fastest sprouting seeds

What Plants Grow the Fastest From Seeds?

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For many gardeners, waiting for seeds to germinate and plants to grow is part of the hobby’s reward. For others, however, it can be maddening, especially if you are gardening with children. Distract impatient growers with fast-growing plants while they wait for the rest of the garden to catch up.

Annual Flowers

Many flowering plants sprout and grow rapidly, and they provide the added benefit of splashes of color for your yard. Sweet alyssum, celosia, cornflower or bachelor button, marigold and cosmos sprout within five to seven days. Zinnias, sunflowers and morning glories bring even more color and quick growth, while fast-growing nasturtiums multitask as garden beauties that you can add to salads or as dinner-plate garnishes.

Perennial Flowers

Dianthus (Dianthus chinensis) will add to your garden year after year, while black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) are biennial or perennial plants, depending on the varieties you select. These flowery plants will germinate in five to 10 days and grow quickly after sprouting. Other perennial choices include blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis), blanket flower (Gaillardia x gradiflora), rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) and gaura (Gaura lindheimeri). All of these perennials are hardy in United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8, while many thrive through zone 10.


Not only do many herbs germinate and grow quickly, they add fragrance to the garden and flavor to your menu. Consider basil, which sprouts in about four days, or chives, cilantro and dill, which make their appearance seven to 14 days after planting. Mint grows quickly, as well, but you’ll probably want to plant it in containers to keep it from invading other areas. Garden cress adds a sharp aroma and a peppery taste to dishes.


Several vegetables grow very quickly, including most types of lettuce and radishes. Cucumbers germinate within seven to 10 days, as well, and mustard greens, spinach, scallions and turnips hold their own in the race. Blue Lake and Pencil Wax bean varieties are especially suitable for quick gardening, and cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon, with their four- to six-day germination period make excellent garden additions.

Miscellaneous Plants

Noted in Thomas Jefferson’s garden journal as early as 1812, hyacinth bean vines can grow 6 to 20 inches in a single season, twining through the garden, their maroon seedpods and purple flowers bringing tropical drama to the landscape. Grasses, especially wheat grass and rye, also grow quickly. Add a little fun by growing grass in a hollowed potato decorated with craft wiggle eyes, so that it seems to grow green hair.

  • KidsGardening: Fast-Germinating Seeds
  • Fine Gardening: Five Fast-Growing Perennials That Flower Their First Year From Seed
  • Los Angeles Times: Plant Radish Seeds and Watch Them Grow Fast
  • Urban Farmer Seeds: Quick Growing Vegetables — Urban Farmer’s Guide
  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service: Starting Seeds Indoors
  • National Gardening Association: How to Grow Herbs From Seed
  • Mother Earth News: 12 Best Kitchen Herbs

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.

What Plants Grow the Fastest From Seeds?. For many gardeners, waiting for seeds to germinate and plants to grow is part of the hobby’s reward. For others, however, it can be maddening, especially if you are gardening with children. Distract impatient growers with fast-growing plants while they wait for the rest of …

5 Fast Sprouting Seeds To Grow (For Kids + Beginners)

They say gardening is the slowest of the performing arts, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In this post, we’ll talk about 5 fast sprouting seeds you can grow indoors – even right on your kitchen counter.

These veggies spring to life within just a couple of days of planting which makes them a great place to start for kids and beginners.

Fast Sprouting Seeds For Kids And Beginners

When it comes to starting seeds, there are a lot of places where errors can be made. Especially when it comes to growing tomatoes and peppers, you need to know a little more about seed starting.

But some seeds are so ready to sprout, you hardly have to do anything. This guide will show you the easiest seeds to grow indoors and how to get started at the (absolute) beginners level.

Beginner Tips For Starting Seeds Indoors

There are two very important factors in starting seeds:

Water and temperature.

We all know that water is vital for plants to grow, but where many beginners fail is that they don’t get their soil to the right temperature for germination.

As most of us do not keep our home heated to high temperatures just for gardening, the way to get around the temperature issue is choosing the right seeds for sprouting.

So if you want to start your own garden seeds, start by choosing something that sprouts quickly and at normal room temperature. While starting things like tomatoes and peppers is not hard, they require warm soil to sprout. So if you don’t have a heat mat, you won’t get the best results.

