Learn how to germinate marijuana seeds on your FIRST try! Reach 100% seed germination rates by using our step-by-step tutorial. Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go. There are numerous phases of cannabis cultivation that must be completed before you may be greeted with copious amounts of dank buds. You won't have a plant
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
An in-depth guide on how to germinate cannabis seeds. Discover different techniques on how to germinate marijuana seeds to ensure a successful cannabis crop.
Everything has a beginning.
Cannabis seeds, like all seeds, must undergo the germination process before it can grow into a weed-yielding beauty.
Countless cannabis germination guides litter the internet. However, none go as in-depth as our seed germination tutorial. Read along to learn how to germinate marijuana seeds like a pro.
You’ll discover everything you need to know about the art of germinating marijuana seeds. From the necessary equipment to different germination methods and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.
The Chemistry Behind Cannabis Seed Germination
Cannabis seeds require the right conditions to sprout.
Without the proper temperature, moisture level, or oxygen saturation, weed seeds will not germinate. Although you can readily germinate seeds outdoors, nothing beats controlled germination indoors.
Let’s take a look at the three primary elements that influence the germination rates of marijuana seeds.
Water is the key player in the process of germinating marijuana seeds.
The outer-layer of the cannabis seed acts as a protective casing that provides a two-fold defense — prevent damage to the inner embryo and prevent minimal moisture from premature germination.
However, if the marijuana seed is saturated with water, it will eventually absorb the moisture and kick-off the germination process.
Once the embryo activates through water saturation, it requires oxygen to jump-start the respiration process. Oxygen fuels respiration, which unlocks food stored within the embryo.
After the respiration process, the embryo consumes the food stores, which in turn produces energy. Energy is the necessary product that propels the germination stage onwards.
Even if cannabis seeds have access to water, oxygen, and energy, it’s all for nothing unless it has access to warmth.
As long as cannabis seeds experience 72-78°F during the initial germination process — they’ll burst forth from the ground and spread their primordial leaves under the sun or artificial light.
The three most important elements for successful weed seed germination
Why It’s Important to Germinate Weed Seeds Indoors
At its core, the germination process lays the foundation of cannabis plants.
Overall, marijuana plants will underperform without proper germination techniques compared to those that experienced ideal conditions during the germination process. Therefore, it’s always best to harness an indoor environment when germinating marijuana seeds.
What to Look For Before Germinating Marijuana Seeds
Before you begin the germination process, there are a few things you must look for.
Let’s take a brief look at each.
Damaged Marijuana Seeds
Ordering feminized or autoflowering cannabis seeds online is the best way to acquire top-shelf genetics.
The seeds, however, may experience a few bumps on the road during the shipping process. With this in mind, you must look over each seed to ensure there isn’t any damage.
As long as each weed seed is undamaged, the germination process will be smooth.
The Cannabis Seed’s Age
Next, it’s a good idea to write down the date on each seed pack once received.
By doing so, you’ll have a clear understanding of a seeds’ age. Like all things, cannabis seeds lose their luster as the years go by. Cannabis seeds may remain viable for decades. However, germination rates decrease over time.
Therefore, you should only germinate seeds that are properly stored for a maximum of 6-months.
The Cannabis Seeds Color
Lastly, you must check the cannabis seed’s color.
Cannabis seeds come in different sizes and exhibit various markings across the outer seed coat. However, the seed’s color is an excellent indicator that represents seed maturity.
In other words, light green to pale white seeds are immature and are likely unviable. Therefore, always make sure that your cannabis seeds are light to dark brown color before germination.
Take a close look at the seeds that you receive for damage or discoloration
Should You Use a Seedling Heat Mat?
Many new cannabis cultivators ask if they should incorporate a seedling heat mat into the equation.
Although seedling heat mats are excellent tools to ensure fast germination, they are not always necessary. Seedling heat mats work by producing a gentle warmth that won’t rapidly dry cannabis seeds during the germination process.
However, they may be overkill if you utilize them during hot days, such as those during the summer months. Alternatively, they are essential during colder months during the winter. Therefore, you can choose to harness a seedling heat mat based on the time of year that you choose to germinate marijuana seeds.
Three Easy Methods To Germinate Cannabis Seeds Indoors
Now that you have a broad understanding of germinating marijuana seeds let’s get some weed seeds poppin‘ with a few different step-by-step tutorials.
You’ll have a better idea of which germination technique to choose once you’re done reading this section.
1. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds in Soil in Five Easy Steps
If you want to germinate weed seeds au natural — there’s no better option than using soil.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to germinate cannabis seeds in soil:
- Feminized or autoflowering cannabis seeds
- Eco-friendly “starting” container
- Heat mat (optional)
As you can see, the list above isn’t extensive in the least. In other words, germinating marijuana seeds in soil is incredibly affordable.
