Some Like It Hot! Using a Heat Mat For Plant Propagation

Some Like It Hot! Using a Heat Mat For Plant Propagation

If you’ve had trouble germinating seeds or rooting cuttings in the past, your soil might have been too cold. Soil temperatures are actually more important than room temperatures for seed sprouting, and a heat mat that’s made for plants can help. Heat mats are designed to be on 24 hours a day and keep flats of soil or pots of rooting cuttings at a constant temperature. They are also made to withstand moist situations and occasional splashing of water.

Heat mats are especially useful for starting seeds of plants that like warm temperatures such as peppers and basil.  There are mats made to fit one to four trays.  Note that after you get a flat of seeds germinated you can move it off the mat to a sunny window or under lights and use that mat under the next flat of seeds.

These mats are far better than any homemade set up for warming trays. Rope lights heat unevenly and electric blankets aren’t designed to be under moist trays…both can be a fire hazard when used for this purpose!

Use a heat mat under flats of germinating seeds or pots of cuttings that you are rooting to keep soil temperatures evenly warm.

Country Garden has a selection of various sizes of heat mats for starting seeds.

Heat mats are especially handy for sprouting hard-to-germinate seeds or those that typically take many days or weeks. Be sure to get your seed starting mix throughly wet before you fill your pots or plants, and after the seeds are planted cover the top of the soil with clear plastic wrap to keep the moisture in. Once you see the seeds start to sprout, remove the plastic wrap so that the young seedling can grow. Once the seedling has it’s set of true leaves  (the leaves that develop after the “seed leaves” or cotyledons form) you can then move the young plants off of the mat.

For tips about starting Tomato Seeds, see this blog post.

Try a heat mat this year and discover that when it comes to starting seeds and cuttings, some like it hot!

For more information about seed starting, plan on coming to our Propagation Master Class on February 18th. Information on our events page. 

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