Growing flowers from seeds can be a fun and rewarding activity. It can also help you save money since it is much cheaper to buy flower seeds than pre-grown plants. But growing flowers from seed can sometimes be a long process, requiring patience and special care.
One of the methods to speed up the germination process is using a paper towel. Here's how to do it.
- You just need a plastic or glass container with a secure lid. While clear cups may make it easier to see through, they aren't necessary since seeds don't need light for root growth.
- Place a sheet of paper towel or white paper on the bottom of the container, then fill it with water until the paper towel is completely saturated, but there are no puddles.
- Put the seeds in groups on the damp paper towel, close the lid, and label the seeds.
- Keep the seed container away from direct sunlight. This is critical, as an enclosed area can get very hot, and the searing temperature would kill off the seeds.
- Begin to monitor them the day after. Depending on the flowering plant, seeds may take 1-5 days to germinate.
- Plant the germinated seeds in containers. Make sure you have the necessary pots and soil ready.
- At the first sign of roots appearing, plant them immediately. It will be difficult to separate the seeds from the paper towel if they grow too long.
Do not make these seed-sowing mistakes if you want fast and successful germination:
1. Not using quality potting mix
Due to their sensitivity, it's not recommended to use garden soil for planting seeds, as this could expose them to diseases and pests. Instead, to ensure the best growth, it is advised to use a seed starting mix or soilless growing medium that is not nutrient-rich. A medium that drains well also makes it easier for young plants to grow their delicate roots.
2. Planting Seeds Deep
Make sure to read the instructions before planting your seeds, either online or on the seed packets, about how deep you should plant them. As a general rule, plant the seeds at a depth two or three times their width.
3. Improper Watering
Excessive moisture and damp soil can cause rot, leading to the death of seedlings. Therefore, it is advisable to create a well-balanced watering schedule for your germinating seeds.
Excessive sunlight can be detrimental to seeds and transplants. Delicate baby plants can be damaged from the full sun, so it is important to avoid sunlight in the afternoon. However, if the seeds don't get enough light, they won't germinate.
Place them where they can get bright indirect lighting and a bit of morning sun. Then, to foster good growth, place them in the East.
5. Using Fertilizers
After the seeds start growing, you don't need to give them food immediately. They have the necessary nutrients to last for the upcoming weeks.
6. Not Soaking Large Seeds
For quicker sprouting, it's recommended to soak seeds with hard coverings overnight before planting them.
7. Crowding Seeds
Planting too many seeds in one pot will lead to competition. They will be competing for nutrients, room for their roots, and water. If you're working with small pots or trays, ensure that there's only one seed per pot. For planter boxes of medium size, it is advisable to plant 3-4 seeds maximum.
Dr. Vandana K.