How to Grow Cress in Cotton Wool

How to Grow Cress in Cotton Wool

There are many benefits attached to growing cress in cotton wool. Cress is a nutritious food which is quick and easy to grow. Asides that, it’s cheap and munching can even start in a few days after growing it.

Cress is rich in nutrients, particularly vitamin K which gives excellent support to bones and also, helps prevent osteoporosis. Also, the high antioxidant levels in cress helps lower the risks of a number of cancer and chronic diseases.

To grow cress in cotton wool, sprinkle a teaspoon of cress seeds on the wet cotton wool and press down gently using your finger. Put the cress heads in a warm, light place, such as on the windowsill. Wait for the seeds to grow into tiny, delicious bushes of cress.

1) Why Cress Grows on Cotton Wool

This is because it does not require soil and can germinate on cotton wool instead. The cotton wool holds the roots. Cress is a plant which doesn’t get very big and so, does not require a lot of nutrients as it gets its nutrients from water and the rest is done via photosynthesis.

Cress seeds can also be grown in soil. To do this, start the seeds indoors 2 – 4 weeks before average last frost and proceed to transplant in garden. You can also plant it in containers for indoors or outdoors.

2) How Cress Seeds Grow in Cotton Wool

Spread a layer of cotton wool over the bottom of a seed-starting tray. Mist the cotton wool with water and pull the cotton wool apart slightly to break up the fibres a bit. Afterwards, put the seed tray in a bright area in indirect light.

Germination of cress takes place within a couple of days. The cress is ready to be harvested when it’s around 1.5 – 2 inches high. This depends on the type of cress you are growing.

3) Does Cress Regrow After Cutting?

Yes, they can. If you cut a cress plant back to half inch, it will regrow rapidly. Also, cress is known to be most tender at the early seed-leaf stage. Harvest your cress well before it reaches maturity. The sprouts can also be used fresh.

4) How to Eat Cress

You can use raw garden cress or watercress to lend a peppery flavour to sandwiches and salads. For a “mustard and cress” green salad, use a mixture of mustard and cress seedlings.


Growing cress in cotton wool is quite easy and doesn’t take too much time. All you need to do is to just press the seed into the cotton wool and cover the tray or punnet with cling film.

Place the tray on a warm windowsill where it can receive full light and watch your seeds germinate within 24 – 36 hours. Cress can grow in cotton wool because it doesn’t require soil and can germinate right on the cotton wool. The only role of the cotton wool is to hold the roots.


  1. “growing cress with kids” retrieved from here