How do I label the seeds I trade.....I don't know the botanical name?

8 years ago

{{gwi:2110342}}Image by: wintersown

That's okay, don't worry too much about that. Experience is a great teacher and we all learn as we go along.
I personally don't know the botanical name of lots of my plants. When I first started gardening and trading I actually didn't know the common name of most of my plants ;-) But I still felt comfortable about trading my seeds because I put a good description of them on the packets.

I trade my seeds and if I don't know their name I make as good a description as I can in my posted trade offerings so there's no confusion. I feel confident when I make a well described seed trade....the other trader knows the plant description and they trade for my seeds knowing that I have done my best to decribe what I'm offering. It's fair that way. New traders are often new gardeners too and so they haven't had enough experience with plant names to accurately name the plant they gathered seeds from.

What information should I put on the packets?

I always put the following information on my packets:

Common Plant Name and/or Botanical Name

Flower color or "mixed"

Height at maturity

Sunlight requirements: full sun, part shade, or shade (fs, ps, or shade, or sometimes fs-ps which means full sun to part shade, or ps-shade, which means part shade to shade)

A, P, or B (annual, perennial, or biennial)

My email address (optional)

My name (optional)


My trader didn't put all the information on the packet that I thought should be on it....what should I do? Email your trader asap and politely ask for specifics....sometimes a trader can't offer them as they're sharing/trading the excess of a humongous pack of seeds that came their way and IT wasn't labeled with specifics.

If you've got a packet that's not labeled with specifics grow it anyway. A packet that says something as simple as just "marigolds" is often a joy to grow.

WHY? know it's an annual, marigolds love full sun. So put the seedlings where they'll get full sun.

But I don't know the height....

Plant it in the middle of the border or up front. If they grow tall then you'll have added "dramatic depth" to your garden and reduced the monotony of everything short being up front. A brilliant patch of tallish flowers at the front of the border is often fascinating and is NEVER boring.

But I don't know the color.....

Marigolds can be yellow/gold, orange or mahogany red. These are the choices....sometimes they have a blend of those colors on the same flowers, or it might be a pack of mixed single colors.

What I'm trying to say is that suprises are part of gardening and that you should celebrate the beauty of your plants even if they aren't what you expected. A garden is for relaxing and enjoying. It's NOT for causing frustrations....expect an occasional suprise and you'll be very happy in your garden.

Flower Colors...I'm putting in this list as a help in labeling seed one is perfect in their eyesight so being "close" is just as acceptable as being "accurate".

(This color list came from the "Field Book of American Wild Flowers by F. Schuyler Matthews, 1902)

Pure yellow

Deep yellow

Golden yellow

Pure orange


Pure red

Pure pink





Pure purple




Pure blue

Madder purple

Madder brown