The Secrets to Seed Starting

Looking to start plants from seed? Explore everything you need to know about planting seeds indoors and out.

Houseplants from Seeds
(Image credit: Natasha Lazaridi)

Get the Dirt on Starting From Seed

Are you looking to save some money and up your gardening game at the same time? Why not consider growing your favorite plants from seed?

Seeds are cheaper than seedlings, and much more versatile. They also last longer, and can be planted on your schedule. (There’s nothing more nerve wracking, after all, then buying a bunch of plants and trying to find the time to get them all in the ground).

Growing from seed is also a fantastic way to get your hat in the gardening ring earlier in the season. Even if you live in a climate with shorter summers, indoor seed starting can get you planning — and planting — your garden while there’s still snow on the ground. And as any gardener in winter will tell you, the sooner you can get your hands back in the dirt, the better.

Let's start with the basics of how to start seeds indoors and in the garden, and then get into some of the most popular plants you can start from seed.

Do you have a question about your specific seeds? Visit our questions website today and get answers straight from our experts.

Fruits & Vegetables From Seed

If tomatoes are part of your veggie garden, we invite you to visit our complete guide to vegetable gardening to dig deeper into all the tips and tricks to a successful vegetable garden.

Meanwhile, what about indoor plants? Can you start houseplants from seed as well? You certainly can! While rooting houseplants from cuttings is much more common practice, there’s nothing stopping you from growing houseplants from seed, or even harvesting the seeds yourself from your current plants. To learn more about this technique, and about other houseplant propagation methods, visit our complete guide to houseplant propagation.

Start Your Favorite Flowers From Seed

Now that we've shared two of the most popular fruits and vegetables to start from seed, what about flowers?

The first question is, "can you grow any plant from seed?" The technical answer is yes. But the practical answer is that some things you probably won’t want to. Some plants, if started from seed, will take years to produce fruit or reach the size and shape you’re interested in. For some gardeners, of course, that’s half the fun.

While fruits and vegetables are the most common choice for gardeners looking to grow plants from seed, there’s no reason to stop there. Want to know how to plant seeds to grow your favorite flowers? Here are a few of the most searched-for flower-specific, seed starting tips on Gardening Know How.

Sign Up for Our Seed Starting Workshop

If you're still interested in learning more about seed starting, and are more of a visual learner, feel free to check out our FREE seed starting workshop hosted by Georgia Master Gardener, Gardening Know Community Gardening Grant recipient, and all-around seed starting expert, Geoffrey Johnson.

This fun, easy-to-follow, 5-part workshop can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Geoffrey will show you the basics of starting plants from seeds with only a handful of household items.

Seed Starting With Geoffrey Johnson

(Image credit: Future)