Seeds vs. Seedlings With My Bios Urn® : What Is Better?


All of our tree urns are sold without any seeds because they work with any kind of seed or sapling. No exceptions!

By using your own and sourcing it directly yourself, you can therefore choose a tree which is sentimental and meaningful to you. We want to offer every single person the chance to think about, research and source their own directly, making this process part of the beautiful journey back to nature. We don´t want anyone to feel limited and to be able to choose a tree which is sentimental and meaningful to them and their loved-ones. 

Fruit trees, flowering trees, evergreens or conifers are all completely compatible. Or some people also chose to plant a flower, a plant, or a bush instead of a tree. Here are our guides per country with some of our tree recommendations (we always advise checking with a local gardening supplier or horticulturist for information on native tree species in your area as it is really important to respect the local natural flora and to also ensure better growth if your tree or plant).

The Bios Urn ® also works with a seedling. But which is best to plant when considering seeds vs. seedlings?


Seeds vs. seedlings : what is better?

Firstly, let´s clarify a few definitions:
  • · A seedling is a young plant especially grown from a seed rather than from grafting or cutting.
  • · A sprout is the part of a plant which has just begun to grow.
  • · A sapling is a young plant especially with slender trunk/stem.





Bios Urn Blog - Seeds vs. seedlings

The tree growth process. Photo source:

You may see all of these mentioned throughout our website as they are ALL compatible with the Bios Urn ®. To keep things simple in this article, we will refer to “seedlings”, but any of the above apply.

The availability of readily grown seedlings has led to the dilemma of which one of the two, seeds or seedlings, is better to use with a Bios Urn ®. Truth is, they both have their pros and cons. The usage, however, depends on the situation or the need. For those of us still deciding on whether to start with seeds vs. seedlings, have a look at some of the pros and cons for each below.

Choosing to plant a seed with your tree urn

A seed is an embryonic plant encapsulated in a protective outer covering called a seed coat. After the seed is placed in it´s planting place and is covered with dirt, it can begin germination.

Germination is the process of seeds developing into a plant. First, environmental conditions must trigger the seed to grow. Usually, this is determined by how deep the seed is planted, water availability, and temperature. When water is plentiful, the seed fills with water. The water activates special proteins, called enzymes, that begin the process of seed growth. First the seed grows a root to access water underground. Next, the shoots, or growth above ground, begin to appear. The seed sends a shoot towards the surface, where it will grow leaves to harvest energy from the sun. Once the germination process is over, the seed has become a seedling.

Pros of using a seed

  • · Seeds are cheaper than seedlings.
  • · For those of us who like choices, starting from seed offers one an option of choosing between different varieties available in the market. There are also many choices of seeds available to buy online Seedlings confine the person to the variety offered at their local garden centre or store.
  • · You can witness the miracle of the germination process!

Cons of using a seed

  • · Planting the seed directly is riskier, since the seeds have to put up with hazards such as adverse weather patterns, like drought or flood, high wind, pests, and weeds. In order to be successful, one has to ensure that the environment in which the seeds are growing in, is conducive.
  • · You must take time to find out the specific germination needs of the tree or plant species. For example, maple tree seeds must be placed in the fridge prior to planting  whereas pine tree seeds need to be soaked in water.
  • · Seeds generally take a little longer to grow than seedlings.

If you chose to plant a seed with your Bios Urn ®, you would plant a couple of seeds. Most seeds must be placed just under  the soil surface because if covered too thickly they might not germinate. All of this is explained further in our Planting Instructions.


Bios Urn Blog - Seeds vs. seedlings

Image source: Bios Urn®


Choosing to plant a seedling with your tree urn

You can also elect to use a seedling, sprout or sapling instead of a seed.

As mentioned earlier, a seedling is a young plant grown from a seed in a nursery. But how do the pros and cons of seeds vs. seedlings compare?


  • · A seeding is a stronger and more established plant that has already passed the germination process from seed. Seedlings are more resistant to unfavorable weather conditions and pests, because they are more mature and stronger when transplanted. Many pests love snacking on the tiny seedlings. Therefore, the risk of losing the plants is lower as compared to seeds.
  • · The maturity rate of seedlings will be shorter and will result in a more rapid growth of the tree or plant.
  • · If you intend to plant over Winter or if you live in a cold climate, it is recommended to start off with a small seedling or sapling.
  • · On the day you plant the urn, there will be a beautiful seedling in it´s place for everyone to admire and come back to see it. Some find it comforting to actually see a plant growing there from the start.


  • · Seedlings tend to be more expensive to buy than seeds.
  • · With seedlings one is restricted to the variety grown by local supplier.

If you chose to plant a seedling or sapling with your Bios Urn ®, you would only plant one. This is explained further in our Planting Instructions.

Bios Urn Blog - Seeds vs. seedlings

A sapling in nature. Photo source:



All in all, the choice between the two, seeds vs. seedlings, will come down to each person’s preference. If you feel that this process requires too much care, a good option is to use a sprout or seedling in place of a seed during the planting process. 


Quick tips for helping your seedling flourish

Whether you choose to use seeds, or a small baby seedling, both will be dependent upon the care you provide. Planting seeds or a seedling and not caring for them in their first year of growth, can stunt their growth – even if you start with an established tree. During the 18 months, trees require basic TLC, mainly in the form of sunlight and water requirements. These differ from tree to tree, but most have similar ones for the first year.


  • · Water is crucial to seed germination. The seed must go through imbibition to activate root growth. However, too much water can be a bad thing. If the soil is too soggy, there will not be enough oxygen and the plant will not thrive.
  • · Temperature is also an important factor. Some seeds germinate when it is cold, such as plants in northern environments. Other seeds only germinate when the weather reaches spring temperatures, which is why we see so much plant growth in the spring in temperate climates. As a general rule, trees should be protected over winter, and most prefer to grow in half sun, or indirect sun (too much shade, or too much sunlight can be bad.)
  • · Once your seedlings have 2-3 sets of leaves, the most important thing to do at this point is to supplement them with nutrients! We suggest using ¼ to ½ strength liquid fish/seaweed fertilizer every other watering for your seedlings to be at their happiest!

All living trees will require some amount of TLC. Some trees are more low-maintenance than others, so we suggest looking into the specific needs of the tree you choose. If you would prefer a species which is more low maintenance, we would recommend a smaller tree species, shrub, or bush.

We take the Bios Urn ®, and the experience it provides to others very seriously. We must remember that trees are living things, and they are beautiful. To grow a beautiful tree, with or without a Bios Urn ®, we need to make sure it has the basic care and love it needs. You can read more on how to help your tree grow here.



What do you think of our guide of seeds vs. seedlings? Has it helped you make up your choice? We would love to hear from you in the Comments section below!

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  1. Eden says

    Is there any way to make sure the Bios urn works with a larger sapling? We were wanting to use a specific dogwood tree that we’ve found, but it’s already potted in a larger pot than the urn itself. Would putting the urn directly underneath the tree result in the same effect?

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