Starting flowers from seed is an easy way to add color to the home landscape. Sowing annual and perennial flower seeds is also quite cost effective, as growers work to create spaces that are visually attractive and beneficial to pollinators. Exploring the various seed starting techniques used by flower growers will be key in the success of one’s flower garden. Learning how to start flower seeds indoors can give a grower an important jumpstart on the new growing season.
How to Start Flower Seeds Indoors
Planting flower seeds is very similar to planting vegetables. Starting flower seeds indoors will first require that growers consider the growth requirements of plants. This includes whether each flower type is cold hardy or tender to frost. This information will help growers to better determine the best time to start seeds. Depending upon how quickly the plant grows, those planting flower seeds indoors generally do so about four to eight weeks before the projected outdoor transplant date. Approximate transplant dates can be calculated by counting backwards from one’s average last frost date in spring.
Many easy flower seeds to grow indoors require only minimal care. To begin planting, fill a seed flat or cell tray with potting soil or another preferred seed starting medium. Firm the soil into the trays and then sow the seeds according to the package instructions. While some may require light for best germination, others will need to be covered. Water the seed trays well and place them in a warm place. Some heat-loving species may need additional heat to germinate. This can be achieved through the use of a heated seedling mat. While a sunny window may provide ample sunlight for many species, others will benefit greatly from the use of grow lights. Once the seedlings have reached an adequate size, they are ready to be hardened off and moved into the garden.
What Flower Seeds to Start Indoors
Though there are several easy flower seeds to grow, creating an extensive list of what flower seeds to start indoors would be difficult. However, both annual and perennial plants respond well to this process. The best candidates for starting indoors include those with small seeds and those which grow very slowly before becoming established. Other good candidates include those which may have special germination requirements, such as a period of cold stratification.
Many fast growing plants may be better suited to direct sowing, as certain flower species can quickly outgrow their seed containers and become root bound. Other more delicate species may need to be directly sown as well, as root disturbances could greatly reduce their vigor during the growing season.