How Long For Seed To Sprout?

How Long For Seed To Sprout
Seed Germination Instructions and Hints Tips for Seed Germination Tropical Plants The germination of tropical seeds can be both incredibly simple and extremely difficult. As the fruit ripens, certain seeds begin to germinate within its interior. Many other seeds enter a dormancy period that must be broken 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 grow in such diverse, yet often subtly distinct climatic regions. Following is a list of species with general and specific germination advice. The only constant requirement for virtually any seed is to maintain a warm soil temperature, typically between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Always keep in mind that tropical seeds differ from the tomato, vegetable, and flower seeds you might find in a local garden center. Germination times vary widely, ranging from the Ice Cream Bean (Inga edulis), which germinates while still inside the fruit, to many species of palms, which typically require 9 to 12 months for germination.

Fortunately, this is the exception and not the rule. Germinating exotics can be a lot of fun and extremely rewarding, but it often requires a different mindset and strategy than when germinating annual garden plants. Garden Vegetable and Flower Seeds The seeds of common garden annuals, such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, poppies, and lettuce, are among the easiest to germinate.

Most will germinate rapidly (within days to a week or two) under standard conditions, a stark contrast to the germination ease of some tropicals. A few, such as peppers, can be more difficult to identify, so please read some of our notes below. Annuals require minimal pre-treatment and germinate relatively well in regular soil and with moderate water.

  • Certain seeds, like tomatoes and peppers, germinate best in warmer soils, whereas others, like lettuce, germinate well in cooler soils.
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  • We take pride in the variety and quality of the seeds we provide, and we routinely test them for viability and germination.

We never are going to send you old, musty seeds that have been laying on a shelf for years. We germinate our own plants from the exact same seeds we send to customers. Our product offerings have a high turnover rate because we strive to offer seeds in season and to minimize seed storage.

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  2. Soaking difficult-to-germinate or hard-coated seeds in warm, moist paper towel or warm water for 24 hours prior to planting helps break dormancy.
  3. Maintain soil warmth! Many tropical plants, including 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 planted in less-than-ideal conditions, only to germinate months (or even a year or more) later when the soil warms up or when conditions improve.

  • The seeds of Passiflora are notorious for this.
  • Do not store tropical seeds for extended periods of time.
  • They should be planted as soon as possible.
  • While some varieties, such as Passiflora, can be stored for several months or up to two years, the viability of many tropical seeds degrades much more rapidly.

A few types may only last days or weeks. Particularly short-lived seeds are always indicated on package 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 applied to more difficult-to-germinate seeds.

Species Germination Time Difficulty Notes
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.
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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.
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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 rated with varying degrees of difficulty; these ratings are subjective and based on our and others’ experience with germination. Following proper instructions, most people should be able to germinate easy and moderate seeds without much difficulty.

  • Many recalcintrant seeds are already in the process of germinating when they are harvested, making them generally simple to germinate.
  • However, they must be stored under ideal conditions.
  • Recalcitrant seeds are typically sensitive to cool 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 = Extremely Difficult (extremely sporadic or slow to germinate, requires controlled conditions): Seed Germination Instructions and Hints

How do you accelerate seed germination?

How to Accelerate Germination Call us toll-free at 800-635-7621 today! Some seeds grow easily, while others do better when they are germinated in conditions that mimic their natural habitats. Here are some suggestions to help you create the ideal conditions for your to sprout more quickly.

  1. The best way to determine the optimal conditions for your plants is to consult the seed packet.
  2. It specifies the optimal planting date, time until bloom, care instructions, and any special requirements.
  3. A simple method for accelerating the germination of seeds is to soak them for 24 hours in a shallow container of hot tap water.

Water will permeate the seed coat, causing the embryos within to swell. Do not soak them for more than 24 hours, as they may rot otherwise. Immediate sowing of seeds in moist soil. Stratification is the practice of using a period of cold, wet weather to deceive seeds into thinking it is winter.

If you are planting seeds indoors in the spring, soak the seeds first, then place them in a sandwich bag containing moist seed-starting medium and cover them with an additional inch of medium. The bag should be refrigerated. When the seeds germinate, transfer them to containers. You can also store cold-sensitive seeds outdoors in containers during the fall and winter.

