This section has photos of 800 seedlings.

They are shown in three ways, so hopefully you will be able to find what you're looking for somewhere if it's here.
But remember, there are millions of plants in the world, and I've only grown a few hundred of them!

Photos of Seedlings in alphabetical order of their Latin name

First, the photographs of seedlings are shown in alphatical order of their Latin name, starting here. The common name is also indicated. Some of these seedlings are also shown in the other sections. If you don't know the Latin name, you can find it in the Common Names part of the Plant Index, or you can search for the plant you want by typing the Latin or common name into this Search Box:

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Photos of Seedlings classified by the shape of their leaves

Next, there are photos of nearly 700 seedlings, divided roughly by the shape of their leaves. The photos have both the Latin and common name of each plant.

Monocotyledons are plants with only one seed leaf. They include bulbs and palms. Their seedlings all look much the same, with a single leaf that's either narrow or wide. I haven't included Grasses. They also have a single seed leaf, but produce more at points up the stem, whereas most other monocots produce new leaves from the bulb or base.

The seed leaves of dicotyledons are usually fat and round, and it's only when the first proper (true) leaves appear that you can tell them apart. At this stage, the new leaves might be simpler than the leaves on mature plants - they might not be as toothed or as divided, for instance. I've classified the photos according to the shape of the first true leaves. 'Pointed' means the tip of the leaf comes to a point, and 'rounded' means it has a blunt end. The descriptions aren't botanically correct, but you can look at the chart of leaf shapes for more information on botanical definitions.

Whether you see a leaf as deeply toothed, or divided into lobes, is also a matter of opinion, and leaves vary even on the same plant, so how I've classified the leaves is more or less a matter of luck. If you can't find a seedling on the page you think it ought to be on, check the other pages in case I thought my plant's leaves were a different shape.

The images of seedlings are divided into:

There are also photos of some common weed seedlings here, and some popular vegetable seedlings here.

Photos of Seedlings in the Database

Many of the seedlings are also shown in the Database with the pictures of the seeds and seedpods. These are listed in alphabetical order of the Latin name, but they also have the English common name for each plant, together with the Plant Family and germination information. The method I used to get the seeds to germinate is also noted there, and there's germination information about many more species in the Germination section. There are also photos of more weed seedlings, flowers, and information in the entry about weeds in the Botany section.


Some Frequently Asked Questions about Seedlings

How do I know if what's come up is what I planted or a weed? ~ As well as the photos of seedlings here, and the photos of weed seedlings here, you can tell at a glance if your seedlings are the same type of plant as the seed you sowed. Monocotyledons have one seed leaf. Monocots include Grasses, Palms, Aroids and Bulbs. Most other types of garden plants are dicots. Dicotyledons have two seed leaves. If you have a baby plant with one seed leaf where you've only sown dicots, then it's probably grass - a weed. If you've sown seeds of monocots and your seedling has two leaves, it's probably a weed.

Why are my seedlings spindly? ~ If you sow seeds too thickly, you don't just get more plants, you get more plants that are all fighting to get to the light, so they end up long and leggy, unable to support themselves. To avoid this, sow seeds thinly. If it's already happened, you can often rescue them by planting them a bit deeper when you prick them out.

What's pricking out? ~ Pricking out just means moving the seedlings from the pot with all the others and giving them more space, usually in a small pot of their own, or into a seed tray or a tray of cells. If they're large seedlings, this is easy. Just fill the new container with compost and firm it gently, then make a hole for each seedling. A pencil is often used, or your finger. Then lift the seedling carefully by its leaves, and drop it into the hole. Carefully fill the hole with compost, and press it round the seedling gently. If the seedlings are small, you should lift them out of their old pot using something like an old fork or screwdriver, and drop them into the hole. If they're very tiny, you're better dropping them in in small clumps so you don't damage their tiny roots.

What's transplanting, then? ~ Transplanting is usually putting the small plants into the garden, either in their final position or in a nursery bed.

What's a Nursery Bed? ~ A nursery bed is a part of the garden where you put young plants that are too big for pots and do better in the garden, but you don't want to put them in their flowering position yet. They might not flower in their first year, or you might want to see what colour and size they are before you choose a final place for them, or you might be waiting for something else to die down before you put the new plants in to replace them.

What's 'Hardening Off'? ~ If you sow your seeds somewhere warm, like indoors or in a heated greenhouse, they won't be strong enough to withstand the normal outdoor temperature straight away. They need to get used to colder temperatures gradually, so they can grow smaller cells, closer together, which are stronger than the sappy ones that form when the plants are in easier conditions. When the weather's getting warmer, and there's not likely to be any frost, you start taking your seedlings outside for a short time each day, bringing them back under cover at night. You gradually increase the time they're outside until after about two weeks, they're outside day and night.

Why have my seedlings suddenly collapsed? ~ Sometimes, new seedlings can just fall over and die, often starting in small patches that spread to all the seedlings in a pot. This is usually due to a fungus and is called damping-off. It often happens when seedlings are crowded, so it's better to sow seeds thinly in the first place. You can also spray the compost before you sow the seeds, using a fungicide called Cheshunt compound, which is a mixture of copper sulphate and ammonium carbonate. Larger seedlings are sometimes affected by a similar disease called wilt or black-leg.

Is it better to keep my seedlings covered or uncovered? ~ Seeds appreciate warm, humid conditions, but once they've germinated, seedlings are better in the fresh air. They are then less prone to attack by fungus or aphids. Fungus and aphids like warm, humid conditions and stagnant air.


Links to Other Useful Websites

The Weed Identification Chart in the Botany section includes pictures of weed seedlings and flowers.
The website Wildflowers in Bloom has pictures of seedlings (and flowers) and germination information about a lot of US native plants, indexed by their common name or Latin name.