How to Plant a Germinated Seed Root Down


When exposed to water and oxygen, the embryo inside a seed begins to grow until it splits the seed coat and a sprout emerges. This tiny sprout grows downward to seek out soil and forms the root of the plant. A shoot appears shortly afterward and reaches for light. Foliage forms and the plant produces its own food through the process of photosynthesis. Planting germinated seeds with the root down helps the plant get a good start and promotes healthy development.

Step 1

Examine the germinated seed. A tiny white sprout emerging from the cracked seed coat is the root of the new plant. If the germinated seed is not planted right away, you may also observe a shoot that is yellow-green and may be able to see tiny leaves forming at the tip.

Step 2

Remove the seed from the germinating material. Seeds may be germinated in moist paper towels or soilless mixture. Occasionally, seeds from ripe fruits begin to germinate inside the fruit.

Step 3

Use tweezers to remove small seeds or pick them up with your fingers. Use care not to disturb or damage the young root. Tiny hair roots may cling to paper towels and must be handled gently.

Step 4

Place the seed in potting mixture to the recommended depth for the specific plant so that the white sprout points downward. Cover with soil and firm down gently with your hands. Water to moisten the soil and keep the soil moist until the seedling emerges and the first set of leaves appear. Reduce water, watering when the soil dries slightly to the touch, or the recommended watering schedule for the specific plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Tweezers (optional)
  • Plant pots
  • Potting medium


  • Washington State University Library: Seed germination
  • Indiana University: Plants in Motion

Who Can Help

  • Fedco Seeds: Vegetables Planting Guide
  • NDSU Extension: How to Succeed at Seed Starting
Keywords: plant germinated seeds, germinated seeds, roots germinated seeds

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.