a seed needs sun and rain

21 Quotes about Planting Seeds for Spiritual Growth

“Might I,” quavered Mary, “might I have a bit of earth?” “Earth!” he repeated. “What do you mean?” “To plant seeds in — to make things grow — to see them come alive.” — Frances H. Burnett, The Secret Garden

There’s just something about seeing things grow, about seeing them sprout up from seemingly nowhere at all — it’s as close to magic as love is. Pretty close to it, anyway.

I wanted to share these quotes about planting seeds with you today, not because it’s the season for it, but because it’s *always* the season to sow a little good karma.

You plant seeds every single day, in the world and in others, with every thought you think and word you speak and action you take. You have influence. You’re making a dent in the universe and you matter, in a very real way.

These quotes talk about taking personal responsibility for what we do and say. And I think that’s something worth talking about.

Just like a garden needs its rain and sunlight and weeding, your relationships need to be tended. by YOU. The things you want to change and improve need commitment. from YOU.

*You* need a certain level of self-awareness to understand your own impact on the world around you. To realize you have power over how you experience your experiences. And to see that you hold the seeds of all sorts of healing in your own hands.

So, here’s to the curiosity that keeps wonder alive.

Here’s to taking it one day at a time.

Here’s to growing more patient in seasons of waiting, and more resilient because of all we’ve been through.

Here’s to all the things we’d like to watch grow more beautiful this year. And here’s to being part of the making of that beauty.

21 Quotes about Planting Seeds for a New Beginning

Sow What You Want to Reap

  1. “Every leaf that grows will tell you: what you sow will bear fruit, so if you have any sense my friend, don’t plant anything but Love.” — Rumi
  2. “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other with us in our minds wherever we go.” — Martha Washington
  3. “Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. The harvest can either be flowers or weeds.” — William Wordsworth
  4. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. “Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant — a seed — this plants the giant miracle.” — Ann Voskamp

Tend Your Relationships

  1. “The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.” — Leo Buscaglia
  2. “You never quite know what you do in life that leaves a seed behind that grows into an oak tree.” — Michael Portillo
  3. “An ordinary favor we do for someone or any compassionate reaching out may seem to be going nowhere at first, but may be planting a seed we can’t see right now. Sometimes we need to just do the best we can and then trust in an unfolding we can’t design or ordain.” — Sharon Salzberg
  4. “We can’t change people, but we can plant seeds that may one day bloom in them.” — Mary Davis

Cultivate Resilience in the Hard Seasons

  1. “The tiny seed knew that in order to grow it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.” — Sandra Kring
  2. “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” — Cynthia Occelli
  3. “Life does not accommodate you; it shatters you. Every seed destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition.” — Florida Scott-Maxwell
  4. “The seeds of resilience are planted in the way we process the negative events in our lives.” — Sheryl Sandberg
  5. “When your heart is broken, you plant seeds in the cracks and pray for rain.” — Andrea Gibson
  6. “Love is the seed of all hope. It is the enticement to trust, to risk, to try, to go on.” — Gloria Gaither

Have Faith in the Process

  1. “To see things in the seed, that is genius.” — Lao Tzu
  2. “A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.” — John Ciardi
  3. “Keep planting new seeds until your mind becomes the earth that gives birth to new worlds.” — Curtis Tyrone Jones
  4. “Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” — Hamilton, the Musical
  5. “Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” — Henry David Thoreau
  6. “A seed knows how to wait… a seed is alive while it waits.” — Hope Jahren

Which of these quotes is your favorite right now?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!

P.S. Want these kinds of posts in your inbox? Sign up for Tuesday emails and you’ll also get my Healing Brave Manifesto, totally free.

Comments on this post (12)

Truly inspirational! Thank you very much.

Thank you for sharing this, Lynn! And for doing such a beautiful thing for so many people. The world is lucky to have you.

I fell upon your site quite by accident.I am sending packets of seeds to more than 200 people this year with the the quote that FAITH creates the seed…And LOVE makes it grow. It is the upcoming of the Jewish New Year and I am writing a text using the parable that in the seed we can all help to renew the world. Your insights will inspire me to further my thoughts for renewing the spirit, soul, and mind set. Thank YouTo Life! To Love!

Was, I’m so glad this could inspire you and help you plant your own seeds!

I liked “When your heart is broken, you plant seeds in the cracks and pray for rain.” — Andrea Gibson

With all due respect,
I just want to thank you to the extent of planting a seed right here.

I was almost finished with writing my heart out, with no motive what so ever, but for some reason, I got stuck, for all obvious cases, I turned to the internet and stumbled upon your page and your intro, Voila! You helped me release the heavens in my brains.

— “Might I,” quavered Mary, “might I have a bit of earth?” “Earth!” he repeated. “What do you mean?” “To plant seeds in — to make things grow — to see them come alive.”
— Frances H. Burnett, The Secret Garden.

This worked wonders for lost souls like me, I am happy for stoping by and ending up dropping seeds, I was not aware, could exist.
Gracias & Asante Sana.

Niolah, I’m so glad these words found you when you needed them! Sending you my love. x

A seed knows how to wait. A seed is alive while it waits.
I love this quote as it demonstrates my life currently. It motivates me and helped me to understand the importance of waiting.
Thank you so much. I love reading your quotes.

Galaletsang, thank you so much! I’d certainly love to send you more posts like this in email form 🙂 All you need to do is sign up here:

Jim, I’m so grateful for all you shared here! And that you loved this collection of quotes, too. One seed at a time. You never know what it will grow into.

There's something about seeing things grow, about seeing them sprout up from seemingly nowhere at all. Read these quotes about planting seeds, because it's always the season to sow a little good karma. To love better. To be in charge of your own life. To be part of all the beauty you'd like to see grow.

