I remember the first time I saw seed paper. I was at the store looking for a card for my Mom and I saw a card that said it was plantable. My Mom loves plants and all that gardening stuff so I thought it was such an amazing idea.

Plus, lets be real- cards are fucking lame (I said it).

I mean, they look lovely and they are such a nice gesture, but if you were to actually keep all of the cards you’d receive in a lifetime you’d be buried in a mound of paper and well-wishes.

I find that I tend to keep a card for just long enough to not be consumed by guilt when I recycle it. And recently, I have started to feel like cards are a complete waste of money and paper.

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What is Seed Paper?

Seed paper is paper with seeds embedded in it- it really is just that! The theory is that you can plant it when you’re done, creating less paper waste while also making more flowers (for the bees of course!).

How to Make Seed Paper

Seed paper is extremely easy to make, you soak paper scraps that you’d ordinarily recycle in water until it is mushy. You then take this mush and whizz it up in a blender to make pulp. You add the pulp to water, mix in seeds and then use a mesh frame to lift it up. After it has been lifted you press it onto a dry towel and wait for it to dry.

For a great tutorial that goes into more detail, see here.

I decided to start making seed paper with my toddler, because it is a fun and easy activity.
However after planting my seed paper and only seeing a couple of sprouts, I started to wonder if it actually works, or if it’s nothing more than plantable bullshit.

Does Seed Paper Actually Work?

After a quick consultation with Dr. Google, I found a fantastic blog post that discussed a couple of reasons why seed bombs (still applies to seed paper) may not work. The reasons listed in that post made total sense as to why seed paper may not work.

So I decided to do a little experiment.

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Will Seed Paper Sprout?

I have actually planted my own homemade seed paper before and managed to grow some sprouts.

However, due to the fact that I planted my seed paper in soil that I took from the outside garden, I was not sure as to whether the sprouts that my kids and I had been cultivating were, in fact, flowers from the paper or merely weeds.

The EXPERIMENT- Sprouting Directly from Seed Paper

I have seen many adorable photos of seed paper “surprise sprouting” straight from the paper in the right conditions.

For this experiment, I took a piece of seed paper that we made that I flubbed on making (Added the seeds in the wrong step of the process which is why they are more visible and not embedded in the paper), put it into a plastic container on a windowsill and used a spray bottle to spritz it when dry. I waited to see what would happen.

Day 1

Results

Day 1
Seed paper sprouts
Day 8
Sprouted seed paper
Day 9
Sprouted seed paper
Day 9

As you can see in the photos above I was only a little bit successful in sprouting directly from seed paper. After just over a week there was some progress.

It looks like 2 seeds sprouted successfully (although in the photos there is only 1 visible. The other was quite small and died quick). I finished the experiment here because it looks like this little guy will need to be transplanted into some dirt in order to thrive. Keep in mind that there are a few variables at play here- the fact that I flubbed when making this paper, the fact that there was no soil, how I grew it indoors, etc.

Conclusion

So although seed paper is fun and a great recycled craft, maybe don’t rely on it to populate your garden *shrug*

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