Cover the tops of the pots with a thin layer of very fine gravel, such as natural-colored aquarium gravel. Keep the pots close together and bury them up to their rims to protect them from extreme cold and avoid spilling. Once the seeds have begun to germinate, relocate the containers to a protected nursery area.

Scarification involves nicking a seed’s coat with a knife or sandpaper to allow moisture to reach the embryo. Using a small pocketknife or rat-tail file, you can remove a very thin slice or section of the seed coat, or you can line a jar with sandpaper, place the seeds inside, secure the lid, and shake the jar.

Just prior to planting the seeds, they should be scarified. Care for seeds planted in pots is simple. Many horticulturists advise planting seeds densely in a flat or tray and then repotting individual seedlings into large containers. You can avoid transplanting by starting a few seeds in 2 14-inch or larger pots, then thinning them with scissors or planting them all in the garden.

Using a commercial “soilless” seed-starting mix can protect seedlings from disease. Pour the majority of the soilless mix into a large bowl and moisten it with water. Fill the container to 12 inch below the rim, pack the medium down to eliminate air pockets. If you expect them to germinate within a few days or weeks, cover them.

Maintain the medium’s moisture by watering from above with a fine mist or by pouring water onto a tray and allowing the pots to soak it up. Place seedlings in containers on south- or east-facing windowsills in order to provide them with ample light. If space is limited, you can place them indoors under fluorescent lights mounted on chains that can be raised and lowered.12 to 16 hours of artificial light per day will be necessary for seedlings.

  • After the seedlings emerge, apply a water-soluble fertilizer once per week to stimulate growth.
  • Follow the instructions for indoor plants or plants in containers.
  • Before planting seedlings outdoors, they must be “hardened off” to prevent damage from the sun, wind, and other elements.
  • Transfer the seedlings to a shady, wind-protected location.
See also:  How To Grow Calendula From Seed?

The first day, leave them there for a few hours, and then for progressively longer durations. After approximately one week, they will be ready for planting. They should be planted on a cloudy, rainy day or in the late afternoon. Before and after planting, water the seedlings. How Long For Seed To Sprout

Why are my seeds sprouting so slowly?

Why are my seeds not sprouting? When asked, “Why are my seeds not germinating?” numerous factors are considered. Seeds are living organisms in that a percentage of them will germinate under optimal conditions and produce seedlings, which, under optimal conditions, will produce plants and, ultimately, more seeds.

  1. Before placing an order for seeds, we verify that the germination rate meets our stringent requirements.
  2. Additionally, we test each seed lot annually to ensure that the germination rate remains above the Canada Number One standard (CFIA).
  3. Each lot of our seeds is sampled and tested in CFIA-accredited, third-party laboratories.

We take germination rates extremely seriously, and the results of each test are printed on the seed packets. West Coast Seeds’ mission is to provide you with the highest-quality, heaviest-yielding seeds as well as the information you need to be successful in your garden and farm.

  1. Numerous factors can influence the germination rate of seeds.
  2. How the seeds were stored, their age, the depth at which they were planted, the weather, the soil they were planted in, the moisture level, and the temperature can all impact germination.
  3. West Coast Seeds is pleased to provide seeds of superior quality, and we stand behind our product.

Our founder, Mary Ballon, began selling seeds because of their exceptional germination rate. If you are dissatisfied with the germination rate of our seeds, please contact us immediately with the following information: the seed variety and lot number, which are printed on all of our seed packages.

  1. Please be prepared to describe how the seeds were planted along with the aforementioned specifics.
  2. We want you to be successful with your gardens and farms.
  3. We will collaborate with you to find a satisfactory resolution to your germination issues.
  4. This is our promise.
  5. However, West Coast Seeds cannot be held liable for how you plant, care for, or store your seeds.

The primary causes of germination failure are: Seeds are consumed by rodents, voles, birds, and wireworms. Verify that the seed remains in the soil. Untreated seeds may rot if they are planted too deeply, over-watered, or in cold weather. Dig up and squeeze some seeds.

