Germination test method

Germination test method

Materials required:

Seed lot

Cotton wool /filter paper


Petri dish /plate


  • Put the cotton wool on the plate/ petri dish.
  • Pick a counted number of seeds from a seed lot at random.
  • Place the seeds in the cotton wool.
  • Water the seeds and cover them.
  • Provide all the conditions necessary for germination.
  • Continue watering the seeds.
  • After 5- 7 days, open the seeds and count those that have germinated and express them as a percentage of total seeds planted.


If the germination percentage is above 80% then the seeds are good for planting.


  • Given that 45 seeds were tested and 36 of them germinated.
  • Calculate the germination percentage
  • Comment on the suitability of the seeds for planting.


=       36 4 x 100% 20

          45 9

=       4 x 20

=       80%

ii)      The seeds are able to germinate so they are suitable for planting.

65 seeds tested germinated.

48 did not germinate

Seeds tested = 65 + 48

113 seeds

65 X100%


=  57.5%

The lackon technique / Tetrazolium salt method


  • Seed lot
  • Petridish         
  • tetrazolium salt solution


  • Accounted number  of seeds are soaked in a  tetrazolium salt solution
  • Allow the seeds to stay in the solution over night
  • Cut the seeds open to expose the embryo.
  • Count the number o f seeds that have acquired pink/ reddish embryo. Thee will be the viable ones.

Express their number as a percentage of the total seeds soaked / tested.

Observation and conclusion

When the viable seeds respire they produce carbon dioxide that turns tetrazolium salt solution pink or reddish.


If the percentage of the seeds with pink/ reddish embryo is 80% and above, then the seeds are good for planting.