Thursday, 28 May 2020

The importance of labelling plants correctly.

I have a tray full of pots of large Bearded Iris in my front yard: they were given to me two years ago, when a friend said she was digging up her beautiful white Iris and binning them.

Being one who cannot ignore a plant in distress, let alone a sad little orphan who is about to be thrown out, I brought them home and potted them up.

Did I label them?

Yes I did. The tray contains seven large plastic pots, now getting all contorted as the Iris inside them grow and grow... they didn't flower last year, which was understandable, as Iris don't enjoy being ripped out of the ground wherein they have lain for so long..... it usually takes them a year or two to recover.

This year, cheers and applause, flowering stems popped up in five of the seven pots.

Gleefully I waited for the flowers to form....

Hang on!

That's not white!!

Sure enough, two of the pots sent up lovely dark blue flowers.

However, lovely they may be, but they are not white, so out they go: labels changed to "blue", and into the For Sale section.

Tearing of hair!

So then I had to wait, on tenterhooks, for the other pots to flower.  Would they be blue as well? Would they be white? Where had all the white ones gone? Had I accidentally sold the white ones, mis-labelled as something other than white?

Oh no!

A week later, much to my relief, two of the other pots sent up white flowers, and they are truly gorgeous.  No sign of flowers on the remaining pots, all of which are still labelled "white" but now with a question mark on them.

And that, dear readers, is today's lesson: always, always label your cuttings, seeds, and rescued plant material as soon as you can!!


  1. I have a tray that has lost it's label - How do you tell an onion seedling from a leek seedling?

    1. Wait approx five months and see if the adult plant is roundish, or long and thin-ish.

      *snorts through nose*

      Seriously, Mal, I have no idea!!


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