Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

This member-only article is part of our All Access subscription.

Member only

The Science of Seed Starting

For success with seeds, it helps to understand a few key factors

Fine Gardening – Issue 191
Photo: Carol Collins

Seeds are little miracles that transform the world. In the wild, these tiny amalgamations of DNA can be stored away for years, waiting for the right conditions to turn a barren desert, a fallow forest floor, or a trampled prairie into an oasis of bloom. In our gardens, starting seeds is one of the easiest ways to make more plants. Volunteer seedlings can be blessings, appearing year after year to fill holes in the landscape, or they can be curses, in the form of weeds that seem to spawn out of nowhere. I teach students with little to no background in growing plants, and it is always inspiring to witness their wonder when they see the first little leaves emerge from seeds they have planted. In that rich moment, they have become gardeners. What do seeds require to germinate? Here’s what you need to know.

This article is only available to All Access members

This article is available online for the first time ever exclusively for All Access members. Sign up for a free trial to access our entire collection of articles, videos, and plant records.

Start Free Trial

View Comments


Log in or become a member to post a comment on this article.

Related Articles

The Latest

Magazine Cover

Take your passion for plants to the next level

Subscribe today and save up to 44%

"As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack."


View All