I’m still playing in the dirt with seedlings! Aren’t you? This week I was excited to see some of my recent plantings begin to emerge from the soil. What is really cool about seed starting is the variety of plants you could potentially grow. Almost anything is possible! It’s also very cool when the plants are shared from another gardener.
A couple months ago Nancy Ondra sent me these seeds which are doing great so far!
Black-leaved cotton (Gossypium herbaceum ‘Nigrum’)
This ornamental cotton sports pinkish colored flowers and dark, almost black foliage. I love to see plants with interesting foliage and since most of my garden tends to be in shades of green the dark foliage of this cotton is very welcome! I may have to pair it with some lime green ornamental sweet potatoes. The kids will have fun collecting the cotton in the fall!
Here’s a close-up of the cotton cotyledons (say that five times fast!). You can already see the coloration in the first leaves.
Ornamental Corn ‘Tiger Cub’
Nancy also sent me a few seeds for this ornamental corn called ‘Tiger Cub’. I tried growing this once before with seed I bought from a big time seed company but didn’t see any germination in the 5 seeds of the packet. The seedlings from Nan’s garden are doing very well so far! When mature it has a beautiful striped variegation.
Oryza sativa ‘Red Dragon’
‘Red Dragon’ is an ornamental rice with a dark burgundy colored foliage. The challenge for me will be keeping these rice plants moist enough to thrive. I have a couple locations that might be suitable with higher moisture and mostly full sun. They are an annual but easily grow from collected seed as you can see!
This little seedling decided that it wanted to grow again in my garden this year. Basil is one of those herbs I can’t get enough of and some of them germinate all on their own each year. I don’t discourage this of course because if Mother Nature starts the seeds…I don’t have to! Honestly, I can’t say as I’m a big fan of the lemon basils. I really prefer the dark colored foliage of the purple basils or the delicious taste of the Italian basils. The original lemon basil plant came from a garden club member two years ago. It just keeps coming back!