How to Make Your Own Mini Propagator

Plant seedlings

The protected environment is the perfect answer for those who want to grow a few plants from seed or cuttings, but are limited for space. And making a mini propagator is also a great way to reuse plastic containers, keeping them out of landfill. The mini propagator is small enough to fit on a windowsill and can even be left in the greenhouse without watering for a long time, as the condensation that builds up runs down the sides back into the soil. This mini propagator comes with it’s own control switch too. If the temperature needs to be reduced or air circulation increased, it’s just a simple job of unscrewing the lid!


» Plastic container (milk container or other drink container)

» Scissors

» Potting compost or sterilized soil

» Seeds


1. Wash plastic container both inside and out. Cut the bottle in two, leaving more room on the top section for air circulation.

2. Cut two tags on either side of the top section using scissors to a depth of about 1 inch (2.5 cm). This helps to keep the lid in place.

3. Fill the bottom section with good quality potting compost or sterilized soil. Tamp this down so there is a 1-inch gap between the soil and the top of the container.

4. Sow your seeds or place cuttings into the soil.

5. Carefully place the lid over the base (putting the top part inside the base to allow condensation to run back down to the soil) and let the tags hold the lid firmly in place.

Check the mini propagator often to make sure your seeds are growing well. When they’ve germinated or the cuttings have rooted, take off the lid to harden them before transplanting out into larger pots or outdoors.

This article was republished from Gardening Ireland under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
image: iamlm
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