Growing Flowers From Seed - Knowledgebase Question

Centreville, AL
Avatar for Sambok
Question by Sambok
February 25, 1998
I want to start flowers from seed indoors and need some basic advice on what to do.

Answer from NGA
February 25, 1998
You are about to embark on an addicting hobby! You'll make mistakes but the rewards will keep you going.

The basic seed-starting requirements are sterile growing medium, clean pots, very sunny windows or (better yet) fluorescent lights to ensure sturdy seedlings, and a warm place to germinate the seeds. Moisten the growing medium and fill the pots, lightly pressing down on the soil. Plant 3-5 seeds per pot at the depths recommended on the seed packages, cover the seeds (unless they require light to germinate) and lightly firm the soil on top. Cover the pots with a plastic bag or mist them frequently to raise the humidity. Keep the pots in a warm location. Water very gently when the top of the soil begins to dry out. When seedlings emerge, place them under fluorescent lights so the lights are only about 3 inches above the pots. Or place them in your sunny windows. Begin fertilizing with dilute liquid all-purpose fertilizer. Transplant the seedlings into large pots when they have at least 2 sets of true leaves (the first set is not considered a true set).

Annuals will bloom this summer, of course, and some perennials will bloom the first year as well. You might want to designate a bed in your garden as a nursery for perennials that are growing to flowering size. Then you can plant them in your landscape when they turn into one-year-olds.

I hope this is helpful. Write again if you have specific questions about the seed-starting process.

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