5 Fatal Mistakes For Germinating Seeds

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It’s a few weeks before spring, and gardeners everywhere are starting baby plants from seed. Germinating seeds isn’t usually a difficult process, and for most veggies, the process is quite simple.

For complete instructions for starting seeds, get the seed starting guide.

But what do you do if your seeds don’t germinate?

When seeds don’t sprout, you should always take time to evaluate what happened. So I thought it would be helpful to talk about the most common reasons you might have seed germination problems.

Some years our germination is a little patchy, and occasionally whole rows of seedlings will not germinate. It is important to keep up with our germination rate to evaluate our technique and seed health.

For us, a minimum acceptable germination rate is when at least 80% of our seeds sprout. But ideally, 100% of our seeds come up, so anything less than 80 or even 90% germination rate, and we start looking at what went wrong.

Easily keep track of your germination rate with these garden worksheets.

text: 5 seed starting mistakes + how to fix them below text image of tomato seedlings in peat pots on a table with hands in yellow gloves holding garden spade.

Learn the 5 fatal mistakes for germinating seeds

When vegetable seeds are not germinating, there are a few common problems that you should look for.

1. You used old seeds

The first thing to consider is whether the seeds were viable in the first place. If your seeds have not sprouted within the appropriate number days (this will depend on your seeds), then you may want to consider using a pen or pencil to gently dig around in your soil and find the seed.

  • If you don’t find the seed, think back. Did you forget to put the seeds into the mix? Don’t laugh! It could happen!
  • If you find the seed, take a good look at it. You may see that it looks just the way it did when you put it in the soil.  In this case, the cause for a low germination rate might be that it was an old seed or not properly stored.

If you have some old seeds and are unsure of whether your seeds were viable, you can always sprout a couple of them in a wet paper towel to check prior to planting.

For new seeds or seeds you saved last year:

  • When you saved seed, did you put them away without letting them dry completely? This can cause seeds to rot or mold.
  • Were they exposed to extreme temperatures during storage? For example, if you left seed packs in your car over the summer. High temperatures over 90 can kill the plant inside the seed.
  • Was the parent plant healthy? Seeds can harbor infection from the parent plant that may prevent sprouting, however, this is not usually the case.


2. You didn’t use new or sterilized containers

Disease issues can be a factor in seed germination. Think back to last year and whether you had any disease issues with your seedlings.

  • Most plastic containers can be reused for several years, but they need to be sanitized.

We clean ours by submerging them in bleach water at the beginning of the season.

If you are looking for a bleach alternative, try the environmentally friendly options that use hydrogen peroxide as their active ingredient.

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 a seed sprouts, but then rots at its base and falls over.

This is called damping off and is caused by a funal infection in your soil. A hydrogen peroxide or colloidal silver solution can help treat fungal disease on your tender plants.

3. Your technique is not right

  • If you started seeds in any mix that includes non-sterilized soil from the yard, your seeds may have been affected by disease organisms in the soil.

In order to use garden soil for starting seeds, you should sift it carefully to remove sticks and clumps. Then bake it on a cookie sheet in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. That should kill most weeds and pathogens.

You’re better off using a seed starting mix. Seed starting mix is usually a soiless mixture that has a finer grain and is free of clumps, sticks, and pathogens.

  • Did you plant your seeds too deep?

Planting your seeds too deep can cause problems with sprouting. You should also avoid pressing down on top of your seeds after you plant them. If the soil in your container is too compacted, the seeds cannot sprout or form healthy roots.

4. You didn’t provide the correct temperature

The temperature of your soil is of utmost importance in getting good seed germination.

  • Temperatures that are too high or too low can cause problems with germinating seeds.

Given all else is equal, even tray germination requires even temperatures.  If temperatures plunge at night, or peak over 100 for a prolonged period, seeds will either remain dormant or die.

  • Did you leave the heat mat too high or too low?

Even when using seed-starting heat mats, accidents happen.  If you forget to put the temperature probe into the seed tray, the heat mat can overheat and cook the seeds.

Sometimes heat mats get accidentally turn off, or you forget to plug them in.

A thermometer for the heat mat where the seedlings are placed is a necessity.

An alternative to the heat mat is to put them in a sunny south facing window or on top of the refrigerator.  You can also use grow lights to provide heat above, and I have even seen people use rope lights to generate warmth.

5. You watered incorrectly

Seeds need to be moderately moist to sprout.

  • Seed germination is highly dependent on watering. Too dry and they won’t get the message to sprout, too wet and they will rot in the dirt.

