Why Your Seeds Don’t Germinate

While our elementary school science classes may have taught us the basics about seeds and how to plant them, if you started gardening as an adult, you probably realized there is a lot more to learn. . And unfortunately, growing a plant isn’t necessarily as simple as putting a few seeds in the ground and adding water and sunlight.

For example, even if you seem to be doing everything right, your seeds may not germinate. As it turns out, seeds are more fickle than many people think. Here are a few reasons why your sprouts are not growing.

Why are your seeds not germinating?

You followed the directions. You have waited and waited. And yet, the seeds you have planted are not even beginning to germinate. Here are some of the possible reasons why this might be happening, to help you avoid a similar situation in the future:


Yes, seeds need water to grow, but give them too much water and you risk drowning them. Over-watering can also kill beneficial bacteria in the soil and cause waterlogged seeds to rot.

Something ate them

Just because your seeds are in the ground doesn’t mean they’re safe from predators. Sometimes seeds don’t germinate because creatures like mice, voles, birds, and wireworms have eaten them for lunch.

They were stored incorrectly.

Seeds should be stored in a dry, airtight container in a cool place at home, in a garage or shed. If the seeds get too hot, they won’t be able to germinate. Excessive humidity can lead to the same result, even if the seeds are not technically wet, but were in a room with high humidity.

They were planted too deep into the soil.

Pay attention when you plant seeds: if you plant them too deep in the soil, they can run out of steam before they hit the soil, and it will look like they have not germinated.


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