Seed Germination Instructions and Hints Tips for Seed Germination Tropical Plants The germination of tropical seeds may be both incredibly simple and extremely difficult. As the fruit ripens, some seeds begin to germinate within its interior. Many other seeds enter a dormancy phase that must be disrupted in order for them to germinate.
- There are a variety of methods for germinating tropical seeds in your garden, given that the term “tropical seeds” encompasses plants that thrive in such diverse, but often subtly distinct climatic regions.
- Following is a list of species with general and particular germination advice.
- The sole permanent need for virtually every seed is to maintain a warm soil temperature, often between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Always keep in mind that tropical seeds differ from the tomato, vegetable, and flower seeds you could get in a local garden center. Germination periods vary greatly, ranging from the Ice Cream Bean (Inga edulis), which germinates while still inside the fruit, to several species of palms, which typically require 9 to 12 months for germination.
- Fortunately, this is the exception and not the rule.
- Germinating exotics may be a lot of fun and incredibly gratifying, but it typically demands a different mentality and strategy than when germinating annual garden plants.
- Garden Vegetable and Flower Seeds The seeds of common garden annuals, such as tomatoes, peppers, maize, poppies, and lettuce, are among the simplest to germinate.
Most will germinate swiftly (within days to a week or two) under ordinary circumstances, a stark contrast to the germination ease of other tropicals. A few, such as peppers, might be more difficult to identify, so please read some of our notes below. Annuals require minimum pre-treatment and sprout rather well in ordinary soil and with moderate water.
- Certain seeds, like tomatoes and peppers, sprout well in warmer soils, whilst others, like lettuce, grow well in colder soils.
- A Word About Our Seeds Fresh seeds are handled and delivered with extreme care.
- We take care in the variety and quality of the seeds we provide, and we frequently test them for viability and germination.
We would never give you stale, musty seeds that have been sitting on a shelf for decades. We grow our own plants from the exact same seeds we supply to consumers. Our product offers have a high turnover rate since we seek to sell seeds in season and to minimize seed storage.
Trade Winds Fruit values your patronage and wishes you well in your gardening activities. – Soaking difficult-to-germinate or hard-coated seeds in warm, wet paper towel or warm water for 24 hours prior to planting helps break dormancy. – Maintain soil warmth! Many tropical plants, like tomatoes (which are native to the tropics), require warm nighttime soil temperatures for germination.
Even if daytime temperatures exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the soil may cool sufficiently at night to prevent seed germination. – Keep in mind that many tropical seeds can be sown in less-than-ideal conditions, only to germinate months (or perhaps a year or more) later when the earth heats up or when conditions improve.
The seeds of Passiflora are known for this. – Do not keep tropical seeds for lengthy periods of time. They should be sown as soon as possible. While certain kinds, such as Passiflora, may be kept for many months or up to two years, the viability of many tropical seeds degrades considerably more rapidly.
A few kinds may barely last days or weeks. Particularly short-lived seeds are usually indicated on packaging instructions, but in general, all seeds should be planted as soon as it is practical to do so. Over time, germination rates will decline. – Additionally, giberellic acid may be given to more difficult-to-germinate seeds.
|Acacia species||3-4 weeks-A few months||M||Seeds are best soaked in room temperature water for 24 hours prior to planting. Some methods include lightly scarifying the seed coat, but care should be taken to not harm the embryo inside. Seeds should then be planted in sterilized soil at 75-85F. Germination times vary, with some seeds showing quick germination within a couple of weeks and some requiring a few months.|
|Aegle marmelos||3-8 weeks||E||Use warm (75-90F) soil. Do not overwater, seeds are sensitive to rot. Water when soil surface begins to dry.|
|Annona species||2 weeks- 4 months||E-M||Break dormancy with warm soil, or pre-soak. Sprouting usually begins 1-3 months later, but can take longer.|
|Artocarpus species||1-3 weeks||Seeds should be planted immediately. Germination usually begins within a week or two in warm soil.|
|Asiminia triloba||1-6 months||M-H||May benefit from cold stratification in moist peat or soil at 34-42F for several weeks prior to planting. Upon planting, use warm soil (70-85F), keep moderately moist. Germination can be slow and a bit erratic, usually averaging a couple of months.|
|Berberis species||3-12 months||M-H||Extremely variable. Seeds of most species benefit from cold stratification storage at 34-40F for several weeks prior to planting. Seeds are very slow to germinate and tend to show highly erratic germination times.|
|Billardiera longiflora||1-12 months||M-H||Dried seeds are slow and erratic in germination time. Best germination seems to happen with day/night soil temperatures around 70F/60F, though some sources suggest using warmer soil. Use very well drained soil, keep humidity moderate to high. Can take up to a year to germinate.|
