An Easy Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors with Pots & Planters
Have you been wanting to try growing flowers, herbs or vegetables from seed? Did you know that you can start them indoors? You can! Many plants may be grown from seeds and monitored indoors until they are developed enough to move outdoors to larger pots or garden beds. Hand-raised plants can also make thoughtful gifts for friends and neighbors.
When you have chosen your seeds, ceramic or glass containers will serve well for planting, and plastic is also suitable. Metal containers should have liners to prevent potential water leaks from the joints. Place your containers away from vents and fans, to avoid any temperature extremes or “wind”, which may dry out the soil or tender foliage. Also, keep in mind that light and warmth are required for germination.
If you have the space for a large seed planting area, you may want wide containers, like these Terwilling Planters, or this 3-piece Garden Tin Pot Set which has plastic liners. For example, if you have some room in front of a sliding glass door, plenty of light will shine through onto your planters.
To ensure adequate light indoors, terrariums are ideal. They can hold small pots, and their glass panels will add a special decorative touch. Terrariums are like miniature greenhouses – transparent, controlled environments that allow light to pass through, while retaining moisture and warmth.
(For those of you who love the look of terrariums and want living greenery but fear killing those delicate seedlings, try filling a terrarium with succulents or air plants, both of which require only minimal attention.)
Obviously, seeds and sprouts also need moisture, but be careful – severe overwatering is deadly for most plants! This is the reason flower pots have drainage holes, but for indoor use you may decide to use containers without holes to prevent leakage. In this case, be sure to use caution when watering to avoid overdoing it.
Soil should be moist, but never soggy or flooded. Have you ever seen worms that have come up onto the sidewalks after a heavy rain, and wondered why they come out of the earth only to be stepped on, or scorched on the sunbaked concrete? This is because the rainwater has filled up all the air pockets in the soil and the worms are desperately seeking air. Similarly, most plants need air in their soil, and without it, the roots will die and rot. I say most plants because some plants, like daffodils and other bulbs, can be forced to root in water alone.
If you have only a small area available for indoor growth, and want something easy, bulbs such as hyacinth, daffodils and tulips look amazing growing in straight sided glass vases, and can easily brighten up a room. Bulbs need less attention than seeds. A hurricane vase intended for candles is fine for smaller bulbs. You can select bulbs (which look like small onions) from a garden center and set them in a transparent vases, such as the this Tall Instinct Hurricane in Blue Green, with a small amount of water (do not submerge the bulb, less than half should be in water). You can stabilize the bulbs with some marbles or stones if you prefer. This method is fascinating, because you can observe the development of the roots through the glass, as well as enjoying the greenery and blooms.
(Note the size of the plant when selecting. Some bulbs, like the amaryllis are very tall and top heavy, and would need additional support, space and container weight.) Hyacinth and paperwhite narcissus have a strong sweet scent; most other bulbs do not. After blooming, the bulbs can be planted in your garden and will spread into clusters over time if conditions are right.
It can be so pleasant to see new growth in the home, as a symbol of spring, and of hope. Imagine wildflower seedlings in a pot near the sliding door, a daffodil rooting in a vase on the coffee table, maybe some herbs sprouting in a terrarium in the kitchen… doesn’t it make you happy? Give indoor gardening a try… it is easier than you think!