Which Seeds Need Light to Germinate?

There are a number of factors that trigger seeds to germinate just at the right time to enhance their survival. All seeds need moisture and oxygen to germinate, and the preferred soil temperature varies from plant to plant. In addition, some seeds need cold stratification, scarification, darkness or light. If these factors are not in place, germination will not occur, or if it does, it will be lower than expected.

As a rule, smaller seeds require light to germinate, but as always, check the seed packet for detailed instructions, and remember that some will require cold stratification prior to sowing.

Common name

Scientific name

African daisyOsteospermum spp.African daisy
AlyssumLobularia maritimaAlyssum
Amethyst flower Browallia spp.Amethyst flower
Baby’s breathGypsophila spp.Baby's breath
Balloon flower Platycodon grandiflorusBalloon flower
Basket of goldAlyssum montamumPot of gold
Bee balmMonarda didymaBee balm
BegoniaBegonia spp.Begonia
BellflowerCampanula spp.Bellflower
Bells-of-IrelandMoluccella laevisBells of Ireland
Black-eyed-SusanRudbeckia hirtaBlack eyed Susan
Blanket flower Gailardia x grandifloraBlanket flower
Butterfly weedAsclepias tuberosaButterfly weed
CandytuftIberis spp.Candytuft
Canterbury bellsCampanula mediumCanterbury bells
ChamomileMatricaria chamomillaChamomile
Chinese lanternPhysalis alkekengiChinese lantern
ColeusColeus spp.Coleus
ColumbineAquilegia spp.Columbine
Cornflower Centaurea cyanusCornflower
CosmosCosmos bipinnatusCosmos
Echinacea Echinacea spp.Echinacea
English daisyBellis perennisEnglish daisy
Evening primroseOenothera spp.Evening primrose flower
EverlastingHelichrysum bracteatumEverlasting flower
FeverfewTanacetum partheniumFeverfew
FlossflowerAgeratum houstonianumFloss flower
FoxgloveDigitalis spp.Foxglove
GeraniumPelargonium domesticumGeranium
Gerbera Gerbera spp.Gerbera
GeumGeum spp. Geum
Gloxinia Sinningia speciosaGloxinia
Goldenrod Solidago spp.Goldenrod
Goldentuft Aurinia saxatilisGoldentuft
HollyhockAlcea roseaHollyhock
Iceland poppyPapaver nudicauleIceland poppy
ImpatiensImpatiens spp.Impatiens
Jacob’s ladder Polemonium spp.Jacob's ladder
Lady’s purseCalceolaria spp.Lady's purse
LavenderLavandula spp.Lavender
Leopard plant Ligularia spp.Leopard plant
Leopard’s baneDoronicum cordatumLeopard's bane
LisianthusEustoma grandiflorumLisianthus
Livingstone daisy Dorotheanthus bellidiformisLivingston daisy
Lobelia Lobelia spp.Lobelia
Mexican creeping zinniaSanvitali procumbensMexican creeping zinnia
Mexican sunflowerTithonia spp.
Mexican sunflower
MignonetteReseda odorataMignonette
Monkey flowers Mimulus spp.Monkey plant
Musk mallowMalva moschataMusk mallow
Ornamental cabbageBrassica oleracea acephala Ornamental cabbage
Pearly everlastingAnaphalis margaritaceaPearly everlasting
PetuniaPetunia spp.Petunia
PoppyPapaver spp.

Poppy

PortulacaPortulaca spp. Portulaca
Primrose Primula spp.Primrose
Purple rock cressAubrieta deltoideaPurple rock cress
Rock cressArabis spp.Rock cress
Salad rocketEruca vesicaria sativaRocket
Satin flower Clarkia amoenaSatin flower
Sea hollyEryngium spp.Sea holly
Shasta daisyLeucanthemum × superbumShasta daisy
Shooting star Dodecatheon meadiaShooting star
SnapdragonAntirrhinum majusSnapdragon
Snow in summerCerastium tomentosumSnow in summer
Speedwell Veronica spp.Speedwell
Spider flower Cleome spinosaSpider flower
Stock Matthiola incanaStock
StrawflowerHelichrysum bracteatumStrawflower
TickseedCoreopsis grandifloraTickseed
Trumpet flower Incarvillea spp.Trumpet flower
TwinspurDiascia spp.Twinspur
Virginia stock Malcolmia maritimaVirginian stock
Wishbone flower Torenia fournierWishbone flower
WormwoodArtemisia vulgarisArtemisia vulgaris
XeranthemumXeranthemum annuumXeranthemum annuum
YarrowAchillea spp.Yarrow