How Long Do Microgreens Take to Grow? Here’s a Timeline!

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Microgreens are essentially a variety of greens, lettuces, or herbs that are harvested at a young age, usually after they have developed their first true leaves. Gardeners often enjoy growing microgreens because they can be raised at any time of the year, due to their ability to thrive indoors (and outdoors in mild climates). Another reason why people enjoy having microgreens is because they usually do not take long to develop.

How long do microgreens take to grow? How long a microgreen takes to grow depends on its unique variety. On average, most greens can germinate within 2 to 3 days and are ready to harvest between 8 to 21 days.

As you can tell from this range, there are fast-growing microgreens as well as slow-growing microgreens to consider. Some of the faster-growing types take as little as eight to 15 days to grow, while slower-growing varieties require up to 25 days before they are ready to harvest. It all depends on the microgreen’s individual crop cycle.

The Microgreen Crop Cycle

Each microgreen plant undergoes the same type of crop cycle, which starts with the gardener planting its seeds within a designated tray. This step is followed by a blackout period, in which the microgreen is left in a dark, humid environment to germinate. Next, is the sunlight period, when the plant can begin to grow its first true leaves. Finally, there is the harvest, during which time the gardener can then store or use the fresh microgreens for a multitude of dishes.

Planting

As with any plant, the first step to growing microgreens is planting the seeds into your desired medium (soil-based, soil-less media, hydroponic).

Quick Tip: For a successful microgreen crop, we recommend that you scatter around 1 oz. of seeds across your of your tray. This ensures that you will get a more significant yield and will have an easier time harvesting the plants later.

Once you have sown your chosen microgreen seeds in the tray and watered them, the microgreens are placed in a warm and dark environment to officially begin their growing cycle.

Germination (Blackout) Period

The germination phase for microgreens happens during this “blackout” period, in which the tray is covered with a dark lid (or blackout dome) or dishtowel to create a dark, warm, and humid environment, which is ideal for this process to take place.

It is during this period in which the growing times of different microgreen types start to vary. For example, it can take arugula around two to three days before its seeds germinate, while asparagus can take as long as nine days. This is why there is such a large difference in growing times for some microgreens when compared to others.

Sunlight Period

Not long after the microgreen seeds have germinated, they are removed from the dark environment and placed under a source of light for the duration of their growth phase (usually once they have reached an inch to an inch-and-a-half in height).

Again, depending on the variety, microgreens will also differ in growing times between when they are first introduced to light and when they are ready to harvest. For a green like arugula, this may be another two to three days, while asparagus will be an additional nine to 10.

Harvest

Microgreens are ready to harvest once they have developed their first “true” leaves, or are about two to three inches tall. Due to the vast differences in germination and growing times, different microgreens will be ready to harvest at different times.

RELATED: When Should Microgreens Be Harvested?

Fast-Growing Microgreens

Most fast-growing microgreen varieties are considered the “easiest” to grow compared to other greens. They are usually ready to harvest in around 8 to 14 days. The following tables* list the crop cycles and their respective timelines for each microgreen type:

Arugula (Rocket)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-5 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-9 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 10-14Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Arugula Microgreens.

Barley

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-15Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Broccoli

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-8 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 9-14Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Broccoli Microgreens.

Brussels Sprouts

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-5Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-9Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 10-13Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Brussels Sprouts Microgreens.

Buckwheat

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-14 Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Cabbages

Different cabbage varieties grow at different lengths of time when planted for microgreen harvesting. The below tables list their more common microgreen types:

Bok Choy & Pak Choi Varieties

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-11Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Golden Acre, Red Acre, Red Rock Mammoth, & Kogane Varieties

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-8 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 9-14Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Cauliflower

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-5 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-8 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 9-12Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Cauliflower Microgreens.

Chia

Day 1Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-7Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-12Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Collard (Champion & VATES)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-9 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 10-12Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Endive

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-15Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Kale (Bright Green, Red Russian, & Toscano)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-8Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 9-12Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Kale Microgreens.

Kohlrabi (Purple)

Day 1Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-9 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 10-13Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Kohlrabi Microgreens.