The five seeds I recommend in this post are so easy that most of them can actually continue to grow on your kitchen counter! Some will need to be transplanted out in the garden, but others can be grown right in the container you start them in.

To get started growing indoors you need only need two things:

Seeds and either seed starting mix or potting soil.

If you’re using potting mix, open up the bag and sift or pick out as many of the sticks and clumps as you can. You will not need to do this if you use seed-starting mix, as it is a finer grain mix that makes it easier for seeds to sprout.

You’ll need to prepare a container for seeds to grow in. This doesn’t have to be anything can be something you already own like a pie tin or take-out container…even an egg carton. Poke a few – not too many – holes in the bottom for drainage. Then use a second container as a tray to catch the water that leaks through.

Seeds can be easily found at your favorite online retailer or garden center.

Fast Sprouting Seeds to Grow Indoors

While many vegetables are easy to grow outdoors, these five seeds are perhaps the easiest to grow indoors. They are normally very inexpensive and easy to find and will allow you to enjoy your own bounty of home-grown food with little effort.


Lettuce is first on my list because it’s so quick and easy to sprout. It doesn’t require any special considerations and it will easily grow right on your kitchen counter.

Because lettuce seeds are so small, it’s very hard to seed them individually. So I like to take a pinch of seeds and sprinkle them in a line across the container. You could also grow lettuce microgreens in which case you would just cover the top of the soil with the seeds.

Lettuce can survive in as little as 4 hours of light, and will actually taste better when protected from the hottest sun. They prefer cooler weather, and many varieties will tolerate some frost.

Once they have sprouted up a bit, you can decide if you want to transition them and plant outside or continue to grow lettuce indoors. Transition them from indoors to outdoors gradually over 1-2 weeks if you’re planning to plant them outdoors.

That said, lettuce would also be quite happy to grow right on your kitchen counter. If you have a sunny window, that’s all you’ll need. If not, try a bright white bulb in a desk lamp or a countertop LED grow light.

Turnips and Radishes

Turnips and radishes are super easy to sprout and very low maintenance. I like turnips better because we like to eat the greens, but both are quite easy and fast to grow.

Like lettuce, turnip seeds are quite tiny so sprinkle them in rows or blocks as you prefer. Thin them as needed as they begin to grow. Both turnips and radishes are root crops, so be very very gentle if you’re transplanting into the garden.

In an appropriately sized larger container, you could easily grow these vegetables indoors. They’ll need a bit more light than lettuce, but a sunny window should do just fine. Feel free to snip and eat the greens or harvest the bulb.

Both lettuce and turnips are great plants to grow for microgreens, too.


Chives are a great herb to grow on your kitchen counter! They come up very quickly—it’ll only take 2-3 days for chives to sprout.

Additionally, they are quite happy at room temperature, just place it near a sunny window. Plus, as a bonus, you can eat the leaves as they grow. Just remember never to take more than 50% of the leaves.

If you decide to move the chives outdoors, you can use them as a decorative (edible!) border in the garden. Just wait until they are at least 2″ tall to move them outdoors.


Beans are so easy to sprout! In fact, your kids have probably brought some sprouted beans home from school, and if they haven’t, this is the perfect science experiment to do with a young child!

If you want to get started growing your own plants from seed, planting beans is a definite yes on the list of the easiest ones to grow. Move them outdoors after the last chance of frost.

Bush beans will grow just fine in a container, but pole beans need vertical space to sprawl and climb.

Brassicas: Bok choy, Broccoli, Kale

Brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are one of my favorite types of vegetables. They’re beautiful and impressive plants that are quite easy to grow.

These seeds will sprout readily but the plants are usually too big to grow entirely indoors unless you have a nice indoor growing space. Some of the brassicas like bok choy are especially fast sprouting and simple.

In fact, there is a mini bok choy that is so cute and fast, it’s almost ready to harvest before you have time to transplant it! But if you choose to grow regular size brassicas, move them outdoors when they are a few inches tall to allow them to properly grow.

Ready to try growing your plants from seed?

Getting started can be a little intimidating, but these five plants are super easy to plant, grow, harvest and enjoy—from seed to plate. Just remember to keep them watered and give them light.

If you want more direction, consider this seed starting guide. Either way, have fun and enjoy the magic of gardening!

Looking for fast sprouting seeds for kids and beginners? Here are 5 super fast and easy to grow vegetables that will entertain and delight gardeners both young and old.