Chrissy Rex
Chrissy Rex
  • Hometalker
  • Johnson City, NY

The BEST Seed Starting Tips... EVER!


With the holidays behind us, it's time! Time to get a jump start on gardening, which means SEED STARTING! This task can either be a pleasure or a pain... let me show you how to really enjoy the process...
Gather seed starting supplies. I used Living Ledge Vertical Garden Seedies Window Planters, Dr. Earth Soil and a variety of seeds from Renee's Garden and Burpee.
Grab your jar of cinnamon from the pantry and set aside.
Fill your seed starting trays with your choice of soil, place seeds, add another layer of soil and top with CINNAMON! Water in until the soil is moist.
Updated: Cinnamon is an antifungal and antimicrobial. It will help to prevent fungus growth and issues with dampening off.
Place your Living Ledge Vertical Garden Trays in a east or south facing window for winter seed starting or in a north or west facing window for summer seed starting. Place your filled seedling trays on the shelves and keep moist, watering only from the bottom of the watertight shelf. When you see your seedlings emerge, rotate your seedling tray twice per day, continuing to water from the bottom.
Watch and enjoy your new seedlings emerge. No issues with fungus, no issues with dampening off.
With the use of cinnamon and the right seed starting containers you will have many years of seed starting bliss ahead of you. Happy Growing!
~ Chrissy Rex
Chrissy Rex

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

50 questions
  • Carolyn rogers
    on Jan 3, 2016

    is there a ratio of cinnamon to water??

    • Chrissy Rex
      on May 26, 2016

      Sorry I missed this question... I do not measure. I just do a few tablespoons full of water in a large watering can (I use a big plastic green watering can) and pour it on. Hope that helps.

  • Louise
    on Jan 3, 2016

    What does the cinnamon do?

  • Zanna Cohen
    on Jan 3, 2016

    What does th cinnamon do?

  • Sue Schlick
    on Jan 3, 2016

    What does the cinnamon DO?

  • Sue Schlick
    on Jan 3, 2016

    yes what does the cinnamon DO? Please answer someone?

  • Linda T
    on Jan 3, 2016

    Poor me! I can't stand the smell/taste of cinnamon unless it it savoury, like in curry, Moroccan, Indonesian, foods. The smell with sugar, is quite sickening and candles and such are even worse. Any suggestions for the seeds?

    • Linda Snyder
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Linda T use a seed starter soil mix. It is designed for seeds, includes fert. Cinnamon is just a natural fert., is all. U can also use Peter's fert. I prefer Peter's over Miracle Grow.

  • Clare
    on Jan 3, 2016

    Does it matter which cinnamon you use? Most of the cinnamon I see is cassia. I had to search online for Sri Lankan cinnamon since the cassia gives me heartburn, do they have the same antimicrobial effects? Clarelilian

    • Bonnie
      on Jan 3, 2016

      What is Sri Lankan cinnamon?

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Clare Regular cinnamon from the spice isle of the grocery store is what I use. I have never purchased Sri Lankan cinnamon. Hope that helps.

  • Renata
    on Jan 3, 2016

    I've never had any luck w planting seeds but have always just planted in the ground. I will try this n my question is, the next step after ur seedlings have sprouted is ?? Does each little container need thinned out? How far apart do they get replanted? Do they need replanted in the same area as started, as in if u start ur seeds in the south window should u replant under that same window outside? We had like 3 acres of garden when growing up I have no idea why I cant grow anything but weeds ! So frustrating

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Renata Sometimes the seedlings need to be thinned. I usually only put two seeds in each peat pot section, so it really is not necessary in my case. If you over plant the seeds, they will need to be thinned. Replanting depends on what you are growing. Follow your plant packet for guidance. Have a great day.

  • Maryinrockport
    on Jan 4, 2016

    What would the cinnamon do???

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Maryinrockport My article says that you will not have issues with fungus or dampening off. That is the purpose of the cinnamon.

  • Hazel
    on Jan 4, 2016

    what does the cinnamon do?

