The influence of seed priming with sorghum water extract (SWE) and benzyl amino purine (BAP) on germination metabolism and early seedling growth of wheat was evaluated in this study. For priming, wheat seeds were soaked in SWE (5%), BAP (5 mg L−1) alone and mixed with nonionic surfactant Tween-80 (0.05%). All the seed priming treatments significantly (p ≤ 0.05) improved the germination metabolism and early seedling growth as compared with dry seeds. Seed priming with combination of SWE, BAP and Tween-80 was the most effective treatment in improving the final germination percentage (34%), number of tillers per pot (50%), fresh weight (32%), dry weight (63%), chlorophyll contents (7%) and total phenolic contents (36%) over dry seed control. Similarly, maximum total soluble proteins, total soluble sugars and α-amylase activity were observed from the combined priming with SWE, BAP and Tween-80. Total soluble proteins were maximum in growing seedlings followed by germinating seeds than primed seeds. The germination and growth improvement by priming with SWE was comparable to BAP which makes it a cost-effective natural growth regulator. Combined applications are more effective, which may be due to enzymatic regulation in a synergistic manner.