|Bomarea species||1-9 months||M||Extremely variable. Seeds sometimes germinate within a few weeks but may go dormant and require several months. Moderate temperatures seem best for germination (60-75F). Seeds germinate well in peat.|
|Borojoa patinoi||3-8 weeks||E-M||Use warm (75-90F) soil. Do not overwater, seeds are sensitive to rot. Water when soil surface begins to dry.|
|Brosimum species||2-4 weeks||Seeds usually begin germination upon removal from the fruit. Root growth begins almost immediately, shoot growth can take a couple weeks longer.|
|Brugmansia species||2-8 weeks||E-M||Variable. Plant at 70-80F. Germination usually takes at least a couple of weeks, but can take up to a couple of months. Different species show varying germination times.|
|Carica species||2-6 weeks||E||Generally sprouts in 2-6 weeks. Will take much longer if soil temperature is cool.|
|Casimiroa species||2-4 weeks||E||Generally sprouts in 2-4 weeks. Will take much longer if soil temperature is cool.|
|Citrus species||2 weeks- 6 months||M||Can take a couple of weeks up to 3-6 months to sprout. Make sure the soil is warm (75-85F), make sure soil is sterile. Dried citrus seeds must break dormancy to germinate, which can be tricky and time consuming.|
|Citrus Blood Oranges||2 weeks- 6 months||M||Blood oranges often come true to seed, unlike some other Citrus sinensis varieties. Most major blood orange varieties are usually seedless, but will produce some seeded fruits. Fruiting takes 6-12 years from seed. Follow planting directions for general Citrus,|
|Coffea species||1 week- 3 months||E-M||Variable, tend to be picky about warm temperatures. Keep soil at least 75F, seeds will usually then sprout in a few weeks. Dormancy can be be tough to break so seeds often take up to a few months to sprout.|
|Datura species||2-6 weeks||E||Warm (75-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for reasonably fast germination.|
|Eugenia species||varies||Many Eugenia species are marginally hardy, or subtropical. Seeds can take several weeks to begin root growth, and longer for shoot growth. Seeds can vary quite a bit, and some may begin sprouting almost immediately.|
|Eugenia stipitata Eugenia victoriana||2-6 months||M|
|Garcinia species||1-4 weeks||Plant immediately. Germination is generally slow, but quick. Seeds of some species occasionally produce shoots prior to roots. Warm soil (75-85F) is a must. Don’t overwater but keep moderately moist. Plant in shade.|
|Helianthus species (Sunflowers)||1-2 weeks||E||Warm (65-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination.|
|Inga species||1-3 weeks||E||Usually begin root and shoot growth while still inside the fruit. Plant immediately.|
|Ixora species||4-12 weeks||M||A bit slow to germinate in our experience. Warm to hot soil seems to work best. Water moderately.|
|Jaltomata species||2-6 weeks||E||Seeds usually germinate within 2-6 weeks at 75-85F.|
|Lactuca virosa||2-4 weeks||E||Warm (65-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination. A bit slower to germinate in our experience than typical garden lettuce.|
|Litchi chinensis||1-4 weeks||Plant immediately. Do not dry. Seeds generally begin germination rapidy in moist, warm (75-90F) soil.|
|Luffa species||2-6 weeks||E||Warm (75-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination. Generally a bit slower to germinate than common melons.|
|Macadamia species||1-5 months||M||Pre-soaking speeds germination. Also consider scarification (cutting) of hard outer shell to allow water to penetrate the interior. If scarification is performed, extra care must be kept to make sure the soil is sterile so fungus and bugs will not eat the seed kernel.|
|Malpighia species||3-12 months||H-VH||Very erratic and slow germination. Some seeds may germinate quickly, others may take up to 12 months and longer. Plant in moderately moist soil, at 70-85F. Use well drained soil and do not overwater.|
|Marlierea species||4-16 weeks||E-M||Variable, some seeds sprout within a few weeks, others take much longer.|
|Morinda citrifolia||6-12 months||M||Reliable, though very slow germination. Minimum time required is usually 6 months. Soil needs to be warm (75-90F) and moderately moist.|
|Ocimium species (Basil)||1-4 weeks||E||Warm (70-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination.|
|Papaver species (Poppies)||1-4 weeks||E||Warm (65-80F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination. Hot temperatures sometimes inhibit germination.|
|Passiflora species||3 weeks- 8 months||M||Variable. Warm water pre-soak is highly recommended. Some people will soak in very warm, (+140F) water for a short period of time to break dormancy, although care should be taken not to kill the seed embryo. Seeds tend to be killed around 170-180F. Once dormancy is broken, seeds may germinate within 3-12 weeks. Seeds with delayed breaking of dormancy generally take 3-8 months to germinate.|
|Physalis species||2-6 weeks||E||Seeds usually germinate within 2-6 weeks at 75-85F.|
|Psidium species||1 week- 4 months||E-M||Variable, some seeds sprout within 1-3 weeks, others take much longer. Soil must be at 70-85F for reliable germination results.|
|Puya species||M||Varying germination times. Use warm soil (75-85F) and lightly water. Seeds are prone to rot. Water when soil surface begins to dry.|
|Ribes species||3-12 months||M-H||Extremely variable and often difficult. Seeds of most species benefit from cold stratification storage at 34-40F for several weeks prior to planting. Seeds are very slow to germinate and tend to show highly erratic germination times.|
