14 heated propagators for nurturing your plants

2048x1365_heated propagator hero

Whether you’re starting seeds off in the cold, winter months, encouraging cuttings to root or raising tender plants originally from warmer climates, a heat source will help create the best conditions to nurture them. Heated propagators are an ideal accessory which, depending on the type you choose, either offers a consistent, ambient temperature or can be set at a particular temperature to suit your needs.

Because of our cooler temperatures, plants like tomatoes, chilli and bell peppers and squashes need a long growing season so that they have time to grow, produce fruit and for those fruit to ripen. Germinating them indoors in a heated propagator early in the year, when outside it would be much too cold for them to grow, ensures they get the long growing season they need.

Even hardier and native plants benefit from being germinated at a constant temperature. Thanks to their bottom heat and high humidity, heated propagators can also be instrumental in helping cuttings to take root. Whatever you’re growing, a heated propagator will protect germinating plants from sudden cold snaps.

Growing other plants? Check out our guide to self-watering planters, or our guide to cloches. And if you’re growing in a greenhouse, our 12 useful greenhouse accessories article will be worth a look.


How to choose a heated propagator

Consider the following when shopping for a propagator:

  • Space – Unless you have a greenhouse with a power source, most of us will use a heated propagator at home. Position it on a flat surface; a windowsill out of direct sunlight is a good spot, but make sure the dimensions of your chosen propagator are a good fit.
  • Size – Make sure the dimensions of the propagator are right for your needs. If you’re planning to grow on tender plants you’ll need a bigger propagator than if you’re germinating seedlings.
  • Features – For most projects, a basic heated propagator is fine. However, if you’ve the budget to spare, look out for self-watering propagators. Some also come with lights to further help propagation.

Heated vs non-electric propagators

A non-electric propagator is simply a seed or modular tray with a transparent lid that aims to provide seeds and young plants with a consistent growing environment. The lid helps to increase the humidity within as well as generate and trap warmth, particularly if placed in a sunny spot. Some have ventilation in the lid and may even have watering spots so you can water without removing the lid and splashing plants. Lids can also be purchased separately so you can add them to your seed trays as you need them.

Non-electric propagators are a lot cheaper than a heated propagator, but without the extra, regulated warmth and bottom heat that you get in a heated propagator, growth will be slower and less consistent.

Sounds like they’re what you’re after? Buy non-electric propagators from Waitrose, Thompson & Morgan, Crocus and Amazon.

How to use a heated propagator

  • Plant your seeds in damp compost, in the trays provided.
  • Place your propagator somewhere light and well-aired.
  • Switch on the propagator.
  • Keep an eye on your germinating plants. If excessive condensation forms on the inside of the lid, open the ventilating holes to regulate the temperature a little.

14 of the best heated propagators

Browse our selection of heated propagators, below:

1

Garland Fab 4 Electric Heated Propagator

Garland Fab 4 Electric Heated Propagator - BBC Gardeners' World
Garland Fab 4 Electric Heated Propagator

The Fab 4 propagator is a great entry-level propagator for new gardeners. It gives a first-time user ease and simplicity without compromising on quality. With four cells, it’s great for growing a range of plants for the first time and easily keeping track of what’s what.

Price: £22.99

Buy Garland Fab 4 Electric Heated Propagator on Amazon


2

Garland Super7 Electric Heated Propagator

Garland Super7 Electric Heated Propagator - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Garland Super7 Electric Heated Propagator

This heated propagator from Garland is built for propagating in bulk and can grow seven different cells of plants at once. If you’re after a bumper harvest, this lengthy propagator can give a host of plants a head-start.

Price: £43

Buy Garland Super7 Electric Heated Propagator on Amazon


3

Thompson and Morgan Heated Propagator with Air Valve

Thompson and Morgan Heated Propagator with Air Valve - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Thompson and Morgan Heated Propagator with Air Valve

This propagator can be used without trays, so if you have lots to grow – little tomato plants, or a mix of cuttings, for example – this propagator is fantastic for general use. Great for running lots of small scale projects at once.