Very young seedlings are even more tender. Seedlings do best in what we call the “Goldilocks zone.” You know Goldilocks. She likes her porridge not too hot and not too cold, but juuust right.

  • Tender seedling babies can’t tolerate drying out. While young, even a short dry period can mean death after the first wilt.

On the other hand, their tender roots will be the first victim of conditions being too wet.  They can’t get the oxygen they need to carry about their business, and it will stunt or kill the seedling.

What other problems have you had with germinating seeds?

If you’ve had troubles germinating seeds and this article didn’t answer your question, leave me a comment below. Let’s help you work out what’s going on.

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  1. I am doing brinjal/eggplant seedling. I am in tropical country which is sunny/hot and humid all year long.. temperature in the morning or afternoon can reach 35°Celcius, and only 27/28°Celcius at night.

    All my seeds of eggplant didnt germinate (15 of them) . We didnt need any heat mat, because we didnt have frost problem

    Maybe you can advise on that.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Idris, How old are the seeds? If they’re more than 3 or 5 years old, they can be slower to germinate. Did they get watered correctly? They should never dry out or be soggy. How long ago did you start them? Eggplant seeds can take up to 21 days to germinate from seed. Their ideal soil temp is similar to tomatoes 75-85F (23-29C), is it that warm where the seeds are?

  2. Have you ever had peppers or tomato seedling leaves get stuck inside their hard seed coat after germinating? I have, and it is not easy to remedy once it happens. My solution to this which I have been using for 10 years is to plant the seed with the pointed end (root tip) UP, not down. When the seed root emerges, it makes an immediate U-turn downwards. What emerges above the soil is the middle of the seed stem in an inverted U shape. The leaves are still in the seed coat below the surface where it is still moist. Eventually the inverted U pulls the leaves up and out of the soil with the seed coat still buried. Works every time. Not so helpful on seeds that are difficult to tell which end is the root end (round seeds).

    1. That’s interesting, Tom. I have had some that emerge with the seed still stuck on the tips of the cotyledons. I can usually pull it off or it comes off on its own in a few days. I’ve never had them get completely stuck! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  3. Thank you for these tips. I am a novice gardener but can usually get a seedling to sprout. However, I cannot get strawberry seeds to sprout. I’ve tried 3 varieties, twice. Do you have any tips?

    1. Strawberry seeds need to face the cold before they will germinate. You can season them in the fridge for a few weeks in some damp paper towel, replicating the winter season, after which they will germinate readily.
      Think how the fruit would fall in summer, sit on the ground over winter, and germinate again in spring. Thats the conditions we need to try to replicate for best germination.

  4. I have a problem once the seeds have sprouted I am not sure when to transplant them and what soil to use next.

    1. Hi, Anita! When your seedlings have at least their first set of true leaves (the second set to appear), they can be transplanted. We use a 50:50 mix of seed starting mix and potting soil. After transplanting, wait a couple of weeks before setting them out in the garden. 🙂

  5. My mother has been successful at germinating tomato seeds but the problem occurs after the two leaf stage . The plant just dies despite the soil being kept moist.

  6. Here in Singapore, we are always warm but my house I stay, do not have much sunlight, I have a full length window, stayed on 14 floor but no sunlight comes in, I placed my seeds near this full length window but still the seeds dun sprout. Indoor our temperature is abt 25-30 degree C. Can advise what can i do? This time I try on cherry tomato seeds which I bought from a supermarket.

    1. Hi Sharon, water and temperature are the most important factors for germination. You can’t let your seedlings get dry in the early stages. For tomatoes, sunlight is necessary as soon as they sprout but should not affect germination. How long ago did you plant them? They can take up to 10 days.

  7. Hi! I’m new to gardening and in my country we reach 35c in late mornings or afternoon and around 28c in the evening. I started paper towel germinating method with sunflower, onions, and pepper seeds. Sunflower germinated in as fast as 2 days. How long will the others germinate? Or how do I know if they won’t germinate at all? How long should I wait? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Cherrie! Being totally honest, I don’t use the paper towel method for germinating seeds, but I do know that in the soil it can take up to 10 days for onions to sprout and peppers up to 3 weeks. When seeds are slow to germinate, it’s usually because they are old and/or the temperature is not right. Onions prefer slightly cooler temps than peppers (21c). Peppers can be kind of picky needing to be about 80F(26c). When it’s taking a while to germinate, make sure that they do not ever dry out. Curious why you’re using the paper towel method. Are the seeds old?

