Flowers brighten up gardens, landscapes and rooms with a multitude of colors and shapes. According to Wayne's Word, flowering plants make up nearly 90 percent of the plant kingdom's population. Flowers have a variety of uses beyond adding beauty to the landscape. Different parts of a flower are used to make medicines, teas, perfumes, dyes and even culinary creations.
Flower seeds need well-draining, airy soil in order to begin growing. Commercial seed-starting potting mixes, containing organic matter combined with perlite, peat moss and other nutritional additives, are suitable bases for starting flower seeds. J.L. Hudson, Seedsman recommends combining 1/3 part garden loam, 1/3 part peat or compost and 1/3 part gritty sand for homemade potting medium.
In order for germination to occur, flower seeds need a moderate amount of warmth from the soil and surrounding environment. Horticulture & Home Pest News notes that many flower species begin germination when temperatures are between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
All seeds need water to begin the germination process. Gardening in Western Washington states that water activates enzymes within the seed and essentially awakens the seed from its dormant state. Once the seed opens, it uses water to absorb nutrients from the soil. Ed Hume Seeds recommends misting planted seeds to lightly saturate soil, then keeping soil moist during germination.
The amount of light required, whether natural or artificial, depends on the type of flower being grown. Some seeds need light in order to sprout, while others need the cover of darkness to begin growth. Flower seeds, such as snapdragons, impatiens and petunias, needing light for germination should be sown on top, then lightly pressed into the soil without covering. Seeds that require darkness, such as cosmos, germaniums and nasturtiums, need to be completely covered by soil at planting time.