Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Plant a Flower Seed

By Karen Ellis ; Updated September 21, 2017

Plant flower seeds directly into the ground, if you live in a long growing season location. If your growing season is short, begin them indoors several weeks before the last frost is predicted in your area. Flower seeds differ in the amount of germination time needed. Always follow the directions on the back of the seed packet for planting directions.

Direct Ground Seeding

Dig up the soil in the area you wish to plant your seeds, to a depth of 6 inches. If you have poor or clay-based soil, add compost to the soil mix. Moisten the soil, but do not add so much water that it is sopping.

Follow the directions on the back of the seed packet as to how deep to plant your particular flower seeds. Black-eyed Susan seeds would be planted half an inch deep, for example. A good general rule is to plant the seed as deep as it is long. Gently cover the seed with soil.

Sprinkle water over the seeded area, keeping the soil moist during the germination period. Most flower seeds will germinate in two to three weeks. When the flowers are established (a few inches high) you will not need to water them as much. Once a week is plenty, unless you have a particularly dry, hot spell.

Indoor Seed Starting

Pour potting soil into peat pots, clean food containers or paper cups, leaving at least a half inch free at the top. The potting soil is ordinarily moist coming out of the package. If it is not, moisten the soil, but don’t add so much water that it is sopping.

Plant your flower seeds at the depth recommended on the back of your particular flower packet. Daisy seeds should be planted one-eighth of an inch down from the top of the soil, for example. Giant sunflower seeds are planted an inch deep. Gently move soil over the top of the seeds. Cover each container with a square of clear plastic wrap. Place the seed filled containers onto a tray and set them by a sunny window.

Use a spray bottle to moisten them each day, if needed. That means they should remain moist, but never sopping.

Remove the plastic wrap, when the seed has germinated (sprouted from the soil).

Plant your flower seedling outdoors when there is no longer any threat of frost in your area. Depending on the type of flower it could be anywhere from 2 to 4 inches in height when it's ready to transplant. Follow the directions for preparing the soil, as in step 1 of the Direct Ground Seeding section.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Compost (optional)
  • Peat pots or containers
  • Potting soil
  • Spray bottle mister
  • Clear plastic wrap
  • Tray

About the Author


Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.