  8. My seeds grew well in time and healthy but stem is too long so they fall after sometime it’s difficult to water and give manure to such plants

      1. I just planted creole tomato seeds 4 days ago and after reading this and other articles, I’m realizing that I planted them too deep. Should I remove some of the starter mix off the top of each little cell?

        1. I would pop another seed right on top of them at the proper depth. If they both come up, you can cull or separate them later. If you don’t have more seeds, you can wait a little longer or dig them up and replant.

  9. its my first time, when I put my kit together and added my seeds, only a few germinated and others didn’t, should I take off the cover and just let the rest catch up or should I keep it close until they do?

    1. Hi, Evelin! You should remove the cover when: all the seeds have sprouted, it’s past the maximum days for germination (varies by plant type), or the sprouted seedlings are tall enough to touch the cover – whichever comes first. It’s not uncommon to have uneven germination. This is usually due to seed age, temperature of the soil, or uneven watering.

  10. Thanks for this info! Maybe you can help me. I’m on day 5 after starting my seeds and don’t have anything coming up yet. I am brand new to seed starting. So, I started them in toilet paper rolls and they started unraveling (unable to tape them b/c I watered them) so I transferred them to styrofoam cups. Newbie mistake, forgot to put drainage holes (face in palm). I realized this the day after I planted them and was able to cut some holes in the bottom without disturbing the soil. However, I think too much water was sitting in the cup on day 1. The water drained on day 2. Do you think my seedlings still have a chance or could they be ruined from the water? Sorry for this super long comment!!

  11. This is my first time germinating seeds. I have a heat mat but it doesn’t have a thermometer it just raises the temp 10 degrees from outside air temp it says. I sowed my seeds yesterday in the greenhouse and put plastic humidity domes over the trays. Last night was supposed to dip to 40’degrees so I put an electric heater in there and about 1/3 of my trays are on the heat mat. Today when I went in it said the greenhouse was like 105 degrees and the soil feels hot to the touch. Did I already kill my seeds??? And if not should I just use the heat mats or forget the heat mats and use just the electric heater ?

    1. Hi Colleen. If the soil was over 100 degrees for a limited period of time and none had sprouted yet, you might be okay. We’ll just have to wait and see. Without a thermometer, a heat mat can get too hot and bake your seeds. I do recommend getting a thermometer and remove them from the heat mat until you do.

  12. Hi! I’m new at this as well. How often do I need to water the seeds? Some sprouted but not all. Most I don’t see any signs of sprouting. My main question would be that if some that sprouted are now shriveled up and dry is there any chance of saving them?

    I’m working with flowers.

    1. Hi Tonya! Unfortunately, if they dry up, there’s no coming back for seedlings. You need to check them every day. The soil should stay slightly damp, but you don’t want them soaked. Depending on the situation, they may need watering every day to every other day. Best of luck with the rest of your flowers!

  13. I am getting spotty germination, possibly from not having the correct temperature. I have my thermostatic heating pad set for about 85 degrees, which should have given me better results after one week. My grow lights give off a fair amount of heat so a thermometer laid on the surface of the tray shows about 91 degrees. The seeds are planted about one quarter inch down so are they more affected by the bottom heat of the heating pad or the top heat of the lamps?

    1. Hi Sherwin! What are you growing? Some veggies like a cooler temp to germinate. Either way, it sounds like the temp is getting too hot. I would lower the heat mat down to 78 degrees and see if it helps.

  14. Temperatures are now between 80 and 83 degrees. Good germination with Delicata Squash, Lettuce, Kale, and Zinnias. Tomatos are the problem. Several varieties show no germination, especially those in the center of the trays. Most of these tomatos come from Pine Tree Seeds. Some are Tomato rootstocks.

    1. We have had the trouble with the center of the trays as well. I’m guessing because it sags in the middle and gets more heat and moisture. Sometimes they still come up after you pull them off the heat.

    1. We store our seeds in envelopes inside plastic bags inside drawers. We do have some in the fridge as well, but no tree seeds. Mostly corn, beans, tomatoes, and other veggies.

  15. I should have mentioned that most of my seeds were purchased this year from Pinetree and Seed Savers Exchange. Some tomato rootstock seed came from Asia. All fresh stuff. I actually had better germination from seeds I had saved from last year possibly due to the varieties Brandywine and Cherokee Purple being strong growers.