|Rubus species||3-12 months||M-H||Extremely variable and often difficult. Seeds of most species benefit from cold stratification storage at 34-40F for several weeks prior to planting. Seeds are very slow to germinate and tend to show highly erratic germination times.|
|Sapindus species||1-4 months||E-M||Seeds have a hard seed coat; some sources suggest scarifying. We have had luck either way. Use warm (75-85F) soil.|
|Solanum melongena||2-6 weeks||E||Seeds usually germinate within 2-6 weeks at 75-85F.|
|Solanum quitoense||4-8 weeks||E||Seeds usually germinate within 2-6 weeks at 75-85F.|
|Solanum sessiliflorum||4-8 weeks||E||Seeds usually germinate within 2-6 weeks at 75-85F.|
|Solanum uporo||2 weeks – 4 months||E||Variable. Use warm (75-90F) soil. Seeds can go into a sort of dormancy. Warmth and humidity speeds germination.|
|Synsepalum dulcificum||1 week – 3 months||Germination often begins quickly but can be extremely slow when it starts. May take a few weeks for roots to begin to develop and longer for a shoot to break the soil surface.|
|Syzygium species||1-4 weeks||Tropical ones tend to have seeds that must be planted immediately upon harvest, and will usually begin growing roots within days.e.g.S. aromaticum, S. mallacense Subtropical species, or marginally hardy tropical species, have seeds that can often be stored a few months, and usually break dormancy in warm soil. Most will begin root growth in a few weeks, although shoot growth can take a bit longer.e.g.S. cordatum, cuminii, jambos, oleosum, paniculatum|
|Theobroma species||1 week – 1 month||Seeds cannot be stored and should be planted immediately. Do not expose to temperatures below 50F. Seeds sprout best at 75-90F, with high humidity.|
|Ugni species||3 weeks- 4 months||M||Variable, some seeds sprout within a few weeks, but generally take quite a bit longer.|
|Vaccinium species||1-12 months||M-H||In general, Vaccinium, show very slow and erratic germination. Cold stratification for most species is helpful. Stratify for 2-4 months at 36-42F (refrigerator). For many species, the germination rate increases the longer the stratification. Soil need to be at 60F or above, preferably near 70F. Germination generally does not occur with soil temperatures below 55F. The seeds are very small, so care should be taken to keep soil adequately moist so seeds don’t dry out.|
|Zizyphus species||1-6 months||M||It is recommended to carefully cut, or crack open the hard seed coat.|
Vegetable Seeds (Detailed Instructions)
|Species||Germination Time||Seed Depth||Soil Temp||Notes|
|Artichokes||2-4 weeks||1/4-1/2″||70-80F||Artichoke seeds are most commonly planted indoors for outdoor transplant. Artichokes grow best in cooler areas and plants will need at least two weeks of 32-50F temperatures to properly set buds, so plan accordingly. Sowing seeds: In milder winter areas where temperatures do not drop below 15F, seeds can be planted in the fall season for a spring harvest. In mild or cold winter areas, plant seeds in the spring, for fall harvest. Seeds should be sown in small containers or flats, planted at 1/4-1/2″ deep. Use a well-drained, sterile potting mix. Seeds germinate best with soil temperatures at 70-80F. Keep soil moderately moist, do not overwater or let soil completely dry out. Germination time under proper conditions runs about 2-4 weeks. Transplanting, Care of Seedlings: Once sprouted, seedlings should be allowed to mature for up to 6-8 weeks before transplanting. Transplant to garden in well-drained soil and protect young plants from freezing temperatures. Make sure to transplant so young plants will receive a minimum of two weeks of cool weather, which will promote budding. Thin plants to 2-3′ and rows to 3-4′. Water regularly.|
|Beans||1-2 weeks||1/2-1″||70-90F||Bean seeds are generally some of the easiest seeds to sprout. Beans can be planted directly in the ground once the soil has sufficiently warmed, or started in small containers (either indoors or outdoors) for transplanting when plants grow larger. Sowing seeds: Plant seeds in well-drained, sterile soil at 1/2-1″ deep. Keep soil moderately moist and do not let completely dry out. While beans usually germinate quickly, take some care not to over water soil. Non-sterile soils, if over watered, can promote the growth of fungus or pests which may damage the germinating seed. Plant outdoors once the danger of frost has past or in small containers for a later transplant. Care of seedlings: Grow plants 2″ apart, in rows 24-36″ apart. Pole beans will need some type of support, so use a trellis, twine netting, or some similar structure. Plant seeds every 2-3 weeks for continuous production throughout the warmer months. Estimated germination time under optimal conditions: 7-14 days.|
|Corn||1-2 weeks||1/2-1″||70-85F||Corn seeds are usually quite easy to germinate with with proper soil temperatures. A good method for germination is to place seeds in small containers, either nursery flats or small pots. Standard potting soils or peat both work fine. If starting seed indoors, plant 3-4 weeks prior to the expected date of last frost. Seedlings should only be planted outside once the danger of frost has past. Plant seeds from 1/2-1″ beneath the soil surface. Gently cover with soil. Keep soil temperature above 70F for best germination results. Cool or cold soils can significantly delay or inhibit germination. Once seedlings have sprouted and grown a few inches tall, they can be transplanted to the ground. Alternatively, seeds can be planted directly in the ground if soil temperatures exceed 60-65F and the danger of frost has past. Once seeds have sprouted, thin plants to 8-12″ apart and rows to 24-30″ apart. Estimated germination time under optimal conditions: 7-14 days.|
