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  • Writer's pictureMatt Suprunowicz

How to Germinate Seeds on a Window

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

How can we bring plants to life while watching the process unfold?


This Lesson Plan is part the Gardening Module of SustainEd Farms' virtual programming.

Background: Germinating Seeds on a Window

When we plant a seed in the soil it becomes very difficult to observe the processes taking place when that seed begins to grow into a plant. However, when given the proper conditions for growth, the seeds do not need soil to germinate. In fact, with enough warmth and moisture, seeds can germinate in a place where we can view them, allowing us to see the initial processes of plant growth.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Germinate seeds with common household items

  • Make observations on the earliest stages of plant development

  • Transplant the germinated seed into a nutritious medium

Academic Vocabulary

germinate /ˈjərməˌnāt/ verb. - the moment that a seed is given the conditions to begin growing into plant


1. Gather your materials. You will need the following supplies:

a sealable plastic bag · wet paper towel · seeds (of most varieties) · tape · a window

2. Watch the following Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to germinate seeds on a window. Then, follow along with the remainder of the lesson by reading the steps below.

3. Wet a paper towel or two with water, making sure it is damp. Fold it to fit inside of your plastic bag, and insert it into the bag.

4. Using the number of seeds you want to germinate, and the type of seeds you desire to grow, place the seeds inside of the bag. Make sure that your seeds are making contact with the paper towel, and are all located on one side of the paper towel. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, and seal it.

5. Using a piece of tape, tape the bag to a window that receives sunlight in your home. When you tape the bag, make sure the seeds are facing away from the direct sunlight (i.e. are facing into your home). This will help replicate the light, heat, and moisture conditions that seeds typically have when they are planted into soil.

6. With the specified germination time detailed on your seed package in mind, check the growth on your seeds daily. You will notice when they sprout when a tiny “shoot” pops out of the seed.

7. After your seeds have sprouted, prepare pots, trays, or cups with soil for transplanting. Transplant your germinated seeds, and watch them grow!

 Seeds germinating on a window

Additional Resources:

Download the PDF version of this lesson plan:

How to Germinate Seeds on a Window
Download PDF • 929KB

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