I am trying to grow indoor plants that my pet bird can eat. I have wheat grass (cat grass) that has done very well, and he loves it but I also read that birds can eat chia, the plant and the seeds. I can't seem to find chia seeds at any of my garden stores and do not want to buy a chia pet. I don't find them nearly as attractive as growing a plant in a regular pot. My holistic food store and one of our high end grocery stores sells chia seeds. Can I just plant those? If not, why not? Is there anything extra I'd need to do first before planting like soaking to germinate?

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    Yeah, so about 20-25% of the seeds sprouted, so I'd say that's not very successful... I'm thinking whatever treatment that's used to clean them or preserve them is behind my results. After giving my experiment time to grow, I finally found and ordered some online. Chia pet sells "replacement" or "refill" packs, so hopefully they'll turn out better since I'll be using them for their intended purpose
    – Christy B.
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 5:44
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    Thanks, at least we'll know if I get "plant/nursery" grade seeds, and THAT also doesn't go over well, then it's obviously my fault or conditions lol. I'll still update in a few weeks about these seeds :)
    – Christy B.
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 0:51

2 Answers 2


As you mentioned, just go to the health food stoor and plant the chia seeds you buy. They are probably organic and fresher than the chia-pet seeds. I buy chia seeds in the grocery store to sprout them and eat the sprouts.

Also, the cat-grass you buy and sprout is typically red wheat berries (red wheat) you can purchase that in the health food store too, and sprout those too. That way you are reducing overall cost. If you are trying to grow cat-grass to the point of harvesting wheat kernels that are going to take some outdoor space.

Your bird might benefit from eating sprouts, please check with a vet first, but I know that the wild birds that raid my garden in the spring love sprouts.


I used to buy Bob Evens produces. After buying a sack of chia seeds, I tried to sprout some for the added bennies. Chia in water should sprout in a day or so. No nada. Nothing even after several days. I tried again. Nothing. Calling the company was less than satisfactory. The personnel had no clue where their chia came from, or wouldn't say. Chia is a commercial crop in the US, and the USDA demands imported seeds be either from an approved site or irradiated/stelized to prevent diseases from crossing the border. I haven't bought from the company since and have no plan to do so in the future. As I live in an area where it will grow wild (sans ants, which will harvest ever seed they find) it's going to be a major part of the yardden (no lawn, but all 'ornamental' garden). Hispania grows tall and blooms continually. Neighbors were impressed by it, and surprised to find our 'flowers' were food plants--peanuts, amaranth, chia, thyme, rosemary, ground cherries (a lot of folks are going to raise thse for salsa), chilis, and even tomatoes and nopal cactus.

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