How to germinate seeds at home with recycled things?

Bored at home? Are you convinced that during isolation you cannot do any gardening tasks at all? If you have answered yes to either of these two questions, let me tell you something: put on some gloves, it’s time to sow. Seriously, it’s an order (more like a recommendation ). The body needs to move, and the mind needs stimulation. Faced with this situation, there is nothing like -continuing- growing plants, or starting to do so. Even the little ones will benefit, as they will be able to know how the crops are born, and they will even be encouraged to help take care of them.

In many articles we talk that in order to grow, plants need sunlight, something that may be insufficient in homes, but that does not mean that nothing can be planted. In fact, there are many that will surely give you and your family more than one joy. So let’s see how to germinate seeds at home using things that we already have and/ or with those that we can get without having to leave the house.

What do seeds need to germinate?

For the experience to be enriching, it is important to start at the beginning, which in this case is to find out what the plants need in order to germinate. Basically, they need three things: light, land and water. The quantity and/ or intensity varies depending on what type of plant it is, as well as the species to which it belongs; Thus, for example, sunflowers will only germinate if they are on the ground and exposed to full sun; On the other hand, geraniums will do better if they are, also on the ground, but in semi-shade.

Another example, aquatic plants or riverside plants, such as reeds, water lilies or papyrus, germinate in aquatic environments, such as rivers or swamps. To imitate these conditions, in cultivation what is done is to sow them in glasses with water, or by wrapping the seeds in kitchen paper previously moistened with water.

List of things you can use to plant them

What can be used to sow seeds when it is forbidden to leave the house? Today, thanks to the Internet, the truth is that the same as when you can. But in order to avoid making purchases of things that are not essential, we are going to take a look inside the house to see what we find. For example:

Homemade seedlings

Any cardboard box, without the one-sided flaps and laminated, will serve as a seedbed.

You will surely find some of this:

  • Milk containers: once they are empty, clean them well with soap and water and then poke a small hole in the base with scissors.
  • Yogurt glasses: same.
  • Plastic water bottles: When empty, poke a hole in the base.
  • Cardboard boxes: these have to be laminated, using superglue or another similar glue. You can use the grocery bags. Then make a hole in the base. In addition, you have to remove the flaps on one side.
  • Laminated cardboard: you can make your own seedbed with this type of cardboard, the size you want. Do not forget to make a hole in what will serve as a base.

When they are ready, or almost ready, you can encourage your children if you have to paint the external face of these new seedlings with the colors that they like the most.

Homemade watering cans

If you don’t have a conventional shower but you have a simple plastic bottle at home, you don’t have to worry . In the cap, or if you prefer it a little lower, in the part of the transparent plastic, make some small holes with the tip of a pair of scissors. It will be through those where the water will come out.

Think that the bigger they are, the stronger it will come out and the faster the bottle will empty. It is therefore important to make many small holes so that the water comes out slowly but surely.


The water to irrigate the seedlings must be as pure as possible. The ideal is that of uncontaminated rain, but not all of us live in areas where it rains frequently; so that bottled water suitable for human consumption will also serve you, and even tap water if you have previously let it sit overnight.


The substrate is something that, if you don’t have it, you have to buy it here, for example. If an old substrate is reused and there are pathogens (fungi, viruses, bacteria, or malignant insect eggs) it will cause many problems.

Now, they will also serve you, temporarily until they germinate, things like:

  • Cotton: it must be moistened well before with water.
  • Kitchen paper: place the seed, wrap it with the paper, and then moisten it with water.
  • Gauze and the like: the same.

Homemade fungicides

The fungi kill the seeds and seedlings almost overnight. To avoid this, especially if you plant trees or shrubs, it is highly recommended that you have copper or powdered sulfur on hand, or failing that, cinnamon (also powdered). With this, you will keep them away from your seedbeds.

