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I put some Malva seeds in a damp paper towel, in a plastic bag, 6 days ago. I just got back from an out-of-town trip and have found a several seeds with long snakey "roots?" Two of them have grown through the paper towel. One has lost the seed altogether, and has the white root at one end and a little green leaf at the other end.
They were all just seeds when I left town 2 days ago.
My question is, How do I plant them in the planting mix? Most look like a large, round black seed with a long white root attached. Does the root go down, or is it a stalk that goes up?
Now that they are successfully germinated, I don't want to do something stupid. I've never used the paper towel method before.
Don't do the bag method. But that should be the root you're seeing. Plant it very carefuly with that part down. Be gentel with the root and stem. When I have to move seedlings that are small I'll use a chop stick to make a hole, then press the dirt around the roots.
I've read that if they grow thru the towel you should cut it out and plant with them instead of trying to pull them out and possibly damage the roots. Makes sense to me. =)
I agree with Duchess.Here is the cool thing about plants.They know which way is up,even if you don't.Plants find their way.I can remember planting bulbs and corms sideways.I just didn't know the top from the bottom.They always came up and bloomed just fine.Edge
lily_bud You sowed seeds by my favorite method. I used the baggie method for all my seeds this year. To me, it is the perfect method because it is the quickest way to get them to sprout.
As far as your question. What you see is the root. I use a pair of tweezer and pick up the sprouted seed by the seed cover/shell. I make a hole in the soil with a pencil, then gently place the root downwards in the hole. Make sure the hole is deep enough for the root. If there is already tiny leaves, then plant so that the growth is above soil. If not, plant the seed at the depth recommended for that seed.
If no seed cover/shell is attached hold the tiny plant with your fingers, ever so gently. Or pick it up with a fork, small if you have one, then manuever the plant into the hole.
The trick to using the paper napkin method is to check seeds every day and catch them before they sprouted to long of a root. As mention above, you can trim the towel around the root and plant it. I had to do that with some seeds and it works. Never tear the roots off the towel because they have already developed tiny feeder roots along the main one. They are too small to see with the naked eye and blend in with the napkin.
Photo of hardy geranium seeds in paper towel just prior to planting in soil. The unsprouted seeds are swelled and ready to sprout. I left them in the paper napkin until they did. I now have 12 healthy seedlings growing in pots.