Germinate Seeds Without Paper Towels

Hey Dr. Grow,

I hope you can help me.  I tried germinating seeds on wet paper towels, but they didn’t grow.

Flustered in Phoenix

Dear Flustered,

We have a solution for you that should lead to successful germinating. (As long as your seeds are viable.)

This method is better than the wet paper towel method everyone suggests because with the paper towels, it’s possible for the little white root to attach itself to paper towels. If it does, you will likely break it when removing the seed from the paper towels, killing the seed. Because the little white root and the paper towel are both white, it can be hard to see, so you won’t realize you broke it.

Use this method to germinate seeds quickly, safely and easily.

Put seeds in a cup of luke warm (not cold or hot) water and set it in a dark place, like inside a cabinet, for 12 hours. After 3-4 hours, you can check to see if any seeds are floating. If they are, gently touch them to make them sink in the water.

After 12 hours, drain the water off into a strainer and plant the seeds.

It’s easy to do overnight. If you get up at 6:00 AM daily, you can put the seeds in a clean coffee cup, half-filled with water at 6:00 PM, check for floaters at 9 PM or 10 PM, before you go to bed. Then drain and plant the seeds within a couple of hours of getting up and you’re good to go.

WARNING: Don’t soak seeds in cup for more than 16 hours, or you’ll ruin them. 14 hours is okay. 12 hours is ideal.

Good Luck!

Dr. Grow