How to Sprout
You can use Sprout with a variety of different seeds, nuts, bulbs and plants. Below is the basic technique for all seeds and pits.
We’ve made a few short videos showing you the best method for a few different seeds and plant types. If you prefer to read, rather than watch our quick tutorials, scroll down.
It’s impossible for us to make a video for every possible sort of seed. But the technique is similar for many varieties.
Dates, longans, lotus seeds, gingko, palm: follow the same method as the lychees.
Pistachios, macadamias :follow the almond method. Make sure they are raw, not roasted!
Castanospermum: follow the avocado method.
Hazelnuts: follow the walnut method.
Sweet chestnuts: follow the horse chestnut method.
Check out all those different types of plants in action in this overview video:
Don’t like videos? Here’s the text version of the basic technique. However please refer to the videos for small variations that work best for each variety.
Larger tree seeds like acorns, chestnuts, and conkers work well. Smaller bulbs such as crocus, snowdrop or muscari are also very easy to grow. To sprout them indoors all year round, you will need to trick them into thinking now is the perfect time to germinate. Follow the “cold treatment method” below.
Raw nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashews and pistachios or citrus fruit pits like lemon and oranges, once sprouted, will also fare well with Sprout. Avocado and mango pits are a big favourite. Follow the “baggie method” below.
Feel free to experiment with fast growing seeds like beans and legumes, or even (sweet) potatoes, lemongrass and ginger! You can also use it to root small plant cuttings, a favourite that’s sure to succeed is the spider plant, but succulents and cacti are good candidates.
The baggie method:
Not all seeds are guaranteed to sprout, so for best success we recommend sprouting a few at once. This is our favourite method, also called “the baggie method”.
– your seeds/nuts/pit
– a small sealable plastic bag (like a ziploc bag)
– a paper towel
Place your seeds in the middle of the paper towel, fold in quarters so that your seeds are neatly tucked inside, then place inside your plastic bag. Wet the paper towel with a little bit of water, just enough to moisten it, but not so much that you’ll have water pooling inside the bag. Close your bag up, and place in a warm spot. You might want to write the date on the bag to keep track of it’s progress. When you see the first little roots coming out your seeds, it’s time to place it in Sprout with the roots in the water and watch it develop leaves.
If you have issues with mould developing on your seeds, you can use a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide to wet the paper towel. Dilute your hydrogen peroxide 1:25 and gently wipe your seeds with that solution too before wrapping them in a new paper towel and bag. Germination time depends on the seed and can take between 2 days (beans) and a month (avocado pits). Patience is key!
The cold treatment method:
This is a variation on the baggie method, and is used on seeds that normally grow in colder climates. We need to trick the seed into thinking it’s just spent a cold wet winter outside in the ground, and now spring is coming and it’s time to grow, no matter what season or climate we are actually in right now. We use this method on acorns, chestnuts, conkers, and tree nuts in their shell like walnuts and almonds. In horticulture this is called stratification, but we like to think of it as a ski vacation for your seeds.
– First you will need to soak your seed for 48hrs in water, changing the water everyday.
– After your seeds have soaked, place them in a moist paper towel inside a plastic bag, just like for the regular baggie method.
– Place the baggie in the fridge, and wait for the seeds to germinate. This can take between 10 days and 2 months depending on your seeds. The waiting is the hardest part! Check inside the bag every few days to monitor the moisture level and sprouting of the seeds. Once you have roots long enough, you can take them out of the fridge and grow the seeds further in your Sprout, with the roots in the water.
If you can’t wait to get new life growing into your Sprout, why don’t you start with a fast-growing bean, while your seeds are taking their winter holidays in your fridge?
If you want to try other types of plants with your Sprout plates, why don’t you have a look at these other tutorials.
Do you want to see what to expect of your growing seeds? We had fun filming a few time-lapse videos over several weeks, showing the growth of the seeds and roots.