Growing Plants from Seeds

Growing from seed is the most common and often the easiest propagation method. All the seed needs to grow is warmth, moisture, light and air.
Related To:
Separate Seeds from Dirt Using Strainer

Separate Seeds from Dirt Using Strainer

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

If you want to avoid pricking out seedlings later, sow in modules, a few seeds per cell. After germination, pinch out all but the strongest seedlings. 

Buying and Saving Seeds 

Most seeds are sold in a plastic or foil sachet that preserves them until opened. Seed in paper packets ages more rapidly. Keep the packet, as it will give growing recommendations and a “use by” date, after which unused seed deteriorates. 

Homegrown seed is usually worth saving, but choose healthy plants with the best seedheads. Seeds must be mature, but not so ripe that they are already being shed. Enclose dry heads and capsules in paper bags before cutting them off, then label and store the bags. Spread damp seeds out to dry in a warm, airy place. Dry fruits well and store intact, or extract and dry the seeds. 

Storing and Treating Seeds 

Keep purchased seed in its packet (resealed if it has been opened), and saved seeds in envelopes or paper bags marked with the date of harvest. Store in a dark, dry, well-ventilated place, or in tins with one or two sachets of silica gel to absorb moisture. Aim for conditions that are frost-free but below 41°F (5°C). 

A few seeds need special treatment to speed germination; this will be detailed on the packet. For example, hard seed coats that are slow to absorb moisture can be nicked with a knife (chipped) or rubbed with sandpaper (scarified), or the seeds can be soaked in warm water overnight. Other seeds may need to be chilled in the refrigerator to simulate winter conditions.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Sow Cool: Give Your Lawn a Head Start With Dormant Seeding

Dormant seeding is the practice of sowing grass in the winter months when grass seeds are inactive.

Garden Plants and Flowers

Learn how to discover which plants underscore and help define a specific garden design style.

How to Grow Zucchini Plants

Zucchinis are a winner for being one of the quickest — and easiest — members of the squash family to grow.

Growing Lavender Indoors

Discover some tips and tricks to growing lavender indoors.

Types of Grow Lights for Indoor Plants

Try these bright ideas for growing plants indoors.

How to Grow Blackberry Plants in Pots

Blackberries are usually big plants and unsuitable for pots, but the thornless varieties are less vigorous and can be successfully grown in a large container.

Growing Lavender

Learn what you need to know to grow lavender successfully.

10 Tips for Growing Lavender

Texas farmer Debbie McDowell shares her expert advice on growing fragrant, flowering lavender in your garden.

On TV

Island Life

6:30am | 5:30c

Island Life

7am | 6c

Island Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Desert Flippers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Desert Flippers

2:30pm | 1:30c

Desert Flippers

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Flip or Flop Nashville

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.