How To Sprout Chia Seeds – 5 Easy Methods

Sprout Chia Seeds

Salvia Hispanica or Salvia Columbariae, popularly known as chia seeds are a superfood that can be used in a wide range of recipes including salads, puddings, sandwiches, smoothies, etc.

They are rich in essential omega 3 fatty acids, linoleic fatty acids, and a wide range of valuable nutrients. In this guide, we will teach you how to sprout chia seeds.

Sprouting seeds improves their digestibility. It also increases their nutrient content and improves the bioavailability of the micronutrients in the body. You could also proceed to grow chia sprouts. 

Chia seeds are easy to sprout using readily available tools in your home, as long as you provide the necessary conditions. This article discusses 5 methods on how to sprout chia seeds.

How To Sprout Chia Seeds: Conditions For Sprouting

Generally, you need the following to sprout chia seeds:

  • Organic, high-quality chia seeds. You can purchase them at your local grocery store or health store. One teaspoon of chia seeds produces two cups of chia sprouts.
  • Sprouting surface. It provides the medium for the chia seeds to grow.
  • Sunlight. Provides energy for the chia seeds to sprout, however, they require low-intensity lighting. Do not put them in direct sunlight.
  • Moisture. Chia seeds require moisture to sprout, but since they are a mucilaginous seed, when soaked in water they form a protective chia gel sac that inhibits sprouting. You only need to mist the seeds or place them on a porous, damp surface. As such, they cannot be sprouted using the regular mason jar method.

5 Methods On How To Sprout Chia Seeds

sprouted or germinated chia seeds
Image Source: Shutterstock

1. Terra Cotta Dish Method

What You need

  • Terra cotta dish
  • Spray bottle
  • Filtered water
  • Organic chia seeds
  • Paper towel
  • Baking dish with clamshell

Steps

  1. Take a clean terra cotta dish and soak it in water for a few minutes to moisten it.
  2. Pat it with a paper towel or clean, dry towel to blot away any excess moisture.
  3. Spread a thin layer of chia seeds on the terra cotta dish.
  4. Add filtered water a quarter-way up the baking dish.
  5. Place the terra coat dish in the water. Ensure that the water does not get into the top surface of the terra cotta dish where the chia seeds are.
  6. Put some filtered water in the spray bottle and spritz the chia seed until it is sufficiently moist, but not soaked. Ensure there is no standing water on the terra cotta dish.
  7. Cover the baking dish with a glass lid. It creates a greenhouse effect and traps moisture.
  8. Terra cotta is a type of porous, brownish-orange or brownish-red clay. It allows just the right amount of moisture to seep through to the chia seeds. Therefore, you do not need to spritz the growing chia seed every day.
  9. Within 4-7 days, the seeds will begin to sprout. You can harvest the chia sprouts them or allow them to grow into microgreens.

2. Chia Pet Method

Chia pets are terra cotta figurines designed in different shapes and styles and are used as chia planters. They have grooves that hold the chia seeds as they grow. There are animal chia pets like sheep, frogs, puppies, kittens, etc.

Others depict real people such as Donald Trump, Bob Ross, and Barack Obama, or famous cartoon characters like Scooby-Doo. They are sold affordably on Amazon and most come as a complete kit that includes a pack of chia seeds. Our favorite is the Chia Pet Bob Ross with Seed Pack.

What You Need

  • Chia seeds
  • Chia planter
  • Filtered water
  • Spray bottle
  • Dish
  • Tray
  • Plastic bag (optional)

Steps

  1. Fill a dish with water and soak the planter for about an hour and then remove it and pat away the excess water.
  2. Put water in a spray bottle and mist the chia seeds without soaking them.
  3. Spread the moist chia seeds on the damp chia pet. You may use a small knife to spread out the seeds evenly especially in the grooves.
  4. Put water in a tray and place the chia pet inside. Water will seep through the planter to the chia seeds. Place the planter away from direct sunlight.
  5. Allow 4-7 days for the chia seeds to sprout.
  6. If the surrounding air is dry or it is too hot, cover the planter with a plastic bag to prevent excessive moisture loss. Remove the plastic bag once the chia seeds sprout.

3. Flat-Bottomed, Wide-Mouth Glass Container Method

This is one of the most accessible chia sprouting methods as the items required are readily available.

What You Need

  • Chia seeds
  • Filtered water
  • Spray bottle
  • Flat-bottomed glass container

Steps

  1. Take a clean and dry flat-bottomed glass container.
  2. Spread a thin layer of chia seeds across its base.
  3. Put water in the spray bottle and moisten the seeds. Do not make the seeds too wet as they will form a gel coating that inhibits sprouting.
  4. Place the container in a low-light area, away from direct sunlight.
  5. You may loosely place a lid on top of the container to prevent moisture loss and protect the seeds from contamination. However, leave one side of the container slightly opened to facilitate aeration.
  6. Allow 4-7 days for the chia seeds to sprout. You may need to spritz the chia seed every day or every other day depending on the humidity in the surrounding areas.

4. Jiffy Strips Method

Like terra cotta, jiffy strips are porous as they are made of peat or wood fiber. They are also 100% biodegradable. You can buy them affordably on Amazon.

What You Need

  • Chia seeds
  • 3-inch jiffy strips
  • Filtered water
  • Spray bottle

Steps

  1. Put filtered water in the spray bottle
  2. Spray an abundant amount on the jiffy strip until it is fully wet.
  3. Sprinkle chia seeds on the jiffy strip. Do not crowd the peats.
  4. Use the spray bottle to mist the chia seeds.
  5. Place the jiffy strip in a low-light area, away from direct sunlight.
  6. Allow 4-7 days for the chia seeds to sprout. You may need to spritz the chia seed every day or every other day depending on the humidity in the surrounding areas.

5. Tray and Spray Method

This method is simple.

What You Need

  • Chia seeds
  • Spray bottle
  • Filtered water
  • Tray

Steps

  1. Clean a tray and wipe it dry.
  2. Sprinkle a thin layer of chia seeds across the tray.
  3. Put filtered water in a spray bottle and mist the seeds. Ensure not to wet the chia seeds excessively such that water collects at the bottom of the tray.
  4. Put the tray in a low-light area and allow 4-7 days for the seeds to start sprouting. You will need to spritz the chia seeds every day or every other day depending on the surrounding conditions.

How To Sprout Chia Seeds: Conclusion

Sprouted chia seeds are highly nutritious. You could also sprout them for propagation. Whichever reason for sprouting, choose one of the above methods. With the right conditions, the chia seeds will have sprouted within 4-7 days. We hope this guide on how to sprout chia seeds helped you grow your chia seeds. If you have your tips on how to sprout chia seeds, feel free to share them in the comments below.

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I'm Jad, a biologist, blogger, and experienced indoor gardener. I am knowledgeable in plant biology, particularly in plant cultivation and propagation. I founded HerbsWithin.com in 2019 to share my knowledge in indoor gardening with passionate home growers.