This is the problem if they are mushy or partially decayed. To germinate, seeds require specific conditions – soil temperature and moisture are difficult to control and susceptible to weather, human error, and other factors. When the weather is sunny and/or windy, it is especially difficult to keep the soil’s top layer at a constant level of moisture.

Timing is crucial when planting seeds, so rely on your region’s first and last frost dates and hope the weather cooperates. Make sure to plant seeds at the recommended depth indicated on the seed packet. When seeds are planted too deeply, they fail to germinate.

While some plant seeds (such as dandelions) can grow almost anywhere, the majority of herb, flower, and vegetable seeds require well-cultivated soil with adequate drainage, pH, and fertility. Follow the specific instructions for each type of seed. Occasionally, seeds are improperly stored; store all of your unused seeds in a dry, airtight container in a cool area of your home.

Seeds will perish if subjected to excessive heat. Moisture (including high humidity) can cause seeds to become moldy or lose viability. Seeds have a finite lifespan; their viability will diminish over time. whenever possible, utilize fresh, fat seed. Why are my seeds not sprouting?

Nevertheless, some species (such as Begonia, Primula, and Coleus) require light to germinate (Miles and Brown 2007). Don’t confuse the light requirements of seeds with those of seedlings. All seedlings require exposure to sunlight. If seedlings do not receive enough light, they will become frail and stunted and will not produce to their full capacity.

Table 1. Soil temperature conditions for vegetable crop germination.

Minimum (F) Optimum Range (F) Optimum (F) Maximum (F)
Beet 40 50-85 85 85
Cabbage 40 45-95 85 100
Cauliflower 40 45-85 80 100
Celery 40 60-70 70 85
Chard 40 50-85 85 95
Cucumber 60 60-95 95 105
Eggplant 60 75-90 85 95
Lettuce 35 40-80 75 85
Melons 60 75-95 90 100
Onion 35 50-95 75 95
Parsley 40 50-85 75 90
Pepper 60 65-95 85 95
Pumpkin 60 70-90 90 100
Spinach 35 45-75 70 85
Squash 60 70-95 95 100
Tomato 50 70-95 85 95

The soil temperature should be measured by inserting a thermometer 3 to 4 inches below the soil’s surface and recording the reading. Based on work by Kemble and Musgrove (2006).

What happens if a seed is planted too deeply?

What happens if you plant lettuce seeds too deep? I would like to start lettuce from seeds. What is the best method for planting seeds? What happens if you plant lettuce seeds too deep? -Kimmie R. When seeds are planted too deeply in the soil, they may produce weak seedlings or fail to germinate altogether.

  1. If it has been buried too deeply in the soil, the seed may not receive enough light to germinate.
  2. If seeds of Romaine lettuce that have been planted too deeply sprout, the lettuce may not form a heart.
  3. Particularly small seeds, such as those for lettuce plants, necessitate an accurate planting depth.
  4. A rule of thumb you can use if your seeds did not come with planting instructions is to multiply the seed’s diameter by three to determine the optimal planting depth.

Depending on the type of lettuce being planted, the seeds should be buried between a quarter of an inch and an eighth of an inch deep. The majority of lettuce seeds are so small that they require minimal soil coverage; a light dusting of soil will suffice. How Long For Seed To Sprout How Long For Seed To Sprout

ABA, or abscisic acid, is a hormone produced by seeds that prevents germination.

How long are seeds viable?

When Should Seeds Be Planted? – Cornell Small Farms Whether you have a handful of your family’s heirloom beans or you simply want to maintain high germination rates for next season, storing your seeds properly will put your mind at ease and provide you with an abundance of produce for years to come.

  1. Beans, such as Chocolate Runners, are among the longest-storing seeds, often sprouting after a century when stored in ideal conditions.
  2. Permission granted by Petra Page-Mann / Fruition Seeds How long are seeds viable? There are exceptions, but most seeds will maintain excellent germination for three years even in a kitchen cabinet.

