Delayed color expression in seedlings

I am probably going to show my ignorance here but just have to ask anyway. I have noticed that the color of the first bloom of a seedling is often pale and nondescript compared to the second or third bloom. I have had ivory that turns to bright yellow. Pink that turns purple and orange red that turns cherry red with blue undertones. Is this common or a fluke? Most of these seedlings have Ebb Tide as a parent. If this is a common occurrence then it begs the question why would a breeder eliminate seedlings after just one bloom?

Exactly Joan, I have seen seedlings having a low petals count ending up being full doubles, I think it boils down to what the seedling is capable of supporting on such a small structure, as they get bigger more sap flow is introduced and things change. Also I have to add, the first bloom of the seedlings occur during early spring when light intesity is not so severe , as the temps and light strenght increase in the summer months things can change colour wise


I have noticed great changes in my seedlings from the begining to the end of the season, from year one to year two to year three, and from tiny, to medium, to large pots. It’s pretty neat seeing the changes in colors, thorns, petal number, disease resistance, and even leaf color.

I read once that Dr. Buck kept his seedlings for at least 3 years. I figure I can do as much. I don’t have much area to put them in the ground but I have plenty of pots and plenty of places to stick those pots. My earliest seedlings just reached 3 years this year (all were OPs) and I was down to about 25 (never culled just died “naturally”). A few I thought wouldn’t make it are really nice and I’m glad I didn’t cull them too early as I probably would have eliminated 5 that I am really glad I kept. A few will be gone next year too, this time by my own hand.