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types of seeds to plant

Types of Plant Seeds

By: April Sanders

21 September, 2017

Botanists divide plants into two large categories: plants that create seeds, and plants that do not. Seed-producing plants are then divided into two more categories. These plants are classified as either gymnosperms, which produce seeds in cones, and angiosperms, which produce seeds in flowers. These two classifications of plants produce the two main types of seeds: naked and enclosed. There are other, less common types of seeds as well.

Enclosed Seeds

Angiosperms (flowering plants) produce enclosed seeds, which are enclosed by an ovary. In most cases, the ovary becomes the fruit of the plant as the seed ripens. The fruit is meant to protect the seed. An apple seed is an enclosed seed, as are peas, (the ovary develops into the pod) and poppies, which also produce a large pod around the seeds.

  • Botanists divide plants into two large categories: plants that create seeds, and plants that do not.
  • An apple seed is an enclosed seed, as are peas, (the ovary develops into the pod) and poppies, which also produce a large pod around the seeds.

Naked Seeds

Gymnosperms produce naked seeds. Gymnosperms are more commonly called conifers because the plants produce cones. The seeds are created on the upper surface of the cones, which fold up to form a hard, protective covering as the seeds ripen. When they are ripe, the cones open, and the seeds may scatter on the wind, or drop to the ground with the cones, or even attach themselves to the bodies of animals such as birds and squirrels.

Other Types of Seeds

Some seeds are not protected by a fleshy fruit, pod or other covering, and are not produced “naked” in a cone. Grain plants are unique in that the ovary and seed actually merge together, creating a kernel. When you eat corn, you are actually eating the seed of the plant. Other “seeds,” such as sunflower seeds, are not really seeds at all, but the hard fruit of the plant. The actual seed of a sunflower seed is obtained after the hard shell of the fruit is cracked open. Many types of nuts, such as an acorn, are also hard fruits; the nut is actually the seed of the plant.

Botanists divide plants into two large categories: plants that create seeds, and plants that do not. Seed-producing plants are then divided into two more categories. These plants are classified as either gymnosperms, which produce seeds in cones, and angiosperms, which produce seeds in flowers. These two …

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It’s official: beans, peas, and pumpkins are among the top ten easiest plants to grow from seed, according to a list created by the Home Garden Seed Association. Also on the list: cucumbers, zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, lettuce, radishes, and squash.

I can vouch for pumpkins: the past few years they have sprung up where the squirrels scattered the seeds after destroying the fruit. The seedlings required no work from me and gave me a nice little crop. And the way Achillea reseeds itself around my yard, I would add that to the list, too.

Does anyone else have any can’t-miss plants from seed? Let me know before spring gets too far along.

For links to articles, blog posts, and videos on starting vegetable and flower seeds, see All About Starting Seeds.

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Comments

I think parsley deserves a mention, since it usually saves you the trouble of planting it by reseeding freely. Turnips and arugula are pretty accommodating, too!

Corn is easy, but I find that the freshness of the seed matters a lot–I buy a new pack every year. I never worry about the rules about how much you have to plant–I plant 15 seeds and get perhaps 10 plants and sometimes the pollination is a bit haphazard, which means the seeds in the ears will be wobbly, but it still tastes just fine. Cilantro is also a cinch–a cool season crop in California. Basil and tomatoes sometimes reseed themselves in my garden. And nasturtiums are super easy flowers (and yummy salad additions, too!). As far as cost goes, a pack of seeds and a six pack of seedlings will add up much the same, but the varieties available from seeds will be so much more interesting!

Feverfew(in all its varieties) is a valuable fill-in plant and wonderful for bouquets and some say health. It comes up reliably but doesn’t take over –like I said fills in.

I have always had great success with marigolds and coleus. Not only are they easy to start from seed, but they also do great in the garden, unbothered by pests or disease. Just make sure they get that 1″/week of water & stand out of their way.

I worked in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan for a year and brought back some beautiful purple Lupine that has grown very well in Bay County. I, too, have coddled some pumpkins planted by the squirrels (in the oddest places!) but the squirrels eat the new pumpkins before they mature. They’ve also planted corn for me, those pesky pests. That was from the fall corn decorations. They have a better green thumb than I do. Boy, they sure make me mad!

I know this is an odd request, but has anyone had any luck with rutabaga? I’ve never planted it before, but I sure any hungry for it, warm and juicy yellow, smothered in butter 🙂

Snow Pea seeds do really well here in Norther Mi. I plant them really early at the same time as rutabaga seeds (which is hard to find here)and cabbage.

My “tried + true” veggies: broccoli + red cabbage (start indoors), swiss chard (direct sow). Basil is so easy + if you plant enough you can make your own pesto to freeze. YUM. + save a bundle of $$$. For easy bedding annuals I always start morning glories, zinnias, celosias under lights, + for containers: check out alternanthera, plectranthus, dichondra + browalia (flowers well with very little sun), all started indoors. Be adventuresome + discover some new favorites!

I’m zone 7 and I have a crop of purple, pink, and white larkspur that come up every year from seed. My friend gave me a some seedlings a few years ago and I love them!. They grow about 3 ft tall and make a nice background for my daylilies. When they quit blooming I just cut the stalks and lay them down where they were growing and the next year they pop up in early spring.

The top ten easiest plants to grow from seed, according to a list created by the Home Garden Seed Association.