To germinate seeds this way, lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel.
Germination is the first stage of the cannabis growth cycle : the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. After all, seeds in a bag don’t spontaneously start developing roots. Also known as “popping” seeds, seed germination begins when a seed receives environmental cues letting it know the setting is perfect to start growth.
You can also germinate your seeds by placing them in water. It’s slightly faster than the soil method, but you need to adjust your environmental factors accordingly. Remember, successfully germinating seeds requires a perfect balance of ideal growing conditions. When germinating in water, seeds need only 24-48 hours to pop their stems, though cultivators can keep them soaking for up to a week as needed. Water germination is faster because the seed gets all the moisture it needs immediately, and the shell softens and cracks more easily after soaking.
Whether you’re planning an indoor cultivation or outdoor grow, it’s best to germinate your seeds indoors. It’s easier to maintain proper temperature, light exposure, and moisture inside, and you can protect your seeds from the elements. Indoor germination, whether using soil or paper towels, will ensure your cannabis seeds have the best chance for survival.
The best germination method depends on the cultivator’s choice. Here are some of the most common ways to pop your cannabis seeds.
The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the seedling stems reach two to four inches in height, it’s time to transplant your cannabis into larger pots with more room for roots to spread down and out. After you’ve done this, you’ve successfully germinated your cannabis seeds into proper, young plants.
Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.
Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. There are many methods to germinate seeds, but for the most common and simplest method, you will need:
After completing these steps, it’s time to wait. Check the paper towels once a day to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they are losing moisture, apply more water to keep the seeds happy.
Most cannabis plants begin flowering when the amount of light they receive on a daily basis reduces. Outdoors, this happens when the sun starts setting earlier in the day as the season turns from summer to autumn. Indoor growers can control when a plant flowers by reducing the daily amount of light plants receive from 18 hours to 12 hours.
Cannabis plant sex organs appear on nodes, the points where branches grow off from the main stalk.
Additionally, every long-time grower will tell you that clones degrade over time.
Males will have round balls—these will develop into pollen sacs, which will release pollen into the air when mature.
The soil pots will need small holes (roughly 10–15mm deep) for the newly germinated seeds to be placed into. Once the seeds are secure, you will want to place a fluorescent light 13–15cm (5–6 inches) away to encourage growth. Finally, don’t risk overwatering your seeds at this early stage. Use a plant mister to make sure they stay damp but not soaking wet.
There is, of course, a far simpler way to germinate seeds. Ideal for beginners, the feminized starter kit by Royal Queen Seeds has everything you need to kick-start your next cannabis project.
CHOOSING YOUR GERMINATION METHOD
Probably one of the most common methods of germination. The kitchen towel method comes in several iterations. Some growers use cotton wool pads or absorbent pieces of paper. For this guide, we will be using kitchen towel as it is readily available and holds moisture relatively well.
After 3–5 days, the seeds will start to open, and you should see tiny white tips appear. Once these roots reach 2–3mm in length, use extreme care to transfer them from the water to pre-prepared soil pots.