Troubleshooting Click & Grow Pods: What to Do if They Don’t Sprout

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If you’re reading this, you might be having some trouble with your Click & Grow seed pods not sprouting as expected. Don’t worry. This is a surprisingly common issue with Click & Grow. This article will help you figure out what might be going wrong and share some tips to get your pods from seed to plant in no time.

Click & Grow seed pods may fail to germinate due to insufficient water, unstable temperature, or inadequate light. Ensuring proper hydration, consistent temperature, and ample lighting will promote successful germination.

In this article, we’ll explore each of these reasons in more detail, and go over some solutions for maintaining optimal water levels, stabilizing temperature, and providing adequate lighting for Click & Grow seed pods to encourage sprouting.

How does a Click & Grow work?

A Click & Grow Smart Garden system is a cutting-edge growing system that utilizes automated technology and a form of wick hydroponics to create an optimal growing environment for many different kinds of plants.

It provides a consistent water supply, built-in LED lights for photosynthesis, and nutrient-rich “Smart Soil” that ensures plants receive the right balance of nutrients, oxygen, and water for healthy growth.

My Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 – growing Basil

The Smart Soil provides optimal nutrients, water, and oxygen to plants through its specially formulated material. Working in conjunction with the Click & Grow Smart Garden system, the Smart Soil ensures healthy plant growth with minimal user effort. Seeds are deposited within each Smart Soil pod.

It is possible to use your own soil or DIY seed pods with a Click & Grow. I’ve written an article about it here.

An example of wick hydroponics in action

Because no electricity is needed to pump water or provide aeration, this makes a Click & Grow system what is known as a ‘passive’ hydroponics system. This makes the Click & Grow Smart Garden system a great tool for growing plants indoors at home.

Common reasons why Click & Grow pods don’t sprout

I’ll start by saying that I have found Click & Grow seed pods to be 100% reliable whenever I have used them. But, nothing is perfect. All it takes is a casual sweep through Reddit and you will find multiple unfortunates who have experienced germination issues.

While it is rare, there are some common reasons why your Click & Grow seed pods might not sprout.

Click & Grow Smart Soil Plant Pod
A cross-section of a Smart Soil Seed pod (Image source: Click & Grow).

1. The seed pods aren’t getting enough water

Water is one of the most vital elements needed for successful seed germination. Without it, nothing much will happen. Therefore, it’s super important to make sure your Click & Grow is getting enough of it!

To check, look at the water level indicator and refill if necessary. You can tell that your Click & Grow system has enough water if the ‘bobber’ (that’s just what I call it!) is level with the top surface of the Click & Grow system.

The water indicator (seen on the left) should be level or above the top of the reservoir

Ideally, keep the water reservoir filled so the level doesn’t drop too much. And don’t forget to use clean water – it’s best for your plants. Tap water is fine. And, remember you don’t need to add any extra nutrients – the ‘Smart Soil’ has it all.

It’s also worth checking that the wick is not damaged. Lift out each pod and make sure that the wick is in good working order and that water is being drawn up the wick and into the Smart Soil. If it isn’t, the pod may be damaged.

2. Temperature fluctuations

It’s a simple fact of nature that temperature affects seed germination, and different plants have different preferences.

Over the winter of 2022, I struggled to germinate my basil seed pods because my living room temperature was below 75-85°F. There was an energy crisis and I rarely put the heating on! So my basil took ages to sprout.

Air temperature is an important consideration in hydroponics. If you want to know more, read my article about how air temperature affects hydroponics growth.

Keep your Click & Grow in a spot with stable temperatures, ideally between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Avoid placing it near anything that might heat or cool the system, like vents, radiators, windows, or air conditioning units. This will help to prevent temperature fluctuations and ensure your system is operating in a more stable environment.

3. There’s a problem with the Click & Grow lights

Light plays a huge role in plant growth. Click & Grow seed pods need plenty of it to sprout. Fortunately, the Click & Grow system comes with built-in LEDs designed to provide plenty of light for your pods.

However, if there is an issue with these LEDs your pods may not get enough light for germination to occur. Check that each LED is functioning as intended. If some are missing/dark you may want to consider replacing the lamp.

The overhead lights on a Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 (Image: Click & Grow)

You can buy new lamps at the Click & Grow Accessories section of the website.

Alternatively, you can buy additional LED grow lights to supplement the system. I use the GooingTop LED Grow Light which is cheap, clips onto the window sill, and works pretty well to boot.

