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For those who can’t get enough of having “green fingers”, it’s time for you to invest in a heated propagator. In summary, heated propagators are a cost-effective way for gardeners to germinate seeds earlier than planned, thus, saving you time and money on trying to germinate seeds in environments that wouldn’t work for them. Even if you live in a country with defined seasons, there are certain circumstances that can cause your seeds to germinate slowly, or not germinate at all. A heated propagator is a useful investment for any gardener, and enables you to germinate hundreds of seeds at a time, should you wish to do so. Some gardeners often disregard the importance of the actual grass seeds you’ll be using – but the most important thing to consider when purchasing a heated propagator is what you’re going to be germinating in it. This will largely determine the other factors that we mention throughout this guide. If you want to germinate many different kinds of seeds then you’ll need to find a heated propagator that is an “all-rounder” and can perform efficiently even for the toughest plants, vegetables and flowers.

We’ve reviewed the top 10 heated propagators on the market, taking into account their design, capacity and much more. You’ll see that there are many different heated propagators on the market, which slightly vary in terms of their key features as well as their sizing. These are a great addition if you’re looking to germinate seeds earlier, or if you struggle to find the best growing environment for your seeds to thrive. We do know that for some of you who have never bought a heated propagator before, you may not know where to start when making your purchase. We’ve listed a few things for you to consider at the bottom of this buyer guide as well as a detailed FAQ to answer any burning questions that you may have. So, if you want to learn more – keep reading..

1

Garland Fab 4 Electric Heated Propagator

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The Garland Fab 4 Electric Heated Propagator is identified as an entry-level propagator that is completely electric and has four individual propagators. Great for those who have never used a propagator before, this product is made in the UK with the highest quality materials which means this is a durable product that you can rely on. The base size is ideal for a windowsill or small kitchen top, and can grow a number of different seed varieties depending on your goal.

Key Features:

Lightweight design

Compact and easy to use

Individual compartments

Specification:

Brand

Garland

Colour

Green

Material

Plastic

Weight

1.18kg

Pros

Compact and easy to use and store

Cons

No thermostat

2

Stewart Essentials Electric Propagator

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The Stewart Essentials Electric Propagator is a robust and easy to use propagator which enables you to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs from seeds with ease. If gardening isn’t your strong point, a propagator can give you some confidence in improving your green fingers! With a controlled and engineered heat environment, it allows you to protect your seeds from the elements, whilst germinating them and ensuring that they are ready to be planted later on in the year. Think of it as a mini greenhouse for your kitchen, giving you creative agency all year round.

Key Features:

Robust and durable propagator

Can grow a variety of seeds

Controlled engineering of the heat and moisture in the environment

Specification:

Brand

Stewart Essentials

Colour

Black

Material

Plastic

Weight

2.3 kg

Pros

Comes in three different size options so you can find what works best for you

Cons

No thermostat

3

Garland Electric Heated Windowsill Propagator

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The Garland Electric Heated Windowsill Propagator is a set of three heated propagators that come with dome tops allowing for additional humidity and moisture. Ideal for growing seeds in volume, these have even heat distribution continuously, so you can have peace of mind when growing your seeds. Placed near a windowsill with lots of light, you can create the perfect environment for your plants, fruits or vegetables to thrive all year round.

Key Features:

3 separate compartments

Dome coverings

Easy to use

Works with many different seeds on the market

Specification:

Brand

Garland

Colour

Navy

Quantity of trays

3

Weight

2.34 kg

Pros

Easy to use and compact design

Cons

No temperature control

4

RINBO Seedling Heat Mat, Heating Mat Heated Propagator

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The RINBO Seedling Heat Mat, Heating Mat Heated Propagator is a heating mat specifically designed to help with the germination process. It maintains a consistent heat and works similarly to a greenhouse, enabling the heat to be trapped within the soil and trick the seeds into thinking that spring has come around quicker than usual! Overall, a great product that is reliable and consistently delivers.

Key Features:

Heated mat

Can work with plastic, glass and wood too

Plug in, no batteries

Specification:

Brand

RINBO

Weight

0.45 kg

Color

Black and green

Pros

Controlled temperature included which can germinate multiple seeds

Cons

Only a heated mat, doesn't come with incubation pods

5

Britten & James Super Quad Heated Windowsill Propagator set

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The Britten & James Super Quad Heated Windowsill Propagator set is a set of four mini propagators which are supported and warmed by a gentle heated tray. The lids are high and wide ensuring that your plants can grow with ease and you can propagate them for longer.

