16 Best Plants To Start Indoors in January

Who thinks that January is too cold to plant? Many plants are ideal for indoor seedlings under grow lights, on warming pads, or near windows. But each environment is unique, of course. Discover the top 16 plants to start indoors in January by following along.


The leek is the first plant on our list. Leeks are cool-weather food plants with long, green leaves and a strong, white stem. Leeks are of the same genus as scallions, onions, garlic, and chives. They are also a traditional good, having been grown since the time of the ancient Romans and Egyptians.

Leeks grow nicely in pots. However, because leeks can be challenging to transplant, it’s better to start them in a large pot. Leek seeds require eight to sixteen days.


It is technically possible to grow lettuce inside, regardless of the season or hardiness zone, provided you have the proper indoor setup. Seeds can be started in a hydroponic system, big pots, or tiny seed trays. Depending on the type and variety, the tiny seeds might differ in size. When the soil temperature is around 70°F, lettuce seeds germinate in one to two weeks. Lettuces thrive in chilly climates.


Broccoli comes up next on our list of the 16 finest plants to start indoors in January. When you want to harvest the broccoli will determine when is the ideal time to sow this tasty green vegetable. Broccoli seeds can still be started indoors if you’re growing indoors. It takes seven to ten days for the seeds to grow. As seedlings, they require intense light, thus you might need to utilize grow lights.


In January, eggplants can also be started inside. Depending on how you choose to develop your eggplant, the timing will vary. For example, timing is irrelevant for individuals who wish to cultivate it inside. On the other hand, you will need to start seeds 8 to 10 weeks before your last frost date if you wish to move the plant outside. States differ in this. For example, inhabitants of Central Florida are advised by the University of Florida to start eggplant seeds between January and February.


It’s simple to grow cilantro indoors from seed. Alternatively, you may continue cultivating cilantro indoors, perhaps under grow lights or beside a window. About three weeks pass before cilantro seeds sprout. The ideal soil temperature range is 55 to 68°F.

Jalapeno Peppers

Many people love jalapeño peppers. Growing them is a lot of fun. However, not all jalapenos grow well in January; always check the variety of your seeds. In January or February, you can start some early-blooming jalapenos indoors. The soil must be warm—at least 80°F—for the seeds to germinate, which takes one to two weeks. Indoors, this can be challenging. To help the seeds germinate and sprout, you can use grow lights or greenhouse coverings if necessary.


Asparagus is another excellent plant to start indoors in January. Although it can be started in mid- to late-winter, this plant thrives in spring and autumn. A mature asparagus plant can endure up to 15 years, according to the University of Minnesota. This is a fun fact. Although the seeds can be started indoors, it is preferable to move them outside once the risk of frost has gone.


Basil is one of the easiest plants to cultivate indoors among other herbs. Temperatures between 70 and 85°F are ideal for the germination of basil seeds. It takes them ten to fourteen days to sprout. You can grow basil inside as long as the soil remains consistently warm!


Similar to basil, mint grows easily indoors. Selecting a window that is both well-lit and free of gaps is ideal. But mint plants are finicky. Too much sunshine can scorch the leaves of seedlings or, worse, completely destroy the plant. For mint plants to sprout and thrive, the soil should be warm—about 70°F. It can take up to 14 days for mint seeds to sprout.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is another plant on our list of the top 16 plants to start indoors in January. Typically a spring or fall crop, this vibrant plant can grow all year round depending on your region. Seeds of Swiss chard take 7 to 14 days to sprout. The soil should be between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is possible for them to sprout even at 40°F. With hydroponic systems, Swiss chard grows incredibly well.


It’s lovely to start poppies indoors. Poppies are often planted in the spring and fall, though certain kinds can be produced in the winter. It is advisable to start poppy seeds inside four to six weeks prior to the last frost. It can take a week or more for poppies to sprout from seed. For them to grow, the soil must be at least 55°F.


Similar to lettuce, spinach thrives indoors, particularly in hydroponic systems. Spinach is a cool-weather plant that cannot withstand warm temperatures, in contrast to other plants on our list. Your spinach plant may bolt and produce seeds that alter the flavor of the leaves if you position it in bright, direct light. The seeds of spinach sprout rapidly. They might start to sprout in five days or less.


Kale is another leafy green that makes our list. A particularly nutrient-dense plant is kale. This superfood is packed with minerals and vitamins, including calcium, manganese, vitamin K, fiber, and C and K. Kale can be harvested fast because it takes about 55 days to mature from seed. Depending on the soil’s temperature, seeds may germinate in as little as four days or as long as two weeks.


Due to its wonderful aroma, rosemary is a famous plant that is used in many recipes. The University of Wisconsin-Madison states that rosemary is native to northwest Spain, Portugal, and the Mediterranean. However, it grows almost anywhere and makes a wonderful fragrance houseplant. It takes time for rosemary seeds to sprout. When conditions are right, they germinate in two to three weeks. To grow, the soil must be at least 70°F.


Thyme is another plant to add to our list of the finest indoor plants to start in January. On the other hand, late spring or summer is the ideal time to start seeds if you wish to plant your thyme outside. However, you may grow thyme year-round if you reside in a warm climate. The seeds of thyme are tiny. Spread them out in a container or arrange them nicely with a tweezer. You may simply trim the seedlings as they grow if you scatter them. It takes patience to work with this plant. It could take a month for thyme seeds to sprout.

Chili Peppers

Chipotle peppers, or any other type of pepper, are last but certainly not least. You can start growing pepper seedlings inside in January. When it’s time to move the plant outside, it will grow larger the earlier you start. Chili peppers grow for a very long time. It can take the seeds eight days to four weeks to sprout.