The most obvious reason for growing plants from seeds is the lower cost per plant. This is especially important if you are growing many plants for a profit. Growing from seeds for pleasure may be another reason. Children, as well as adults, can learn much about how plants grow by starting from seeds. Another reason is that many varieties can only be started (or are easier to start) from seeds.
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Seeds are produced from the flower of the parent plant. The blossom, containing the seeds consists of the the male and the female parts. The male part is called the "stamen" and consists of the "anthor" and the "filament". Located in the anthers is the pollen which is transferred to the female part of the flower for fertilization (germination). This female part of the plant is known as the pistil which consists of the "stigma", the "style", and the "ovary". After this germination takes place, the seeds will grow in the ovary until they are ready to be dispersed.
The transfer of the pollen from the male part (stamen) of one flower to the female part (pistil) of another flower is done by insects, wind, or in greenhouses by hand using a small paint brush. Many hybrids are created by this method of hand pollination. The seeds from such hybrids will not produce the same kind of plants in the next generation however, and will usually produce inferior plants, revert back to one of the grandparent plants, or may produce no plant at all.
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Coaxing Seeds into Germinating
To coax seeds into germinating it must be mature and viable and it must receive the proper conditions of light, moisture, temperature and air. Many varieties of seeds such as some trees, shrubs and annuals such as vegetables and herbs will germinate with little help from the gardener. They may in fact germinate under far less than ideal conditions.
Other varieties of seeds such as Perennials and seeds with exceptionally hard coats may need ideal conditions and some assistance in the process of getting started. A few varieties may need special attention such as artificial and constant light: Columbine, Sweet Alyssum, Impatiens, Lettuce, Flowering Tobacco, Oriental Poppy, Yarrow, Salvia, and Savory. Others may need complete darkness for a period of time such as: Borage, Larkspur, Coriander, Forget-Me-Not, Periwinkle, Sweet Pea, Delphinium, Fennel, Phlox, Verbena, and Viola.
It is important to know about these requirements if you are to grow any of these or other species. Some research into these various species may be required.
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