Propagating Plants From Seed

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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. 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 issue called an endosperm and sometimes in the cotyledons.
For a horticulturist, seed sometimes refers to any part of a plant capable of regenerating into a new plant. For example, in commercial cultivation of potato, the tuber is used as a vegetative propagule rather than the botanical seeds. Vegetatively propagated plants closely resemble their parent plants. To simplify, a potato tuber is referred to as a seed-tuber.

G.N.M. Kumar
F.E. Larsen
K.a. Schekel
Washington State University Extension