There’s a plethora of indoor plants which can be grown from seed – and surprisingly easily, too! The best plants to grow from seeds indoors don’t always fall under the same family, colour or style, either!
When it’s a little nippy to continue gardening outdoors, why not try some indoor gardening instead? Keeping plants inside doesn’t just mean setting up a pot plant or houseplant. There’s something extra satisfying about growing plants from seeds.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the best indoor plants to grow from seeds, and how you can get started. Who knows – in no time, you might have yourself an indoor botanic space that rivals your local garden centre!
Let’s take a look at some of the best indoor plants to grow from seeds
Coleus plants come in an array of colours. They are considered outdoor as well as indoor plants, too – they’re often seen in flowerbeds as well as window boxes and in indoor arrangements. They will also happily survive on a windowsill!
Coleus plants look great in pendulums too. They can be pale green, dark green, grey, lime, yellow, red, purple, rusty brown, lemon and orange. That’s a veritable rainbow!
Growing coleus is super simple. Sew your coleus seeds near to the surface of a moistened growth medium (this can be soil or compost). Coleus seeds do well in small groups which can be thinned out later. In the centre of a pot, or spread thinly in a shallow dish, seeds need to begin life in a well draining vessel. They need good light, too, but not to be in full, hot sun spots to begin with. The seeds will need warmth to germinate.
Once seedlings appear, thin them out when plants reach a centimetre tall. The roots will be delicate and small. Do not pull them up from soil to thin them out or replant! Instead, tease away the soil or compost and then plant the seedlings in a pot or container where they will have space.
Once plants reach a height of four or five centimetres, they’ll be ready for a pot on their own. You may wish to begin feeding them at this point, but once a month is sufficient – though they will require a little water weekly.
Living Stones (Lithops)
These are interesting succulents grown from seeds – and if you know anything about succulents, it’s that they tend to be pretty easy to water and care for, too! These are super-striking little growths that are sure to become a focal point of your indoor space.
Treat your lithops as you would cacti, and lay seeds sparsely on pre-watered, gritty, well-draining growth medium. Give them a light covering of sand and be patient!
These plants are so named as they really do resemble stones. They work best on display in small pots or containers where they can be viewed from above. Young plants can be very delicate and it is easy to overwater them, especially as seeds! Ideally grouped together in the same container, living stones will compete for nutrients – so, try to leave a little space between them. They look good when joined by seashells, some real stones or rocks. Do remember to keep an eye on their development so that they don’t become damaged by other things in the pot, being overwatered or underwatered.
It takes living stones around nine months to develop a seed. Seed pods can be tough to crack – so take care to not damage the seeds inside when releasing them prior to planting.
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus Setaceus)
It may surprise some people that asparagus ferns are quite easy to grow from seed. They are delicate, especially their lightweight stems. They are popular houseplants that grow easily from seeds and are very simple to care for over time, too.
Simply prepare your seed tray or container and moisten compost before gently settling seeds on the surface. Do not cover the seeds with anything, however, because they need light to help them germinate.
You may not see any developments for a month or so, but don’t be disheartened. Asparagus ferns take their time to germinate! Do not water these plants with ice cold water – use cool, tepid water instead.
Keep young plants out of extremely hot sunny spots and avoid draughty areas. As these plants mature, they can become more tolerant – but, as with all youngsters, little and often is better than severe extremes! Their fine leaves cannot survive being dry too long, however – and it’s best to ensure they are given regular drinks and are not allowed to dry out between watering.
Asparagus ferns look good as standalone plants or in a small group. Be careful in the sunlight, however. Asparagus ferns have a delicate structure, and if placed in direct sunlight, delicate leaves may become crisp and dry up. They can begin to show signs of stress when leaves fall off. Give them a little drink, a bit of fertiliser, and move them away from draughts.
Bunny Ear Cactus / Angels’ Wings (Opuntia Microdasys)
This is a dramatic looking cactus that resembles rabbit ears! With attractive, rounded leaves, the plant has deceptive spiny points dotted over the surface. When this plant is happy and well-cared for, it will reward you with some stunning yellow flowers which can appear annually. Don’t despair if flowers don’t appear for the first year or two!
This lovely indoor cactus requires only a minimum amount of water. For this reason, it is best living in its own pot rather than sharing a container where excess water will not be good for its roots. Keep an eye on roots to ensure they have not succumbed to root rot. Water sparingly to avoid droopy ears!
Bunny Ears are actually very easy to look after, and are simple to grow from seeds, too. Native to deserts, they can cope well in low humidity and need only minimal attention. They can grow to 3 feet tall!
Ideally suited to a floor (standing), or table top, they’re great for a kitchen windowsill – until they get too big! As they enjoy humid atmospheres, they add a touch of glamour to bathrooms, too!
Bizzy Lizzies (Impatiens)
Bizzy Lizzies are classic blooms that – while you may see them in the odd garden – they can actually come inside, too! Impatiens come in a variety of stunning colours including white, pink, red, purple, lilac and white.
Their seeds take a few weeks to produce – but once they get going, they are easy to water and have an easy to snip stem. Bizzy Lizzies can be a little temperamental if you decide to move them from one spot to another, however. They do become acclimatised to strong levels of light and humidity if given the opportunity!
These are plants that put on a good show for several weeks during flowering periods. They can survive from year to year but they are sensitive to living conditions and don’t like moving around!
