The survival of any species depends upon their capacity to reproduce and to transfer their characters (DNA) to the next generation. In plants this is achieved through various methods one of which is seed. Seed propagation is the most common and reliable method of propagation in plants. In fact, it is very useful for us humans too. Imagine storing and transporting large plants for planting! Seeds make it very convenient for us as they are very easy to pack, store and transport.
What exactly are seeds?
In simple words, seeds are miniature versions of plants which have the capacity to grow and develop into fully functional plants. They have an embryo inside them which divides and divides continuously in order to develop into a full plant. They carry food which is essential for initial development of the plant and provides nutrition until the plant is capable for performing photosynthesis. Embryo is a tiny plant which has a shoot, a root and some leaves.
Types of seeds
They are basically two types of seeds – monocots and dicots. As the name suggests monocots have one cotyledon and dicot have two. Cotyledons are tissues which store and provide nutrition to the embryo. I will make it simple for you, you might have seen the seed of chickpea, if you immerse it in water for a couple of hours it can be easily split into parts. Groundnut can also be easily split into two identical parts, these are dicots. Now imagine the same with rice or wheat. Can you split it? These are known as monocots.
How to propagate using seeds?
- So basically, all you need to do is sow these seeds in soil and they will develop into seedlings which will later turn into plants.
- There is a thumb rule for sowing of seeds – seeds should be sown at a depth twice of their length. This way you won’t suffocate the seeds.
- Sprinkle some water and be cautious not to flood the areas it can rot the seeds.
- Sow multiple seeds at a proper distance to avoid overcrowding and struggle for nutrition and space.
Soon the seeds will germinate and you will be able to see small seedlings emerging out from the soil. You can prepare a nursery and later on transplant the plants into soil or you can directly sow the seeds too.
Which plants can be propagated by seeds? Almost all plants can be multiplied using seeds whether it is beans, flowers, annuals, perennials, herbs, shrubs, all common vegetables etc.