Starting seeds indoors can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to get a head start on your garden before the outdoor growing season begins. How to start seeds indoors without grow lights While grow lights are a popular tool for providing adequate light to seedlings, they may not be feasible for everyone due to space, budget, or other constraints. Fortunately, it is entirely possible to start seeds indoors without the use of grow lights.

In this guide, we will delve into alternative methods and techniques for starting seeds indoors that harness the power of natural light and resourceful solutions. By following our practical tips and suggestions, you’ll be able to nurture healthy seedlings that are ready to be transplanted outdoors when the time is right, all without the need for specialized lighting equipment.

What Do You Do When You Don’t Have A Grow Light?

How To Start Seeds Indoors Without Grow Lights

If you don’t have a grow light, you can still do plenty of things to help your plants grow. One option is to put the plants in a sunny spot outside. Another option is to use a lamp. You can buy a lamp at a store or make your own lamp using a light bulb and some aluminum foil.

How To Start Seeds Indoors Without Grow Lights In 6 Simple Steps?

How To Start Seeds Indoors Without Grow Lights

Most gardeners start their seeds indoors in early spring or late fall. This allows you to control the germination and growth of your plants, leading to healthier plants and a more successful garden. Here are a few simple steps to starting your seeds indoors without grow lights:

  • Choose the right container. Start with clean, sterile containers that will Hold Enough Water and provide Good Air Circulation. For most vegetables and flowers, a peat pot or soil block is perfect; for herbs, use small pots or mason jars with lids.
  • Fill the container two-thirds full of potting soil, then place the seed packet on top of the soil. Tamp down the seeds with your fingers, so they are fully coated in soil. If you have several seeds from the same variety, space them at least 1 inch apart (for annual crops) or 2 inches apart (for perennials).
  • Ensure the soil is moist but not soaking wet by placing the container outside in a well-ventilated area (a sunny window is ideal). Allow the plant to sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours; then gently check to see if any seeds have germinated. If so, wait another 12-24 hours before watering again.
  • Once the seedlings have germinated, water them regularly with a gentle stream from a faucet or hose until they are established and grow vigorously. When the plants are large enough to handle, transfer them to their final growing spot (a sunny window is ideal).

Different Methods You Can Use To Start Seeds Indoors Without Grow Lights

When it comes to starting seeds indoors, there are a variety of methods you can use. Here are some of the most common:

  • Soak the seeds in water overnight. Useful if you don’t have the time to wait for the seeds to germinate or you have a slow Internet connection. Place the soaked seeds in a pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat, leaving the pot covered for 12 hours. Place the seeds in a colander lined with a damp paper towel to dry them.
  • Heat unsterilized water in a pot until it reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). Add the desired number of seeds and let them soak for 1-2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to cool before planting.
  • Sow the seeds directly into the soil using a sterile seed mix or directly into a moistened soil mix that has been prepped with some sand, perlite, or vermiculite added beforehand (this is called “watering in”). Make sure you keep moistening soil around newly sown plants, so they don’t dry out.
  • Bake at 170 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 20 minutes or until the seeds have popped. The seeds should be browned and hard for about 10 to 12 minutes in the oven.
  • Place the seeds in a bowl of moistened soil, cover them with plastic wrap, and allow them to soak for a few hours. Place the bowl in a warm, dark location and allow the seeds to germinate for 12-24 hours or until they have grown to the desired length.
  • Plant the seeds directly into the soil using a sharp knife or carefully breaking them open with your hands. Be careful not to damage the embryo sacs inside. Ensure you water them immediately after planting to keep them moist and ready to grow!
  • Grow plants from cuttings taken from mature plants. Remove a cutting from a healthy plant and dip it into rooting powder before sticking it into moist soil. Keep it watered and avoid direct sunlight until it roots; it typically takes 3-4 weeks.

Faq About Starting Seeds Indoors Without Grow Lights

What Do You Do When You Don’t Have A Grow Light?

If you do not have a grow light, you can try using artificial light sources such as lamps or windows. However, you will need to be sure to provide your plants with enough light to grow adequately. You can do this by placing your plants close to the light source or using a grow light if you have one.

Do You Germinate Seeds In Dark Or Light?

The answer to this question depends on the type of seed. Some seeds germinate in the dark, while others need light to germinate. For example, cucumber seeds germinate in the dark, while tomato seeds need light to germinate. The best way to find out if a particular seed needs light or dark to germinate is to do a little research online or in a gardening book.

Do Seedlings Need Darkness?

Seedlings need darkness to undergo photosynthesis, which is converting light into chemical energy that plants use to grow. Without darkness, the seedlings will not be able to produce the glucose they need to thrive.

Will Regular Led Lights Grow Plants?

No, regular LED lights will not grow plants. The spectral output of regular LED lights is not conducive to photosynthesis and plant growth. However, LED lights are designed specifically for growing plants with a more balanced spectrum of light wavelengths.

Which Seeds Require Light To Germinate?

The seeds that require light to germinate typically come from plants that grow in the ground. These seeds have a hard outer coating that protects the embryo inside. The embryo is activated when it comes into contact with water, and the coat splits open. The root emerges first, then the stem elongates, and the leaves unfold.

How Do Seeds Germinate Fast?

One way to germinate seeds quickly is to place them in a water bowl and let them soak for a few hours. Once they have soaked, you can plant them in soil, and they should begin growing. You can also place the seeds between damp paper towels and keep them in a warm place until they germinate.


Starting seeds indoors without grow lights is a feasible and resourceful approach that enables gardeners to nurture healthy, thriving seedlings even when faced with budget or space limitations. By utilizing natural light sources, optimizing window placement, and employing simple yet effective techniques, you can ensure that your seedlings receive the necessary light and warmth to grow strong and vigorous.

As you become adept at this process, you’ll experience the joy and satisfaction of watching your garden come to life from the very beginning, all while using sustainable and cost-effective methods. Embracing the challenge of starting seeds indoors without grow lights will not only enrich your gardening skills but also contribute to a more eco-friendly and budget-conscious approach to nurturing your home garden.