Propagating plants can be a hit and miss affair. Sometimes your seedlings flourish and your pots are soon brimming with life. Other times an identical process can yield lifeless and limp results… So what's the secret?

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Consistency is the key. Carefully taking cuttings in the right way at the right place and at the right time. Ensuring your pots are the right size and shape. Your choice of potting mix is the right type for what you're planning to grow and so much more. How much water to use… And how much light you need to deliver… And – should the worst happen – how can you miraculously bring plants back to life?…

So why not take the guesswork out of propagation by using the right tools? Ensure you're making the perfect cut, planting in the right pots and giving your seedlings the best possible start in life?

To help you on your way we've rounded up our favourite propagation gadgets and tools.

For more advanced tech, check out our guide to the best heated propagators.

Best propagation tools

Burgon & Ball Seed Tray Tamper

Burgon & Ball seed tray tamper

Your soil or compost requires careful placement and the finishing touch to any planting is carefully tamping down the surface to ensure that your seeds and seedlings are comfortably bedded in. Not too loose… Not too tight… But just right.

This seed tray tamper allows you to quickly and easily pressure a planted tray to a perfect even consistency all across its surface. It’s made of FSC-certified beech wood, cut into an 8cm-wide square to help you get into any tricky corners.

For different containers, you could also get the circular or mini tamper, which is perfect for cell trays.

Mini Bamboo/Coffee Husk Plant Pots

Mini Bamboo/Coffee Husk plant pots

Perfectly diminutively styled, this set of 5 mini pots will provide a perfect, ecologically sound home for your new seedlings and plants. Suitable for everyday use indoors or out they're made from coffee husk and chaff, mixed with plant fibres to create an advanced biodegradable composite.

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Gro-Sure Perlite

Gro-Sure Perlite

Perlite is a naturally occurring, non-toxic, volcanic rock that has been heated to a high temperature to produce a lightweight, micro-porous material with a high surface area. It is then graded to produce a particle size of 2-5mm and becomes an ideal compost additive as it helps to retain air in the compost which is essential for healthy root development.

It helps to create an optimum balance of air and water, which makes water logging almost impossible and minimises damage to roots when transplanting.

Propagation station

Propagation station on a wooden table

For a propagation station you’ll be proud to put on display in your home, try this beautifully crafted piece from Etsy. It comes with three small glass vases attached to a metal rod for you to nurture your plants.

As an added bonus, this propagation rack arrives in 100% recyclable packaging, protected with wood wool and honeycomb paper.

Burgon & Ball National Trust Wood Dibber

Burgon & Ball National Trust dibber on a white background

The small but mighty dibber is your best friend when planting up seeds or seedlings. This smart tool comes from Burgon & Ball and the National Trust, so you can rest assured it’s a quality product.

You’ll get a handy depth gauge to help you when creating holes and a high-carbon steel head with textured powder coating for durability.

Galvanised Tray with 12 Growing Pods

Galvanised tray with 12 growing pods

These attractive galvanised steel sets consist of tapered 6cm square bottomless pods which sit neatly in a matching slender deep tray. Perfectly proportioned to make use of narrow spaces, they’re a lovely way to start seedlings off on a kitchen windowsill or a smart and sustainable plastic-free addition to the greenhouse.

Nether Wallop Oak Paper Potter

Nether Wallop oak paper potter

This fabulous Paper Potter, makes biodegradable pots from strips of old newspaper. Economical and eco-friendly, it’s perfect for seeds and small seedlings. Pots are 4cm wide and up to 5cm deep.

Nature Steel Garden Sieve

Nature Steel garden sieve

Easily sieve out pebbles and gravel from your soil to give new plants the finest new home. The fine mesh of the garden sieve ensures that only soil or sand can pass through. This garden sieve is made of galvanised steel and has a 12 mm mesh.

Opinel No.8 Garden Knife

Opinel No.8 garden knife

A sharp garden knife is essential when taking cuttings and removing lower leaves, and you can't go wrong with an Opinel design. This one has an 18cm blade, which has been refined for jobs around the garden. It's made from stainless steel to stand up to the damp conditions, and has a beautiful varnished beech handle.

Lighthouse Beachcomber Ladies Waterproof Jacket

Lighthouse Beachcomber ladies jacket

Working outdoors for any kind of time means wrapping up warm and dry at this time of year. This stylish waterproof – pictured here in meadow green – has classic nautical styling and is cut from a comfortable, soft touch peach finish fabric, that is both waterproof and breathable.


Best propagation kits

DeWit Small Propagating Tools & Gift Box

DeWit Small propagating tools

We love this box of essentials, all identically styled and perfect for handling your delicate seedlings and young plants. They're the perfect tool kit for bonsai too. All the tools are traditionally forged and are built to last from carbon steel then finished off with a solid ash ergonomic handles for a secure, comfortable grip.

The set includes:

  • Greenhouse trowel - suitable for houseplants, seedling trays and potting
  • Greenhouse 2-prong fork - ideal for bonsai, houseplants and herbs
  • Greenhouse rake/scraper - perfect for removing moss from pots
  • Greenhouse knife - great for delicate cutting, creating holes, pricking out seedlings

Tech Garden 40 biodegradable pots and plug pellets

Tech Garden propagation kit on a white background

If you’re after a quick and easy solution, this propagation kit could be perfect. It comes with 40 biodegradable plant pots, along with compressed sustainable peat pellets, which expand when watered.

The set is completely organic and sourced from Sphagnum compost and coir fibres, packed full of nutrients to get your plants off to the best start.

Seed starter trays, seedling pots and accessories

Biodegradable seed starter trays on a white background

When buying seed trays, it’s always a good idea to go for a sustainable, biodegradable option. These ones are made from paper pulp, which you can put directly into the ground when your seedlings grow to avoid transplant shock.

Also included in this propagation kit are 100 planting labels, two mini transplanting tools and a spray bottle.


Best propagation gadgets

Garland Micro Grow Light Garden

Garland Micro Grow light garden

Winter be damned. Now you can what you like all year long. Perfect for growing delicious salads and herbs or for the early season starting of seeds. Or give a boost to flowering houseplants out of season. Its full-spectrum (6400K) grow lights replicate natural sunlight and consume 20% less power than a standard domestic light bulb. NanoTech reflectors reduce heat build up and maximise performance by reflecting 100% of the light towards the plants.

It even comes with four reusable tough growing trays [17cm (12") long x 10cm (4") wide x 5cm (2") high.

Smart Garden 3 by Click & Grow

One for the true propagation enthusiasts, this smart gadget is an innovative bit of kit. With the help of in-built sensors, it gives your plants the optimum amount of water, nutrients and oxygen for their growth stage. There are no harmful chemicals or pesticides here.

Keep the Smart Garden 3 on your kitchen counter to grow fresh herbs or use it for other plants around your home.

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Interested in the latest tools and tech? See our guide to the best garden gadgets you can buy online.

Authors

Daniel GriffithsDigital Editor

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest home and entertainment brands in the world. He is a serial house-renovator and home improvement expert, taking on everything from interior design and DIY to landscape gardening and garden design.

Alice TufferyDigital Writer

Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media's special interest brands, she's written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work - and lusting over homeware and gardening products - you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.

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