Indoor floriculture is a very interesting hobby. Often people, having grown one flower, cannot stop, and start more and more new plants. Plants bring comfort to the house, regulate the microclimate in it, and many purify the air. Growing a pet from a tiny seed is not easy, sometimes it takes a lot of effort and knowledge. We will analyze which indoor plants can be grown from seeds, and what is needed for this.
What indoor flowers can be grown from seeds
The bulk of flowering indoor plants produce seeds, which means that it is quite possible to grow them at home by purchasing planting material in specialized stores or collecting it somewhere. Seeds of pelargonium (geranium), begonia , orchid , gloxinia , cyclamen, passionflower, abutilon , adenium are suitable for sowing .
In addition to flowering plants, you can try to grow flowers with decorative foliage – various types of palm trees (Washingtonia, chamerops, hovei, chamedorea), Chinese bamboo, dracaena, coleus, cyperus (papyrus), bottle tree (nolinu or bokarneyu). Less often you can find seeds of succulents – cacti, agave, aloe, hechtia, bergeranthus, sansevieria, gasteria, haworthia. These are highly decorative plants and, if you are lucky enough to see their seeds, be sure to take them for planting.
Plants grown from seeds are more adapted to the conditions of a particular apartment or house. A particularly noticeable reaction occurs in plants to lighting conditions, the provision of heat and moisture. Therefore, purchased adult plants brought into the house often die due to a change in these conditions. Another positive aspect of growing indoor flowers from seeds is the splitting of decorative features and the difference between the offspring and the mother. It is possible to grow a unique specimen of geranium, begonia or rose.
Selection and preparation of containers for sowing
Shallow containers, pots, greenhouses or cassettes are suitable for sowing indoor flower seeds. Their optimal depth is 6-8 cm, width or diameter depends on the number of seeds sown. If the container is new, it does not need disinfection, and if something was previously grown in pots or greenhouses, regardless of the type of plant, the container must be washed well, treated with a solution of potassium permanganate or an alcohol-containing disinfectant spray, antibacterial wet wipes will do.
It is important that drainage holes are made at the bottom of the container for sowing, and it would be convenient to cover it with film or glass from above to maintain the optimal microclimate for seed germination. Fragile and brittle plastic food containers are not suitable, since many seeds germinate for a very long time (1 month or more), the container can simply collapse from high humidity and mechanical stress.
Soil for indoor flowers
The best soil for germinating seeds is a specialized soil for the corresponding type of plant. If there is no opportunity to purchase such a substrate, then it can be prepared independently from a mixture of sand, peat and garden soil in equal proportions. A drainage layer of expanded clay, vermiculite, pebbles, sandstone, broken brick about 2 cm high is laid on the bottom of the container. Soil is poured over it and moistened, trying to shed it well.
If there are doubts about the quality of the soil mixture, or the soil has already been used for growing seedlings for a short time, the substrate should be disinfected. To do this, it is placed in heat-resistant containers in the oven for 3-4 hours, spilled with boiling water or a solution of potassium permanganate. The container is filled with the finished substrate so that 1-2 cm remains from the upper edge.
Ready seeds are commercially available, inoculated with nutrients, pest control and growth promoters. Such seeds do not require additional preparation. Moreover, they cannot be soaked!
Seeds that have been collected on their own or have not undergone any special training may require manipulations for their rejection and sorting, disinfection, stratification, heating, soaking and germination. If the planting material has a very dense shell, then it must be carefully broken – scarified. Seed preparation begins in advance – December-January. The best time for sowing is the end of January-February-March. Let’s take a closer look at each manipulation.
Rejection and sorting of seeds
A solution of table salt in water with a temperature of 37-38 ° C helps to carry out the rejection, where you need to place the seeds intended for sowing and mix them slightly in the solution. Feeble, unfulfilled seeds with very low germination or not germinating at all, float, and high-quality ones will end up at the bottom.
From full-weight seeds, the largest specimens should be selected. If, in principle, there are few seeds, then all available full-fledged grains can be used for sowing.