  • Mou2716744
    on Jan 4, 2016

    Why use cinnamon

  • Carolyn
    on Jan 4, 2016

    Any ideas on keeping mice out of seedlings in my greenhouses?

    • Judy M
      on Jan 4, 2016

      Mice don't like spearmint

    • Kathy Findlay
      on May 27, 2017

      There's a product called Mouse Magic, I use it around my basement door to keep the varmints out. I believe it's organic so should be able to use around plants and veggies. Smells minty. It's a fine granular product comes with a shaker top. I got it at the garden store I think, or ACE Hardware...not sure which...
  • Caren
    on Jan 4, 2016

    The answer to what the cinnamon does is on her website. "it’s anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties." - See more at: http://www.growingrules.com/2015/12/23/cinnamon-its-not-just-for-growing-huge-buns/#sthash.LumtnotQ.dpuf

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Caren You will not have issues with fungus or dampening off as stated in the Hometalk article and on my blog site. That is the purpose of the cinnamon.

  • Bde3712221
    on Jan 4, 2016

    Can you use it on house plants?

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Bdeagle Yes. Sprinkle it on top of the soil, then water. Works like a charm.

  • Sherrie Williams Van Noy
    on Jan 4, 2016

    There was no explanation of what the cinnamon actually does.

    • Mary Medrano
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Sherrie Williams Van Noy It keeps fungus away

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Sherrie Williams Van Noy It is an antifungal and antimicrobial. Please refer to my full blog post at www.growingrules.com Thanks

    • Marty Flanakin
      on Apr 15, 2016

      How can so many people miss that explanation? I don't understand.

  • Cheryl Sellenger Imperial
    on Jan 4, 2016

    Cinnamon...why????

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Cheryl Sellenger Imperial It is an antifungal and antimicrobial. Please refer to my full blog post at www.growingrules.com Thanks

  • Tamara
    on Jan 4, 2016

    Why am I adding cinnamon? I have visited Hometalk, why should I have to visit another website to get information which should have been provided in the original article?

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Tamara My article says that you will not have issues with fungus or dampening off. That is the purpose of the cinnamon. You did not have to visit my blog site to get the information.

    • Tamara
      on Jan 4, 2016

      @Chrissy Rex The article does NOT state that is the purpose of the cinnamon. "Place your Living Ledge Vertical Garden Trays in a east or south facing window for winter seed starting or in a north or west facing window for summer seed starting. Place your filled seedling trays on the shelves and keep moist, watering only from the bottom of the watertight shelf. When you see your seedlings emerge, rotate your seedling tray twice per day, continuing to water from the bottom. Watch and enjoy your new seedlings emerge. No issues with fungus, no issues with dampening off." Sorry Chrissy, while the intent may have been there, the verbiage does not state that the fungus and dampening off is a result of the cinnamon. If that were the case, I'd never have asked. I do thank you for the clarification and information, as I will now try this when I do my plantings.

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 4, 2016

      The purpose of the cinnamon and adding the cinnamon is to avoid issues with fungus and dampening off. Hope this helps clarify. Have a great night.

    • Gloria Foisy
      on Mar 14, 2016

      The original verbiage DOES state just bove the last photo why cinnamon is used. Great hint. Thanks Chrissy.

    • Nel Rommes
      on Mar 14, 2016

      Yes. She did state the reason. You have to read aall the words...

    • Pat3880867
      on Mar 14, 2016

      It's right in the first part of the article.

    • Arlene
      on Apr 2, 2016

      Maybe Tamara should learn to read before she learns to plant seeds. Her question and reply are inexcusable. By the way Chrissy, thanks for the info. Can't wait to try it!

    • Marty Flanakin
      on Apr 15, 2016

      It was absolutely there. Read ALL the words. It eliminates many questions.

    • Susan Partin
      on Apr 15, 2016

      well read it instead of being a butt!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Annita Thomas Beauchamp
      on Apr 19, 2016

      Thanks Chrissy for taking your time to give info. about gardening without pesticides. It's amazing the lengths people will go to spread their misery. You are appreciated and God bless you.

