I want to prevent molds while I'm germinating plants.


when I first tried to grow a chili pepper, people suggested me to use wet paper towels for germination. (http://www.semipeperoncino.com/Guides.html)

so did I, and I used water spray for preventing seeds drying.

but 4 days later paper towels get molds so I scrapped them.

I tried once more but the result was same.

I'll try once more and I have to examine some fators making successive results.

what should I check for preventing molds in my situation basically?

my situation

  • here is about to winter. but I can maintain my room's temperature to 20' celcius.
  • this plant needs the place without lights.
  • this plant needs time for 3-4 weeks for germination.
  • Do you mean that once the seeds sprout that they'll be grown only in natural light? If so, will the be in a window, and if in a window, what direction does it face? Without pretty much full sun I'm afraid that the peppers will either die outright, or become extremely leggy and unhealthy.
    – Jurp
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 15:07
  • I can take them at the window but there will be less sunlight approximately 2-3 months because here is in winter. so in this periods I might use plant lamp.
    – blahblah
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 22:57
  • Some questions - is there a specific reason you need to avoid mold (allergies for example) and have you considered using regular potting soil instead of the paper towels? And what kind of plants are we talking about?
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 0:08
  • I'm trying to grow up peperoncino, it needs 2-4 weeks to be germinated. so if the paper towels always have to be moistered, then I give water to both seeds and molds, so 2 weeks later the molds will corrupt seeds. and when I first tried to that, people around me suggested paper towels and they said It will make germinating faster.
    – blahblah
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 11:54
  • You could read about preventing damp-off. Your planting medium should be sterile. You can sterilize in a slow oven if need be. Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


The paper towel method is one that must be promoted someplace on social media, because it is not a method followed by most gardeners. Apart from the possibility of mold, this method also causes transplant shock when the seedlings are removed from the paper towels and planted into pots or the ground.

I suggest that you find some pots or other containers with drainage holes, fill them with a soilless mix, if available, and then plant the seeds about 1 cm deep, two seeds to a pot. Place them in indirect light in a warm place in your home and you should get sprouts in four weeks. The more heat that the pots (and seedlings) get, the better. Germination is faster with bottom heat. After sprouting, place the pots under the plant light or in full sun, and water as needed, possibly daily (depends on the mix that they're growing in - if in a heavy soil-based medium, then you may only have to water every 2-3 days).

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