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17 Easiest Plants to Grow from Seed Indoors (With Pictures)

farmer planting lettuce

The best way to start the growing season is to hit the ground running. Starting plants from seed will give you a valuable head start on your garden, helping you get a better yield and broader array of plants.

Although starting plants from seed in the house is an inexpensive option, there are limits to what you can grow. Many plants are challenging, if not impossible, to transplant, while others handle outdoor weather so well that it would be impractical to start them inside. To get you moving in the right direction with your indoor array, here are the 17 easiest plants to grow from seed indoors.

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The 17 Easiest Plants to Grow from Seed Indoors

1. Broccoli

broccoli plant
Image Credit: Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 5–7 weeks
Germination Time 7–10 days

Packed with nutrition and abundant when given space to grow, broccoli is an excellent vegetable to add to the garden. Starting broccoli from seed about 5–7 weeks before the last frost of the season will set you up for an ideal size to transplant.

Once the broccoli gets about 4–6 inches tall, you can transplant them to your garden. Try out the Calabrese variety, which matures in about 9–10 weeks, for a healthy harvest of large broccoli crowns.

2. Tomatoes

Image Credit: kie-ker , Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 8–10 weeks
Germination Time 5–10 days

Tomatoes are a fantastic addition to the garden, and they make a versatile component for salads, sauces, and more. They’re easy to grow as well, taking roughly eight weeks to prepare for transplanting.

Start growing tomatoes about 6–8 weeks before the final frost of the season. The soil should be ready for transplanted tomatoes a few weeks after that last cold day. In the meantime, keep the potting soil at an optimal temperature around 70–80°F as you grow them indoors.

3. Brussels Sprouts

Image Credit: Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 4–6 weeks
Germination Time 5–8 days

Brussels sprouts yield a bounty of tasty veggies for nutritious sides, and they’re one of the best to start from seed indoors. They can take a while to mature—up to 120 days or more—but they’re a satisfying veggie to grow if you have the patience.

You can start 3–4 brussel sprout seeds per pot, planting them roughly ½-inch deep in the soil. Aim for a fall harvest, starting your seeds about four months before the first fall frost.

4. Peppers

Image Credit: Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 7–9 weeks
Germination Time 7–21+ days

Peppers are a perfect plant to start indoors, with jalapenos, serranos, and poblanos sprouting in about a week. Super hots can take much longer, over a month in some cases, so you have to choose your pepper varieties wisely.

Bury 2–3 seeds together about ¼-inch deep in the soil and supply them with plenty of light until you’re ready to transplant. Make sure they have warm soil to grow in, keeping it around 85°F as you get them ready inside.

5. Cabbage

Image Credit: ulleo, Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 6–8 weeks
Germination Time 4–10 days

If you’re growing peppers, you can add some colorful cabbage to the mix since they both need roughly 16 hours of daily light. Cabbage is nutrient-dense and matures in 2–4 months, depending on the variety.

Start your cabbage plants in early spring to prepare for a fall transplant. In warmer climates where there’s not much frost, you can start your seeds in late fall. Place seeds about ¼-inch deep in the soil, and keep them moistened and heated to around 70°F.

6. Lettuce

lettuce being planted
Image Credit: Filmbetrachter, Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 2–4 weeks
Germination Time 2–8 days

A foundational vegetable, we wouldn’t be able to make many salads without some form of lettuce. Fortunately, it’s an easy vegetable to add to our gardens and start to enjoy rapidly. It takes about 40–80 days to mature, and you only need to start the seed a few weeks ahead of the final frost of spring.

Lettuce seeds can germinate in only a couple of days, but colder soil can delay the process. Plant seeds about ¼-inch deep and provide plenty of sunlight as they grow inside.

7. Cauliflower

cauliflower plant
Image Credit: Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 3–5 weeks
Germination Time 8–10 days

Cauliflower handles cooler temperatures between 55–70°F well, and they’re quick to mature. That means you need to start them ideally as a fall crop, though you can also plant them early in the spring.

When growing in the spring, it’s a good idea to transplant cauliflower a week or two before the last frost for the best results. Doing so may require you to harden the plants, exposing them to cold weather for brief periods over the week before transplanting.

8. Celery

Image Credit: Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 8–10 weeks
Germination Time 2–3 weeks

Another cool-season crop, celery does best when the temperature falls between 55–80°F. It can take a long time for celery to mature, and you may be waiting a while before you see the first sprouts. Germination usually takes over ten days, even at an optimal temperature of around 70°F.

Celery can seem like a challenging plant to grow due to its tiny seeds and need for ample watering. That’s why planting it from seed indoors makes the process much easier.

9. Kale

Image Credit: Piqsels
Indoor Grow Time 4–6 weeks
Germination Time 5–8 days

Kale is a trendy superfood, but it’s also a gorgeous ornamental plant for your garden thanks to its speedy growing time, taking less than two months to mature in most instances.