    • Rosie
      on Apr 27, 2016

      Wow, how rude! The copy I'm reading gives all the information, including why we're using cinnamon. Thanks for a great article Chrissy.

    • Lisa Anthoney
      on May 1, 2016

      Some people just don't know how to read and comprehend what their reading. All of the information was right there in the article. Thanks for sharing Chrissy!

    • Bonnie Parsley
      on May 23, 2016

      She says it in her post that the cinimon helps prevent fungus

    • Debra Guski
      on May 25, 2016

      I can't wait to try this next growing season. I plan to use grow lights next year hoping to have straighter and stronger stalks.

    • John
      on May 25, 2016

      Let's all be less judgemental and more helpful towards each other. The world would be a better place.

    • Jane ann
      on May 25, 2016

      Does cinnamon help in any way after I've planted my plants?

    • Tamara
      on May 25, 2016

      Great idea ! Peace

    • Elwanna
      on May 25, 2016

      Try reading the words next time.

  • Wanda Bartlett
    on Jan 15, 2016

    Would this teccnique be a good source to use on the soil around my roses to prevent fungus and microbial from growing?

    • Ellen
      on May 25, 2016

      Yes, but only for fungus IN the soil, not on the rose plant.

    • Suesanders73
      on May 25, 2016

      I have sprinkle cinnamon on my rose plants and it does help with black spot and fungal diseases.

  • Cheri Schumacher
    on Apr 15, 2016

    Would this work around tomato plants in the garden?

    • Ellen
      on May 25, 2016

      Yes, but only in the soil.

    • DIANA SCHROEDER
      on May 25, 2016

      I'm not certain whether it will or won't, but plan to give it a try! Just planted my garden last weekend!

  • San5465292
    on May 25, 2016

    Hi, neither of these links takes me to your blog so what is your blog? Here are the two links posted: http://www.rexdesignconcepts.com growingrules.com

    • Susan
      on May 27, 2016

      its not a blog. It's a business website. She probably is advertising it on this site with her tip.

  • Linda Smale
    on May 26, 2016

    Thanks for the idea. Can this be used in my potted house plants also?

  • Gabriela
    on May 26, 2016

    I assume cinnamon doesn´t work in newspaper pots for seedling, right?

    • Chrissy Rex
      on May 26, 2016

      Sure it will. Just sprinkle some on the top of the soil of your newspaper pots or mix with the water and water the seedlings with cinnamon water. I do not measure. I just sprinkle or mix a tablespoon or so with water and put it on.

    • Gabriela
      on May 31, 2016

      Thank you very much Chrissy for your kind explanation and answer. I will try as you suggest. :)

    • Sue Kiene
      on Aug 2, 2016

      mix a tablespoon or so with how much water?

    • Annie Doherty
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Great idea thanks for sharing, it's wonderful what you can learn on here.

    • Sharon Martin
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Thanks for the tip, would have never thought of cinnamon

  • Renecherienewman
    on May 27, 2016

    Does sprinkled cinnamon work on herb plants that are already growing?

  • Gloria Horowitz
    on Jun 25, 2016

    Live in South Florida and have a family of green Iguanas eating my patio plants! Any suggestions wold be appreciated!

    • Linda
      on Jul 10, 2016

      Protective cages around plants ?? Make from screen material

    • Gloria Horowitz
      on Jul 11, 2016

      Thanks Linda!

    • Ron Winski
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Eat the iguanas. They say they taste like chicken 😜😜JK

    • Annie Doherty
      on Aug 13, 2016

      You can use chicken wire to fashion a cage sun and water still get in and plants stay intact, and it is easy to keep in place with pins made from wire. Using plyers just cut to size and bend they keep the wire cage pinned in place. Good luck.

    • Katie
      on Aug 20, 2016

      Sprinkle around plants with cayenne pepper

  • Christine
    on Aug 13, 2016

    Does this work on established house plants ?

