Do Seeds Need Light To Germinate?

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Last Updated on May 31, 2022

Seeds require certain conditions to germinate. Conditions such as temperatures, humidity, water, soil, air, as well as light is what seeds require. But this is the question we would like to know: do seeds need light to germinate?

For seeds to grow appropriately, different rules or techniques work for different seeds. When it comes to the light requirement for seed germination, most seeds need light to germinate, but some don’t require light. Such seeds that sprout under light include lettuce, dill, celery, and petunias. Then examples of seeds that sprout under darkness include onions and pansies.

In this article, we will discuss why seeds need light to germinate and how much light is needed for seeds that need light, and many more. So, continue reading to get some knowledge on this.

Do Seeds Need Light To Germinate?

A good number of seeds do need light to germinate. It is a popular thought that seeds generally require light to sprout. After all, light is one crucial factor for most plants to grow. However, there are some seeds that will do well under little light or no light.

In some cases, sunlight tends to slow down the germination of some seeds. So, the seeds that need to germinate in the dark need to be covered with some soil. Then these types of seeds will be planted deep into the soil so they can be covered.

So, you should take note and get good info about the type of plant seed you’re growing when you decide to start your seeds indoors or outdoors.

What about Seedling, Do They Require Light To Develop?

After sprouting, almost all resulting seedlings surely need light to keep on growing. Light is required for all seedlings that have sprouted to root adequately else they can get leggy from reaching for the light.

However, you should know that the amount of light needed by various seedlings varies from plant to plant. The plants that need little light during their adult stage don’t need too much compared to those that enjoy full sun all through their life cycle. Exposing seedlings to excess sunshine can cause them to get scorched, wither, and even die.

Ways To Germinate Seeds That Require Light – Do Seeds Need Light To Germinate?

Here are the ways to provide light for seeds that need light to sprout:

  • So, when you’re working with seeds that require light for sprouting, you can grow them indoors in a growing try. Then provide the seeds with grow lights or simply face the set up in a sunny spot or north-facing window if this suits the region you reside.
  • Another way you can go about this is to simply sow the seeds directly in a thin layer on the soil if the soil is warm and it is sunny enough.
  • You can also do a greenhouse with direct sunshine during early spring as this can provide adequate light and heat for germination.

How To Sprout Seeds That Don’t Require Light

To germinate seeds that don’t need light, you can also sow them in trays. Then just to make sure they are in the dark, you should cover the tray in black plastic. Also, take note of the temperature when they are covered. The temperature needs to stay in the proper range for adequate germination.

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Do Seeds Need Light To Germinate?

Seeds That Germinates With Light – Do Seeds Need Light To Germinate?

Generally, the majority of vegetable seeds need light to germinate but we can’t list them all here. However, let’s look at some of these common plants that need light:

  1. Carrots: a good example of vegetable that needs light to germinate is carrot. The seeds of carrots should be sprinkled on the soil surface and covered with a thin layer of soil or vermiculate for easy light penetration. The seeds should be planted in a row.
  2. Lettuce: lettuce is another common example of vegetable that their seeds need light to sprout and grow into seedlings. If you’re sowing them outdoor in your garden, simply sprinkle them on the soil or vermiculate. Then the seeds should be slightly covered with a thin layer of soil or vermiculate so light can penetrate easily.
  3. Rose: the plant seeds of rose need light to sprout. But you also need to maintain soil moisture at the appropriate level then you can see your seedlings sprout in about 6 weeks.

Seeds That Germinates In The Dark – Do Seeds Need Light To Germinate?

The plant seeds that thrive and germinate in the dark are mostly vegetable gardens with thick seed castings so they sprout under the dark covered in soil.

So, here are some examples of plant seeds that sprout in the dark:

  1. Onion: Allium has its seeds to be big with thick seed casting. Their seeds will not emerge under the light. Therefore, starting onion seeds indoors is a good idea. They can be sown indoors under plastic. Then once they’ve germinated, you should remove the plastic cover and place them under the light.
  2. Sunflower: This plant seed is best to be sown at a depth that is 3 times its diameter. They also do well in the dark under plastic covering for them to sprout. Then when the seeds begin to emerge, simply move them into direct light.
  3. Calendula: Calendula is another plant seed that will germinate with darkness. So, cover the seeds using soil if sown outdoors and maintain moist soil.
Seeds That Germinates In The Dark

Seeds That Will Sprout With Or Without Light

There are also other seeds that will sprout whether they are provided with light or not. Examples of such seeds include cucumber, tomato, eggplant, zinnia seeds, and so on.

Conclusion – Do Seeds Need Light To Germinate?

Do seeds night light to germinate has been answered in this post. Some plants need light for their seed to emerge or sprout while other seeds prefer darkness to sprout. There are even some seeds that just don’t care and will sprout even if they are provided with light or not.


Do seeds germinate better in dark or light?

The fact is that various seeds have different requirements for light. Some seeds are inhibited by the prescience of light while other seeds need light to sprout. So, you need to know the type of light requirement the seeds you have needs.

Which seeds require light to germinate?

Some examples of seeds that will germinate under light include lettuce, carrots, rose, cucumbers, alyssum, cole crops, begonia, savory, coleus, and so on.

Why do seeds germinate better in the dark?

Some seed varieties germinate better in the dark because darkness enhances their germination. So, if these seeds are exposed to light, it can seriously slow down their germination.

Can seedlings get too much light?

Yes, seedlings can get too much light. Most seedlings are still fragile and some even need to be hardened off before they can be exposed to direct sunlight. So, excess light can scorch or damage the sprouted leaves.

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