Easiest Indoor Plants to Grow from Seed


You’re thinking of growing some indoor plants from seed, but you want an easy, stress-free experience. After all, you may be new to gardening and afraid of messing up or you just don’t have the time you wish you had to devote to your houseplants. Therefore, the less effort these seed plants take to grow, the better. Which indoor plants should you get?

What are the easiest indoor plants to grow from seed? The easiest indoor plants to grow from seed include:

  • Cat grass
  • Living stone
  • Cactus
  • Peace lily
  • African violet
  • English ivy
  • Asparagus fern
  • Coleus

In this article, we’ll tell you how to grow the above indoor plants from seed. We’ll also share some fun facts about each of these plants you’ve probably never heard before. So keep reading, you won’t want to miss this!

The Easiest Houseplants to Grow from Seed

Cat Grass

If you read our article on houseplants your cat can eat, then you remember cat grass was at the top of that list. A grass known as Dactylis glomerata and a part of the Dactylis genus, cat grass also goes by names like orchard grass or cock’s-foot. It comes from northern Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. The reason most people call it cat grass is because your kitty friends can eat it safely. In fact, cat grass can induce a mood boost in felines, which does actually affect a large portion of the cats that eat it.

To grow cat grass from seed, use a shallow, slim container. Make sure it has drainage holes. Then, take some potting soil and fill the container almost all the way (¾ fullness). Get the soil somewhat wet and then add your seeds. Place the container somewhere at home where it will receive indirect light. Maintain your room temperature and put plastic wrap over the container as well.

Within several days, the first traces of your cat grass should appear. Take the plastic wrap off and transfer the container to a room where it gets more sunlight at this point. Let the grass grow to at least four inches and then feed to your kitty!

Living Stone

We’ve talked a lot about succulent houseplants you can grow as part of your indoor garden, but we’ve never touched on living stones, at least not yet. The Lithops belongs to the Aizoaceae family, which includes many other ice plants. Its name comes from Greek words that refer to its stone-like appearance. The living stone grows in parts of the world like southern Africa, but you can plant it at home as well. The appeal of this houseplant is the wealth of colors, textures, and shapes it boasts.

Want to plant some living stone with seeds? Begin by combining perlite with potting mix. Make sure you have the same quantities of both. Then pour some water on the mixture and transfer it to a pot. This should have drainage holes near the top. Next, put in your seeds. Your living stone requires a crushed rock or fine sand layer over the seeds that’s 1/8 inches thick.

Mist your soil, doing this again and again as needed during germination. Like the cat grass before it, you’ll want to have plastic wrap over your plant at this point. A glass pane is another alternative.

Keep your living stone in a space where it gets sun and warmth, anywhere from 65 through 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Germination can happen quickly, in two weeks, or more slowly, over about 12 weeks. Once that time elapses, take the plastic wrap off. Move the seedlings to their own pots by the one-year mark.

Cactus

While it is much more common to propagate cacti by taking a piece of an already mature cactus that’s either fallen off on it’s own or been broken off for the purpose of propagating, growing a cactus from seed can give you a completely different since of achievement.

With about 1,750 species, the Cactaceae family is quite a cramped one. You can grow plenty of indoor cacti, including:

  • Gymnocalycium mihanovichii or moon cactus
  • Schlumbergera bridgesii or Christmas cactus
  • Hatiora gaertneri or Easter cactus
  • Astrophytum asterias or star cactus
  • Mammillaria hahniana or old lady cactus
  • Carnegiea gigantea or Saguaro cactus
  • Gymnocalycium or chin cactus
  • Opuntia microdasys or bunny ears cactus

No matter which of the above cactus plants appeals to you most, you’ll want to plant the seeds in soil with some compost. This can be cacti compost or anything else loamy. Make sure the compost has a gritty and moist texture as well. Push your seeds down a bit into the soil. Next, apply your fine grit or vermiculite until the compost has a good layer of the stuff. Then place a plastic bag over the seeds and leave the cactus somewhere warm.

Wait for a few weeks and the seedlings should sprout up. That’s when you can take the bag off. When the compost begins to dry out, water it. Mist in between watering. It may take a while, but the seedlings will soon become cacti. By then, you need to put each one in their own pot using tweezers and gloves. Don’t get poked!

Peace Lily

A personal favorite of ours, the Spathiphyllum or peace lily provides big rewards even for beginner gardeners. That’s due to the appealing white flower it grows. While having a peace lily that you’ve grown yourself from any stage not only has the potential to impress your family and friends but also give you an almost unique since of achievement after you’ve cared and nurtured a plant that has the potential to turn into something so widely accepted as one of the more naturally beautiful plants.

To plant your peace lily via seeds, you need to watch how much potting soil you add. Depending on the size of the seeds, you may need more (or less) soil. Like with many of the houseplants we’ve talked about thus far, you want to make sure you blanket the seeds in soil. Then, moisten the soil with water.

You’ll start to notice the seeds turn yellow after some time. They also get softer. Both of these signs are normal, as they indicate maturity. That said, you’re in for a long wait to see that infamous peace lily flower, as growing the plant from seed takes years for it to fully mature.

