Seeds Not Germinating or Sprouting? Avoid This 7 Serious Mistakes

Seeds Germinating or Sprouting

Hello Friends! Now we will look into seven serious Mistakes or reasons, why your seeds are not germinating or sprouting. This knowledge and certain tricks are shown in this article might take your herbs, fruit, vegetable, or any plant gardening to the next level and you can achieve nearly 100% success in seed germination.

All that’s coming up! Seeds are magic to gardens. Tuck them in soil, add a little water and you’re on the way to a beautiful bloom or a tasty harvest. Whether you are a beginner or an expert gardener, you will certainly improve your success by avoiding these common errors that will be discussed shortly. Germinating seeds is a simple process. But when seeds do not sprout, you feel disheartened, and in fact, some lose their interest in gardening.

But you should always take time to evaluate or diagnose the problem.


7 FATAL MISTAKES Why Seeds Not Germinating or Sprouting


If your seeds have not sprouted within the appropriate number of days, then the most likely or the most common reason could be the seeds are not viable. Always check the expiry date or best before date on the seed packet and also purchase seeds from reliable sources.

This Seed viability issue can even be due to improper storage of seeds like in moisture which can cause them to rot or mold. Here are two simple hacks to test whether your seed is viable. The first method is Simply Pour the Seeds into a container of water and if the seeds are floating, they are not viable. Just discard them and choose only those sunk to the bottom. Checking seed viability using a wet toilet paper method. Pour some seeds on wet toilet paper and keep it in a zip lock bag for 24 to 48 hours and see for sprouting to check viability.

Another important point to remember is the Seed Pod Maturity, especially if you are growing from seeds from a fruit or vegetable. A fruit or vegetable develops from a flower after the pollination and fertilization process and is nothing but a seed pod. The seeds from green bell pepper did not germinate but those from the yellow and red pepper germinated to nearly 100%. The capsicum or bell pepper gradually matures from green color to yellow, orange, and then finally Red. Hope this answers the question!



Planting your seeds too deep can cause problems with sprouting. So, What is the ideal depth for sowing seeds? The rule of thumb is to plant seeds at a depth equal to two times or max three times their width. It’s better to plant seeds too shallow than too deep. You should also avoid pressing down on top of your seeds after you plant them.



This is a very important factor for success rate. Starting seeds in garden soil alone is not recommended because this soil is too compacted and the seeds cannot sprout. Also if it contains large pieces of stones, wood, and stuff like that, can prevent the seeds from sprouting freely. Moreover, this soil is full of harmful pathogens that can affect seed germination and also the health of the seedling.

Many gardeners suggest baking this soil in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes to kill most weeds and pathogens. But this will also kill the beneficial microorganisms like mycorrhizae and pseudomonas from the soil. So, it’s always better to prepare your own seed starting mix without using garden soil. One such recipe, you can follow is a Cocopeat or peat moss 70% plus Compost like decomposed cow dung or Vermicompost 30%.

This is more than sufficient and the best seed starting mix. You can optionally add stuff like perlite and fine-grade vermiculite into this mixture. Alternately you can also use seed starting coco peat pellets which can be directly transplanted into the soil when the seedling is ready for transplant.



This is another common mistake most of us commit. Planting by the season depending on the zone you live in is really important because the temperature is a very important factor for seed germination. Temperatures that are too high or too low can cause problems germinating seeds. So, try to follow the planting calendar of the zone you live in.



Seed germination is highly dependent on watering. If it’s too dry, they fail to sprout! And too wet they will rot in the dirt. Seeds need to be moderately moist to sprout and this is difficult to assess. Also, very young seedlings are even more tender and can die due to improper watering.

The best trick to water these are using a bottom tray method. Just keep the bottom tray filled with water and do not water from the top. If the potting medium is dry, it starts to absorb water through the drainage holes and this process goes on and is a completely safe method of watering seeds and tender seedlings.



For a better success rate in seed germination, it’s always wise to use a fresh new container or thoroughly clean the old containers before adding the potting mix. Fungal and mold infections are the most common infection from dirty containers. If infection occurs you will notice a fuzzy growth on the top of the planting medium. You may also see that seed sprouts, but then rot at its base and falls over.

This is called damping off and is caused by a fungal infection in your soil. To clean your old containers, You can use hydrogen peroxide or even use your kitchen baking soda – like 1 tablespoon per liter of water and clean the containers with this solution. Or simply clean it with soap and water or even a diluted bleaching powder.



Do Seeds require sunlight to germinate? For most of the seeds, sunlight is not required for sprouting of the seeds. Dark, damp, and warm conditions are best for the sprouting stage of germination. But once the seeds germinate and two new tiny leaves are out, they need sunlight. You must follow the “Hardening Off” Method which means a gradual exposure to sunlight, like 1 hour for the first day, 2 hours for the second, 3 hrs for the third, and so on to provide full sun exposure.


Follow the tips above may be avoiding you to do mistakes in the early stages of gardening. Please SHARE if you found this info is helpful. Also, share this with your fellow gardeners and friends. Happy gardening!

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