Which sunflower seedlings should I thin?

Sunflower    Karachi, Pakistan

My Velvet Queen journal can be viewed at: https://www.plantvillage.com/gardens/...

I planted 5 velvet queen seeds into my usual sunflower pot with new soil. This is the photo below from today, fourth day after germination. I planted 5 seeds in an equally spaced circle but I want to get heads up on when and which ones to thin. I will definitely be clipping two of these at the base, and keeping the other two. The pair at the back is at a distance well apart and I am thinking I will keep those instead of the pair in the front. I read online that I should wait until the first true leaves grow then inspecting the health and quality I should keep the strongest ones. The germinating difference between the two pairs is just one day. Problem is, all of these look pretty healthy to me and being a beginner I have difficulty telling which ones will thrive best.

Could anybody look at the photo below and guide me on how to tell which ones to keep? I myself have my money on the pair that is on the top in the photo.

I will keep updating the post with recent photos as the first true leaves grow bigger.

Posted by: Naveed (6 points) Naveed
Posted: July 13, 2015


Naveed, thank you for the detailed question and pictures. I'm attaching an edited image and I have circled the two seedlings that I would remove. All the seedlings look nice and healthy and I based my decision purely on spacing. Removing the two that are circled would maximize the space for the other two. What do you plan to do with the plants? Are you going to transplant them to your garden or another pot?

Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (2 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: July 14, 2015

Naveed commented,
Thanks Lindsay! Wow, that is exactly what I came to conclusion with today. Also because keeling these two will give me the blooms a day or two apart since there's a difference of a day when the two germinated.
As for how I will thin these, I saw a video on YouTube and the best and easiest I feel is to just snip the ones I won't keep. It's a sad thing to do but I have a fear I will disturb the ones I'll keep in this pot if I remove the two seedlings by pulling or by digging out a little soil.

over 5 years ago.

Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Excellent! I think you are absolutely right to thin them. Hope they do well - sunflowers are one of my favorites!
over 5 years ago.

Naveed commented,
They are my favorite too. This is the first time I am growing velvet queens. Very excited.
As for choosing snipping over pulling out the seedlings to thin, this is the horror I am afriad of. http://s3.amazonaws.com/plantvillage/...
I'm afraid the roots will be too tangled inside. So snipping at the soil base will be the best way.

over 5 years ago.

Naveed commented,
Dear Lindsay,
One thing I forgot to ask was when exactly should I snip off the two plants to thin down? I know its when the first true leaves grow out, but is there a specific time after first true leaves when I should thin them? I have a photo from today updated on top.
Another thing was, and pardon me for being a bit pedantic, but does stem shade determine the color of the flower later on? Like the ones you marked for me to keep the one of the top actually has a lighter shade of burgundy on the stem than the other three plants.

over 5 years ago.

Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Hi Naveed, could you post this as a new question - that way if anybody else has a similar question they will see it on the main page or find it through google. Also, lots of other people get a chance to give you advice if they know the answer - thanks!
over 5 years ago.

Naveed commented,
Alright Lindsay, that's a good idea. I'll post this as a new question right away with the most recent photo.
over 5 years ago.

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