How Long For Seeds To Germinate in Soil?

Last updated: 9/21/20

One important thing I look forward to is germination. And this is because it’s the first significant step post-planting.

However, it’s somewhat confusing processing this stage. So, I did more digging and found this.

Germination typically takes between 1 and 2 weeks. However, certain plants will take as much as three weeks to germinate.

Regardless, you’ll need to pay attention to other things beyond timing. Here, I’ll tell you all about this and more.

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Seed Germination Process

There are always multiple choices when it comes to gardening. And that’s why you don’t even need to go through the germination process. You can always buy an already germinated seed.

However, you just might want to germinate your seeds yourself. I felt the same way myself after a few years of buying already germinated seeds.

So, what do you expect when you decide to germinate your seeds yourself? I’ll tell you.

You can grow your seeds through two methods. You can either germinate through your soil or paper towel germination.

Starting Your Seeds In Soil

You can always plant your seeds through the soil. After all, that’s where your plants end up.

So, you can always germinate in small pots that you have filled with soil. All you’ll need to do is transfer the earth to a sterilized container.

Then, you can insert your seedling, water it, and wait for it to germinate. It’s perhaps the easiest of the two processes.

germinate seeds

Paper Towel Germination

You can also plant your seeds using paper towels, newspapers, or even filter paper. You’ll find them to be pathogen-free, meaning your seedlings are safer. Even more, they allow easy observation and moisture control. This way, you’re more likely to get a great result.

However, this method isn’t as popular as the first method. As such, you might find it unfamiliar. Still, it’s straightforward, and here’s what you need to do.

First, you’ll need to half any paper towel then moisten one part. Then, place your seedlings, as many as five, in one of the paper towels. Afterward, cover that half with the other half.

Next, you need to place the paper and seeds into a zip-close bag and reseal it. You can then put this substance in any cool place without access to direct sunlight.

The bag will help retain moisture and heat. Then, you should see your seeds germinating within five and seven days.

Afterward, you can then transfer it to the soil where you let it form fully.

Why Some Seeds Take Longer to Germinate

Like I stated, your seeds take an average of 1 to 2 weeks to germinate. However, it sometimes takes longer.

However, have you wondered why some seeds take longer to germinate? Well, this is due to various reasons. They include the following.

Plant Type

Sometimes, it’s no fault of yours. Your seedling might take to germinate due to its seedling type.

Generally, some seedlings take longer to germinate. For instance, while most seeds will take between one and two weeks, some plants need more.

You’ll find plants like chili pepper, rosemary, and mini tomato taking three weeks. So, it’s no fault of yours. It’s just your plant.


Temperature plays a vital part in how fast your seeds germinate. And in this case, I mean your soil temperature. It can be the difference between a 7-day germination period of a 16-day growth period.

Typically, the warmer your soil temperature, the faster your seed germinates. On the other hand, where your soil temperature is freezing, your seeds might find it very difficult to grow.

So, you’ll want to keep your soil temperature between 64- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit.

However, keep in mind that some seeds might require a specific temperature lower or higher than the general temperature.

Other Environmental Conditions

Your seeds need a load of different environmental conditions to be perfect before it can germinate. And usually, a failure of these conditions means your seeds won’t grow properly.

For instance, your seeds must be moist for proper germination. And a failure to provide this will mean poor germination. So, you will want to ensure you meet all environmental conditions when germinating.

If you didn’t, then you’ve got a reason why germination is slow or unresponsive.

5 Tips for Starting Seeds in Soil

Deciding to start your seeds in soil is a great idea. It’s even relatively easy, meaning you can do it yourself.

However, it’s not without its problems. However, that shouldn’t stop you from having a significant experience planting. Well, that’s why we’re here.

So you enjoy a seamless process, here are five tips that you should prioritize when starting seeds in the soil.

1.| Prioritize Quality Soil

The fact is that the quality of your soil will determine how effective the germination process is. Trust me, with bad soil; your efforts are most likely doomed to fail. And that’s why you want to pay attention to them.

So, here’s the deal. Ensure your soil is loamy and light. This way, moisture and air can move freely.

Also, you will want to go for a sterilized soil. This way, you can avoid diseases and pathogens as you start the germination process.

2.| Don’t Plant Too Deeply

One mistake you’ll find yourself making is planting your seeds too deep into the soil. Usually, you might do it unconsciously. And sometimes to prevent your seeds from getting lost.

seed growing and germinate

However, this is a bad idea. Especially when your seeds are small, you only want to use a little soil covering. And even they are large, nothing more than a one-half inch into the ground.

This is to ensure that your seeds get access to adequate oxygen, one which it needs.

3.| Water Properly

One thing that your seeds need while in the soil is adequate moisture. And you can achieve this by watering y0ur plants regularly and adequately.

However, you’ll want to pay attention to how you water your plants. For the best effects, it would be best to water from underneath.

Typically, when you water from the top, it can dislocate your seeds. Worse, it can result in overwatering, which would affect your seeds. As such, you want to ensure that you water carefully and effectively.

4.| Soaking

It’s always a great idea to soak your seeds for 24 hours just before dipping them into the soil. And this is great because it helps your seeds readily absorb the water it needs for easy and quick germination.

However, it would help if you kept in mind that presoaking is best with big seeds. This is because small grains tend to cluster when soaked. Regardless, if you must soak small seeds, ensure it doesn’t take long.

You can also drain them using dry materials like oatmeal and coffee grounds. However, remember that you shouldn’t soak legume seeds.

5.| Use Porous Pots

Your first thoughts would most likely involve using a neat pot when you think of your container. However, while that is right, you need to do more.

And this comes in with the type of pot you use. From my experience, it would be best to use pots having holes at their base. You can then set this on a pan that can hold around 1 inch of water.

With this, you can manage the water content of your soil and ensure your seeds stay viable.

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Final Thoughts

Understanding how long it will take for your seeds to germinate is extremely important. After all, you need to know whether you’re doing the right thing or not. And that’s what we’ve explained in this post.

We’ve also told you other things to keep in mind when starting your seeds. So, enjoy and have an excellent experience planting.

Related Questions

How Can You Make Seeds Germinate Faster?

One effective way to make seeds germinate faster is by soaking them for 24 hours (not more) before planting. This warm water will then penetrate your seeds shell and make the seedlings to plumb up.

How Long Before Seedlings Break Through Soil?

Your seeds will take as much as ten days to break through the soil. However, you can always speed up the process by soaking your seeds 24 hours before planting.

Do Seeds Need Light or Dark to Germinate?

Typically, most seeds need dark conditions to germinate with light conditions, even causing them problems. However, some seeds such as Coleus, Primula, and Begonia won’t grow without light conditions.

Will Seeds Germinate in Soil?

Yes, your seeds will germinate in the soil as long as the necessary conditions for germinations are present. This will include water, proper temperature, oxygen, and sometimes light.

Green Thumb Gardener
how to to germinate seeds
Jeremy Starke

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