  • Jasmine
    on Aug 14, 2016

    hi Chrissy, thanks so much for the cinnamon and water from the borttom tips. Last winter, I spray them, but they break cause too tender. Please explain what the vertical window tray is. I use plastic shelves to stack my trays, but they're too further apart, a waste od space.

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Aug 20, 2016

      Living Ledge is a product I invented and patented to make my gardening life lots easier. I make each planter/shelf in my studio in upstate NY. Please check out www.livingledge.com for videos and more info. Happy growing.

  • Kathleenwalsh
    on Sep 14, 2016

    What kind of soil do you use ? And for potting soil I find it very expensive what do you u​se ?

    • Lauren
      on Jan 7, 2017

      They sell small bags if seed starting soil at the dollar tree! I used it last spring and had success. Will definitely add the cinnamon this year!

  • Kathleenwalsh
    on Sep 14, 2016

    I live in AZ from Calif. I garden there without any problem. As you know I'm in a way different climate now . Does​ Aloe Vera revive after too much WATER?They all went limp and I feel terrible

    • Christine St Jean
      on Nov 28, 2016

      Leave them alone and they may come back from the root. Give it a couple of months.

  • Linda Spencer Forrester
    on Nov 18, 2016

    What do you mean by "WATERING from the bottom"? Do you have an additional tray underneath the plants that you add water to, and the plants are able to soak the water through holes in their trays?

    • Cd
      on Dec 4, 2016

      Sprinkle water in the bottom tray and the roots will absorb the water.

    • Linda Spencer Forrester
      on Dec 6, 2016

      Thank you!!

    • Judy
      on May 27, 2017

      Watering from the bottom..promotes root to grow longer roots...so when they are put out into your garden they will have a good support system.
  • Alberta Robbins
    on Apr 4, 2017

    can you put the cinnamon on after plants start coming up in containers?

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Apr 6, 2017

      Of course!
    • Chrissy Rex
      on Apr 6, 2017

      Happy growing.
    • Jewellmartin
      on May 28, 2017

      I had hoped the cinnamon would add a nice odor to the kitchen, but I didn't notice a difference. So I put some cinnamon in a cup and added some peppermint flavoring to it. That smelled pretty bad. So I added some orange peel. I love cinnamon, peppermint, and orange peel. But not together! That smelled so bad I dumped it in the trash can. Somehow, on top of used coffee filters and egg shells, my formula started to smell really nice. But I'm keeping my cinnamon for the seedling starter cups to keep down fungus. For now. Best wishes 😇
  • Yvonne
    on May 27, 2017

    Chrissy? What is meant by watering from the bottom up
    • Cindyl1456
      on May 27, 2017

      Set the container in the sink or in a larger container with a couple of inches of water and let the seedlings soak up some of the water for maybe 30 minutes.

    • Yvonne
      on May 27, 2017

      Much appreciated. Thanks you so much Cindy..fromYvonne.

  • Pam Finch Jacobs
    on May 27, 2017

    Will it keep the fruit fly's away from house plants? Or does anyone know how to keep them out of house plants, they are flying all around in my house. We don't have fruit laying around on the counters so I know they are not coming from that. Help please
    • Mary
      on May 27, 2017

      Get the fruit fly traps from Walmart.
      Or you can put apple cider vinegar in small containers near water like sinks, toilet, etc.
    • FRAN
      on May 27, 2017

      I bought a small venus flytrap plant and set my favourite plants and it on a nice decorative tray, everyone was happy but the fruit flies
    • Mary Grace McNamara
      on May 27, 2017

      Combine 1 oz. of hydrogen peroxide with 1 qt. of water in a water pitcher. Water your plant and it kills the larvae in the soil and on surface.
      Check the houseplants regularly for gnat activity. Continue to water the plants with the hydrogen peroxide mixture once each week. Found this info from ehow.com
    • Christina aka Queenopearls
      on May 27, 2017

      Fran, I love your Venus Fly Trap idea! :) And Mary Grace, I really appreciate your peroxide and water solution. Together with Gran's fruit fly traps from Walmart, I am so set! Thank you!!
    • Barbars
      on May 27, 2017

      Just a few drops of Dawn in a saucer with water, will atract bugs. Especially if it's near a nite light.
    • Tib12307742
      on May 27, 2017

      I just put sand on top of the dirt because they hate sand.

