Learn how to start seeds for houseplants with this comprehensive guide. Discover the right seeds to choose, gather the necessary supplies, prepare the seed starting mix, sow the seeds, and provide the ideal environment for germination. Transplant the seedlings and provide the proper care to ensure healthy growth. Start your indoor garden from scratch and watch it flourish!


If you’ve ever wanted to expand your indoor garden by growing houseplants from seeds, you’re in luck! With a little knowledge and proper techniques, starting seeds for houseplants can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to grow a wide variety of plants. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of seed starting for houseplants, providing you with the information you need to successfully propagate your favorite plants from seed. So, let’s get started!

Choosing the Right Seeds

Before diving into the seed starting process, it’s important to choose the right seeds for your houseplants. While many common houseplants can be grown from seeds, not all species have available seeds on the market. It’s best to research and select houseplants that are known to be easily propagated from seeds. Look for reputable sources that offer a wide selection of houseplant seeds, and consider factors such as ease of care, growth requirements, and the desired plant characteristics.

Gathering Supplies

Once you have chosen your houseplant seeds, gather the necessary supplies to start the propagation process. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Houseplant seeds
  • Seed starting pots or cell trays
  • Plant markers
  • Seed starting mix
  • Seed tray with a humidity dome or DIY drainage tray
  • Spray or squirt bottle filled with water

Having all these supplies ready will ensure a smooth and efficient seed starting process.

Preparing the Seed Starting Mix

Next, you’ll need to prepare the seed starting mix. Seed starting mix is a light and well-draining medium that provides an ideal environment for seed germination. It’s crucial to use a sterile mix to avoid any potential contamination that could harm the seedlings.

To prepare the mix, empty it into a large tub or bucket, add water, and mix until it is uniformly damp. This ensures that the mix is evenly moistened and ready for sowing the seeds.

Sowing the Seeds

Now it’s time to sow the houseplant seeds. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Place two to four seeds on the surface of the seed starting mix in each pot or cell tray.

  2. Gently press the seeds down into the mix, ensuring good contact with the moistened medium. Smaller seeds can be left uncovered, while larger seeds may need to be covered with a thin layer of vermiculite or seed starting mix.

  3. Label the pots or trays to keep track of the different seeds you have sown.

Providing the Right Environment

Creating the right environment for seed germination is crucial for successful propagation of houseplants. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Temperature: Most houseplant seeds germinate best at temperatures between 70-80°F (21-27°C). Maintain a consistent temperature by placing the seed trays in a warm spot in your house, away from drafts and direct sunlight.

  • Moisture: Mist the seeds and the surface of the seed starting mix with water to provide adequate moisture. Cover the seed trays with a humidity dome or plastic wrap to maintain a humid environment, which aids in germination. Be sure to check the moisture level regularly and water only if the mix feels dry.

  • Light: Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the cover and place the seedlings in a bright location. A south-facing window with ample sunlight is ideal. If natural light is inadequate, supplement it with fluorescent bulbs or grow lights positioned about an inch or two away from the seedlings.

Transplanting the Seedlings

After the seedlings have developed their first “true set” of leaves, it’s time to transplant them into larger containers. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose the strongest seedling if multiple seeds have sprouted in the same pot. Trim off the weaker ones, leaving only the healthiest plant.

  2. Fill a larger container with a well-draining potting mix suited for houseplants.

  3. Gently lift the chosen seedling by holding it from the cotyledons (seed leaves) to avoid damaging the delicate stem or roots.

  4. Make a small hole in the potting mix with your finger or a dibber and place the seedling in it.

  5. Firmly press the mix around the base of the seedling to provide support.

  6. Water the newly transplanted seedlings immediately to settle the soil around the roots.

Providing Care for Seedlings

Once the seedlings are transplanted, it’s important to provide them with the right care to ensure healthy growth. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Watering: Keep the potting mix consistently moist but not overly wet. Water the seedlings when the top layer of the soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid both under-watering and over-watering, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot.

  • Light: Provide ample light to the seedlings to promote strong and sturdy growth. If natural light is insufficient, supplement it with fluorescent bulbs or grow lights positioned about an inch or two away from the seedlings.

  • Nutrition: Feed the seedlings with a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer once they have developed a set of true leaves. Follow the package instructions for the correct dosage and frequency of application.


Starting houseplant seeds from scratch can be an immensely rewarding experience. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can successfully propagate your favorite houseplants from seeds. Remember to choose the right seeds, gather the necessary supplies, prepare the seed starting mix, sow the seeds, provide an ideal environment for germination, transplant the seedlings, and provide proper care throughout their growth.

By understanding the specific needs of your houseplant seeds and adhering to the proper techniques, you can watch your indoor garden flourish from the tiny seeds you’ve sown. Enjoy the journey and the satisfaction of nurturing life from its earliest stages!


[^1]: Guidelines for Starting Seeds Indoors, from Johnny’s Research Team. (n.d.). Johnny’s Selected Seeds. <a href=”https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/methods-tools-supplies/seed-starting-transplanting/seed-starting-transplanting-guidelines.html“>https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/methods-tools-supplies/seed-starting-transplanting/seed-starting-transplanting-guidelines.html](https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/methods-tools-supplies/seed-starting-transplanting/seed-starting-transplanting-guidelines.html)

[^2]: Starting Houseplants From A Seed: Step By Step. (n.d.). Southside Plants. <a href=”https://southsideplants.com/blogs/plant-care/starting-houseplants-from-a-seed-step-by-step“>https://southsideplants.com/blogs/plant-care/starting-houseplants-from-a-seed-step-by-step](https://southsideplants.com/blogs/plant-care/starting-houseplants-from-a-seed-step-by-step)

[^3]: How to Start Seeds Indoors. (n.d.). Family Handyman. <a href=”https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/starting-seeds-indoors/“>https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/starting-seeds-indoors/](https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/starting-seeds-indoors/)

[^4]: How to Start Seeds & Germinating Seeds | Gardener’s Supply. (n.d.). Gardener’s Supply Company. <a href=”https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/how-to-start-seeds/5062.html“>https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/how-to-start-seeds/5062.html](https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/how-to-start-seeds/5062.html)

[^5]: Here’s How to Make More Houseplants from the Ones You Already Have. (n.d.). Better Homes & Gardens. <a href=”https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/propagating-houseplants/“>https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/propagating-houseplants/](https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/propagating-houseplants/)