Whether you are starting seeds indoors or want to have a permanent houseplant, flowers are a beautiful addition to any home. Anytime you start from seed, it’s a beautiful moment to see your flowers grow before your eyes. But that begs the question: how do you grow flowers from seeds indoors?
Start with an understanding of how large your flower’s root systems are going to grow. Buy a pot, potting soil, peat moss, perlite, and builders sand to mix them in equal distributions. Be sure the soil mix is together in such a way where the pot can drain from the bottom. Setup a daily watering schedule until the plant first sprouts, ensuring that you keep moist soil.
Through consistent effort, as shown above, you will see your flowers germinate and grow. Below, we are going to dig into more detailed tips behind growing young plants from seed.
Understanding your Seed Packet
The first step that most people forget about starts with your seed packet. A seed packet contains detailed steps for what you need to do when starting your seedlings’ growth off right.
Many times, they will contain details that are imperative to getting results from flower seeds. They typically include tips on the following topics:
Scarifying Your Seeds: Scarification is the process of taking a nail file to your flower seeds to expose the inside. You do this to encourage the plant further to grow.
Instructions for Seed Trays: You can use a seed tray to encourage seedings growth further. After your packet of seeds reaches a certain level of development, you may transfer them to pots.
If They Need Light to Germinate: Light from the sun (or a comparable grow light) is sometimes needed to allow the seeds to germinate. Your packet will detail what is necessary for the beginning growth process.
Seed packets will also contain details on how long it takes for your plants to mature and soil needs.
Essential Steps to Encourage Seed Growth
Once you’ve finished up with the seed packets, you can move onto things not mentioned in the seed packets. Some of these steps will ensure your plant’s potential survival.
So check these out:
Seed Starting Mix
Did you know that you do not need to add fertilizer to your seeds? A plant doesn’t benefit from fertilizer until after sets of leaves grow. Instead, consider seed starting mix. If you want your plants to be started indoors, this mix can help you out.
Organic seed starting mix is formulated specifically for (you guessed it) seeds. This situation applies to both larger seeds and smaller seeds, but you can add additional nutrients. If you need help selecting one, consider Hoffman’s Seed Starter Soil.
If you live in one of the high-demand “plant hardiness zones” that the USDA displays, you already know about cold soil. Outside, you have mulch to deal with this problem. On the inside, you have heating mats to help seedlings grow.
A heating mat is beneath your pot in an attempt to keep the soil temperature at a decent level. This Namotek Plant Heat Mat is a great start.
If you don’t have an excellent position to put your plant up against the window for the sun (or live in a cloudy environment), consider a grow light. An LED grow light mimics the full-spectrum experience of the sun.
If you consider a grow light, check out our review list of the best grow light for flowering plants. You can also use fluorescent lights in a pinch, but don’t expect them to provide everything a plant needs.
Using Plastic to Encourage Germination
Seed starting trays often come with commercial-grade plastic intended to mimic the moist environment of a greenhouse. Keeping your soil moist is one of the best ways you can encourage healthy seeds to grow.
If you are starting, the 10-pack of seed trays from MIXC will help you out. You can also use ice cube trays and plastic wrap for smaller projects.
A Pot with Drainage Holes
One of the most critical aspects of ensuring good soil is to have good drainage. Part of good drainage is the inclusion of pots with drainage holes. This comes in one of two forms:
Regardless of what you choose, make sure your soil and your pot have the same ability to let excess water out from the bottom.
Common Mistakes to Avoid if you Want to Start Seeds Indoors
Before you start, here are some common mistakes you might make when starting seeds:
- Planting Seedlings Too Deep: Check to see how much light your seeds need to germinate before buying them. For complete darkness, bury them a few inches down. Plant seeds that need light about an inch below the soil surface with a glowing light overhead.
- Overwhelming Yourself with Too Many Seeds: Regardless of how many healthy seeds you have, crushing yourself with too many of them will cause you to be overworked. Always ask yourself before you start how big of a garden you want and level it with your available time.
- Starting Too Early in The Growing Season: If you have seed starts ready to go in the middle of winter, you won’t have anywhere to put them. If your eventual goal is to move them outdoors, you need to know how long they take to germinate. Even hardy annuals cannot be expected to survive during a frost date.
Other common mistakes you make include not having enough light, having too much light, underwatering or overwatering them, and forgetting to label different flowers (for larger projects.
Much of this logic applies to people who plant annual flowers or vegetable gardens. If you are uncertain of what you can handle, start small and work your way up with each season.
Growing flowers indoors can be fun, regardless of whether you plan on putting them outdoors later. The best advice we can give you, in this case, is to be patient, have fun, and remind yourself why you took up indoor gardening in the first place.
For some extra tips on indoor gardening, check out this top ten list of the easiest flowers to grow indoors. Thanks for reading!