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Seed Germination: True Leaves vs. Seed Leaves

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Forum: Seed GerminationReplies: 6, Views: 90
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jenepat
North Richland Hills, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 15, 2008
4:20 PM

Post #5418243

I'm new to growing from seed & keep hearing about waiting for the first set of "true leaves" to appear before fertilizing, etc. My question is, how can you tell the difference between a true leaf and a seed leaf (which, I assume, is what first grows when the seedling first pops up out of the soil)? Maybe it will be completely obvious when I get my first "true leaves", but for now I'm at a loss...

Can anyone help explain this to me?
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

August 15, 2008
4:37 PM

Post #5418312

I have no idea why some seedlings do this but many do. You will be able to tell as alot of 'false' leaves usually don't resemble the natural foliage of the plant at all. If you look at the seedlings on this site you will seed quite a few false leaves. If you're unsure wait til the second set appears. http://www.theseedsite.co.uk/db1a.html
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 15, 2008
10:18 PM

Post #5419602

The seed leaves are always the first set of leaves to come up out of the soil, for most plants they're very rounded looking and many plants will look almost identical at this stage. Then whatever leaves come after that first set are true leaves. The first few sets of true leaves don't always look like the plant's adult foliage, but they are still considered true leaves. (and the first set of true leaves will be pretty obvious, you won't miss it, but sometimes plants will sit there with just the seed leaves for a little while)
jenepat
North Richland Hills, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 16, 2008
12:23 AM

Post #5420112

Thanks to you both - great information! And I love the site that dahlianut posted - bookmarked for a resource!!
jenepat
North Richland Hills, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 28, 2008
2:01 PM

Post #5478110

One more question - after the true leaves have been there for a while, should I remove the seed leaves? or will these just eventually fall off on their own?

here's a pic of my hibiscus seedlings that I started 4 to a pot and just separated last night into their own containers (pic taken before separating). I had a 92% germination rate on these (11 of 12).

Thumbnail by jenepat
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 28, 2008
2:16 PM

Post #5478182

They'll eventually fall off on their own so I'd leave them alone. Anytime you try to pull something off of a fragile seedling there's always a chance of damaging it and there's no harm in leaving them there until they fall of naturally.
jenepat
North Richland Hills, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 28, 2008
2:19 PM

Post #5478196

perfect - thanks!

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