Has anyone tried planting 2 germinating seeds per pot?

As I mentioned before, I moved my hybridizing from a good sized sunroom to a much smaller area on one side of the attached garage. I thought that I had cut down on the number of crosses to compensate; but I am getting swamped.

Has anyone tried putting 2 germinated seedlings of the same cross in one pot?

If you’re using large pots, you might try using smaller pots so you can get more in. With a 6 oz styro coffee cup and a good, well-aerated fibrous medium, there should be plenty of soil to carry your seedling through to outdoor planting time. I’d think this would be preferable to using a 10-12 oz cup for two, since there is so much more space wasted between the large cups.

A flat full of plant bands would be even better and more compact than small cups since the square bands would ensure that the space between is almost entirely planting medium.

I suspect two seedlings in one pot would make it hard to tell which seedling is which. Have you though about using smaller pots? I usually plant my seedlings in 4-pack pots. I don’t recall the size, but the 4-pack is the same size as the small 6-packs you see a lot of annuals sold in. I have even been known to use the 6-pack size for seedlings if I am short of room. The roses may not grow quite as well as in a larger pot, but they seem to recover well once outside. I’ve even bloomed seedlings in the 6-pack pots. I order my pots from Park Seed. I think they have a web site.

Looks like Peter posted the same time I did…

I am using 50 peat pot containers per standard seed tray for the initial planting. Each peat pot then gets placed into a 3 inch diameter round - 6 inch deep round peat pot; where it stays until being planted out.

I am considering putting 2 germinated seeds in each of the original small pots.

I’ve done this the last few years with some success. If you are dealing with remontant seedlings and both bloom in the first couple months it gives you a chance to cull those with poor blooms or weaklings while leaving the "better one intact. The problem is when you want to save both of the seedlings. They are hard to seperate when you decide to plant out.

I find that since most seedlings get culled early it is usually easy to pull a non keeper out without damaging the better plant.

I always try to make sure that any of my “special” seedlings are planted singly to avoid the drawbacks of seperating them later, and only plant multiple seeds in a pot if my expectations are not high. Open pollenated seeds and crosses that are particularly productive are the only seeds I plant more than one to a pot. I use 8 oz yogurt cups or 8 oz plastic drinking cups as pots for seedlings.


Why not cut a little plastic barrier and divide the pot in 1/2? Then there’s no problem separating the two.

By the way, one cheap way to do this is with plasic photo pages or page protectors.

As seedlings germinate, I pot them on into 3 inch square plastic (Anderson) pots, 36 of these to a standard nursery tray. If I get large numbers of seedlings of any particular cross (IE: over 300 per cross) I will put two transplants in each pot. I do this ONLY with remontant crosses. If one of the two is a keeper, I leave it intact and snip the other one off at root level. Only once last year, out of 4500 seedlings, did I get two keepers in the same pot. (I divided them and potted them both separately)


Judith, I like your Idea of using dividers.

Paul, yes, I agree that it’s only really practical with remontant seedlings so one can cull earlier rather than later.

Good Question, Genry!


For quite a few years I have planted 2 seeds per segment of sixpak, getting 144 sprouts/flat, 2 flats/light bank. Place them at 3 inches til leaves touch lights, lower as they get taller. Blooms in 6-8 weeks. With nutrients supplied you can go another 6 weeks til transplanting and with minis get another cycle of bloom. For really big ones like climbers it gets a bit rugged but I’ve done this with a flat of Doubloons seedlings. No bloomers there though. Just checking on dominance of once-blooming over remontancy, mini vs climber using a rapid-repeat hardy pink mini seedling as test parent in both-ways crosses.

I have never ever planted any seedlings into pots.

I am planting into dish-pans 12x14 inches as soon as the seedlings poke through the surface of my seed trays with # 4 mix and a layer of 1/4 " of sand on top which fits 42 seedlings at seven rows with 6 each row. I am doing everything as per W. Kordes whom I visited in 1971.( I learned “everything” from his book ROSES) I am using Sunshine Mix # 4 with a 1/2 " layer of sand on top which will not give me any damp-off. I might loose one in a hundred sometimes.

Having them in the dish-pans saves me a lot of watering, as little pots try out too fast. Depending on temperature I only have to water about once a week or when the sand on top starts to dry and looks grey.

In 1995 I raised 4850 seedlings and I would never have handled it in pots.

When all 42 seedlings are through the first bloom cycle I have about 2 to 4 left for further tests and those stay in those dish-pans up until fall.

I am just writing a reply (actually a whole article) in reply to Marty Nemko’s "Speed “Hybridizing” in our Winter 2004 newsletter. It will be finish soon.

Read my article : “A Germination Explosion” on my articles page, which is about those 4850 seedlings I raised back then.

George Mander

Link: www3.telus.net/georgemander