While this articles includes some of the easiest indoor plants for beginners to grow from seed, the plants on this list are not necessarily the fastest growing house plants.

African Violet

If you do like flowers, then we’ll once again point you in the direction of the African violet or Saintpaulia. These Gesneriaceae family members have six to 20 species, so you can have lots of fun growing all the varieties of African violet at home or in your office. They originally come from Tanzania, but you’ll find the African violet is quite versatile. For instance, you could plant it outdoors as well as indoors.

Although more people will take cuttings of the African violet and grow new ones that way, there’s nothing wrong with planting some seeds. Make sure you have pasteurized peat moss, perlite, milled coconut, or a similar medium for this plant. You want to apply some water to the medium until it becomes moist. Then transfer your medium to the seed starters and water again.

Put your seeds in and then tighten some plastic wrap over the seed cells. You’ll need grow lights for planting African violet like this. The seeds should sit close to the grow lights, no further than 10 inches. Give them lots of light for 12 to 14 hours each day. The plastic wrap, which should stay on for a while, maintains the right humidity. Once the seedlings have a width of two inches, take the plastic wrap off and transfer the growing African violets to a pot.  

English Ivy

Although it’s called common ivy, the Hedera helix or English ivy is anything but boring. We’ve attested on this blog before to this houseplant’s impressive length. It also grows quickly, making it an ideal addition to any indoor garden. If you’re one of those people who likes to see the fruits of your labor sooner than later, then you’ll quite enjoy planting English ivy in your apartment or home.

The growth process is a bit involved, so only attempt it if you’re up for the challenge. Before you can ever begin growing English ivy from seeds, make sure the seeds have a nice residency in your fridge, staying in there for one or two months. From there, take the seeds and plunk them in a bowl of water. Keep this water at room temperature and then let the seeds sit until morning. They’ll germinate faster for your efforts.

Next, grab your tray, adding potting soil at a thickness of ¼ inches. Prepare your seeds, one for each tray section. The seeds should sit firmly in the soil but not be buried. Then water a little, but not to the point of saturation. Maintain soil moisture and seedlings should start to grow!

Asparagus Fern

Ah yes, Sprenger’s asparagus or the humble asparagus fern. Despite its name, it’s neither asparagus nor a fern. That’s despite that the Asparagus aethiopicus’ nickname is also the foxtail fern. Hailing from South Africa, the asparagus fern decorates many gardens, so why not yours as well?

You can use asparagus fern berries as a source for the seeds, since they contain at least a seed each (some berries have up to three seeds!). The healthiest berries have a bright red color and a diameter of at least 1/4th an inch. All asparagus seed berries can cause skin irritation, though, so never touch them without gloves!

To get the seeds, cut open the berry a little. Applying sandpaper or scarifying the seeds can also begin germination. Pop them in warm water and wait 24 hours. Then ready your seed tray, filling it with seed-starting mix that’s ¾ inches full. Moisten the mix and cover the seeds in it. Then add more soil, about ¼ inches. Mist the soil, add some plastic wrap, and keep the seeds in a room temperature environment.

In three to four weeks, germination should occur. Then the seedlings need more direct sunlight. Your asparagus fern will develop two leaves, and that’s when you know it’s time to move them to their own pots.

Coleus

The appealing coleus plant has vivid leaves with hues like purple, green, and pink, but you must keep it out of direct sunlight to maintain that color. You can pick from a handful of coleus species to grow indoors, including:

  • Coleus rotundifolius
  • Coleus forskohlii
  • Coleus esculentus
  • Coleus edulis
  • Coleus caninus
  • Coleus barbatus
  • Coleus amboinicus
  • Coleus blumei, also known as coleus scutellarioides

Start your coleus growing adventure by covering a container with fine starting soil. Then add your seeds. Maintain soil moisture and temperature, which should be 65 to 85 degrees. This plant likes bottom heat best. It takes a while for the seedlings to appear, anywhere from 12 to 21 days.

Once that happens, the coleus will need more light, so keep the houseplant on your windowsill. You can also use fluorescent plant lights to encourage growth, keeping these on for at least 16 hours. The seedlings must sit three or four inches from the light.

Related Questions

What is the fastest growing plant from seed?

If you want to grow a plant ASAP from seeds, try vegetables such as peas, beans, and especially radishes. The outer coat of the seed needs water, as it triggers a germination enzyme in the radish. If you do this, you should see growth in as little as six days, sometimes eight!

Is it better to soak seeds before planting them?

Germination, or the seed-growing process, can often be triggered by soaking seeds, as we’ve shared in this article. While this does have its benefits, you have to be careful. You should only soak the seeds for 24 hours. You also can’t use too much water, as you can accidentally drown your seeds. Then they won’t grow.

Fred Zimmer

I'm a lover of plants, animals, photography, & people, not necessarily in that order. Currently, I'm focused on photographing indoor plants & chachkies. I write & rewrite articles about creating an environment where indoor plants can thrive. I'm good at listening to music but bad at shopping to muzak.

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