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Annual Flower Seed Germination Guide
This article was published originally on 2/25/2000
Although most gardeners purchase their bedding plants at garden centers in the spring, it's fun to get a head start on the upcoming garden season by starting flower and vegetable seedlings indoors. Growing quality seedlings indoors requires high quality seeds, a well-drained, disease-free growing medium, containers, proper temperature and moisture conditions, and adequate light.
Germination requirements (light and temperature) vary among the different flowers and vegetables. The various crops also differ in the length of time from seed sowing until the seedlings are transplanted outdoors.
The following chart provides germination information for many of the commonly grown annual flowers.
*Sunflowers and nasturtiums do not transplant well. Both should be seeded directly into peat pots.
Light conditions during germination are critical for many annual flowers. The seeds of some plant species require light for germination. (In the table above, annuals that require light for germination are designated with the letter L in the lighting column.) After sowing these seeds, lightly press them into the germination medium, but do not cover them. The seeds of other flowers require darkness (D) and should be covered with the germination medium. Finally, those designated L-D should be lightly covered, leaving the seeds as close to the soil surface as possible.
Year of Publication:
IC-483(3) -- February 25, 2000