The Q&A Archives: Quick Germination

Question: My daughter is doing a science experiment, she needs seeds that will germinate quickly. She would like to use pansy seeds. How long will they take to germinate? Can you suggest any other seeds that will germinate quickly?

Answer: Pansies take about a week to germinate and a long time to grow to blooming size -- about three months or more. They also have very specific germination requirements needing a temperature of about 65 degrees and a moist yet not soggy soil; this is not considered an easy plant to grow from seed.

You might want to try marigolds or beans, both of which should germinate quickly and grow quickly to a size that can be handled esily. To speed germination, use a barely damp soil mix, barely cover the seeds, water once lightly to settle the soil, and cover the pan with plastic wrap. Set it in a location that is warm (about 75 degrees or more) and bright but out of direct sun. Watch for germination and remove the cover as soon as the seeds are growing, then move them to the brightest possible light and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Begin fertilizing with a very dilute water soluble fertilizer only after the plant has true leaves. Good luck with the project!

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