A Detailed Guide On How To Germinate Seeds With Paper Towels

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Last Updated on July 3, 2022

If you’re this enthusiastic grower that would love to know an easy way to germinate seed faster, then this is it. It’s possible to germinate seeds without using seed starting mix, perlite, or even vermiculite. The secrete to this is by using paper towels and Ziploc bags. How to germinate seeds with paper towels will be discussed here.

When it comes to germinating seeds with a pepper towel, this is a soil-less method of starting plants. This detailed guide will enlighten you on how you can germinate seeds using a paper towel.

How To Germinate Seeds With Paper Towels – Guidelines To Follow

Materials Required

  • Seeds
  • Paper towel or a coffee filter
  • Zip lock bag or an airtight container
  • Sprayer bottle
How To Germinate Seeds With Paper Towels – Guidelines To Follow

Step 1- Make Some Cuttings

Take your paper towel or coffee filter and cut it to suit or fit your zip lock bag.

Step 2- Wet The Paper Bag

Using your water spray bottle, dampen the paper bag. However, ensure the paper bag isn’t overly wet or soggy.

Step 3- Place The Seeds On The Paper – How To Germinate Seeds With Paper Towels

The seeds should be scattered on the paper and give some space of about 2 inches between each seed. Then you should fold the other half over the seeds.

Step 4- Put It In A Zip Lock Bag

Try to open the zip lock bag by blowing it open. Then carefully put the paper towel into the zip lock bag and reseal the bag.

Step 5- Position The Bag In The Appropriate Place

The bag set up should be placed in an area that is out of direct sunlight and let it stay in a room temperature. This zip-lock bag serves as a mini greenhouse that retains heat and moisture. Germination of seeds should be noticed starting from 5 to 7 days.

Step 6- Transplanting

Once the seed has emerged, you can now transplant it. Take note that this germinated seed is very delicate so you need to take care when handling it and the main root is very delicate so avoid touching them if you can.

So, this sprouted seed needs to be manually transplanted into the soil or you can use another moisture-holding medium like vermiculite. You can use a tweezer on the body of the seed or the cotyledon when you want to move them into the damp soil.

When transplanting the sprouted seed, make sure you avoid pushing the seed into the soil with force. We recommend you create a hole in the soil at a recommended distance for the entire root. Then hold the sprouted seed in place and gently push the soil over it. Also, if the sprouted seed already has true leaves, make sure you allow the leaves remain above the soil.

So, in a couple of weeks, the seedlings should be ready to be planted outdoors once the outside weather has warmed up.

More Things To Note About Germinating Seeds With Paper Towel

  • A good sign your sprouted seed is ready to be transplanted is when the radical or the white part of the sprout is visible.
  • Use a good potting mix to begin transplanting. Also, ensure you are aware of the soil requirement for each type of seed planted. An ideal potting mix can have peat moss, coir, perlite, and compost. Then the ratio of the combination of this mix will depend on the kind of plant you’re growing.

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Why Should You Consider Using Paper Towel

Germinating seed with a paper towel can be a wise thing to do and here are some reasons you should consider using this method:

  1. It can help determine the viability of the seed

If you aren’t sure how old your seed is and wonder if they are still viable, then using paper can help you determine if the seeds are still viable.

  1. Helps with space management while germinating many seeds

Space is not an issue if you use the method of germinating with paper seed. There is no stress of using trays, seed starters shelving unit, or even aiming for a wall that is facing south. You only need a windowsill for this.

  1. The benefit of witnessing how seeds germinate

Additionally, you get to see how a seed germinates which is a process that usually occurs underground. So, there won’t be any guesswork about which seed germinated successfully and you can easily select the best and fastest seed to plant.

  1. Many seeds sprout faster in paper towels compared to when they are sown in the soil

When you grow most seeds in a paper towel, it can boost the germination rate and you get result faster compared to when seeds are grown in traditional soil. The controlled conditions such as the heat and moisture inside the plastic bag boost the germination rate of the seeds in just a few days.

Why Should You Consider Using Paper Towel

The Kind Of Seeds That Can Be Germinated Using Paper Towel

The types of seeds ideal to be germinated using a paper towel include all types of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. But this paper towel method can be enjoyed when using it for seeds that a long time to sprout so you can see the benefit of fast growth.

For example, seeds that require a warm start like the Chile peppers are stubborn and can take up to three or even more to germinate.

Final Say – How To Germinate Seeds With Paper Towels

The method of using a paper towel to sprout seeds can be very beneficial to seeds that are especially stubborn and take a longer period to emerge. How to germinate seeds with paper towels has been explained in detail in this guide, so we hope this information has been of help to you.


How do you sprout seeds on a paper towel?

To sprout seeds on a paper towel, start by wetting the paper towel and placing the seeds on the paper. Open a zip lock bag and gently place the setup inside and reseal it. Put the bag in a room temperature and you should begin to notice germination after 5 to 7 days.

Can you start seeds in a wet paper towel?

Yes, you can start seeds in a wet paper towel and this method is very fast and straightforward. This growing method is free of pathogens and it’s easy to control moisture content for excellent germination.

Do I need to soak seeds before planting?

It’s fine to soak seeds before planting and soaking seeds can even boost the germination rate. However, you can also leave the seed and allow it to germinate that way. Either way, the seed will sprout but soaking tends to increase the germination rate.

Can you germinate all seeds in paper towels?

It is possible for all the seeds in the paper towel to germinate given the fact that all the seeds are viable and in good condition.

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