    • Debre
      on May 27, 2017

      Have a fruit fly party and when they are congregated slowly approach with a vacuum cleaner and suck them up. (Tommy Boy) then suck up fumes from a bottle of rubbing alcohol for three seconds to kill them. Good party food is a ripe piece of fruit cut in half and sprinkled with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
    • FL
      on May 27, 2017

      Maybe get rid of the fruit and the fruit flies will go away? Like refrigerate
      the fruits that can take the cold, put room temperature fruit in sealed containers until you get the situation under control. Good luck!
    • Julie P
      on May 27, 2017

      Homemade bug spray:
      in a 1-qt spray bottle pour:
      3 cups water
      1 cup rubbing alcohol
      3/4 tsp liquid dish soap(Dawn, Joy, etc.)
      spray liberally on plants and soil
      Also great for washing windows!!!
    • Dianne
      on May 27, 2017

      Neem oil and water mix sprayed on soil will help kill fruit flies that may be coming out of your potting mix.
    • Lou1584934
      on May 27, 2017

      For a desperate measure from fruit flies, grab an empty plastic milk container. Rinse it out, dry and put slices of grapefruit or lemon etc inside, screw on milk cap. Lay on it's side and poke a couple of holes in the top but only small enough for the flies to crawl in for their snack. They are stupid and can't find their way back out. Hide in an inconspicuous place out of site on a bench or floor. It doesn't look attractive but it helps during the fruiting season. It's working for me atm. Also yes put fruit away but also multigrain breads attract them too. So bread in fridge or container and take a few pieces of fruit out of the fridge and store in container or daily in your microwave when your not using it to be sealed away from those pesty little creatures ....gl 😉
    • Pam Finch Jacobs
      on May 28, 2017

       Thanks everyone! If I don't get out of here with all this help, I'm just doomed to swat fruit fly's. I'm  ing....someone called them stupid and I call them stupid also, but they sure are smart enough to know how to "BUG" me to make me crazy.  LOL
  • Betty Anne Sadauskas
    on May 27, 2017

    Chrissy , will sprinkled cinnamon help grass fungus ?
  • Lori Anderson
    on May 27, 2017

    I love the cinnamon idea!! How do you make the water tight container the seedlings are in?
    • Robin
      on May 27, 2017

      Well DUH. A plastic tray, a plate, anything that does not leak.
    • Lori Anderson
      on May 27, 2017

      Thanks I appreciate a perfect stranger making me feel so inadequate!!
    • Kelly
      on May 27, 2017

      Some people are just rude. Pay no attention to the ignorance and definitely don't let her insignificant self get to you! Get planting girl (:
    • Robby Treichel
      on May 27, 2017

      Well said ladies.
    • Jewellmartin
      on May 28, 2017

      Actually, first I sorted through my oldest Tupperware. Various tops and bottoms were perfect. Then I thought about the "to go" containers I had accumulated from restaurants. My last source was some old aluminum pie plates and cheap cookware I had kept for some reason. When I got all of these things together, I had more than enough for my seedling project. Until I realized that cardboard egg cartons could be set into styrofoam egg cartons, and I had several of both. So then I started more seedlings! Best wishes 😇
    • Lori Anderson
      on May 28, 2017

      Thank you for the excellent advice, I really appreciate it! A little know how goes a long way!!
  • Marylouise Houwen Tarr
    on May 27, 2017

    How much cinnamon do you sprinkle?
  • Lisa
    on May 27, 2017

    How much Cinnamon per plant? Can I use this with my rose bushes?
  • Kris
    on May 27, 2017

    Can you use this if your planting in your garden? Or just for the trays?

