How to grow Seed Paper

This page gives instructions and tips for a seed paper project to grow flowers from paper. 

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GROW THE SEEDS RIGHT OUT OF YOUR SEED-PAPER!… THE SHORT VERSION

SOAK THE SEEDS – Soak the paper and give it sun. Let the sprouts grow until they are 1 to 2 inches long. 

PLANT THE SEEDS – Once are 1 to 2 inches long bury the seeds under ¼” of loose dirt and keep them well-watered for the first four weeks. 

That’s it for the short version! But we want this project to be fun and also give you tips for the best results. We hope you enjoy nurturing and growing flowers from paper. It’s a fun activity and a fun way to witness the power of the sun. 

How to grow seed infused paper for wildflowers
We experimented wtih sealed and un-sealed jars and both produced good results with multiple sprouts. Our sealed container was large, maybe a quart capacity, while our unsealed jar was a tyupical 16-ounce mason jar.

GROW FLOWERS FROM SEED PAPER: THE DETAILED VERSION

If you’re holding an HES Solar door hanger and it’s early 2023, that door hanger is printed on biodegradable paper produced right here in San Diego. The seeds in that paper grow wildflowers. Specifically you will produce Catchfly, Bird’s Eyes, Alyssum (Tall White Sweet), and Baby Blue-Eyes. 

Here’s the best way to grow seed paper to make sure your seed paper works its best! 

 

STEP ONE – SOAK YOUR SEED PAPER

The seed paper needs water and sunlight. Do you remember growing bean sprouts in school? You can grow this seed-infused paper just like that. Find a clear jar, put the door hanger inside, and add enough water to keep the paper wet. Now put it by a window that will give it plenty of sunlight and watch for the sprouts.  

It’s not critical to select a window that faces any particular direction, but to give your seeds their best chance select a window that gets a lot of direct sunlight. 

Watch the paper. Over several days you will see sprouts (also called “shoots”). Once the seed paper sprouts reach one to two inches in length it’s time to move the budding paper to dirt. 

This will allow them to reach well above the surface when you re-plant them. 

Growing wild flowers from seed infused paper
We could not have placed this wildflower seed in a better spot to look like we are growing a wildflower out of our company logo.

STEP TWO – MOVE SPROUTING SEED PAPER TO DIRT 

You can skip this step and plant straight into dirt (these are wild flowers, after all) but planting in an indoor pot allows you to watch the growth of your flowers. It also makes it more convenient to give your growing flowers the correct amount of water they will need to flourish.  

You can use a pot large enough to lay the growing seed paper flat or you can tear up the paper into smaller bits. If you use something other than a pot for plants, be sure it has drain holes on the bottom. If you really want to make this a project you think you’ll repeat with other seeds, consider getting a seed starting tray to have the best way to grow seeds from seed paper. 

Prepare your flower pot with rocks on the bottom. This will allow good drainage and help prevent root rot.  

Gently pack fresh soil over the rocks. If you want to go the extra step, get some fresh potting soil.

Now lay the seed paper on the dirt face-up so the sprouts are reaching straight up.

Now add a thin layer, approximately ⅛” to ¼” of dirt over the paper. Since you kept your flower shoots growing until they were over one inch long you will see most of the shoot above the surface of the dirt. 

If you are moving the sprouts in the seed-paper directly into outdoor soil, Loosen the dirt to a depth of at least one inch. Then remove the top ¼ inch, and proceed with the following steps for watering. See notes on ground preparation. 

STEP THREE – WATER YOUR POTTED SEED PAPER

Over the next several days your seed-infused paper will grow wildflowers. Be sure to keep the dirt moist. 

You can place the potted seed paper where it will get partial or full sunlight. 

If you have some plant food drops, give the growing sprouts a little extra help with some plant food while they are growing indoors. 

You will grow stronger flowers if you rotate the pot ¼ turn every day so the sun is hitting a different side of each shoot. 

STEP FOUR – TRANSPLANT YOUR SEED PAPER FLOWERS

Once your spots reach about 3” to 4” tall in the pot, they are ready to go out and find their place in the world! 

Prepare the soil for your wildflowers. If there are weeds, that means doing some weeding. (Sorry that not every step of this project is fun!) You want to weed the area to remove any plants that will compete for the soil’s nutrients and water. 

Pick some open dirt that is at least 6” away from other plants so your sprouts (and flowers, soon) are not competing with other plants. Be aware wildflowers can spread over the years, so pick an area that will look great and give the flowers the best chance of spreading. 

Loosen the dirt down to a depth equal to the height of the soil in your flower pot. Now remove the sprouts and all soil as a whole from the pot and set it into the outdoor soil. If the soil in the pot is dense try to loosen it a bit before planting it into the ground. Gently compact the outdoor dirt to the pot soil and water it right away (but don’t overwater).

