Plant Propagation from Seeds
Plant propagation from seeds is by far the most common, and most well known
way of creating new plants. The vast majority of plants in the world produce
We seldom think about how seeds came to be, and the wonder of their creation.
Seeds are the result of pollen from a male (donor) flower, reaching
and successfully entering (pollinating)
the stamen of a female flower. Sometimes the donor is the same plant. Sometimes,
it is another plant nearby. The resulting seed carries some of the genetic
traits of both parents. The seed from the two parents therefore, produces
a plant similar, but not identical to either parent.
Each year untold billions and trillions of seeds are produced in the fruit
of a plant, or in the flower pod. In nature, the seeds dry out in autumn,
and then spend the winter in or on the ground. They awaken and sprout in
the spring as a young seedling.
Seeds are cast about by nature in a variety of ways. Some seeds fall to the
ground, and new offspring sprout up right near the location of the mother
plant. Other seeds are cast far distances by floating through the air. Good
examples of these are dandelions and poplar trees. Other plants use animals
to help spread their seeds in a wide area. Berries for example, pass through
the digestive system of birds, and are deposited long distances away. Other
seeds are contained in burrs that attach themselves to an animals fur. The
burrs can be carried for miles, before being cast off by their unsuspecting
transportation. The number of seeds produced is usually proportional to the
seeds survival rate. Thats why some plants produce thousands
of seeds, as only a few ultimately find a suitable place to germinate.
Seeds are generally easy to collect and store away for next year. In
todays world of mass production, only a few varieties of a species
are readily available in seed stores, online, and in catalogs. Buying
seeds, and keeping your own seeds, are great ways of retaining less common
varieties that may carry unique features or qualities. Those unique qualities
will make your garden stand out to both the casual observer, and the garden
With all those countless types of seeds and plants in nature, it is no wonder
that each seed has a preferred way of germination and planting. Factors affecting
seed germination include moisture levels, soil temperature, seed planting
depth, amount of light.