As a rule of thumb, you should sow seeds at a depth three times their diameter in fine, rich compost.
Then, water them well and place them somewhere with bright, indirect light, and you will soon have a little seedling.
Growing houseplants from seeds can be exciting and challenging, and many people are keen to try it out for themselves.
Also, growing from seed is a great way to acquire plants if you are on a budget.
But many people aren’t sure how to start, which is why we’ve created this guide.
And although all plants have different requirements, there are a few standard steps you can follow for germinating houseplant seeds, which we will discuss.
What Do You Need to Grow Houseplants From Seed?
There are a few things you will need to grow houseplants, including some small containers, fine potting compost, seeds, and a suitable windowsill.
Also, before you start, it is worth reading up on the specific seeds you wish to grow, as care and planting requirements can vary.
Thus, remember that this article is only a general guide.
But it should get you started and will apply to most plants.
So, first off, get your seeds, and read any instructions included on their packet.
Next, make sure you have some suitable containers for your baby plants.
Overall, your containers need to be large enough so that the seedlings can grow to at least a few inches in the pot.
However, you shouldn’t use a plant holder that is excessively large.
Seedlings don’t grow well in large containers because huge pots tend to lead to over-watering problems and can result in poor growth.
So, choose some small containers and ensure they have good drainage holes at the bottom so that the plants won’t get waterlogged.
Plus, it is also a good idea to plant multiple seedlings, even if you only want one adult plant.
Usually, several of your seedlings won’t sprout, so you should plant extras to ensure you get at least one that grows.
And, of course, you can always gift or sell excess plants if you end up with too many.
Lastly, the kind of potting medium you need depends on the plant you are growing.
But most seedlings will be happy with fine, commercial compost.
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How Do You Plant Houseplant Seeds?
In most cases, you should bury seeds at a depth that is three times their diameter.
Yet, this measurement can vary a lot, so you should research how deep you should bury your particular seed.
However, if you don’t know your seed’s preferences, three times the diameter is typical.
And luckily, you do not have to bury most seeds at an exact depth anyways.
As long as you don’t place them very deep or directly on the top of the dirt, the seed should still sprout.
Yet, normally, tiny seeds should stay pretty close to the soil’s surface and gently scuffed over rather than being buried.
On the other hand, you should bury larger seeds a bit further down and cover them with compost.
Also, it is generally best to put one seedling in each pot so that you don’t have to separate the plants later.
But if you are short on space or the seeds are particularly tiny, you can plant several in one container.
Then, later on, you can “thin” your seedlings.
Thinning requires that you remove the weaker seedlings so that you only keep the strongest in the container.
Typically, thinning can wait until your seedlings are starting to compete for space and resources.
Next, immediately after burying your seeds, you should lightly water or mist them, using a plant sprayer if possible until the compost is moist.
This moisture will trigger germination, so all you need to do now is put your seeds somewhere warm and wait for them to sprout.
Where Should You Put Your Potted Seeds?
Most seeds grow best in warmth and light, but the direct sun is too strong.
So, put your plant on a bright windowsill but shield it from extreme light.
You should also check on the seeds each day and see whether they need water or if any have sprouted.
And when the soil does start to look dry, it is best to use a plant mister if possible, as watering the dirt from a jug can disturb the seed and may wash it deeper or ruin its developing roots.
But, if you don’t have a plant mister, water lightly and slowly until the soil is moist.
Also, most importantly, do not flood the soil or keep it sodden.
Instead, just ensure that the seedlings rarely get dry, as they need moisture to grow.
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What if the Seeds Don’t Grow?
Overall, it can take a few weeks for seedlings to appear.
Thus, you will need to be patient and wait for a good while before concluding that the seeds are duds.
Yet, if most of your seedlings have sprouted, but some haven’t, you should gently push the soil aside so you can inspect the seed.
At this point, you should check for signs of sprouting.
For instance, if you see any greenery or splitting, you should re-bury your seed and wait.
However, if it is not showing any signs of growth, the seed is probably not viable.
In this case, you should remove the seed and use it as compost.
But, if your seeds have successfully sprouted, keep watering them gently, and ensure they receive plenty of bright light so they can grow into strong adult plants.
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Growing houseplants from seed can be a little slow, but it is a satisfying process and massively reduces the cost of obtaining plants.
It’s also a great project to do with kids, so they can learn about how plants grow and watch the seeds as they come to life.