I am a complete beginner gardener. On 22 September I planted some daisy seeds in a container and covered with plastic wrap. Tiny green leaves sprouted after a few days, so I removed the plastic. However, nothing else has grown since. I have read that "true leaves" now need to grow - which would be the second set of leaves. How long does this usually take? The weather here is still very warm, so I have placed the container where it receives a few hours of direct sun, and a few hours of shade. Thank you.
It is hard to gauge how long as it all depends on temp, soil conditions, watering, and ofcource the seeds them-self, IF fresh seeds or old seeds.
I don't know what zone you are in so can only give general times.
I would say about 2-3 weeks from seeds being sewn, to germination and then onto to the stage they are, as you describe them.
At this stage you keep watering them WHEN required, I like to water seeds in containers from under the pots as this helps prevent things like (damping off fungus) this causes the little seedlings to die off, and it looks like a greyish mould that suddenly appears over a few hours and it causes the seedlings to fall over and Mould spreads to all the seedlings if not treated. This mould is caused by too wet soil, seeds growing far too close (over crowding) and cold conditions.
After another few weeks from stage 1. the seedlings will begin to grow a second set of leaves and within another few weeks these leaves begin to look like the proper adult leaves the plants should have. you still keep up the watering when required and leave the seedling in situation untill the seedlings look large enough to handle by lifting each little seedling out from the pot / container by using a pencil or similar instrument to help lift the seedlings from the soil, at the same time as lifting you hold each seedling by the leaf.
Never hold seedlings by the stems as they are very soft and you may cause damage and this in turn causes disease to set in, sometimes it is impossible to lift just one seedling and this is normal, but a small clump is fine so long as you lay them down and then with the help of the pencil or other implement of choice, to help you separate the clump of seedlings apart. after this you insert each seedling into it's own individual small pot or place several seedlings into a seed tray filled with potting compost filled to about half inch from top, once pots or trays have the seedling inserted and gently firmed into place, sit the pot or tray into a basin of water and allow the water to be soaked up and the soil changes colour, when this happens lift the pots/ trays out and allow excess water to drain away.
From that stage your seedlings should grow quicker, but again this will depend on temp, sun, shade, watering and this is difficult to show / tell as here in UK some seedlings are slower to germinate and then grow on all depending on season, light too makes a difference, it is just a case of keeping an eye on the seedlings, don't over do the watering but don't let them dry out either, don't keep moving them about , give sunshine each day but NOT baking hot.
Hope this helps a little and once you tell us where you live zone ect, it may be someone from your own area can give you better advice that suit's you better.
Good luck, don't give up IF you don't get great results first time as everyone had to learn.
Thanks for your message. I was thinking of leaving them in the container I planted them in, as I'm not sure I can handle the transplanting. Yesterday I noticed a third leaf on most of the seedlings, as per the photo.
Ok, the bottom leaves are the ones that are the very first to germinate are any leaves after this 1st set, are classed as true leaves, that is, they will all be the exact same as every other leaf on this type of plant that germinated from the same seeds.
IF you do have to prick some little seedlings out and transplant them anywhere else because they are over crowded then when you use your pen / pencil to lift them you also hold the little plant by these first leaves as in most cases when the plants get going, these leaves fall off anyway and by holding seeds by this way, you don't damage the proper leaves or stems which are prone to disease if damaged.
The Daisy Family is a very large family of plants and all have the same type of daisy flowers but some have different leaf but are the same family, so not knowing what kind of daisy you have, where you live and what weather conditions you experience is hard for anyone to help further so my advice is more general hints and tips for growing, IF the daisy has large flowering blooms, then maybe container growing will not be the best idea due to the plants being overcrowded and as with some of the daisy family, what you sew and grow one year can multiply by 2-3 times the following year so just be aware that you MAY have to separate the plants out sooner than you think.
Good luck and happy gardening, enjoy your lovely daisy plants.
Thanks a lot for your help, very much appreciated. For my next attempt, I'm going to try and plant seedlings in small yoghurt containers, and then transfer them to a larger pot when they are a couple of inches tall. I've read that it is easier to control the density this way.