  16. This year I am trying to start my seeds indoors. I am in the Midwest and can keep my seeds outside now. I am starting mostly herbs (basil, dill, lavender, stevia, mint, and lemon balm). I am also trying to start sugar snap peas. However, the seeds have been planted for over a month and none of them have sprouted. After a while I replanted my basil, because it took over 30 days and normally it should take only 10 ish days to germinate. However none of the seeds should have taken over 20 days to germinate. The seeds I used were from unused packages and all of the seeds seemed to be in good condition. I also tested viability and they all appeared viable. Should I abandon my current seeds and start more? Or should I do a germination test and plant the seeds that do germinate? Please help, I am very concerned.

    1. Hi Erin, my first question is temperature. If none of the seeds came up, I’m thinking it’ something with your technique. My guess, without knowing your whole set up, is that they are too cold. Could also be if you missed a watering or overwatered. Could even be the seed starting medium itself. Did you try to sprout any of the seeds in a paper towel? That might help you eliminate that the seeds are duds.

  17. Hi! I would like to germinate asimina triloba seeds and I mixed the soil with rice hull. Unfortunetly it contained rice seeds as well and they started to sprout. What can I do. Should I remove the pawpaw seeds from the pots or Just clean it from the rice all the time? Can the roots of the rice survive and kill the pawpaw seeds?

      1. I can pull up, but most of the time they break and come up the next day by one inch. I do not know how deep they can come up from, because it is a deep pot, so there is place for the taproots of asimina to go deep, but I do not know anything about rice roots.

          1. It seems, that the paw paws started to sprout, however we have a colder weather now, so it takes more time for them to really come above the soil. The growth of the rice has almost stopped, so problem is solved by just removing them as they come up. I think, that it is not a bad idea to use rice hulls to loosen the potting soil, but it is better to use really clean staff. I got it from a local rice proceeding company where they have it for free, but they contain some seeds, so it is not the best for this use.

  18. 12 trays were planted with tomatoes, each tray had an approximate of 10% ungerminated seed, but 1 tray did not germinate at all. What could have been the reason?

    1. Hi, Chris! Could have been anything. Soil too hot? Soil too cold? Infected soil? Infected seed? Old seed? Moldy seed? Sterile seed? How long ago did you plant? Did they ever dry out? Were they too wet? Any of those sound like a possibility?

  19. Hi there, planted 2 trays (one full basil and another with tomato, peppers, and herbs. It’s been 13 days and nothing has sprouted. When should I call this a failure and start over?

  20. All of my flower seeds that i planted didnt even sprout, the other seeds didnt sprout for about 4 weeks now, the one on the 4 weeks is pansies, californian poppies and some ice plant, the new one has aster and snapdragon that is 1 week old i think? please helpp i live on the philippines

    1. Every plant is a little different in terms of what it needs to be stimulated to sprout. Make sure you read the directions on the seed packet. I deal mostly with veggies so I don’t have experience with those types of flowers, unfortunately.

  21. Laura..thank you for all 5 tips..and I read all your readers questions and your replies..found that so very helpful..it is winter now in Oz and I am about to begin my’growing-from-seedlings’venture..the air temperature in the porch averages 58 degrees;so now it’s off to purchase containers(with lids) I have made my own seedling mix-so,here goes..thank you again Linda..cheers..Ron Lock..Geelong,Victoria-Australia..

  22. Have you ever tried to grow a bay tree? I have some seeds, but there is no sign of growth!

  23. Im growning a seed that sprouts then dry up..i water it & the soil is moist…the plant does not fall over..it just starts to grow then dry up
    Please help

      1. I know it sounds silly. But they are pepper seeds that my father in law gave me when I visited him and I’m not sure if I can get them again 🙁

        1. Oh yeah, that’s a bummer. If you can find them in the soil, try the paper towel sprouting test. Just place your seeds in a moist paper towel and in a location that gets pretty warm (peppers like 80F). If they sprout, then plant them in some soil. If they don’t sprout, they might be duds.

          1. Right after I left my last comment yesterday, I watered them and I took a two hour nap. When I woke up there was one sprout! Since then and now the changes have been rapid on that one sprouts. But the other seats haven’t sprout it yet. I’m just so happy that I at least have one. I have more seats that I haven’t planted yet. I’m going to try the method you just spoke about with a paper towel. Thank you so much.

  24. Hi Laura
    I planted chard seeds inside and 90% germinated. They have 2 leaves but have not progressed an over a week, no true leaves. I have put them outside in full sunlight. It is the end of summer in Australia so it is still warm. What have I do with ring.

