviving the brutally cold temperatures outside -- but these seedlings also keep a little secret. Each seedling hides a different color on the underside of their leaves. This pigmentation reflects the eventual color of the snapdragon’s bloom. Green signifies white blooms, a brassy color predicts orange tones, and a dark wine color (my favorite) signifies red blooms. Knowing this has made me twice as excited to finally see the little seedlings finally show off their true colors through a beautiful bloom.


Wine Red Bright Green Brassy Orange

Discover what secrets different seedlings keep, and maybe even spark a new passion too.


Happy Planting! --Makena

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