A handy tip is to not discard cut branches unless they are too flaccid or shrivelled. So, be sure to trim the top and bottom then place the bottom quarter in a glass of water! It may well reward your patience with new roots and you will have created a fresh cutting to add to your plant collection.
This is a popular and distinct plant with a strong scent and interesting foliage – it’s likely you will have smelled and seen them before! With pale to light grey stems and leaves, flowers are lilac through to maroon, purple, pink or white.
Lavender seeds are small, pale, oblong and greyish green in colour. These are easy to collect outdoors from well established plants – if you do get them from your garden, dry them off on a piece of tissue and store in a clean dry glass jar until ready for use.
If you rub a few seeds in your hands, the fragrance is released, too – it’s intoxicating! As seedlings, lavender is ideal to set in trays for planting out later. As indoor plants, you can set them in a container of your choice. Germination takes between two and three weeks.
Lavender seeds need warmth and light but not full on direct sunlight to properly germinate – but once they have successfully germinated, they should do well on a sunny windowsill, with moderate watering in a well-draining medium, and well-draining pot.
Nasturtiums are super plants and can be easily grown from seed inside a house on a sunny windowsill. They can also be sown directly into the ground! Nasturtiums are blousy, flowering plants with pretty, bold colourful flowers. These seeds are ideal for growing indoors in conservatories, too.
Nasturtiums come in several varieties and colours. They can be suspended in hanging baskets or pendulums indoors as well as drip down from plant pots on a shelf.
Not only are they eye-catching, colourful, cheerful plants, their petals are edible, too! One packet of nasturtium seeds will fill a hanging basket, make a couple of decorative displays in pots and dress up a few family salads! If you keep them in a kitchen, they will be close by for picking and using as fresh, edible decorations.
They are also handy for easy, attractive ways to enhance floral displays. They make a colourful, tasty talking point as an ingredient in salads. Just remember to check for aphids before serving!
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
This is an interesting and elegant plant with architectural leaves tipped with red, white or pink tubular flowers. Christmas cacti are exotic looking plants and simply stunning when in flower!
Their seeds require very little attention, and it’s advised to sow them in pairs. Christmas cacti flower annually and their leaves are jointed and tend to point downwards. For this reason, they can look great as a standalone star or within a group.
Sometimes, limbs of Christmas cacti snap off or become detached as pots are moved for housekeeping. The limbs are segmented and can be used to grow cuttings, however – this is not a problem!
Simply put the limb in a glass of water and place on a sunny windowsill. It should take root in a few days. Short on time? Simply pop the broken limb directly into soil or compost, next to the mother plant if there’s space.
Give the cutting time, and there’s a good chance it will root. At a later stage you may lift it and have a new, young plant in a pot of its own. This attractive plant will benefit from feeding with a general fertiliser once or twice per month.
Cress (Lepidium sativum)
This is an indoor plant that has several uses! Its simple life cycle requires minimal attention and it is super easy to cultivate – and best of all, it’s edible. It’s easy to plant a seed bed and watch the fast growing results of your work. Once the cress reaches approximately 2.5 centimetres high (an inch), it can be nipped off at the base and eaten, traditionally in salad.
While not a ‘show’ plant by any means, the fact you can easily grow your own edible greens indoors is a massive plus!
Cress seeds are sold in packets – and easy drain compost layered in an old ice cream carton or an egg box makes for an ideal home for them to start growing in. Simply pierce holes in the bottom of the ice cream tub for drainage, then lay a thin layer of fine compost or even cotton wool at the bottom of the container.
If you are using an egg box, both halves of your box can grow seeds inside – either with a small layer of cotton wool or a layer of kitchen roll, which has been folded at least four times. Simply spread the seeds gently across the surface of compost or another growing medium and water gently. The seeds do not need covering – and within three or four days, tiny white roots will pop out of the seeds and bear downwards.
Tiny, pale green shoots will pop out and reach upwards your crop is small during early stages – be careful not to drown it. Only a fine small amount of water is needed and excess dabbed off or drained away.
Ensure the box receives even amounts of sunlight and water. In a few days this crop will be ready to eat. Simply snip off fresh cress when you want it. Try and keep this plant away from direct sunlight if you can, as it’s liable to burn if it’s in full glare.
Cat Grass (Dactylis Glomerata)
Emanating across North Africa and into Asia, this is a treat for your cat as well as your eyes – and thankfully, it’s easy to care for, too. Yes – this is so-named because it’s one of few houseplants of greens you can readily let your pet feline have a nibble from!
The fine, bright green leaves of cat grass sprout upwards – and you’ll need to keep it in containers which need to be well drained. Offering a light, feathery texture, it is soft to touch and tender.
Be warned – it can suffer from heat stroke. Simply place it in the shade and water gently. Cat grass should reach approximately 5 inches tall, providing you look after it well. Young shoots are simply irresistible to your feline buddies – and nutritious as it happens, too! As a living feature in your home, cat grass can deter pets from experimenting with your other plants – they’re great to have around in this respect!
If you’ve got green fingers but prefer to garden indoors, great news – there are plenty of easy house plants to grow from seed that require little time, money or effort from you in the long run.
The best indoor plants to grow from seeds are those you can get started with pretty much straight away. You may have heard of some of the top picks in our list – but if not, why not find yourself some seeds and start sowing your own indoor garden?