It’s easy to grow kale because it’s tolerant of low temperatures. The ideal range is around 55–75°F, but many varieties can manage when it’s only 20–30°F outside as well. Start the seeds inside about a month before the last frost and transplant them when the soil gets consistently warm.

10. Eggplant

Image Credit: Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 8–10 weeks
Germination Time 7–10 days

The vibrant shine of eggplant is sure to brighten up the garden and because they prefer warm soil, they’re best started indoors in most climates.

You’ll need a warm area to germinate the small eggplant seeds, keeping the soil bottom-heated at around 80–90°F. It’s helpful to keep the soil domed to hold in heat and humidity. Before transplanting, the plants may need hardening, with gradual reductions in water and temperature to prepare them for outdoor growth.

11. Onion

Image By: Couleur, Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 8–10 weeks
Germination Time 7–10 days

Sweet onions are a versatile vegetable for everything from cooked dishes to salads, salsas, and sandwiches. For home growers, onions are excellent plants to start from seed inside.

Start sowing onions in late winter/early spring about 8–10 weeks before the final frost of the season. Plant seeds about ½-inch deep, maintaining a temperature around 70°F. Onions can handle cooler weather, so you can start hardening them a few weeks before the last frost to prep them for transplanting.

12. Leeks

Leeks vegetable
Image Credit: Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 8–10 weeks
Germination Time 10–16 days

The first of two onion offshoots on this list, leeks are yet another fantastic veggie to start from seed indoors. Like onions, you can harvest leeks several times throughout the year, starting mid-summer leeks about a month before the last frost and winter leeks between March and June.

Leeks should be started in open flats, buried ¼-inch deep and ½-inch apart. Once they are 6–8 inches tall, you can transplant them. As with onions, hardening a spring crop is a good idea.

13. Okra

okra plant budding
Image Credit: elouis73, Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 4–6 weeks
Germination Time 2–12 days

Okra is a spritely plant, growing quickly with beautiful flowers to boot. Since they like higher temperatures up to 90°F, getting them started in a heated indoor area is a great way to yield bountiful plants.

Plant okra in pots about ½-inch into the soil. The germination time can vary greatly, so to speed things up, you can soak them overnight before sowing. Once the weather reaches consistently warm temperatures, transplant the okra in a sunny spot in your garden.

14. Scallions

scallions organic plant
Image Credit: moolek skee, Shutterstock
Indoor Grow Time 8–10 weeks
Germination Time 7–14 days

You can directly sow scallions into your garden bed, or you can start them indoors, which will generally yield the best results. Plant the seeds about ¼-inch deep in soil, allowing them to clump if desired. Once they start to sprout, you may need to separate them a few inches. Give them sufficient sunlight as they grow, and harden them before transplanting, which you should do after there’s no more threat of a heavy frost.

15. Radicchio

Radicchio plant
Image Credit: THANA NATTRIBHOP, Shutterstock
Indoor Grow Time 8–12 weeks
Germination Time 7–14 days

A cool-weather crop, radicchio is easy to grow and one of the most radiant leafy vegetables you can bring to the garden. Plants mature in about 5–6 weeks, and you can choose between an early spring or late fall growing period.

If you want radicchio for harvesting in spring, you need to give them ample time to grow them inside. Start them about 10 weeks before the final spring frost, keeping the soil between 60–70°F for germination. Transplant them a few weeks ahead of the last frost, hardening them with reduced water and heat for 3–4 days beforehand.

16. Basil

Image Credit: Pixabay
Indoor Grow Time 4–6 weeks
Germination Time 7–10 days

Basil is an herb you always need on hand, and its flavor is much more satisfying when you can enjoy it fresh. Grow it indoors for its whole life or start it from seed indoors and transplant it. Because it enjoys warm weather, starting it indoors a month or so before it gets nice outside will give you a jump on the growing season.

Plant 2–3 basil seeds per pot and allow them to germinate in moist soil. When they start to sprout, keep them under lights for 14 hours daily to promote full growth. Once the basil has four or more leaves, you can start acclimating it to the outdoors before transplanting.

17. Rosemary

rosemary herbs in garden
Image Credit: pilialoha, Shutterstock
Indoor Grow Time 12–14 weeks
Germination Time 2–4 weeks

Rosemary is a uniquely flavorful herb that is well worth the effort to grow on your own. It takes a long time to grow, so if you live in cooler climates it’s one herb that makes sense to start growing indoors.

Rosemary likes warmer weather and healthy amounts of sunlight, so you may need to use grow lights during short winter days. It can take a long time for them to germinate, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any sprouts for a few weeks. Keep them in well-draining soil, making sure they aren’t overwatered.


Final Thoughts

Starting plants from seed indoors can make gardening much easier and provide you with richer specimens. Depending on where you live, it can allow you to grow an assortment of fruit, vegetables, and herbs that would otherwise be impossible to pull off. Get started on your garden early with this list of the easiest plants to grow from seed indoors, and enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor sooner rather than later!

Featured Image Credit: Alexander Raths, Shutterstock


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