|Cucumbers||1/2″||70-85F||Cucumber seeds are usually pretty easy to germinate, though an occasional variety may take longer than others. Melon seeds enjoy warm germination temperatures, so be sure to plant when adequate heat is available to warm the soil. Sowing seeds. Cucumber seeds should be started in small containers approximately one month prior to the desired outdoor planting date. Cucumber plants are frost sensitive so (in colder areas) be sure to time seed planting so transplanting seedlings takes place after the date of last frost. Sow seeds 1/2″ deep in small containers (up to 3″ pot size). Plant 1-3 seeds per container. Keep soil temperature between 70-85F. If soil temperature cools too much, seeds may germinate slowly or not germinate at all. Water regularly, when the soil surface begins to dry just a bit. Do not overwater seeds as perpetually dripping wet soil can promote the growth of fungus and bacteria which can kill the seed embryo. Most cucumber seeds germinate in 2-3 weeks, though some varieties can take slightly longer. Transplanting. Cucumbers enjoy warm air temperatures and regular watering. The plants also enjoy warm soil temperatures, preferably above 70F. If soil is not warm enough, several techniques can be tried. Covering the soil with black landscape fabric will raise soil temperatures. Cut a small hole for the melon plant. Another method is to amend the soil with 4-6 inches of manure or compost material. Both materials will give off heat as they compost, providing extra warmth to the melon plant roots. There are two main types of cucumbers, vining and bush. Bush cucumbers can be grown without supports and are popular for compact spaces and smaller gardens. The majority of cucumbers are vining cucumbers which need support for optimal growth. Use of a trellis, twining or fencing makes for an easy support structure.|
|Lettuce||1-2 weeks||1/4-1/2″||55-75F||Lettuce seeds are usually quite easy to sprout. Both the seeds and plants do best in slightly cooler weather, so plan on planting seeds when soil temperatures are below 70F. Sowing seeds. Lettuce is amenable to direct sowing in the ground, but take care to protect for garden pests which will quickly eat or destroy a fragile seedling. For sprouting in containers, choose small containers or flats and plant seeds 1/4-1/2″ deep in loose, well-draining soil. Soil temperature should be kept at 60-70F. Soil temperatures higher than 70F can inhibit germination and temperatures below 50F may do the same. If conditions are too warm but sprouting seeds is still desired, a trick is to put seeds in a wet paper towel, inside a ziplock bag. Put the bag into the refrigerator for 2-3 days then take the seeds out and sow. Properly sown seeds will generally germinate in 7-14 days. Transplant/thinning. For direct sown seeds, thin seedlings to 8-12″ apart, with rows up to 2-3′ apart, to give mature plants room to spread out. For container sown seeds, wait until a few true leaves have developed and carefully transplant to desired location. If sprouted indoors, make sure to harden off seedlings for 3-5 days prior to transplanting. To harden off, move seedlings to a filtered light location outdoors where they can slowly adapt to sunlight and outdoor conditions. Culture. Lettuce needs regular watering. Plants will grow best in loose, well-drained soils. Lettuce is very susceptible to nibbling by garden pests, particularly slugs and snails. Make sure to have proper slug barriers in place if slugs are a problem in your garden. Seeds can usually be stored for a minimum of three years.|
|Melons||1/2″||75-90F||Melon seeds are usually pretty easy to germinate, though an occasional variety may take longer than others. Melon seeds enjoy warm germination temperatures, so be sure to plant when adequate heat is available to warm the soil. Sowing seeds. Melon seeds should be started in small containers approximately one month prior to the desired outdoor planting date. Melon plants are highly frost sensitive so (in colder areas) be sure to time seed planting so transplanting seedlings takes place after the date of last frost. Sow seeds 1/2″ deep in small containers (up to 3″ pot size). Plant 1-3 seeds per container. Keep soil temperature between 75-90F. If soil temperature cools too much, seeds may germinate slowly or not germinate at all. Water regularly, when the soil surface begins to dry just a bit. Do not overwater seeds as perpetually dripping wet soil can promote the growth of fungus and bacteria which can kill the seed embryo. Most melon seeds germinate in 2-3 weeks, though some varieties can take slightly longer. Transplanting. Melons enjoy warm temperatures and regular watering. Make sure plants don’t dry out. It is common for leaves to droop a bit during warm summer days, so don’t worry so long as the soil still has moisture. The plants enjoy warm soil temperatures, preferably above 70F. If soil is not warm enough, several techniques can be tried. Covering the soil with black landscape fabric will raise soil temperatures. Cut a small hole for the melon plant. Another method is to amend the soil with 4-6 inches of manure or compost material. Both materials will give off heat as they compost, providing extra warmth to the melon plant roots. Most gardeners grow melons directly on the ground, but the plants can be grown on a trellis as well. Make sure to use sturdy support materials as melon plants can grow large and fruits may be heavy. Other Notes. Melon’s will produce both male and female flowers. Male flowers bloom first and will die back, so don’t fret if your plant starts blooming and doesn’t seem to immediately set fruit. It usually takes a few weeks for melons to begin producing female flowers, which can be differentiated from male flowers by a small swelling at their base. When watering, try to avoid watering the leaves. Damp leaves along with warm weather are a perfect environment for fungal growth, which can attack melon leaves.|
