How to Make a Homemade Propagation Box

Written by nicole fotheringham
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How to Make a Homemade Propagation Box
It is possible to create healthy seedlings and cuttings with your own homemade propagation box. (Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Propagation boxes are designed to enhance the growth of seedlings or cuttings. You can make your own propagation box out of an old polystyrene cooler, which will save money by recycling an old cooler. The project is inexpensive and can be accomplish with only a few supplies. Keep all the implements and the cooler clean --- fungus or bacteria can sabotage even the most enthusiastic gardener.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Warm water
  • Sponge
  • Clean water
  • Polystyrene cooler
  • Craft knife
  • Clear plastic
  • Tape
  • Newspaper

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  1. 1

    Clean out the cooler with warm soapy water and a sponge. Rinse with clean water.

  2. 2

    Remove the lid and cut a large rectangular section out of the middle. Leave enough of the edges intact to maintain the integrability of the lid. The hole size will be determined by the size of your cooler. This allows light in to your propagation box, so the bigger, the better.

  3. 3

    Cut a sheet of clear plastic big enough to cover the hole. Tape it down along the edges. Tape it to the top of the box as the humidity inside the box may cause the tape to peel.

  4. 4

    Place five to six layers of newspaper in the bottom of the box. Moisten the newspaper.

  5. 5

    Plant the seedlings into 80mm square pots. You can put 16 cuttings in each pot. Water seedlings and place in the propagation box. Close the lid and place in a warm, sunny spot.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't have a polystyrene cooler, visit your local grocery store and ask for old polystyrene packaging boxes.
  • Practice due caution when using the craft knife.
  • Ensure the cooler temperature stays below 35 degrees Celsius.

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