The top quality clear lid has extra high sides which gives you simple and effective ventilation control for each propagator. It’s also made from high quality material to take you through all the seasons.

Key Features:

Four separate compartments

High rise lids

Even heat distribution

Specification:

Brand

Britten & James

Amount

4

Material

Plastic

Colour

Green

Weight

1.3 kg

Pros

Easy to use due to the four separate compartments

Cons

Four compartments may be too small for some

6

EarlyGrow MPL50035/P Heated Electric Shatter Resistant Medium Propagator

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The EarlyGrow MPL50035/P Heated Electric Shatter Resistant Medium Propagator is a robust and durable heated propagator that can achieve temperatures between 16-19 degrees celsius. With a deep-set tray and high rise lids, you can have complete control of this heated propagator and germinate your seeds with ease. You also have ventilation controls that can allow you to increase or decrease the humidity within the tray.

Key Features:

Easy to use design

Controlled temperature up to 19 degrees celsius

Specification:

Brand

EarlyGrow

Colour

Green

Material

Plastic

Weight

1.48 kg

Pros

Close fitting dome enables heat to be retained better unlike most other heated propagators on the market

Cons

Temperature maximum may not be high enough for some

7

EarlyGrow Heated Electric Shatter Resistant 2-Bay Propagator with Capillary Mat and Tray

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The EarlyGrow Heated Electric Shatter Resistant 2-Bay Propagator with Capillary Mat and Tray is a practical and robust set of two heated propagators with a mat and tray as well as built-in air ventilation that you can control, allowing you to have the optimum growing environment to germinate your seeds. You can achieve between 16-19 degrees, allowing you to grow multiple seed types with ease. So, whether it’s fruit, vegetables, plants or flowers – you can trick your seeds into thinking that it’s spring all year around.

Key Features:

Two separate trays

Controlled temperature between 16-19 degrees

Robust and durable material

Specification:

Brand

Early Grow

Colour

Green

Amount

2

Material

Plastic

Weight

1.64 kg

Pros

Two separate trays allows for different types of seeds to grow and flourish

Cons

Size may be too small for some

8

EarlyGrow MPL50115 1 Large Shatter Proof Propagator with Vented Height Extender

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The EarlyGrow MPL50115 1 Large Shatter Proof Propagator with Vented Height Extender is a shatter proof, durable heated propagator that comes with a built-in ventilation system as well as a height extender. The lid has been UV stabilised to allow for maximum light without damaging your plants, fruits or vegetables.

You can sow seeds and cuttings with ease in compost directly in the base, or you can use smaller trays (even compostable) if you are germinating just before spring, to allow for easy transmission. The plastic used to create the propagator is completely reusable and has been engineered to last you years so you can get the most out of it.

Key Features:

Two ventilators for maximum air flow

High lid with robust plastic

Durable design

Easy to use product, great for beginners

Specification:

Brand

EarlyGrow

Colour

Green

Material

Plastic

Number of ventilators

2

Weight

2.7 kg

Pros

Is UV protected as well as easy to put together due to the design being beginner-friendly

Cons

May not be big enough for some

9

Britten & James Triple Heated Windowsill Propagator set

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The Britten & James Triple Heated Windowsill Propagator set is a practical and easy to use set of three heated propagators. The tray is gently and evenly heated and the lids have high sides, enabling you to keep plants, fruit and vegetables in the propagated environment for longer. It can fit on a windowsill or a small kitchen top with ease – just make sure it’s near a window so your plants can soak up the sun. The base is even and only uses 13 watts of power. Although the unit isn’t controlled by a thermostat, you can still achieve the optimum environment.

