Passive Hydroponics For Starting Seeds

Many beginners and even intermediate growers have problems starting seeds

This is a very simple self watering, self-maintaining system for 100% germination of viable seeds

Equipment you will need:

Propagation mat
Tray with Dome
Two saucers
Two paper towels
Thermometer/humidity gauge

Add a quarter inch of water to your propagation tray

Roll up a paper towel lengthwise, this is your wick. Lay it across the bottom saucer with both ends in the water of your propagation tray

Notice it’s already wicking the water up into the saucer

The blue dots represent seeds, put them on a second paper towel that’s been doubled up and then folded in half

The above picture is how I do it, I tuck the paper wick under the plate so it doesn’t move

Then put the dome on and you’re done !

Now it’s automatic, just keep water in the tray, keep the water warm on your propagation mat (82*) and if the seeds are viable you’re going to get a tap root

Hope this helps if you give it a try let me know how you like it or if you have any questions

  • good luck

Thank you for that I will use this way next time great info

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Just like anything else you don’t want it too wet and after 12 - 24 hours but no later than 24 hours I make a little crease on top of the seeds for a little air pocket

the key is to never let it dry out and that’s the whole purpose of this, it never gets too wet and it never dries out

I’ve shared this because people are often saying “I let it dry out, will they still crack?”

I’m sure this will work fine for you!

  • good luck
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2 questions. Are you going to show results and transplanting?

And; Do you have a problem if, after you finish your method, I add mine behind your message, and we build a nice tutorial with options? :slight_smile:

Happy Days, lw

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I hadn’t planned on it because from here I kind of do my own thing, and I don’t really think it’s for everyone, but with that caveat added I will, and please add whatever you wish

30 hours after wetting them I see the first tail growing but no pic now I have them wrapped up again and I’m going to leave them till the morning which is why I use a passive hydroponic seed starting system, because you don’t have to poke at them at all !

But when I wake up I will transplant them into these four 2.5 square inch containers which contain a 50/50 mix of perlite vermiculite and have been watered and brought to the same 82 degree temperature as the seeds


By 6 a.m. Sunday seeds had three of four tails showing

They have been placed in their little pots of perlite vermiculite which sit in the water of the propagation tray

PH has crept up from 6.3 to 7.2 which I countered by adding some 6.0 water to propagation tray to balance it at 6.5

Within 24 hours the remaining seed will be placed in the medium whether it sprouts or not

I add 6.5 water via spray bottle or syringe to the top of pots every 4-6 hours till all the Sprouts are up


One of the four did not crack, but it wasn’t black and dead so this morning I took a page from MacGyverStoner, hope it works!

I wanted to add that I personally wouldn’t do the hot water soak, but I took a razor blade and scratched both sides of seed, so here’s to hope

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Thanks. Nice job. I think this will benefit a lot of new growers, and I will start some seeds in my Rockwool, and show them a 2nd option that works very well. Again. Great job. We will move this to GrowFAQs when all the information has been posted.

Love the perlite vermiculite mix. Good stuff! :slight_smile:

so 3 out of 4 popped that’s the family in there new tent under 250mh for now, and has a fan blowing up at the light with no direct stress on the plants yet just keeping everything moving, everything steady

So this is good in a way that one didn’t crack because even under optimal conditions I still got only three of four to germinate which I would consider around average

If you try perlite vermiculite it’s the best it just will not over wet or dry out but you need to know that when you try to transplant it it is very difficult you have to wet it just the second before you pull it out or it will run through your fingers like wet beach sand

Well that’s all I can think of here I’m going to crack 3 more now that my States letting me legally have six recreational plants

I think I’ll do a grow tread somewhere else thanks for looking hope this helped and latewood is going to put up a rock wool seed germination post which is interesting, I’ve never worked with it looking forward to seeing it so stay tuned!

  • best wishes

… and check out my new grow Journal when I start it thanks :slight_smile:

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So number 4 was starting to get that black, dead look on day 5, so six hours ago I took a razor blade and as best as I could I made a tiny slice. I’m pretty sure I got to the inside of the shell and look what happened ?! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing! @MacGyverStoner :thumbsup:

Edit: if anyone tries this make your cut on the pointy end (eg.) If the seed was an acorn slice the pointy end, not the cap end

I may scratch it with a nail file like in the above video but I wouldn’t try this unless it was a last-ditch effort

Day 2:

I’m losing optimism about #4, she still looks the same :disappointed:

I’m going to wet 3 afgooey seeds today cuz I can legally have 6 in my state now…!:thumbsup:

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Starting 3 afgooey seeds:

Demonstrate the tray saucer is completely dry I won’t spray it or add any water only the wick system will feed it to demonstrate how well passive Hydroponics works…

15 minutes later, no spray or water added, 100% wicking action

3 Afgooey seeds no water sprayed or added…

…they immediately soaked up from underneath and I’m holding tent at 78 degrees, because I don’t want to keep the other seedlings at 82, so 78 is a happy medium

So I’m going to end this and I’m going to start a first legal grow journal and I’ll probably name it something corney like that and drop a link here

hope this helps you out because it really works and it’s absolutely Bulletproof

  • thanks for reading, best wishes!

Looks like a no brainer but I don’t have a Propagation mat. I’ll have to do it another way. Suggestions? I think the water the glass of water I was soaking the seeds in got too cold before.

I use 2 big plates and one smaller in the middle whit this method @Bobbi