Two factors are essential for germination to occur—consistent temperature and moisture. Most seeds require a consistent temperature between 70 and 80 degrees. (Generally, soil temperature is about 5 degrees cooler that the room’s temperature). In addition, seeds must remain moist in order to sprout. Using a spray bottle is great way to keep soil moist; however, be careful not to water too much or the seeds will rot. At the same time, a lack of moisture will cause the seeds to dry out and prevent germination. One way to help ensure these conditions is to cover your pot with clear plastic wrap and place in a sunny windowsill. You can remove the wrap and spray to moisten as necessary. Remove the wrap once your seedlings emerge. Under proper germination conditions, most seeds will sprout in about 14-21 days. However, some seeds may take up to 30 days. Refer to the Product page or Growing Instructions page here on this website for specific germination rates of your plant.
Over watering can kill a plant just as easily as under watering. The soil should be moist but never soggy. The finger test is one of the most reliable methods to check if you need to water. Stick your finger into the soil; if it is dry, then water. Never allow water to sit in the pot, simply pour off excess water if you add too much.
It is important to feed your plants or they will begin to look weak or unhealthy. Once your seedlings reach 2″-3″ in height, you should use a standard plant fertilizer and follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging.
Most likely, your plants are not getting enough light. They are growing tall (and subsequently weak) in an effort to reach the light. Try moving them to another location where they will receive more sunlight. Also, be sure to rotate your pot regularly so that all sides of the plant receive an equal amount of sunlight.
Many of our products are starter kits, which means that your seedlings will need to be transplanted. When they need to be transplanted depends upon the size of pot you started with. Please refer to the Instructions page of this website for specific recommendations for your product. If you started with one of our mini grow pots, then it should be transplanted once the seedlings reach 2″-3″ in height. For larger containers, you will need to transplant once your seedlings reach 5″-6″ in height. Some of our products will not require transplanting–again refer to the specific recommendations for your product on the Instructions page. Roots coming out the bottom of the pot is always a tell-tale sign that is it time to transplant.
Transplanting to the outdoors can be a little tricky. Moving from indoors to outdoors in one day, can cause shock to your seedlings and your chances of successful transplanting greatly diminishes. Instead you should “harden off” your seedlings. To do this leave them in their original pots and place them outside for few hours at a time, gradually increasing the time outside in direct sunlight. Keep in mind that plants may need little more water during this time than when they were indoors. After about a week, your plants should be ready to be transplanted outdoors.
When transplanting, whether to a bigger pot or outdoors, take special care not to damage plants or root systems. Moisten the soil, and gently separate the plant taking as much root as possible—a dinner fork is actually a great tool to transplant seedlings. Be sure to prepare the soil that you are transplanting to. Prepare hole (pay careful attention to the depth of hole depending upon the requirements of your plant) that is at least twice the size of your seedling. Water the hole well and place your seedling in hole and gently pat soil around the plant.
Your thumb just got a whole lot greener.