Watch the weather. Some areas of San Diego have had some very cold days. Look ahead and if there are low temperatures overnight – low enough to have frost – keep your wildflowers inside until the weather warms. Don’t worry, your flowers are still wild, just young and not ready for the cold world yet! 

Wildflowers should not be crowded. Your seed paper gives the flower seeds enough room to successfully germinate. If this seed paper project inspires you to get packets of wildflowers be sure not to plant them too closely. The experience you get from this project to grow seeds from paper will provide great “groundwork” for wildflower seed planting with seed packets. 

Wildflowers do not need especially rich soil to thrive. You do not need to add plant food to your wildflowers once they are re-planted in your yard. Keep the weeds and other competing plants away, water your wildflowers daily (but don’t soak them). Keeping the dirt moist will help the flowers grow and also help break down the paper they are growing from… 

Oh yeah! Don’t forget there’s a little piece of biodegradable paper in there with a logo of a solar company printed on it! That paper should be fully broken down in a couple weeks. 

HES Solar systems can turn that same sunlight into energy to power your home or business. Solar energy is real and it works. Don’t let that sunlight bounce off your roof when it could be powering your home with green energy

STEP FIVE – SHARE PHOTOS OF YOUR SEED PAPER PROJECT

If all goes well you should see your first flower from this project in approximately 6 weeks. 

We’d love to see the results of this seed paper. If you’d be willing to take the time to get a few photos, we’d love to see your project in-process and also see the final results. Please send photos and any notes about your project to marketing@hesrenewables.com. Be aware if you send us photos we may use them on our website, our social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter), etc. If you share your social media handles with us we’ll tag you in the post. Thank you in advance if you’ll show us your flower project from seed paper to thriving wild wildflowers! 

USE SEED PAPER IN YOUR NEXT PROJECT

The door hanger is made from 100% recycled ingredients. The seeds in the paper are non-invasive in California and also non-GMO. The production of these sheets did not use dyes or chemicals. 

The seed-paper was created, printed, and cut by Green Field Paper Company. It’s made in the USA! In fact, it’s made in San Diego! 

If you contact Green Field Paper Company after your project, or if you just found this page helpful and want to contact Green Field Paper Company, give Breah a call at 858.565.2585 and be sure to tell her HES Solar sent you! 

THE REASON FOR THIS SEED-INFUSED PAPER PROJECT AND FOR SOLAR SYSTEMS

Why did we leave a seed-paper door hanger on your door? We were looking for a method to make you aware of HES Solar in a way that would bring a smile to your face. We also wanted a project that would use the power of the sun, and also something would not create trash. We think we found a great way to do both and hope you plant your seed paper and grow some beautiful wildflowers. 

At the time this page was created, February of 2023, there is a lot of solar marketing activity centered around Net Energy Metering. The urgency to get started before NEM 3.0 goes into effect is real. By the time your wildflowers are in full bloom, solar systems in California will be on a rate-value program that decreases the value of the electricity they make by 75%. Systems submitted to the utility before April 14, 2023 will lock in 20 years of the current solar rates (NEM 2.0). In fact the new billing for systems submitted after April 14, 2023 is so radically different that it’s going to be called Net Energy Billing rather than Net Energy Metering. 

We’d love to set up an appointment with one of our energy consultants to show you the energy cost savings a solar system can provide under NEM 2.0 versus under NEM 3.0. California solar after NEM 3.0 is in place will still provide big benefits, but they won’t be as strong as what’s available with NEM 2.0 for solar-only (no energy storage) systems. 

This message – NEM 2.0 vs. 3.0 – really fired up the marketing efforts of solar companies across California. Getting the word out about NEM 3.0 created a lot of mailers and cold calls from solar companies. Some of these marketing approaches can annoy people. We hope our eco-friendly, seed-infused paper project has done the opposite of bother you. We hope is entertained you, we hope it got you thinking about solar power, and we hope it helped you make a little patch of dirt into a beautiful collection of flowers. Thank you for taking the time to read this page and we wish you best of luck using the Southern California sunshine to power your home, grow flowers, or both! 

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SOLAR, ENERGY STORAGE, & EV CHARGING STATIONS

We are a San Diego-based solar energy production and energy storage installation company. We have been an energy innovator since 2001 and can handle projects from solar-only arrays to micro-grid solar and storage systems with on-site EV charging stations. 

If you’re looking into the benefits of on-site energy production, energy storage, or EV Charging capability, we’d love to speak with you. We’ll show you how to lower and stabilize energy costs, receive the maximum incentives, open new revenue streams, and gain control over one of the largest expenses of your business or commercial property. 

Click here to be contacted by an HES Renewables representative, or simply dial us at 866-HES-RNEW (866-437-7639).

Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.
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