Lettuces

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-6 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-13 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 14-20 Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Mustards

Similarly to cabbages, mustards come in a wide variety of species. The below tables lists a few of the more common microgreen types grown:

Red Streaks Mizuna Variety

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-12Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Mibuna Variety

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-12Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Mizuna, Osaka, Feathered Red, & Yellow Varieties

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-12Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Southern Giant Variety

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-10 Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Tokyo Bekana Variety

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-10Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Radish (Daikon, Hong Vit, Purple Stem, Red Arrow, Red Rambo, & Red Stem)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-12Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Radish Microgreens.

Red Clover

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-10Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Saltwort

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-5 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-9 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 10-15Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Sesame

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-6 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 7-10Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Sunflowers

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-4 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 5-6 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 7-10Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Sunflower Microgreens.

Wheatgrass

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-6 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 7-10Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Read more about Wheatgrass Microgreens.

Other common fast-growing microgreen varieties include:

  • Borage
  • Celosia
  • Salad Burnet
  • Cress (Cressida, Persian)
  • Brassicas Mustard
  • Tat Soi

Slow-Growing Microgreens

Slow-growing microgreens usually take around 16 to 25 days to grow before they are ready to harvest. Although their growth period is more extended, these plants can be raised any time of the year, similarly to fast-growing greens. However, some gardeners note that these microgreens require more care due to their longer germination and growing phases.

The following tables* list growing cycle timelines for common slow-growing microgreen varieties. From the list, you will notice that many of these plants consist of more herbs than vegetables.

Anise (Hyssop)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-8 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 9-15 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 16-20 Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Basil

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-5 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-11 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 12-16+ Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Basil Microgreens.

Beet (Bull’s Blood, Early Wonder, & Yellow)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-5 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-10 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 11-20+Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Carrot

Day 1Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-7 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 8-13 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 14-20Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Celery

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-14 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 15-20 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 21-28Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Chard (Pink Stem, Rainbow, & Ruby Red)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-6 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 7-11 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 12-20Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Chives

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-7 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 8-14 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 15-21Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Cilantro (Monogerm)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-6 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 7-11Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 12-15+ Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Cilantro Microgreens.

Dill

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-6 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 7-15 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 16-20 Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Dill Microgreens.

Fennel (Bronze & Green)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-6 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 7-9Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 10-14Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Marigold (Gem)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-9Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 10-14Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Parsley

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-7 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 8-20Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 21-25+Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Pumpkin

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-6 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 7-11 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 12-16+Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Sage

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-6Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 7-13 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 14-21+Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Scallion

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-5 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-15 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 16-25Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Shiso (Britton)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-5 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 6-9 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 10-12 Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Sorrel (Red-Veined)

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-10 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 11-16 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 17-28Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Learn more about Red Veined Sorrel Microgreens.

Wasabi

Day 1 Planting + Start of Blackout Phase
Day 2-3 Germination Phase + Blackout Phase
Day 4-7 Growing phase (Light Phase)
Day 8-14Final Growing Phase + Ready for Harvest

Other slow-growing microgreen varieties include:

  • Alfalfa
  • Amaranth
  • Chervil
  • Lemon Balm
  • Magenta Spreen
  • Orach (Ruby Red, Scarlet)
  • Purslane (Red Gruner)
  • Shungiku (Broadleaf)

*Note: There are many types of microgreens, some of which may not be included on either the fast-growing or slow-growing microgreen list. For more details on additional microgreens, see the comparison chart offered on the Johnny Seeds website; it has information about nearly every type of common microgreen available, and also mentions whether they are of the fast or slow-growing variety.

Also, please note that many of the timetables mentioned here are averages. The exact time in which your microgreens will be ready to harvest will depend on the environment they are in, in addition to their variety.


Most microgreens only take between eight to 25 days to grow, making them ideal for gardeners who want to reap the rewards for raising beautiful, nutritious greens in just a few weeks’ time. Because each microgreen is different, their harvest time will depend on their variety, how long it takes for them to germinate and grow, and the type of environment they are raised in.

In conclusion, this eight to 25-day timeline offers just enough time for these plants to germinate in the dark, and thrive in the sunlight, before being ready to harvest. However, if you are feeling a little impatient, especially about a crop of possibly slower-growing microgreens, remember that good things come to those who wait, no matter how long.

Happy gardening!

Microgreens Corner
We are Janette & Jesper, and we love microgreens.

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