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How Many Seeds Should You Plant Per Hole, Pot, or Cell? Find Out Here!

Should You Put More Than One Seed Per Hole, Pot, or Cell?

Seed sowing and growing seedlings are the first stages of growth for plants.

They need lots of light, water, nutrients to grow, and last but not least, space.

But how many seeds should you plant per hole, pot, or cell? Quick answer, more than one.

Why? Is it better to plant more seeds per hole?

Those are just some of the questions we’ll be answering in this article.

First, let’s understand seeds and what they go through when you plant them. 


The embryo is the tiny plant that will become the adult plant later on.

Next is the stored food, which is starch. This stored food surrounds the embryo. The embryo will use this food to grow until it can make its own food via photosynthesis.

Last is the seed coat, the hard protective outer layer covering the embryo and the food store. It protects the insides until the conditions are right for the seed to start to grow.

Germination Process

Germination is what we call the process by which an organism grows from a seed or a spore.

Seeds germinate when they come into contact with moisture.

There are three main parts of the seed

When the conditions in which the seed is in are ideal for its growth, it starts germinating. 

Conditions include moisture, warmth, and the presence of oxygen.

When the seed gets water, it takes it in, and the seeds swell until the seed coat splits open. 

When the seed is open, it can now take in air and oxygen, which helps it use and burn the food it has inside. 

Burning the food provides energy for the embryo to use to grow. 

From there, the seeds establish roots and starts to grow shoots. 

The embryo actually has a seed leaf called the cotyledon. The cotyledon becomes the first leaves that the little plant can use to get the resources it needs to grow bigger. 

Next grows the foliage leaves which lets photosynthesis take place initially until the embryo gets its own green leaves to photosynthesise.

The primary roots and secondary roots, as well as the leaves, grow bigger.

Finally, more leaves grow, and the plant’s steam grows thick and strong. 

When seeds are planted, it depends on the seed, but they usually sprout within two weeks. This is called seedling emergence.

Basically, a moist and warm environment is necessary for seedlings to develop properly.

It is recommended that seeds be kept damp but not wet. Too much water causes roots to rot.

Germination Percentage

Now, there’s what we call a germination rate or germination percentage. 

All seeds are different, even seeds that came from the same pack. 

This means that not every seed you will plant will germinate and grow. 

You can plant a dozen tomato seeds and only get two tomato plants at the end.

That brings us back to our main topic –

How Many Seeds Should You Plant Per Hole, Pot, Or Cell?

Quick answer, more than one. 

Again, because it’s not guaranteed that all of the seeds you plant will grow, planting more means you will have at least some growth. 

The bigger your container, the more seeds you can plant in it at the same time, but it’s recommended that you put 2-3 seeds per cell or hole. 

If you have larger seeds, though, you may want to put in only one per hole, but you can still put more than one per container. 

Depending on the seed you’re planting, you can even plant more seeds per hole.

You can plant 10 to 15 seeds per container for chive plants!

In nature, an individual chive plant will produce more chives plants around it, and they will all form a dense clump together, and that works for this plant. So you can plant up to 15 seed per cell, and even if it all germinates, it’ll be perfectly fine! 

Benefits Of Putting More Than One Seed Per Hole

The first one is, as mentioned above, more chances of germinating success and more growth. 

The second is that you can choose the strongest plant. You can save the thriving plant and get rid of the unproductive plant.

Even when you don’t need a lot of that plant, it’s best to plant a couple of its seeds and then choose the strongest growth to continue caring for. This helps you get a strong plant. 

You may think this is a waste of seeds, but it’s actually not. When you plant more seed per insert, you use more seeds. The germination rate of seeds actually lowers as time goes by. Fresh seeds have a higher germinating rate.

So, saving your precious seed packets for later isn’t actually a good idea. 

Planting more than one seed in a container also saves you space and money on seed starting.

Seeds don’t use as many resources as mature plants, so they can grow just fine even if they share pots and seed starting kits. And you’ll have some extra seed starting mix to use for more seeds!

Just make sure to repot or transplant the seedlings when they’re ready, so their “sharing” doesn’t evolve to “competition.”

Final Words

Remember, 2 to 3 seeds per hole doesn’t always mean 2 to 3 plant per pot.

Some types of plants may thrive even when a clump forms. In fact, you may even get a bushier plant. But most won’t.

Although you may get a bonus plant, make sure to separate them and transplant with the appropriate distances between plants or repot as needed.

Crowded seedlings will compete for resources. Separating them will guarantee that each of your individual plants all become a healthy plant.

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