|Peppers||2-6 weeks (C. annuum), 2-10 weeks (C. chinense, C. frutescens, C. pubescens)||1/4-1/2″||75-90F||Start seeds in small containers from 8-10 weeks prior to the last frost date. Plant seeds approximately 1/4-1/2″ deep in moist, well drained potting soil. Most standard soil mixes are suitable for pepper seeds. Soil temperature must be kept at 75-90F for proper germination. Cool soil, particularly at night can inhibit or significantly delay germination. Additionally, overly warm soils, well above 90F, can inhibit germination and provide ideal conditions for seed rot. To keep soil temperature warm, start seeds indoors, in a greenhouse and/or use a seed starting heat mat. Keep soil moderately moist, though not overly, dripping wet. Water soil when the soil surface just begins to dry. Allow proper air circulation for containers. Optionally, seeds can be dipped in a dilute hydrogen peroxide mix (1 tsp hydrogen perioxide per cup water) for one minute to disinfect seeds prior to planting. If your soil or seed sprouting setup is susceptible to mold growth this can be useful to kill mold spores. Once seedlings have sprouted, keep in small containers until a few sets of leaves have developed. Transplant to larger containers or outdoors. If transplanting outdoors, make sure to harden off seedlings by exposing them to only filtered sunlight for up to 1-2 weeks. Thin plants to 3-4 ft and rows to 6-10 ft. Estimated germination time under optimal conditions: 2-6 weeks|
|Radishes||1-2 weeks||1/4-1/2″||45-70F||Radishes are some of the easiest seeds to germinate. Plant directly in the ground, approximately 1/4″ deep, in loose, moist soil. Soil temperature should be above freezing, at least 45F or higher for germination. Germination may be slower in colder soils. Radishes are fairly cold hardy and can be planted as early as a week prior to the date of last frost. Germination time usually runs about 1-2 weeks under ideal conditions. Once seeds have sprouted, thin plants to 1-2″ apart and rows to 8-12″ apart.|
|Tomatoes||1-4 weeks||1/4-1/2″||70-85F||1) Prepare for planting. Sprout tomato seeds in small containers, preferably 4″ or smaller. In-ground germination is not recommended. Use a standard potting mix that is well drained. Start seeds in containers approximately 8 weeks prior to the planned set-out date. Plants should ultimately be transplanted to the garden 1-2 weeks after the expected date of last frost.2) Plant seeds. Plant seeds 1/4″ deep in the soil. Cover with soil and water carefully. Overwatering can cause fungal growth which leads to seed rot. Excess water can also bury seeds deep in the soil where they will not be able break the surface. Water when the soil surface just begins to dry. Multiple seeds can be planted in a single starter container, but should be thinned once seedlings appear so only a single plant remains. Seeds do not require light for germination but some light source should be provided for seedlings once they emerge from the soil.3) Germination. Soil should be kept consistently warm, from 70-85F. Cool soils, below about 60-65F, even just at night, will significantly delay or inhibit germination. Additionally, overly warm soils, well above 90F, can inhibit germination and provide ideal conditions for seed rot.4) Care of seedlings. Once a few true leaves have developed, seedlings should be slowly moved outside (if sprouted indoors) to ambient light. Care should be taken not to expose seedlings to direct, scorching sun so plants may need to be hardened off via slow sun exposure. Hardening off can be done using a shaded or filtered light location, as well as protection from strong winds, rain or low humidity. Hardening off time varies, but can take 5-10 days.5) Planting out. Plant in the ground once danger of frost has past and daytime temperatures consistently reach 65F. Plants can be spaced as close as 24″ apart. Germination time: 1-3 weeks under ideal conditions.|
Vegetable Seeds (Brief Instructions)
|Species||Germination Time||Difficulty||Seed Depth||Soil Temp||Thin Plants to:||Notes|
|Beans (Phaseolus sp., Vicia sp, Vigna sp.)||1-2 weeks||E||Warm (65-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination.|
|Bean, Lima (Phaseolus lunatus)||1-2 weeks||E||1/2-1″||>55F||6″||Seeds can be planted directly in the ground after danger of frost has past. Or, plant indoors in small 3-6″ containers and transplant after 2-3 true leaves appear. Pole-type lima beans need up to 6′ support poles. Optionally, add soil inoculant to encourage maximum yields. Grow in full sun and in well-drained, slightly alkaline soil.|
|Bitter Melon (Momordica species)||2-6 weeks||E||Warm (75-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination. Generally a bit slower to germinate than common melons.|
|Broccoli||1-2 weeks||E||Wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination within days to a week or two.|
|Brussels Sprouts||1-2 weeks||E||Wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination within days to a week or two.|
|Cabbage||1-2 weeks||E||Wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination within days to a week or two.|