You can further encourage germination by ensuring your smart garden is in a well-lit spot, but avoid direct sunlight.

4. Old or damaged seed pods

Like most things, Click & Grow seed pods have a shelf life. Unsurprisingly, old or damaged ones probably won’t germinate well.

If you’ve had some old pods lying around in their packets, check the expiry date to make sure it’s still in date and look for signs of damage. Mold or a bad smell is usually a good sign your pods are no good. If you suspect your seed pods are past their prime, don’t waste your time and throw them out.

Consider getting new ones to ensure better success. Click & Grow is constantly adding to its range of seed pods.

5. There are no seeds in the Click & Grow seed pod

In rare cases, you may discover that there are actually no seeds in the seed pod. I haven’t experienced this myself, but I have heard that some growers have had this problem.

Clearly, if this is the case, your pods won’t magically germinate. The best cause of action here is to contact the Click & Grow Help Desk.

What can you do with seed pods that don’t sprout?

If your seed pods don’t start sprouting, there are a few things you can do before losing hope. I’d recommend trying the following:

1. Double check the germination time

Different plants have varying germination times. Refer to the packaging or the Click & Grow website to confirm the expected germination time for your specific plant type. It may be that your seeds just need a little more time before sprouting.

My basil seeds sprouted after two weeks. Sometimes they just need a little more time.

Generally though, if your seeds haven’t sprouted within 3 weeks you should contact support.

2. Check the environmental conditions

Ensure that your Smart Garden is placed in a location with a stable temperature, away from direct sunlight or drafts that could cause temperature fluctuations. Make sure the garden’s LED lights are functioning properly and you are sticking to the recommended on/off schedule.

3. Inspect the water level and the wicks

Check the water reservoir and ensure it is filled to the recommended level. The ‘bobber’ should be kept level with the top of the reservoir. The Smart Soil should be moist but not soaked. And, the wicks should be clean, and not bent or damaged.

4. Examine the seed pod for damage

Gently remove the pod from the garden and look for any visible signs of damage, mold, or rot. If the seed or soil appears unhealthy, it might be necessary to contact support to replace the pod. Similarly, if you are unable to find any seeds in the pod, contact support.

When is it time to contact Click & Grow support?

If you’ve tried everything and your seed pods still aren’t sprouting, it might be time to reach out to Click & Grow’s customer support. The team should be able to help and find solutions for your seed pod issues.

How to seek help from Click & Grow

Before you go ahead and contact Click & Grow, you might want to check out the Click & Grow Forum, where you’ll be able to connect with Click & Grow users that are experiencing similar issues.

If you still want to get in touch, you can easily do so via the Click & Grow Help Desk or simply send an email to [email protected].

Will Click & Grow offer a refund for seed pods that don’t sprout?

In short, yes. Click & Grow has a policy whereby if a seed pod doesn’t sprout within three weeks of depositing it into the system they will offer a full refund or replacement.

Check out the Click & Grow Refund Policy for more info.

Final thoughts

In short, always ensure your Click & Grow seed pods have sufficient water, light, and stable temperatures if you want them to sprout successfully. Keep your smart garden system clean and well-maintained, and don’t hesitate to contact support if you need help.

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William, an experienced consultant and passionate advocate for technology and sustainability, is the founder of Smarter Home Gardens. William's journey into gardening began with the purchase of his first home, which came with a small backyard garden. Despite initial challenges brought about by limited space, soil, and sunlight, William's determination to create a vibrant garden led him to research and experiment with innovative gardening technologies and sustainable practices. Driven by his lifelong enthusiasm for technology and sustainability, William explored various gardening methods, including vertical gardening, hydroponics, companion gardening, and composting. Through these efforts, he realized that it was possible to combine his passions with his newfound love for gardening. Smarter Home Gardens was born out of William's desire to share his research and experiences with others, helping them create smarter gardens that leverage cutting-edge technology and contribute to a more nature-positive world. The blog offers in-depth articles on innovative gardening technologies and methods, helpful 'how-to' guides, reviews of the latest gardening technology, and research on cost-effective garden maintenance solutions. William's commitment to sustainable and technologically-driven gardening has made him a trusted voice in the field. His enthusiasm for creating gardens that work with the planet, rather than against it, is evident in every post he shares on Smarter Home Gardens. Through the blog, William hopes to engage with a wider audience, encouraging others to join him on this exciting journey towards smarter, more sustainable gardens.

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