Price: £27.99

Buy Thompson and Morgan Heated Propagator with Air Valve on Amazon


4

Harrod Heated Windowsill Propagator with Capillary Mat and Tray

Harrod Heated Windowsill Propagator with Capillary Mat and Tray - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Harrod Heated Windowsill Propagator with Capillary Mat and Tray

This generous heated propagator holds three different trays, making it easy to grow a variety of plants. Most importantly, it has capillary matting which helps to regulate each plant’s water consumption, allowing them to absorb as much as they need and no more.

Price: £44.95

Buy Windowsill Propagator with Capillary Mat and Tray at Harrod Horticultural


5

Selections Jumbo Windowsill Heated Plant Propagator

Jumbo Windowsill Heated Propagator
Jumbo Windowsill Heated Propagator

This heated propagator is designed to fit on a windowsill, and has a single deep tray that can either be filled directly with soil or pots, which is a useful feature when you’re growing your own. A thermostat control maintains heat at 21°C/70°F, while two vents in the clear lid regulate humidity.

Price: £39.99

Buy the Selections Jumbo Windowsill Heated Plant Propagator on Amazon 


6

Stewart Thermostatic Heat and Grow Electric Propagator

This generously-sized propagator has plenty of space and its extra high, clear lid allows excessive moisture and warm air to be released via two vents. An inbuilt thermostat maintains temperatures between 18°C – 23°C (64°F-73°F).

Price: £52.99

Buy the Stewart Thermostatic Heat and Grow Electric Propagator from Keen Gardener


7

Vitopod Heated Propagator

Sowing seed early - using a heated propagator
Vitapod heated propagator

A great choice if you’re after precise conditions, this heated propagator can be set exactly to your chosen temperature, anywhere between 5°C-30°C (41°F-86°F). It’s ideal if you’re overwintering larger plants or have lots of seedlings, as its base comes in two sizes, 50w and 100w, and you can adjust its height with either a single, double or triple height lid. Measurements vary depending on size and height – check here for details.

Price: from £155

Buy the Vitapod Heated Propagator from Greenhouse Sensations


8

EarlyGrow MPL50035/P Heated Electric Shatter Resistant Medium Propagator

2048x1365_EarlyGrow Heated Electric Shatter Resistant Medium Propagator
EarlyGrow Heated Electric Shatter Resistant Propagator

Simply plug in and use, this heated propagator produces a steady temperature ranging from 16°C – 21°C (60°F-82°F). Made in the UK with robust and durable shatter resistant lids, it’s ideal for novice gardeners. and comes in different sizes, including a windowsill propagator. The range also includes a height extender and heat mat.

Price: £34.95

Buy the EarlyGrow MPL50035/P Heated Electric Shatter Resistant Medium Propagator from Amazon

Buy more EarlyGrow products on Amazon


9

Sankey 38cm Growarm 100 Propagator Kit

Sankey Growarm 100 Propagator Kit
Sankey Growarm 100 Propagator Kit

This model comes with 2x21cm seed trays to allow you to grow two types of seed at the same time, a capillary mat to retain water and keep soil moist, as well as an instruction booklet to get you started. The 8 watt heating element keeps the soil warm and is ideal for seeds that benefit from bottom heat.

Price: £29.99

Buy the Sankey 38cm Growarm 100 Propagator Kit from Amazon


10

Garland One Top Electric Propagator

Garland One Top Electric Propagator - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Garland One Top Electric Propagator

This small propagator is a great choice if you’re strapped for space, or just want to grow a few chillies on the windowsill. Using even less energy than it takes to power a light bulb, seedlings will benefit from the constant, extra warmth. The vent is a useful feature, which helps control humidity levels, and though its footprint is small, its clearance is 12cm, which is plenty of room for young plants to get started.

