Can Microgreens Be Grown On A Paper Towel?

by RightFit Gardens | Last Updated: April 3, 2021

It can be easy and straightforward to grow microgreens on a paper towel. However, if you have the option to grow them in soil, it should be your first choice. Paper towels are perfect for those who live in flats and can’t handle the stress of growing plants in soil. In other words, they’re ideal for your indoor garden. If you want to grow microgreens on paper towels, you need to follow the right steps to receive high yields.

Is it possible to grow microgreens on a paper towel?

growing microgreens on paper towelsPaper towels might not be suitable for all microgreens. In such conditions, for instance, cabbage throws deeper roots than other microgreens, which makes it hard for it to flourish. A variety of locations are ideal for growing microgreens, making them exceptionally convenient.

They have an intensely aromatic flavor and concentration of nutrients, so it’s okay to grow them on paper towels. People love their delicious flavor and vibrant colors, so they make a great addition to dishes such as salads and sandwiches. They also contain important nutrients for our bodies.

Growing Microgreens On A Paper Towel

Growing microgreens on damp paper towels is easy. Paper towels, seed trays, drip trays, and seeds are all that is necessary to successfully grow them. To grow microgreens properly on a paper towel, you should follow these steps:

Step 1: Tear a paper towel in half and place it in a container with holes. Ensure that the container is the correct height for your plant to grow properly. It should also have holes in the bottom. A second container can be placed below to hold water.

Step 2: Moisten the paper towel and place the seeds on it. Separate the seeds if they are entangled so that they are not close to one another. Cover the seeds with a sheet of paper towel and pour water over them.

Step 3: Fold the remaining half paper towel over the container. This is important as it shields the seeds from sunlight at this stage.

Step 4: During the second day, you can uncover the top of the containers so that the seedlings receive sunlight like from a sunny window. It is the sunlight that helps the microgreens germinate. It is essential to keep your seeds moist throughout their growth, so you will need to continually check the moisture level. When the seeds haven’t sprouted, this is especially important. If you feel that the seeds are dry before they sprout, always add water several times per day to keep them moist.

Step 5: The germination process should take place by the fourth day. But some microgreen seeds take longer than others to sprout. Some take 3 days, such as broccoli seeds, while other seed varieties take up to 4 days. You may notice white fuzz on the germinating plant after it sprouts. That should not be unexpected, since it is the roots and not mold. A gardener may choose to harvest plants during this time if they want to. However, most people wait until they reach the microgreen stage before harvesting them.

Step 6: Microgreens that are covered in the container will grow tall because they can’t find light, so they will be forced to search for it.

Step 7: Most plants will turn green after six days. At this stage, they need sunlight to undergo photosynthesis and become green. The light helps in the process.

Step 8: In addition to providing them with light, you can also give them a hydroponic nutrient solution. Contrary to plain water, nutrient-rich solutions will ensure your microgreens grow faster and healthier.

Step 9: The microgreens should be ready for harvest after 8 days. Broccoli microgreens grow faster than other microgreens. If you want to harvest more, you can leave your plants to grow for another 2 to 3 days. Generally, microgreens can be harvested within a couple of weeks of planting them.

Harvesting microgreens on paper towels is straightforward since you don’t have to uproot them from the soil or cut them. A microgreen that is grown on paper towels can either be eaten whole or snipped slightly above the roots.

The Advantages of Growing Microgreens on Paper Towel

Cleaner Than Growing in Soil

Paper towels are cleaner for growing your microgreen plants than soil. So, you don’t have to worry about the soil ruining your floor. Growing microgreens in the soil is different as they are usually cut just above the surface. The quality of the produce is maintained since microgreens grown on paper towels do not require a thorough wash. Microgreens harvested from the soil are affected by soil, dust, and other pollutants.

Free of Pathogens

Paper towels are also a pathogen-free medium that can be used to grow microgreens. In contrast to paper towels, microgreens in soil must be thoroughly cleaned since they might contain pathogens. These are dangerous not only to microgreen plants but also to humans if consumed. There are many strains of bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and more that are commonly found as pathogens.

Consume The Entire Plant

Microgreens grown using the paper towel method can usually be eaten whole (leaves, stems, & roots). This is not the case for microgreens grown in soil, as they are normally cut just above the soil.

Easy Monitoring

Planting your favorite microgreens on paper towels makes monitoring easy since you can watch the seeds germinate and develop roots, unlike when you have planted them in soil. Therefore, you can take care of them and even dispose of the ones that have been attacked at a suitable time.

Microgreens Grow Faster

Due to the controlled light and moisture in the container, microgreens grow faster on paper towels than in soil. From the time the seed is placed on the paper towel to harvesting, the plants receive the right amount of water. Also, the seedlings flourish when exposed to sunlight at the correct time.

Moisture Can Be Controlled

You can control moisture more easily with paper towels than soil when growing microgreens. However, this means constant monitoring of your plants.

The Drawbacks Of Growing Microgreens On A Paper Towel

Transferring To Soil Or Vermiculite Is A Real Challenge

It is not easy to transfer the plants when using paper towels to grow microgreens. It is because the roots of microgreens are usually very weak, so it is best that they are not touched directly; unless you wish them to break or damage the plant. To transfer the plant, however, you can use tweezers.

Monitoring Is A Pain

Unlike soil that can keep moisture for a long time, seedlings on paper towels must remain moist, especially in their early stages of growth.

How To Grow Microgreens Successfully

Why is it increasingly popular to grow microgreens on paper towels or indoors?

Some of the reasons people have posted on social media and other online platforms about growing microgreens and other vegetables indoors include:

Growing microgreens on paper towels can be eaten whole or chopped off the stem.

The nutrient content of microgreens is higher than that of their mature greens. As an example, broccoli has 50 times more nutritional value than mature greens. This means that harvesting microgreens is healthier than harvesting their mature counterparts.

Microgreens are easier to grow on paper towels than in moist soil.

You can grow plants at home during the stay-at-home period that is not only convenient but also cheap. If you don’t have soil, you can use paper towels to grow your microgreen plants. In the convenience of your home, you can cultivate broccoli, lettuce, or radish.


Paper towel microgreens are easy but cumbersome to grow. You need to constantly check the moisture level of the seeds and young plants. Growing microgreens in paper towels is also slower than growing in soil.

Yet microgreens cultivated on paper towels are pathogen-free and can be harvested from clean plants. They can also be consumed whole or cut. Make sure to acquire the right tools, and follow the right steps if you plan to grow your microgreens on a paper towel.