Herb Seed Germination Tips

Herb Seed Germination Tips

By giving herb seeds the right conditions to germinate and set root, nearly every seed can grow into its potential- a beautiful edible herb plant.  

Germination Basics

The beginning of the growth of a seed into a seedling is known as germination. Inside each seed is a tiny plant waiting to be woken up. With the right elements of water, warmth, and light, the plant breaks free of the seed shell and starts to grow. This can take days to weeks, depending on the particular herb plant. 

The Element of Water

Germination starts when a seed is given water. Water softens the outer layer of the seed so that it can break open more easily. Water also hydrates the food stored inside the seed to aid in the plant’s early growth. Too much water can drown the seed at this point. Using a cover or dome over moist soil creates a humid environment where the seeds will stay hydrated but not wet.

The Element of Warmth

Fortunately for indoor gardeners, most edible herb plants sprout at about room temperature (65-75F.). Extra warmth can be achieved by using a cover or dome, which traps heat along with humidity. Some herbs, particularly Mediterranean plants like basil, can germinate more quickly with a little extra warmth (70-75F.) during this stage.

The Element of Light

Most plants will sprout regardless if they are in the light or dark as long as they have the appropriate amount of heat and water. Some seeds, however, need some light to sprout, particularly small seeds. Larger seeds prefer some darkness. In order to give each seed the right amount of light, it is a common practice to have the seeds planted twice as deep as their height. 

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