“Weed” seeds in compost

Last autumn I was potting on various plants and bulbs and using a mixture of bought in multipurpose compost and coir. Early in the winter, I noticed some hairy little leaves starting to grow in some of the pots. Hairy little leaves that had nothing to do with the plants and bulbs I’d put into those pots…

I had an inkling that the leaves looked like little tiny Nicotiana plants. So, I moved a few of them into their own pot and let them grow on. They kept growing through the winter and I was sure that Nicotiana was what they were.

As their leaves got bigger and bigger, I moved them from their pot to the corner of a flower bed.

They grew taller, their buds formed, I looked forward to their flowers.

But when the first flower opened, it only had three petals. The next was the same, and the next. I was puzzled. I’d never seen or heard of Nicotiana with only three petals. I searched my books and trawled the internet, but couldn’t work out what they could be.

One of the early flowers with only three petals
One of the early flowers with only three petals

But then, after about two weeks of three petalled flowers opening, a four petalled flower opened; followed by another and another.

One of the later four petalled flowers
One of the later four petalled flowers

Then suddenly, “proper” five petalled Nicotiana flowers started opening and they’ve been flowering ever since, making a fabulous show and with a beautiful scent.

And finally a "proper" five petalled flower
And finally a “proper” five petalled flower

If only all the “weed” seeds that come with compost could be so nice:)

The plants are very robust, standing about five feet tall and standing up well to everything the weather has thrown at them
The plants are very robust, standing about five feet tall and standing up well to everything the weather has thrown at them
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