  25. Can certain types of seed, when started in the same tray, sharing the same source of water become “poisoned” and not germinate? For example: herb seeds and eggplant, or tomato seed and squash seed?

    1. Unless there’s some rare seed you know of that has poisonous qualities, I would not worry about that. I have started all of those things together before in the same multi-cell tray.

  26. Hi there. Thank you for a great page and article. First time I am having problems with seeds. I have created a brand new veg garden bed with completely virgin soil. Before I planted anything, I prepared the beds for two weeks, compost, fertilizer, pet moss etc. I then planted spinage, red onions, white onions and spring onions. It is now 3 weeks and only one tiny spinage has managed to show up. Temp here in Namibia is moderate ar the moment with 18-25 Celsius. No onions at all seemed to have germinated…. Please Help🙏🏻🍀🙈 Do I give them more time again.

    1. Could the seed have been old? I have also had trouble starting onions from seed in the garden. Much better success if started indoors. It may also be too hot for those crops which like cooler weather.

  27. Hi! I have planted several varieties of watermelon, cantaloupe, and okra. (around 50 of each seed type) I planted on 26 March, when the weather was in the 80’s, it is now 11 April. It has dropped into the 40’s a few nights, cooling the soil quite a bit. I have only had 2 okra plants sprout and no melons. Should I re till and re plant all of my seeds, or continue to wait? Will it hurt the seeds to be in the ground for too long without sprouting? I am pretty confident the seeds have not sprouted due to the amount of cool weather we have had.

    1. If I were you, I would wait and/or replant without tilling. You may lose some to rot from sitting out there, but I would look for some to start sprouting as it gets warmer. Both of those are not tolerant to cold at all, so as it warms up you may see more popping.

  28. Hi,
    I have recently acquired my first ever allotment and a major novice. Went out and bought lettuce, courgettes and melon seeds. Did my research on what conditions they all need, how to sow, grown, water ect….and then picked up a bag of top soil instead of seed or multi purpose compost. ( Also have three packs of nice flowers sown in this soil to). So im sad. Haha
    This was around two weeks ago and I only realised what I had done today! So I have still be giving them all a light spray of water every day and making sure they are warm enough in the green house.
    Do you think they will be able to germinate in the top soil I used? I know its not ideal but will they?
    Thank you in advance from this major rookie.

  29. Hey there! Thought maybe you could give some insight on why my spinach has sprouted and then stalled. They haven’t changed size in over a week. Any advice? Thanks so much!

  30. Hi
    New to growing….I used the paper towel method to germinate my seeds and has success but as time went on I did not see them sprout with worried me do I dig around in the dirt to find out there growing good I’m worried that since I described them I messed them up …so question will they die since i did that?? I moved them around a little to make sure the roots were down and covered them back up with a light amount of soil on top should I worry thank you in advance

  31. I took my seeds outside on a day that was too warm and left them in the sun with a plastic tub over them. I was hoping to compensate for the lack of light they had been receiving, but overdid it badly. Everything wilted and fell over. I have brought them inside out of the sun and watered them gently. Any idea if they can be saved?

  32. I have 2 cashew seed and 1 germinated but then it rotted and the root that grew out of it fell off. Can that one grow back?

  33. I planted Blue Agave seeds 3 days ago in seed trays, in tent under lights. The soil dried out (i was late one evening with the squirty bottle) on day 3. Are they still good or have I just lost them?
    Thanks. Joe G

  34. Hi,
    I planted tomato seeds in an ice cream container using seed potting mix and placed that container in a larger plastic container.
    I then placed it on top of a heat mat and covered it with plastic wrap; after 4 days, the soil has become sodden from the condensation dripping down from the plastic wrap.
    I have now placed it outside for the soil to dry out and hopefully the seeds will germinate.

    Any idea what I could’ve done differently ?

    Thank you

  35. Hi, I have seed tray on a heat mat, some of the seeds have started to germinate, can I leave the heat pad on until they all germinate or should I turn the mat off now?

