Many annual and perennial plants can be propagated from seeds. Although growing plants from seeds is relatively easy compared to other methods of multiplying plants, it can be challenging due to the specific germination requirements of certain seeds. In general, such requirements are related to overcoming various kinds of germination inhibitions. This publication provides information on how to germinate seeds and grow them into healthy plants. Seed Selection Before you start, it will be helpful to learn about the seeds you’ll be dealing with so you can ensure the process of propagation goes smoothly and ask specific questions pertaining to seed propagation. What are seeds? To a botanist, a “seed ” is a specialized plant structure, complete with a tiny embryo, which is capable of growing into a new plant. Each seed has an embryo and food storage structures enclosed in a seedcoat (Fig. 1). Under conditions favorable for germination, the embryo develops into a mature plant as it is nourished by the food reserves in the storage structures, sometimes in tissue called an endosperm and sometimes in the cotyledons. vegetables, annual flowers, and easy-to-grow perennials. Seed propagation is less often used to grow woody plants such as fruit and woody ornamentals and some of the more difficultto-germinate perennials. This is especially true for hybrid or highly selected plants where new plants grown from seed rarely resemble the parents. Although seed-propagated perennials take several years to flower and fruit, the method is often preferred. For example, nurseries raise rootstocks for grafting from seeds because seed propagation can give raise to seedlings that may be superior to their parents. Many native plant nurseries propagate from seeds to enhance gardening diversity and stagger the timing of fruit production to sustain wildlife. Can seeds from previous years be used for the current year’s planting? It is best to buy fresh seeds in amounts sufficient for the current season’s planting, but most vegetable and annual flower seeds from th
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