Propagators & Seed Sowing

There is nothing more satisfying or rewarding than propagating plants from seeds or cuttings and it’s actually far more cost effective than buying more. Whatever you’re looking for - something electric and heated or a little more basic - we are sure to have a product to meet your needs.

New to the world of gardening? Or wondering which type of propagator would be best for you? Get in touch with one of our friendly experts for some tips and advice.

We have dozens of different kinds of propagators in stock, and each one is designed to help you in a slightly different way. You mainly need to consider whether you are growing from seeds or cuttings, and how much space you will need for them to grow.

Our excellent range of heated electric propagators including our award-winning Vitopod heated propagators and Hydropod cuttings propagators designed and built by Greenhouse Sensation in Lancashire.

There is nothing more satisfying or rewarding than propagating plants from seeds or cuttings and propagation from seed is far more cost effective than buying plants.

Whether you are looking for an electric heated propagator for seeds, a cuttings propagator or an unheated small propagator we have a product to meet your needs.

When looking for a propagator you need to consider how much space you will need for your seeds.

Do you need a heated propagator?

For the best propagation results choose an electric heated propagator. The best electric heated propagators have a variable thermostat so that you can set the propagator to the correct temperature for your seeds. The Vitopod heated propagator has a variable thermostat. An electric heated propagator is best for starting seeds off early, before temperatures are at the level required for seed germination. They also enable you to propagate seeds in a greenhouse or polytunnel because they will keep the seeds at a stabletemperature. If you choose an electric propagator that does not have a variable thermostat the propagator will generally raise the tempertaure by 8 - 12C no matter what the outside temperature is.

Advantages of an unheated propagator

If you are happy to start your seeds in your house away you can use an unheated propagator. These propagators get seeds off to a better start than just starting seeds in trays on a windowsill because the lid traps the warm air that seeds need for germination and prevents draughts from causing severe changes in temperature.

How large a propagator do you need?

If you are investing in a propagator make sure that you buy one large enough for your needs. Consider the height of the lid and how many seed trays or pots you can fit into the propagator.

Propagator Ventilation

Many people forget to consider ventilation when selecting a propagator. This is important whether you are buying a top of the range heated propagator or a beginner's unheated propagator. Look out for large vents that you can open to allow airflow, seedlings will transpire (release water) and if the propagator vents are not large enough the water released by the seedlings will produce too much humidity and the seedlings will dampen off and rot.

Sowing Seeds In A Heated Propagator

Sow thin rows of seeds in the seed tray without seeds touching each other, just put some in your hand and sprinkle in the seed tray in your propagator. Sow large seeds individually. Put a few at a time in your hand and place the seeds at intervals along the row.

Don’t sow seeds too close together but you will need to sow more seeds than you need in your propagator because some seeds may not germinate.

After sowing the seeds, cover with finely sieved compost to the same depth as the length of your seeds e.g. if your seeds are 1cm diameter, cover with 1 – 1.5cm of sieved compost. Level the compost out so that the seed is in contact with the compost a tamper is handy for this.

Place seed trays or pots in a Vitopod heated electric Propagator and set the temperature indicated on your seed packet. Depending on how warm your propagator is, you may need to water the compost before seeds emerge, take care not to over-heat.

Do I Need A Cuttings Propagator

If you are splitting & dividing plants to grow more of your favourites from cuttings then they can be propagated in pots of gritty compost. If you really want to improve your cuttings success rate you might chose to try our electric Hydropod cuttings Propagator. This misting soil-less cuttings propagator is used by professionals . Its perfect for taking plant cuttings and you can typlically expect to be transplanting in just 10-14 days.

A plant cutting loses water through its leaves but has no root system by which it can absorb water. It can take up a small amount through its base. In our Hydropod Propagator cuttings are regularly misted; this mist lowers the leaf temperature, creates a humid atmosphere and reduces the amount of water lost from the leaves. So cuttings are kept moist but without ever becoming water-logged (water-logging leads to rotting and mould).

The constant spray of water and nutrients around the base of the plants has the added advantage of encouraging the roots to ‘grow-out’ quickly to access the water and nutrients. The lid retains warmth and the optional heater maintains an even temperature so that you don't lose plants to low temperatures. The vent in the lid enables you to lower the humidity as the cuttings grow.

Our award winning Hydropod Cuttings Propagator was recently featured on BBC's Gardeners World and has been used by Chelsea Flower Show Award Winner Jonathan Hogarth for his Award Winning Hostas. Click here to see the full video.


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