Growing Chia Seeds

Chia Pets

Add 1/4 cup of water to 2 teaspoons of Chia seeds. Stir the mixture after 15 minutes to moisten all seeds, then let it set for 24 hours. This process softens the seed coat and begins the growth cycle of your Chia seeds. In another container, also soak your Chia planter for 24 hours.

Carefully apply the seeds evenly to the grooves of your planter, using your fingers, a small knife, or a spatula. Fill your Chia to the top with water. Check the water level daily and add additional water whenever necessary. Some leakage in the drip tray is normal. Discard the accumulated water daily. Keep full of water. Moist seeds should sprout in 3-5 days.

When the air is dry, it is more challenging to keep the seeds moist enough to sprout properly. To promote germination of the seeds, "tent" a plastic bag over your Chia. Do not allow the plastic to touch the planter! This will create a greenhouse environment for your Chia. When most of the seeds have sprouted (about 3 to 4 days), remove the bag and place your Chia in a sunny location

A small amount of white "fuzz" is normal when your Chia seeds first sprout. This is actually the emergence of "root hairs," and is the second stage of growth for your Chia seeds. "Misting" your Chia with a spray bottle will give the root hairs a less fuzzy appearance. If the fuzz persists past the first week, it is likely that you have a mildew problem. Your Chia can still be used. Scrub the seeds off the planter using a brush. Soak your chia in a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon of water for a half hour to remove any mildew residue. Rinse well with clear water and proceed as above. Grows quickly to full coat. Reuse your Chia Head indefinitely. Simply replant with Chia (extra seeds included) or similar herb seeds, such as basil, timothy, alfalfa, marjoram or thyme.

Other Ways to Grow Chia

This is one of the most mucilaginous seeds of all.
Do NOT soak it unless growing on a chia pet!

Grow these on soil or baby blanket, on a burlap bag, on virtually any moisture retaining medium (as minimal as paper towel or fabric - like cheesecloth) you can think of. I use the coconut coir/sand mix in a shallow tray with drain holes.

The Basics

Thoroughly moisten that upon which you are going to grow.
If using a burlap bag or a small bit of baby blanket or similar medium - lay it on a plate or in a pan or something so that you don't end up watering your counter. Likewise, if using a tray, put it on a plate or in a solid tray to capture water runoff.

Spread seeds sparsely .
(there should be a bit of space around each seed but you are not expected to place them one at a time - just spread them out as much as you can and as evenly as you can)

You may cover your seeds:
If planting on soil in a tray use another tray - up side down.
the first 2-3 days. It is not always necessary when growing to cover them at all. Experiment for yourself and see what works best in your climate/location.

Place your chia garden in a low-light, room temperature location (70° is optimal).

Keep the medium moist - but not soggy - by watering or misting every day or two.

When your plants grow up and begin to shed their hulls they are ready for light so move them (if necessary) to a well lighted location.
If you go with sunlight be prepared to water more frequently. Room light will usually do quite nicely as well and will not dry out your medium as quickly.

Keep the medium moist but not soggy by watering regularly.
Water from the side if possible to prevent injuring the tiny plants.

When your plants have open leaves and are green, they are done.

Harvest by cutting just above the medium upon which they have grown.

During the final 8-12 hours minimize the surface moisture of your plants - they will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch. So if you water try to keep the water off the plants - just water the medium.

Seed Amounts:

1-2 Tablespoons for our little 5” tray.
1/3-1/2 Cup for an 11inch x 11 inch square tray.
2/3-1 Cups for ours for an 11 inch x 22 inch tray.

The surest way to know what amount of seed to use: Spread dry seed on the bottom of your container so that the seed is spread evenly and sparsely (about 1/16 - 1/8 of an inch of room between seeds is the goal, but don't sweat it, there is no way you can do that even close to exactly - it is just a goal!).