Some seeds can remain viable for centuries if they are properly preserved. Conditions Ideal for Seed Storage What conditions are necessary for the germination of seeds? If you want to store seeds, provide them with the opposite conditions. Here are the four keys to maintaining high germination rates for many years:

  • – Dry
  • – Cool
  • – Rodent-Proof
  • – Dark
  • Keep Seeds Dry
  • Reducing humidity is essential for seed storage, as it reduces the risk of mold growth and premature sprouting.

I love you if you save home-grown seed! And ensure that it is extremely dry prior to storage. At Fruition, we dry our seeds with fans that continuously remove moisture. Your objective is approximately 7% moisture, but who can measure that? With large seeds, the bend test can be performed.

  • When bending pressure is applied to a seed, does it bend or break? If it cracks, your seeds are sufficiently dry to store.
  • Leave the fan on and try again the next day if they bend.
  • When conducting bend tests on small seeds, such as tomatoes, we use two pairs of tweezers.
  • Desiccant packets are ideal for storing seeds in airtight containers.

They are commonly found in nori, vitamins, and shoes, but we share larger, longer-lasting packets that we use on the farm so that you can rely on them for many seasons. Keep Seeds Cool The longer your seed will store, the lower the temperature. However, stable temperatures are preferable to fluctuating ones, so choose a location with consistent temperatures over one that is occasionally cold.

Consider hibernating bears, bats, and other animals: Consistently cold winters, so long as they remain below a certain temperature, are easier to endure than cold winters with intermittent temperature spikes. In the northern hemisphere, the north sides of buildings have more consistent temperatures than their southern sides.

The 100 Policy If the sum of the temperature and humidity of a space is less than 100, it is suitable for storing seeds. Moreover, the lower the price, the better. For example, our seed at Fruition is stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 30 percent relative humidity, for a total of 70.

Thankfully, significantly fewer than 100 It is not worth purchasing special equipment, but it is a great rule to remember. Like all seeds, cilantro stores best in consistently cool conditions. Permission granted by Petra Page-Mann / Fruition Seeds Keep Rodents Away from Seeds We have allowed countless seeds to be consumed by foraging rodents.

Glass or metal jars keep your seeds secure and relatively airtight. I prefer transparent glass so I can inspect the contents for mold. Tupperware is another option, although I’ve lost seeds to mice that successfully gnawed through the plastic. Keep Seeds Dark We are sensitive to UV rays, and so are seeds.

  1. Do not save these seeds for more than one growing season.
  2. – All Alliums
  3. – Parsnips
  4. Numerous Herbs
  5. – Celery and Fennel sometimes, but not always

How Long For Seed To Sprout Though most seeds remain viable for years and often decades, the seeds of alliums (anything in the onion family, including shallots, leeks, chives, and scallion) and parsnip often lose their germination by 50% each year, regardless of conditions. Additionally, many herbs are difficult to store.

  1. Their thin, fragile seed coat oxidizes rapidly, resulting in a rapid loss of germination.
  2. Store them as effectively as possible and sow them more densely than you normally would in future seasons.
  3. WAIT! Eat your five-year-old onion seeds prior to composting them.
  4. The next time you look at a “everything” bagel, you will recognize the tiny black allium seeds.

I love their onion essence toasted in lots of dishes, especially curries and stir-fries. Note: if they are not black, they have a coating and should be disposed of in the compost. Freezing Seeds If cold is good, then freezing must be fantastic, right? True, seed banks store their seeds in a frozen state.

  1. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway stores seed at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Freezing is an excellent method for long-term storage of seeds.
  3. If you plan to sow them within a few years, it probably won’t make a significant difference, but it won’t hurt either.
  4. Just be certain: Only dry seeds should be frozen.

When freezing seeds, we place a desiccant packet in a sealed plastic bag along with the seeds for three days, allowing the desiccant to absorb excess moisture. After three days, we are confident that they are completely dry, so we place them in the freezer.

  • Your basement is a strong possibility, but only if it has low humidity.
  • Closets are generally dark, cool, low humidity with stable temperatures, as well.
  • Take a few minutes to evaluate the place you’re storing seeds.
  • May these tips bring you more wealth than you ever imagined possible!

How Long Do Seeds Remain Viable? – Cornell Small Farms

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