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Few gardening pursuits are as rewarding as growing your own plants from seed. As the nursery manager at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Monticello, I have started thousands of ornamental and vegetable plants from seed. Growing plants from seed is not always an easy task, and over the years I have developed and adopted the following techniques to ensure that seeds get a healthy start.


Further reading

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

1. Keep records to allow for better planning

An often overlooked aspect of plant propagation is the art of record keeping. Whether you are producing a few plants for your home flower and vegetable gardens or working at a larger-scale nursery, developing a propagation journal will prove indispensable. Here at the Center for Historic Plants, we record when seeds are sown, the germination date and success rate, and when seedlings are ready for transplanting each year.

At the end of the year we evaluate the timing of our production schedule, noting what went right and what went wrong. These observations help us make adjustments for next year to ensure that we are growing our plants under optimum conditions. We also keep track of where we purchase seeds, as their quality and reliability may vary by source.

2. Store seed properly to maintain viability

Seeds are a fragile commodity, and if not treated properly, their viability will sharply decline. While some seeds may survive for thousands of years under the proper conditions, others will lose viability quickly, even when properly stored. To maintain dormancy, keep seeds in a cool, dark location with low humidity, like a refrigerator. I recommend labeling them (seed name, source, year) and storing them in a small reclosable bag or empty film canister that is, in turn, kept in a larger plastic container.

Once you are ready to sow, you can test the viability of many, but not all, seeds by soaking them in water for a few hours. The seeds that are still living will sink to the bottom, while the dead ones will float on the surface. This test generally works better for larger seeds, but there are no absolutes.

3. Use wide, flat containers to avoid overcrowding

Plastic pots or containers are preferable to clay pots when starting seeds, as they retain moisture more consistently. Wide, shallow containers prevent both overcrowding of seedlings and excessive moisture around fragile, young roots. Plants that resent root disturbance when transplanted are best sown into small, individual containers like cell packs or plug trays. Recycled plastic containers, like empty yogurt or margarine tubs, work well, too, provided you’ve poked holes in the bottom for drainage.

No matter what type of container you use, it must be clean and free of pathogens. To sanitize a container, soak it in a 10 percent bleach solution for 15 minutes and let it air dry.

4. Tamp seeds down to make direct contact with the soil

Use a kitchen sieve to spread soilless seed-starting mix evenly over the top of the seeds to the depth of two times the seed diameter. Very small seeds and those that require light to germinate should lie directly on the surface. Whether covered with planting medium or not, each seed must be in firm contact with the moist surface to begin germinating. Use a pestle or even the bottom of a glass to gently tamp down the surface.

5. Prevent disease by providing air flow and drainage

The fungal infection often referred to as damping-off is usually caused by excessive moisture and poor air circulation. However, there are a few cultural techniques that will help to keep fungal agents at bay. After covering the seeds with planting mix and tamping them down, spread a thin layer of 50 percent milled sphagnum and 50 percent starter chicken grit (finely ground stone) over the surface to keep the soil around the emerging shoots dry and provide an inhospitable environment for pathogens.

To promote good air circulation, place a small fan near your seedlings. Keep the fan on low and direct it to blow across the containers at the soil level where air may become trapped and stagnant.

6. Cover trays with plastic wrap to keep the moisture level constant

Seeds are very sensitive to the extremes of overwatering and underwatering. In addition, heavy-handed watering can disturb newly germinated seedlings. Securing plastic wrap over the surface of a freshly sown seed pot can help to keep the moisture level constant. However, the pot must still be checked daily for moisture and germination.

If you find that you need to rehydrate your seed container, place the entire pot in a basin with 2 to 3 inches of warm water and allow the planting medium to wick moisture from the bottom. If just the surface has dried, you can lift the plastic covering and spritz the surface with water from a spray bottle. As soon as the seeds germinate, remove the plastic wrap.

7. Keep seeds warm to encourage germination

A heat mat speeds germination.

Most seeds require temperatures of 65° to 75°F to germinate. Placing seed containers near an existing heater or using a space heater with the proper precautions can raise the ambient temperature as needed. In addition, a heating pad designed for plant use placed directly under the seed containers will warm the planting mix and encourage germination. When using any additional heat source, be sure to check for moisture often, since the seed containers may dry out more quickly.

8. Turn seedlings daily to keep stems strong

Most seeds will not germinate without sunlight and will perform best with 12 to 16 hours each day. Indoors, place seed containers in a sunny, south-facing window and give the container a quarter turn each day to prevent the seedlings from overreaching toward the light and developing weak, elongated stems. Also, gently brush the palm of your hand against the tops of the seedlings to encourage strong stem growth.

9. Feed them well

Proper nutrition at a consistent rate will keep your seedlings growing strong. When the embryo inside a seed is developing, it relies on food stored in the endosperm to fuel its growth. As the shoot emerges from the soil and the true leaves develop, the initial nutrients supplied by the endosperm will be depleted and supplemental fertilization is then required. Most seed-starting mixes contain a small nutrient charge to help make this transition while not burning the developing roots. However, once the true leaves emerge, it is time to begin a half-strength liquid fertilizer regimen on a weekly basis.

10. Acclimate seedlings to direct sunlight

Before seedlings can be planted outdoors, they need to be hardened off, or acclimated to direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures. It is best to do this over a three-day period by placing them in direct sunlight during the morning only of the first day, then increasing their time outside by a few hours each day until they are vigorous enough to be transplanted.

For more seed-starting tips

Most seeds germinate readily, but others may require a few extra steps to achieve good results. To see how I use the techniques of warm soaking, scarification, and stratification for seed starting, watch my video, Seed-Starting Pre-Treatments.

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How a practiced propagator gets seedlings off to a healthy start