    • Lkt9844835
      on May 27, 2017

      instead of using a rooting hormone you can use honey and cinnamon for rooting cuttings. Lots of You Tube vids on it. works well. I tried it on some roses from Mom's day. That one's in a potato, lol. I'll know how the potatoes work soon. The rooting compound does well.
    • Bryan Biery
      on May 28, 2017

      i use fresh ground cinnamon in my coffee (Mr Coffee) and just dump the cinnamon coffee grinds on my acid loving plants & staghorn ferns too.
    • Rebecca Logan
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Awesome idea!
  • Gem8238813
    on May 28, 2017

    Can you use cinnamon in house plants
    • Angie Long
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Yes, it will kill the fungus in the houseplant soil as well.
    • Brenda Witty
      on Jun 4, 2017

      So, that should help with fungus gnats?
    • Debra
      on Aug 8, 2017

      We recently got a lot of rain. Mushrooms are sprouting and not the good kind!! If I sprinkle some cinnamon on them will they die. We have a lot of wildlife and domesticated animals in our neighborhood. Don't want to hurt them.
  • Celeste
    on May 29, 2017

    Can you add cinnamon to existing garden?
    • Chu27554303
      on Aug 8, 2017

      Im going to say yes, because it is antidungle and antimicobal. You do only side dress it not top dress it.
  • Jet15263900
    on Aug 8, 2017

    Can you please sign me up for your newsletter.
    jethropaulraymergreen@gmail.com
  • Nancy
    on Aug 8, 2017

    how do i grow succulents from seed ?

  • Nancy
    on Sep 1, 2017

    i have succulent seeds , so far no luck , is there another method for succulent seed ? thanks

    • Joy
      on Sep 2, 2017

      Plant seeds as deep into the soil as the seeds are wide and press down lightly. Cover small seeds with a sprinkling of sand to hold them in place. Seed spacing will depend on the species of cactus or succulent you are germinating. Cover the pans with clear plastic or glass.
      How to Grow Cacti & Succulents From the Seeds | Home Guides | SF ...
      homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-cacti-succulents-seeds-22936.html
  • Leo24142166
    on Sep 9, 2017

    Would a dusting of cinnamon after tomato seedlings are planted in the ground, prevent the fungus that seems to attack tomatoes every year?
  • Judy Smith
    on Jan 28, 2018

    Where did you find the ledge for the front of the window?
    • Chrissy Rex
      on Jan 28, 2018

      I make them. They can be purchased at www.facebook.com/livingledge.
  • Elaine
    on Aug 7, 2018

    how much cinnamon do u use

    sign elaine at elainetinsley2@yahoo.com

    • Chrissy Rex
      on Aug 8, 2018

      Just sprinkle on top and water. There is no real recipe that I follow.

  • Carlene Williams Johnson
    on Oct 20, 2018

    I’m very new to gardening. What does watering from the bottom mean? How would I do this?

    • Lisa Sinclair
      on Dec 3, 2018

      It means to put the water on the tray that your peat pots are sitting in.

  • Brenda Locke
    on Dec 7, 2018

    Could Cinnamon be used to stop fungal on potted plants

    • Judy
      on Jun 10, 2019

      Try the internet for this. Just ask google the question.

  • Kandie Mack
    on Jan 2, 2019

    Can you apply this method on fresh fruit seeds?

  • Carolyn Browder
    on Mar 8, 2019

    Can I use cinnamon after seedlings are up ?

  • Rose Cottage
    on Jul 12, 2019

    I want to share this project of seed starting using cinnamon. Can you give me a link or let me know how to share it on FB or in a message.

Join the conversation

2 of 165 comments
  • Barbara R.
    on Jul 14, 2019


    Try it. You have nothing to lose

  • Kathy McMahon
    on Aug 16, 2019

    The summer is nearing a close. Into the last two weeks of August. But I differently want to start seeding next spring. Just have to find a place to save your information.

    Thank you, Kathy

Your comment...