Germination is the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
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.
What is germination?
Gently water the soil with a spray bottle and situate your pots under a fluorescent lamp. Keep seeds away from the windowsill, as the temperature is too volatile for germination. In general, you’ll want to keep the temperature in the range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Growers will find that different methods work best for them. When it comes down to it, germinating cannabis seeds in water is the best way to go about it. You can get the taproot to emerge in hard and older seeds. Overall, putting water into a glass is cost-effective compared to buying starter cubes.
However, the Rockwool method also has some drawbacks. The material does not break down since it is not a natural substance. As a result, the cubes are not an eco-friendly option. Rockwool has poor germination rates, and it comes with a high pH level. The material also can affect your health. The Environmental Protection Agency found that the fibers in Rockwool can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. You may experience a sore throat or coughing.
You only have to worry about making sure the seeds are not soaking for too long. The method is more effective when you follow it up with the paper towel method. Damp paper towels can help get any remaining weed seeds to sprout.
Best way to germinate cannabis seeds
Rockwool comes with a few advantages. One is that the cubes are cheap and easy to find. They can hold plenty of moisture, and you do not have to worry about mold. Not to mention, they are convenient to use.
One benefit of the paper towel method is that you can leave sprouted seeds in the towel for a while longer. It allows other seeds to catch up, and you can plant them all at once. Otherwise, you can plant the germinated ones as soon as the taproot appears.
Now that you know how to germinate cannabis seeds, the next step is to plant the sprouted seedlings. You do not need much in terms of planting. For example, you will want a large enough pot and a plant sprayer. If you used incandescent bulbs to keep the seeds warm, switch them out for actual growing lights.
One benefit of the soil method is that transferring the seedling to a bigger pot is simple. The cannabis is less likely to become stressed and can adapt to the new environment quickly. A disadvantage would be needing to buy clean soil rather than using some from outside. Pathogens in the dirt can damage the young seedling. Soil density can be an issue with air flow, and growers need to be careful about the seed placement.