|Carrot (Daucus carota)||1-2 weeks||E||1/4-1/2″||>55F||2″||Warm (>55F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination. Seeds can be directly sown in the ground once danger of frost has past. Plant at 1/4-1/2″. Germination generally takes from 1-4 weeks depending on soil temperature. Once seedlings have reached 2″ tall, thin to 1″ apart. Thin again to 2″ apart once seedlings reach 6″ tall. Use well drained, loose soil down to at least 6-7″. Hard and/or clay soils can result in poor growth. Optionally, use potassium rich soil amendments to promote sweet flavor. Avoid too much nitrogen based fertilizer as it can lead to fibrous roots. Plant seeds in a location receiving full sun for at least half the day.|
|Cauliflower||1-2 weeks||E||Wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination within days to a week or two.|
|Collards||1-2 weeks||E||Wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination within days to a week or two.|
|Corn (Zea species)||1-2 weeks||E||Warm (65-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination.|
|Cucumbers (Cucumis sp.)||1-3 weeks||E||Warm (65-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination.|
|Gourds (Lagenaria species)||2-6 weeks||E||Warm (75-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination. Generally a bit slower to germinate than common melons.|
|Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)||1-2 weeks||E||1/8-1/4″||55-75F||8-12″||Sow directly outside after danger of frost has past. Once seedlings emerge, thin to 8-12″ when 2-3 true leaves have formed. Alternatively, sow indoors in 2-4″ pots, of up to 3-6 seeds each. Transplant outdoors after 2 weeks, being careful to harden off plants. To harden off, place transplants in a shaded or filtered sun location for 2-3 days. Thin seedlings as above. Lettuce can be grown on and off throughout the year, but does best with air temperatures are in the 55-80F range. Keep plants out of direct sun in warmer areas and during the height of summer.|
|Onion (Allium sp.)||1-2 weeks||E||1/4-1/2″||55-75F||2-5″||Sow seeds outdoors once soil temperatures reach 55F or warmer. Alternatively, sow indoors in small 3-6″ pots. Transplant outdoors once tops reach 3-4″ high. Thin bunching onion varieties to 2″ apart. Thin bulbous varieties to 5″ apart. Plant in well drained or loose soil. Avoid hard and/or clay soils which may inhibit proper growth.|
|Pea (Pisum sativum)||1-2 weeks||E||Wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination. One of the easiest seeds to germinate.|
|Peppers (Capsicum annuum)||1 week- 2 months||E||1/2″||75-85F||12-18″||24-30″||Variable. In warm soil (75F), many C. annuum peppers (the most common type) will germinate within a couple of weeks. Tepin and Pequin peppers are the trickiest, generally taking 3-6 months to germinate in warm soil. Do not use acidic soil.|
|Peppers (Capsicum baccatum)||2 weeks- 2 months||E||1/2″||75-85F||12-18″||24-30″||Variable. In warm soil (75F), many will germinate within 2-4 weeks.|
|Peppers (Capsicum chinense)||3 weeks- 3 months||E-M||1/2″||75-85F||12-18″||24-30″||Variable. Chinense species (e.g. Habanero’s) generally take longer to germinate than most common peppers. Germination is slower, but usually consistant after a few weeks. Keep soil warm to very warm (75-90F) for better germination. Do not use acidic soil. Some Chinense peppers, in particular Bhut Jolokia, Naga Morich and related peppers are very slow to germinate, averaging 1-4 months germination time.|
|Peppers Capsicum eximium)||3-12 weeks||E-M||1/2″||75-85F||12-18″||24-30″||Variable. Use warm (75-90F) soil. Seeds are typically slower than standard garden peppers to germinate and may take up to a few months. Warmth and humidity speeds germination.|
|Peppers (Capsicum frutescens)||2 weeks- 2 months||E||1/2″||75-85F||12-18″||24-30″||Variable. In warm soil (75F), many will germinate within 2-4 weeks.|
|Peppers (Capsicum pubescens)||1-3 months||E||1/2″||75-85F||12-18″||24-30″||Manzano type peppers usually take up to 2-3 months to germinate under ideal conditions.|
|Pumpkins (Cucurbita species)||1-3 weeks||E||Warm (65-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination.|
|Radish||1-2 weeks||E||Wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination within days to a week or two.|
|Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)||1-2 weeks||E||Moderately warm (60-70F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination.|
|Squash (Cucurbita species)||1-3 weeks||E||Warm (65-85F), wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination.|
|Tomatoes||1-4 weeks||E||1/8-1/2″||70-85F||24″||Seeds generally germinate fairly quickly in warm soil (>75F). In colder soil (<65F), they may be extremely slow to germinate or not germinate at all. Start seeds indoors, 5-7 weeks prior to outdoor planting date, in 3-6" pots. Use a well drained, sterile, moist soil mix. Do not fertilize. Germination time is highly dependent on soil temperature and the most common reason for slow or no germination is cool or cold soil. Consistent, 24 hour bottom heat from a heating mat is recommended for best germination results. Transplant once danger of frost has past and daytime temperatures consistently reach 65F. Harden plants off for several days when moving outdoors by leaving seedlings in a sheltered, shady or filtered sun location. Set plants out 24" apart.|
|Turnip||1-2 weeks||E||Wet soil is usually sufficient for fast germination within days to a week or two.|
Difficulty Grade Note that a number of seeds are graded with varying degrees of difficulty; these evaluations are subjective and based on our and others’ experience with germination. Following correct instructions, most people should be able to germinate simple and moderate seeds without any difficulty.
