Germination times for cress seeds range from one to 15 days depending on the type of cress and where it is planted. In special soil that encourages propagation and under grow lights or in a hydroponics system, cress germinates in one to four days.
In soil outdoors it takes between five and 15 days for cress to germinate. Cress prefers loose soil that is constantly moist. Cress can also be germinated in a few days or less by putting seeds on a wet paper towel in a shallow tray with cling wrap over the top. Once the seeds have germinated and are around two inches high they can be eaten or moved into soil to continue growing.