Key Features:

Triple set of propagators

Designed to fit on a windowsill

Robust and durable materials used

High rise domes for optimum growing times

Specification:

Brand

Britten & James

Colour

Clear

Material

Plastic

Weight

2.36 kg

Pros

Size fits perfectly on a windowsill

Three small propagators are ideal for growing multiple types of seeds

Cons

Size may not be to everyone's taste

10

LERWAY Seedling Heating Mat Plant Warming Mat Waterproof Greenhouse Heating Pad

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The LERWAY Seedling Heating Mat Plant Warming Mat Waterproof Greenhouse Heating Pad is a standalone heating pad which can work in a DIY propagator or to keep house reptiles warm. The heating is efficient and allows for even heat distribution so you can sow your seeds in even the coldest seasons, making the most out of their growth cycles. The material used is waterproof so you needn’t worry about moisture or spillage, and it only uses 21 watts of power in total. Overall, a great investment for those who don’t require the complete set that comes with heated propagators.

Key Features:

Standalone mat

Multiple layers of thermal waterproof plastic for safety

Easy to use

Can be for plants or reptiles

Specification:

Brand

Lerway

Colour

Black and green

Material

Plastic

Weight

0.46 kg

Pros

Great for those who need to replace their mat and don't need a complete propagator set

Cons

Not suitable for those who need individual propagators with lids

Summary

Size

Unless you want an industrial-sized heated propagator, most products tend to be designed to fit a windowsill. The only difference is the number of trays that they have. The most common (and the ones we have mentioned in this piece) vary from 1-3 trays which are removable and allow you to separate and organise the seeds that you’re germinating at any one time. If you require something industrial, it may be worth looking at shed heaters and creating your own heated propagator.  We find that windowsill size works well, though. It’s important to have a think about what you’re going to be growing, as well as the varieties so you can decipher the size of the heated propagator as well as the number of trays that you may need. You may also be interested in our guide to the best:

Artificial hanging baskets

Potting bench

Garden obelisk

Height of lid

Depending on what you’re growing, you want to make a note of the height of the lid as this will indicate how long you can keep your produce or flowers growing before they need to be transferred outside. If you just need your seeds to germinate and grow 1-2 inches above the soil, then you don’t need to worry about the height of the lid as much. However, if you need to nurture the germination more than 4-5 inches, then it’s important to look at the height of the lid to accommodate accordingly.

Wattage

If you’re concerned about electricity usage, then check the wattage before purchasing. Most heated propagators will be around the 20-22 wattage mark, so anything excessively higher will cost you more.

FAQ

Are heated propagators worth it?

Yes, they are! If you’re keen to get your gardening boots and gardening trousers on early (metaphorically of course), then a heated propagator is the way to go. It can be tricky especially if you have a busy life to tend to your garden, so having a heated propagator gives your seeds the boost that they need, so you can be certain that they’ll germinate and grow. Heated propagators are great for vegetables in particular.

How long should I leave my cuttings in a heated propagator?

You need to leave them in there around 3-4 days with enough ventilation. If they struggle after this time period, then it probably hasn’t worked.

What can you grow in a heated propagator?

(Nearly) everything! Having a heated propagator allows you to be a bit more adventurous and try exotic fruits and vegetables such as morning glory which otherwise would only grow in a tropical, humid climate. You can also grow beautiful flowers like lilies in a heated propagator.

Do you water seeds in a propagator?

It depends on what your propagator looks like and how it’s built. If it has drainage holes you can fill the water tray underneath. If not, then you’ll need to water them manually. Remember that the heat will produce excess humidity, so be careful not to over-water.

What temperature do seeds germinate at?

It depends on what you’re growing, and can vary from 18 degrees through to nearly 30 degrees with excess humidity. This is why it’s important to research beforehand so you don’t kill your seeds from either creating an environment that’s too hot, or an environment that’s too cold.

What do I do after my seeds sprout in the heated propagator?

Depending on what you’re growing, you can move them into a greenhouse or other controlled warm environment for tropical plants. Or, you can transfer them into soil outdoors providing the environment is okay. You should aim to do this in spring or early summer so the germinated and sprouted seeds don’t become shocked by the sudden change in environment.

Conclusion

You’ll see from the above that choosing a heated propagator is always centred around the seeds that you’re looking to germinate, and we hope this guide has helped. In the meantime, you may want to start looking at other products that are a great investment for your garden, such as a patio cleaner, battery outdoor lights or even a petrol pressure washer. We wish you the best of luck with your purchase as well as learning more through the Konservatory website.

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