Creating an environment conducive to healthy plant growth will make or break your propagation system. Temperature is a crucial aspect of this environment, and seedlings and clones do best in a range of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is uncommon for this to occur naturally, especially in certain climates, and thus most growers use a seedling heat mat.
What is a seedling heat mat?
Seedling heat mats, also known as germination mats or propagation mats, are a very simple way of increasing the temperature in your propagation system by 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit. Most mats are set to provide a temperature of 78 degrees, which is perfect for seeds. After the seeds have germinated, the plants should be kept at a temperature between 70-75 degrees.
Do I need a heat mat for plants to start seeds?
Your seeds will only germinate if they are provided the right environment. Seeds need to be warmer than room temperature (75-80 degrees, to be exact) to sprout, and so you will see a much higher germination rate with a heat mat.
Since propagation lights are lower intensity, they will also generate less heat. Normally, less heat in the grow room is a good thing, but not during propagation. You will need to find another method of heating your grow media and plants, which in this case should be a heating mat.
Another reason to use a heat mat for your seeds is to keep a constant temperature. Fluctuations in any of the environmental conditions will stress out young plants or seeds. Heat mats are very stable and will maintain a temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a hygrometer can help growers maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels. It is important to prevent temperatures from extending outside of the ideal range, as this will dry out plants. The plant will have trouble holding onto oxygen, and this leads to an inability to absorb nutrients. Warm temperatures are also conducive to algae growth.
Visit our learning center to check out some of our articles on propagation, including our definitive guide on how to clone a plant.
If you are starting from seed, we have you covered! Check out our definitive guide on germinating seeds.
If you still have questions, give our experienced growers a call at 888-815-9763!