Growing Flowers From Seeds

(Question)

Hi,
It is my first time growing flowers from seeds and I made a “mistake” of planting different varieties in the same tray. I mixed perennial and annual flowers. I used a 72 cell tray and each row has different seeds. Now some of seeds have already germinated but not all of them.
My question is: Should I move them now under fluorescent light to grow or wait until they all germinate. What’s the impact of the growing light on those not germinated yet.
Thanks for your assistance.

(Answer)

Thank you for your inquiry to the Toronto Master Gardeners. Welcome to the surprising world of growing plants by seed. It seems you have two questions:

  • Will my unsprouted seeds germinate if I move them to a fluorescent grow light?
  • Will moving the tray to the light affect the seeds already sprouted?

It is hard to answer these questions because I don’t know how long you have had the seeds in the tray or what kind of light situation they are in at present.  Since the tray holds different kinds of seeds, it is probably better to leave them all where they are. According to my favourite propagation guru, Ken Druse, most seeds started indoors with proper warmth, light, and moisture will come up within two to six weeks.

If you would like a more detailed reply, I would love to know the following:

  1. What are the seeds you planted?
  2. When did you plant them?
  3. What are the light conditions? under a lamp or near a window?
  4. If near a window, what direction does it face?
  5. Is the tray heated?
  6. Are you continuing to water?

All the best with your project.  Recommended books: Ken Druse, Making More Plants, 2000; American Horticultural Society (ed. Alan Toogood), Plant Propagation, 1999.