Seed priming is a well-established method for promoting seed germination and seedling growth. For Carex schmidtii, as a critical target plant species for restoration of degraded tussock wetlands in Momoge National Nature Reserve (MNNR) in northeast China, improving seed germination is critical to its large-scale population restoration. We conducted laboratory experiments to assess the effects of priming reagents, their concentrations and their interactions on seed germination and seedling growth to explore the most effective reagent and its optimum concentration. Priming significantly promoted C. schmidtii seed germination and seedling growth but significantly differed under varying priming treatments. Priming with GA(3) (0.2 g.L-1) significantly enhanced seed germination rate, speed, potential, index, vigor index and shoot growth of C. schmidtii compared to control conditions. KNO3 treatments significantly promoted root biomass, total biomass (0.1%) and root length (0.2%). Additionally, shoot diameter of each priming treatment was significantly from the control. In conclusion, priming with 0.2 g.L-1 GA(3) and 0.1-0.2% KNO3 significantly stimulated seed germination and promoted C. schmidtii seedling growth. These findings advance our understanding of the effect of priming on C. schmidtii germination and seedling growth and provide technical support for tussock wetland restoration in MNNR.