Seeds are immersed for 20-30 minutes in a solution of potassium permanganate or treated with hydrogen peroxide. The procedure helps to get rid of harmful microorganisms that often settle in seed coats and on the remains of flowers. Microscopic fungi are especially harmful, which can cause the death of a plant in the initial period of growth. Therefore, this manipulation should not be neglected.
If you are not sure that the seeds will sprout, spend at least a short-term stratification for them. This manipulation stimulates seed germination and will not be harmful to the seeds of most plants. Seeds are placed in clean, wet sand in a ratio of 1:4, covered with a cellophane pact and placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. The stratification period is from 10 to 45 days.
Warming up the seeds
The heating procedure accelerates the emergence of seedlings for a period of 4 to 10 days. Seeds can be heated in a dry form, hanging them in a fabric bag to heaters for a period of 10-15 days or in water with a temperature of 48-50 degrees in a thermos during the day.
Soaking and sprouting
Seeds of indoor flowers, especially after the procedure of dry heating, should be immersed in a flat container filled with water at room temperature for a period of 6 hours to 3 days. This measure contributes to the swelling of the seed coats and easier exit of the cotyledons from them. The harder the skin of the seed, the longer the soaking period. The water in the container should be changed every 3-4 hours.
Germination of seeds is carried out in a damp cloth. It must not be allowed to dry out! Seeds need to be monitored, many seedlings are so thin that they can get tangled with each other and, as a result, break off, then valuable seeds will be spoiled. It is better to take the seeds for sowing when they barely hatch.
The question of sowing depth is very important, since seeds will sprout or not directly depend on this indicator. There is a relationship between sowing depth and seed size. Seeds of 2 mm or more should be sown to a depth equal to the diameter of the seed multiplied by 2. At the same time, if the soil is of heavy mechanical composition, the depth is slightly reduced, and on light soils, on the contrary, increased.
Small seeds, the diameter of which does not exceed 2 mm, should not be covered with a layer of soil. In contrast, many need light to germinate, such as pelargoniums and petunias. Very small seeds can be sown mixed with sand or lighthouse crops such as radishes. Radish seeds germinate in 4 days, they clearly mark the rows where flowers are also sown. Radish sprouts can be kept for several days until the main crop appears, and then they need to be removed.
Seedlings of indoor plants appear in different ways, on average from 7 days to 1 month. Pelargoniums grow the fastest. Adeniums can germinate for 4 or more weeks. Dracaena germinate in 7-10 days.
When one to three true leaves are formed on the plant, this is the most favorable time for their seating (dive). Indoor flowers should be dived into individual containers. In such a container, each plant has the opportunity to show their qualities in the best possible way. If the plant stops growing and withers despite good care, then it is easier to throw it out of the collection.
An individual container is selected so that the roots of the transplanted plants are spacious in it, 4-5 cm of free space remains deep and in diameter. Large containers should not be taken, since stagnation of water and rotting of the roots are possible in it. The rules for preparing and filling containers with substrate are the same as for sowing seeds.
When the plants are already planted in individual containers, there comes a period when you need to be patient in anticipation of the first flowering. In perennial plants grown from seeds, this period is longer than in vegetatively propagated ones. Sometimes, before the first flowering takes 3-4 years.
During the first year of cultivation, plants are given regular watering, loosening of the substrate and at least two top dressings. At the beginning of summer, flowers should be fed with potassium humate, reasil or other humate-based fertilizer. Closer to winter, many plants may need top dressing with an increased amount of potassium. Choose a fertilizer where the macronutrient content is in the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as 18:18:34 or close to these values. In preparation for winter, you need to reduce watering and remove flowers from bright sunlight.
At the end of winter, many plants will need additional lighting with a special lamp. Specialized red-blue light phytolamps are currently commercially available, 1-2 hours per day is enough to stimulate plants to re-growth. In the summer, containers can be taken out to a balcony or loggia to provide plants with light and air supply.
If you have not tried to grow a houseplant from seeds, then be sure to take up this exciting activity. Having grown one species, you will definitely want to experiment again with new plants, forms and varieties. We hope that our recommendations will be useful to you.