Price: £43.99

Buy the Garland One Top Electric Propagator from Robert Dyas


11

Garland Big 3 Automatic Temperature Control Electric Propagator

Garland Big 3 Automatic Temperature Control Electric Propagator - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Garland Big 3 Automatic Temperature Control Electric Propagator

For a truly bumper season’s growth, look no further than the Garland Big 3. This monster propagator holds three 37.5cm by 23cm trays at once, so you can give kale, tomatoes, sweet peas and chillies a head start at a balmy 19°C, all at the same time.

Price: £80.31

Buy the Garland Big 3 Automatic Temperature Control Electric Propagator from Robert Dyas


12

Geopod Heated Propagator – Large 110W

Geopod Heated Propagator - Large 110W - BBC Gardeners' World
Geopod Heated Propagator – Large 110W

This propagator has precise thermostat control, so you can tune your propagator to the exact temperature you need. The high dome allows plants plenty of room to grow and it has grow-lights to help promote healthy growth.

Price: from £67.99

Buy Geopod Heated Propagator – Large 110W at Two Wests & Elliott


What are heat mats?

    An alternative solution to providing seedlings and plants with some bottom warmth, heat mats provide the ideal warmth for a range of seeds, such as tomatoes, parsley, basil, cabbages and onions. Simply lay it out flat on a dry, even surface underneath a tray of seedlings or pots.
    However, without a cover, they’re unable to create humid conditions, which can be beneficial when seeds are germinating and the soil needs to stay moist. They’re great for storage, too, as they can simply be rolled up and put away until next year.

13

Riogoo Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat

RIOGOO Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat Controller
RIOGOO Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat Controller

The thermostat sensor probe maintains a stable temperature between 20°C – 42°C (68°F-107°F), and features a digital keypad, which is easy to operate. It comes with a one year warranty.

Price: £35.99

Buy the Riogoo Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat on Amazon


14

ROOT!IT Heat Mats

Provide bottom heat to seed trays and pots to help speed up germination and cuttings to take root. Hard-wearing and easy to use, this mat can be wiped-clean and rolled up after use. It with a 1.8m power cable in three sizes – small, medium and large.

Price: from £36.99

Buy ROOT!IT Heat Mats on Suttons

In need of further inspiration? Browse more heated propagators and heat mats on Crocus, Thompson & Morgan, Two Wests & Elliot, Keen Gardener and Suttons.

This Product Guide was last updated in February 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.

Carts

Accessories

Flower Seeds

Composting

Choosing the right fruit trees for your climate
How to harvest herbs: How and when to harvest homegrown herbs
what weed is it? putting names to pesky plants
Georgia’s Farming and Gardening Sector: Top 10 Easiest Veggies to Grow [Infographic]
Best Shrubs Of The Southwest For Landscaping
How To Grow Your Own Plant-Based Thanksgiving Dinner
Grow Tasty Herbs For Roast Turkey In Your Garden
Crabapples Recipe Ideas To Add To Your Thanksgiving Menu
Win an RHS calendar gift set, worth £19.99
Growing and caring for house plants with Monty
Tea-break tutorials with Alan Titchmarsh: episode 17 – exclusively for subscribers
How to plant evening primroses in autumn
Can I use garden soil for indoor plants?
Herbs that Grow Well with Rosemary
How Far Apart to Grow Tomatoes, Explained
Are lizards good for the garden?
Top 6 Struggles of Growing Herbs Indoors (w/ solutions)!!!??? // Garden Answer
Top 5 Beginner Tips For Apartment Gardeners Aja Dang Epic
How To Grow Tomatoes Indoors
How To Care For Indoor Plants + GREENIFY YOUR SPACE
How to Grow Vegetable Seedlings
Try it now | How to grow Bean Sprouts in the fastest and easiest
Try it now | How to grow Bean Sprouts in the fastest and easiest
Biggest & Thickest Buds on Cannabis using This Organic Hardener & Sugars
Biggest & Thickest Buds on Cannabis using This Organic Hardener & Sugars
MY SECRETS TO BIG MONEY PLANT (POTHOS) | MONEY PLANT CARE TIPS - COMPLETE GUIDE
MY SECRETS TO BIG MONEY PLANT (POTHOS) | MONEY PLANT CARE TIPS – COMPLETE GUIDE