Seed germination at home step by step

To germinate the seeds at home you have to follow this step by step:

  1. First, put them in a glass of water for 24 hours. The next day you will know which ones will almost certainly germinate (they will be the ones that sink) and which ones will not.
  2. Then, fill the seedbed you have chosen with substrate.
  3. Then put a maximum of 2-3 seeds in it, and cover them with a thin layer of substrate.
  4. Lastly, sprinkle with cinnamon, sulfur, or copper, and water.

If at this time you do not have substrate, wrap them in kitchen paper, for example with a little sprinkled cinnamon, and place them in a tupperware to keep them moist.

Now, it will be necessary to locate the seedbed in the room with more clarity of the house, and ensure that the substrate remains moist.

What are the plants that will germinate well at home?

In general, the plants that will have better germination and optimal subsequent development indoors are those that, if grown outdoors, could be placed in both the sun and semi-shade as they would grow correctly regardless of the amount of light that received. Fortunately, there are many:

Trees and shrubs

There is a great variety of species of trees and shrubs that live in areas where the sun does not reach them directly. If you have an outdoor space with little light, even if it is small like a balcony, you can plant the following:

Tree of love

Image – Wikimedia/ Batsv

The tree of love or Judas tree is a beautiful deciduous tree that fills with pink flowers in spring, before its leaves sprout. It reaches a maximum height of 12 meters, although the normal is that it does not exceed 4-5 meters, which is why it could also be considered a small tree or even a large bush. It resists pruning and frost up to -18ºC.

Buy seeds here.


Image – Wikimedia/ Daniel Capilla

The Bauhinia or cow’s foot are small deciduous trees that reach a height of 5 to 6 meters, rarely 7 meters. Even so, they tolerate pruning well, so they can be kept more like shrubs or small trees. Its flowers are beautiful, large, pink, red or white. As if that were not enough, they resist cold and frost down to -7ºC.

Do you want seeds? Click here.


Image – Wikimedia/ Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz

The heather or calluna is an evergreen shrub that barely reaches a meter and a half in height. Its leaves are small, as are its flowers, which are lilac. These sprout from summer to autumn, grouping in spiky inflorescences. It does not tolerate lime, but it does tolerate pruning and frosts down to -12ºC.


Grow aromatics at home from seeds? Clear! Why not? It is common to see them outdoors, in gardens, patios and terraces, but there are more than one that can be had indoors. These are just some of them:


The parsley is a biennial plant (lives two years) annual crop that reaches a height of 20 to 75 centimeters. Its leaves are petioled, smooth or curly, and are widely used as a companion or decoration to salads, soups, tortillas, etc. although they are also edible.

Don’t run out of seeds.


The plant known by the name of rue is a very peculiar aromatic one: its leaves give off an aroma that some may like, but others will hate. It is a small shrub that reaches a height of 50 to 100 centimeters characterized by having dark green leaves whose taste is bitter. For this reason, it is always used in small quantities, alone or with onion, garlic and/ or pepper.

Get seeds.


The thyme is a shrub or small bush that reaches between 15 and 40 centimeters high. Gives off an intense, very pleasant aroma. It produces small leaves and florets from spring to summer. In the kitchen it is used as a condiment for stews, sausages, sauces, but it should not be combined with oregano or marjoram.

Looking for seeds? Buy them here.


If you want to start in the world of urban gardens, even if you are inside the house without being able to leave, you can do it. For now, these are some that will grow well in indoor conditions (but yes, the seedbeds have to be placed in the room with more clarity of the house):


Chard is a biennial herb (it lives two years: during the first it produces leaves, and the second it blooms and dies), although it is grown as an annual. It reaches a height of about 40 centimeters or so, and is cultivated for its leaves. With them, you can make delicious salads using the youngest leaves, or as a cooked ingredient in a dish.

Buy your seeds.


Is there anyone in your family who enjoys eating strawberries? If so, you know: sow . It is a small perennial plant, about 20 centimeters high, that produces edible red fruits. These are consumed fresh, either alone as a snack, in fruit salads, with cream, or in the form of ice cream or smoothie.

Acquire seeds.


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