Seed Orientation Matters for Germination Success!

When starting seeds, there are a couple of key factors that determine your sprouting success rate. Along with temperature, moisture, and light, is the orientation of the seed. Every seed whether visible or not has a radicle. The radicle will form the tap root, a.k.a. the primary root to anchor down the seedling into the growing media.

The radicle will appear as a small dot on the seed, contrasting in color (either dark or light). When planting a seed that has a visible radicle, you would place the small dot facing down into the growing media. We recommend using compostable sponges. Our blog post on choosing the right Growing Medium explains why we choose sponges every time.

When you are faced with a seed that does not have a visible radicle, you can rely on other clues, such as the pointy end of the seed faces down. For example, a cucumber seed has a pointy side and you would place the point down into the growing media first. If you are trying to sprout spinach seeds, which are tiny, they require a little extra help. Our blog post all about How to Sprout Spinach Seeds gives you a step by steep method for success.

Both methods help the seed germinate faster and spend less energy trying to re-orient itself in the right direction. This brings me to my next point, geotropism. Geotropsim is the ability for a seed to orient itself in the right direction, according to gravity, in order for the tap root to grow downwards into the growing media. Thankfully, if you can’t see a visible radicle and the seed has no obvious pointy ends, just go ahead and plant the seed in any direction, as the seed will most likely take care of the rest. 

The Solaris Seed Starter will take care of the humidity and light requirements a seed needs to germinate. Small details like facing the seed the right way when planting can increase your germination rate, leading to more overall success in your indoor and outdoor garden. If you are trying to germinate seeds in a colder environment, utilize a warming mat underneath your seed starter to cover all of your bases.

We recommend ordering seeds from or They both have a vast offering of plant varieties and always deliver high quality viable seeds.

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