- Many recalcintrant seeds are already in the process of germinating when they are collected, making them relatively simple to germinate.
- However, they must be stored under ideal circumstances.
- Recalcitrant seeds are typically sensitive to chilly temperatures, low humidity, and lack of water.
- E = Easy (fast, requires little pretreament or experience with seeds, may germinate under widely variable conditions) M = Moderate H = Hard (slow to germinate, requires proper conditions, may benefit from heating mat or controlled conditions; may require pretreatment or special treatment e.g.
stratification) VH = Highly Difficult (extremely sporadic or slow to germinate, requires regulated conditions): Seed Germination Instructions and Hints
How long do seeds take to grow?
The vintage of the seeds. All seeds are fertile for between one and two years. After two years, germination rates for many types of seeds will decline and finally reach zero.
Raise your hand If, at this time of year, you have walked out to the garage or other location where you have stored your seeds from the previous year or years and wondered, “Are these seeds any good?” Will they sprout (grow or produce shoots or buds)? Will I waste my time and effort if I plant these seeds? My hand is raised I have leftover flower and vegetable seeds from the previous year, collected seeds, and seeds given to me by others.
Seeds are expensive, and some seeds have sentimental value because they were given to you by special friends or family members. What then can you do? There are a couple of tests that can be used to determine whether or not the seeds in question will germinate or are viable (able to take root or grow).
The water test is one method for assessing seed viability. Place the seeds in a container containing water. Give the seeds 15 minutes to sit. If the seeds sink, they are still viable; if they float, they should be discarded as they are unlikely to germinate.
- Can seeds that sink be planted nonetheless? Answer: Yes.
- Sow the seeds straight into the soil if it is the correct time to plant, or properly dry the seeds and plant them when the time is right.
- The germination test is a more reliable alternative procedure.
- Place at least ten seeds from the seed packet in question in a row on a slightly wet paper towel.
The towel should be folded over the seeds and placed in a transparent plastic bag. Place the sealed bag in a warm (above 70 degrees) area. Although light is not a significant influence for the majority of seeds, a warm windowsill or the top of the refrigerator is an excellent site.
- Note: You may alternatively set the wet towel on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap.
- Thus, more varieties of seeds can be sown in distinct rows on the moist towel.
- On the exterior of the bag, write the date and type of seed with a permanent marker.
- Examine the seed packaging (if available) and make note of the germination timeframes.
Check the seeds after a few days based on the typical germination timeframes provided on the seed packaging to determine whether any have sprouted. If no package is present, examine the seeds in seven to ten days. If you are like me, you will be checking them daily, maybe many times each day.
- Remove the paper towel-wrapped seeds from the bag and count the number of sprouting seeds after the seeds have begun to germinate.
- If only half of the seeds sprouted, it is likely that only half will germinate.
- Do not yet press the panic button.
- Simply sprinkle the seeds more densely than usual in your container or garden.
According to the University of Illinois Extension Office, it may be best to purchase new seeds if less than 70 percent germinate. Can seeds that have sprouted be planted? Answer: Yes. Plan to conduct the germination test close to the planting date so that the seeds may be planted.
Here is a delightful “Garden in a Glove” project for teaching youngsters about germination to parents and grandparents. Material requirements: a clear plastic glove, a permanent marker, five distinct types of seeds, cotton balls, a pencil, a twist knot or thread. Have the youngster use the permanent marker to write his or her name and the date of the project on the glove.
Write each seed variety’s name on a glove finger. Soak cotton balls in water and wring away extra moisture. Place three to four seeds in each cotton ball, then fold the cotton ball to secure the seeds. Place the cotton ball in the glove finger that has been suitably designated, then press the ball into the fingertip with the pencil.