  36. Hi Laura. I live in Los Angeles, and planning to get some herb, tomatoes and squash this season in a raised planter on my patio. I can definitely not plant anything in the summer here, is too hot. Expected temp in the next months are somewhere in this range: Oct (76 day / 65s+ night), Nov (70+ day / 60s night) and Dec/ Jan (64s day / 55+ nights). I just dropped a few seeds in pods on Oct 1 and covered the trays with plastic foil (Cilantro, mint, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley)- the problem is that the freshly potted seeds were left outside, on the patio. On day two, I dropped the thermometer in the soil, and it recorded somewhere between 120 – 140F. I then moved them inside, lighted room, somewhere at 75F. Do you think the seeds survived the heat…or should I restart? I do not have backups, so I’ll have to start all over. Thanks a lot, Cristina

  37. I planted 24 cells mixed with tomatoes and peppers and its been 3 weeks with only 4 pods germinated. What am I doing wrong?

  38. I think I handled my seeds too much started in paper towels kept drying out moved to peat moss on heating tray still nothing then moved to dirt it’s been almost two weeks with nothing did I kill them

  39. My new tomato seeds germinate easily but after that they bend in the middle and droop and die. It’s very frustrating. Keeping them on heat mat until they poke through the ground, seed starting potting mix and correct temperature and grow light. Very disappointing. Any advise?

  40. Hi! I’m growing zucchini from seed. I grew up growing gardens and have never seen this problem. Of 15 seeds from the same packet, only one germinated. I waited a few days to see if they were just slow, then I dumped each out in a pan, there was an empty seed coat. No insides. Like maybe it rotted from the inside out. My other zucchini from a different pack are flourishing, otherwise both sets have the same soil, the same sanitized seedling starter pots, sitting right next to each other. The one seedling flourishing, is growing perfectly and in pace with the seed from the other pack.
    Anyway, I’m at a loss.
    Thank you! Jessica

  41. I’m planting rough lemon. It’s up to two weeks now. It has not germinate. What’s actually the problem and what’s the solution?

  42. HI…..you have written very informative article about seedling, No doubt it is very informative info for meinformative info for me. However ,Every plant is a little different in terms of what it needs to be stimulated to sprout………

  43. Hi! I’m trying to germinate Lavender here in Singapore. I tried using well draining succulent soil, put the seeds on soil surface, watered them, covered them with a plastic wrap and placed them under grow light but they have not sprouted, it’s been two weeks and I can’t even see them in the mix anymore. Are they too dry at the surface?
    Next I tried using garden soil, I can see the lavender seeds do swelled up abit but then white fungus started appearing on the soil, probably will air them few hours a day, It’s only a week so I’m hoping they will sprout soon.
    Any advice for me? Thank you!

  44. oops!

    I started some avocado seeds in peet pellets, and some peas using the “damp paper towel” method.

    For several days the temperature was 70-80 F, always, and everything seemed fine.

    But last night, to avoid heating the entire 1st floor, for the first time I used a heat mat right under the tray, starting at 11:30 pm. In the morning, at 9 amk the temberature inside the tray was 94 F! :0

    Is it likely that I’ve killed my seeds, and have to start over? Or will they likely survive? Also, if they do sprout normally does that mean the seedlings is OK, or might it be “damaged” in some way that’s not obvious?

    I feel like a mass murderer!

  45. I’ve had tremendous luck germinating seeds in trays , under domes, under grow lights. Livingston Seeds are the brand I consistently have issues with. This year I was given some new Livingston Seeds to germinate for my neighbor. None of the gourds came up at all. 2 types of watermelon seeds (sugar baby and black diamond) have had 3 seeds germinate (at 2 weeks.) I’ve had warming mats underneath and again – every other type and brand are germinating just fine. Any suggestions for saving the watermelon at this point. Going into 3 weeks make me think it’s just not going to happen. They are moist (not soaked) and the domes keep moisture and humidity in just fine.


  46. I planted cherry seeds. I followed the directions on the side of the can (we got it in D.C during the cherry blossom festival. After following the directions for how to start them, it directed us to plant in a container. We did this and NOTHING happened! Can I take these seeds out of the container and try the peper towel germination method to start them?

  47. I planted my tuberous begonia seeds 3 weeks ago and they’re still not germinating. I have them in a flat with a plastic dome over the tray and I have kept them in sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. I planted my reg wax begonia seeds at the same time with the same conditions and they germinated beautifully within 7 days. Should I just toss the tuberous begonia seeds?

  48. Amazingly informative article. I came here hoping to find whether I’ve ruined my snapdragon seeds. I placed them on a heat mat for about 30+ hours at 78 degrees. I could’ve sworn when I read about germinating that these needed the mat. I must have mixed them up. I see now that they are supposed to be under lights but kept around 65 degrees. They were expensive seeds from Floret. I used the entire pack. Have I ruined all of them in one day? Thank you.

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