- After placing all cotton balls with seeds, blow air into the glove and seal the top with a twist knot or thread.
- Hang the glove in a window or other warm area and observe for results.
- The seeds ought to sprout within three to five days.
- Once they have germinated, cut off the tips of the gloves, remove the cotton balls, and plant them in the soil.
Here are some other sources of information: S andusky County Extension 419-334-6340; The Ohio State University, https://sandusky.osu.edu/home ; Ottawa County Extension The Ohio State University Extension Ottawa County Office, https://extension.osu.edu/ottawa-countyoffice, 419-898-3631.
Can seeds survive for thirty years?
Full for 2000. This does not indicate that the seed has expired, but rather that they are not packing outdated seed. Then call me Pearl and whack my derriere! I have recently germinated tomato seeds that “expired” in the year 2000. What is the secret to maintaining seed viability and germination? Baby, it’s all about seed storage.
- The fact is that seeds do not perish.
- They lose viability if incorrectly preserved.
- While most seed companies recommend replacing seeds every two to three years, seeds stored in a cold, dark, and dry environment will remain viable for decades.
- The germination rate may decrease, but continue sowing these seeds until they are exhausted.
I have repeatedly planted “1998”-stamped seeds from my collection with great success. Seed package of Yellow Perfection from Seeds of Change (before they started using plastic packets). Full for 2000. This does not indicate that the seed has expired, but rather that they are not packing outdated seed.
I germinate tomato seeds in seed trays illuminated by grow lights. Today’s temps range from the low 60s to the mid-70s, so a heat mat is not required. I use Quickroot seed beginning planting mix and GrowEase trays or their equivalent (an older model called APS trays). Three seeds planted; three seedlings germinated.
(The third is little, but you can see the sprout loop emerging) All seeds not only germinated, but also sprouted within five days. I felt compelled to write about my excitement. Now I’ll explain my method for preserving seeds so that you may accomplish the same results: Watch this video on YouTube to understand the three most crucial aspects for seed storage and how to implement them in any area.
Jesus-era seed is the earliest viable seed. By Seeds unearthed in the Israeli castle of Masada were around 2,000 years old. Only one of the seeds that were sowed germinated (Image: Guy Eiseman/Science). The date palm can finally reach for the sky after thousands of years rooted to the earth (Image: Guy Eisner/Science).
- Forget cryopreservation; hot, dry circumstances may be sufficient for long-term survival.
- An approximately 2,000-year-old date palm seed has germinated, making it the oldest seed in the world to do so.
- The seed was maintained through storage in hot, dry circumstances.
- In the 1960s, the ancient seed was discovered together with numerous others in the Dead Sea’s edge in Israel.
Three seeds were recently put in soil, but only one germinated. An Israeli and Swiss team carbon dated the two sterile seeds and determined that they were around 2,000 years old, making them plausible Jesus contemporaries. When the germinated date was 15 months old, the researchers transplanted it into a new pot and recovered parts of the seed shell to carbon date as well.
What seeds germinate in 10 days?
Which plants grow from seeds the quickest? By Pamela Martin Updated on December 17 Waiting for seeds to germinate and plants to flourish is part of the pleasure for many gardeners. However, it may be frustrating for others, especially when gardening with children.
Distract impatient gardeners with plants that develop quickly while the rest of the garden catches up. In addition to sprouting and growing swiftly, many blooming plants give color to your yard. Within five to seven days, sweet alyssum, celosia, cornflower or bachelor button, marigold, and cosmos germinate.
Zinnias, sunflowers, and morning glories give additional color and rapid growth, while fast-growing nasturtiums serve as both garden ornaments and garnishes for salads and dinner plates. Dianthus (Dianthus chinensis) will contribute to your garden year after year, although black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus), depending on the kinds you choose, are biennial or perennial perennials.
These flowering plants will germinate within five to ten days and develop rapidly following germination. Blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis), blanket flower (Gaillardia x gradiflora), rose campion (Lychnis coronaria), and gaura are more perennial options (Gaura lindheimeri). All of these perennials are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8, with the majority thriving into USDA zone 10.
Not only do many herbs germinate and develop rapidly, but they also provide fragrance and taste to your garden and dishes. Consider basil, which sprouts in around four days, as well as chives, cilantro, and dill, which emerge between seven and fourteen days after sowing.
- As with other fast-growing plants, you should definitely put mint in pots to prevent it from invading other regions.
- Garden cress imparts a peppery flavor and pungent scent to foods.
- Several crops, including most forms of lettuce and radishes, grow quite fast.
- Additionally, cucumbers germinate within seven to ten days, along with mustard greens, spinach, onions, and turnips.
Blue Lake and Pencil Wax bean kinds are particularly well-suited for rapid planting, while cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe, and watermelon, with their four- to six-day germination time, are wonderful complements to any garden. Hyacinth bean vines may grow 6 to 20 inches in a single season, twining through the garden, its crimson seedpods and purple blooms adding tropical drama to the scene, as noted in Thomas Jefferson’s garden notebook as early as 1812.