First, fill an eco-friendly starting container with soil.
The golden rule? Don’t pack down the soil. Remember, the soil you choose must exhibit a loamy consistency. Hardpack soil does not allow proper water drainage and oxygen circulation, which, as you learned previously, are critical components for the seed germination process.
Furthermore, if you choose to use a heat mat, place the eco-friendly containers on top to warm the medium adequately.
Label each container.
The last thing you want to do is forget what seed you placed into each container — especially if you’re germinating multiple cannabis strains at once.
Now, it’s time to sow the cannabis seed.
Create a small hole that’s roughly 0.25-inches (6mm) deep. Gently place the seed inside the hole and cover it. It does not matter which direction you put the seed — believe us when we say that the seed and gravity will sort things out.
It’s important to note that each eco pot should contain a single cannabis seed.
Gently pour a small amount of water into the area where you buried the cannabis seed.
At this point, you must ensure that the cannabis seed never dries out. Once the germination process begins — there’s no turning back. Therefore, allowing cannabis seeds to dry will guarantee inadequate germination or premature death.
Ultimately, you must monitor the soil and continuously apply water until the seed sprouts.
The final step is patience.
The moment the seed is planted, most beginners ask: how long does it take to germinate cannabis seeds, or how can I germinate my seeds fast?
Healthy cannabis seeds typically break the surface within 2-4-days. Older seeds, however, may take upwards of 12-days to sprout.
The germination phase is an incredibly vulnerable moment for cannabis seeds. Therefore, Do not — we repeat — do not dig up the seed to “check on it.”
This is what you can expect after you successfully germinate your cannabis seeds in soil
2. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Using Paper Towels In Five Easy Steps
One of the most popular germination techniques is the paper towel method.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need for this low-budget method:
- Feminized or autoflowering seeds
- Dinner plate
- Paper towels
- Spray bottle
- Heat mat (optional)
Now that you’ve gathered the necessary supplies let’s get crackin‘.
Place two to three sheets of paper towels on top of a clean dinner plate. If you decide to use a heat mat to increase the temperature, place it under the dinner plate.
Label the dinner plate with the name of the cannabis strain of choice.
Place up to 10-seeds per plate.
You must make sure that a minimum of 1-inch adequately separates the seeds.
Spray water on the seeds until the paper towels are completely saturated. Once done, place a new layer of 2-3 paper towel sheets on top of the seeds. Use the spray bottle to soak the new paper towel addition.
Remember: the paper towels must always remain saturated with water. If allowed to dry, the cannabis seeds will fail to germinate.
The germination process should occur within 24-48-hours. After 48-hours, gently peel back the upper paper towel section. If the seeds germinate, you will see cracked-open seeds with an emerging radicle.
At this point, it’s time to move the germinated seed to its new home with a pair of tweezers. This final step requires extreme care because the radicle is fragile, and if broken, the embryo within will die.
Be careful when you use the paper towel method and make sure to label each plate
3. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Using Rooting Cubes in Five Easy Steps
Germinating weed seeds with rooting cubes is the ideal method for beginners and professionals alike.
Overall, rooting cubes provide the ease of the paper towel method and the soil technique’s efficiency. Let’s take a look at everything you need to when germinating marijuana seeds with rooting cubes.
- Feminized or autoflowering seeds
- Rooting cubes
- pH 6.0 water
- Rooting tray
- pH meter and pH up or down
- Heat mat (optional)
First and foremost, place the rooting cubes in the rooting tray. If you decide to use a heat mat, place the tray on top.
Next, label each rooting cube or tray with the appropriate name of each cannabis strain.
Use a pH meter and pH solution to achieve a pH of 6.0.
The amount of water you pH depends on the number of rooting cubes. Start with one cup of water if you are germinating less than ten seeds.
Germination cubes require a pH of 6.0 because they are typically made from peat moss, rockwool, or other soilless-based mediums. Therefore, a pH of 6.0 will ensure the best possible results once the seed germinates.
Each rooting cube is equipped with a pre-made hole.
Place one cannabis seed per hole. You may tear off a small piece of the substrate to cover the opening. Once done, saturate the rooting cube with pH 6.0 water.
You must make sure that the rooting cube never dries out. Remember, cannabis seeds must remain moist until they sprout to the surface.
Once again, patience is the final step when you learn how to germinate cannabis seeds with rooting cubes. Overall, cannabis seeds may emerge from the rooting cube within 2-4-days. However, germination may take as long as 7-days.
There are a lot of rooting cubes to choose from, but the germination process remains the same
How to Germinate Old Cannabis Seeds
Now that you understand how to germinate healthy cannabis seeds let’s quickly discover how to germinate old marijuana seeds.
As you become infatuated with the world of cannabis, you’ll soon begin to stack an extensive seed collection. Don’t worry; we’re all seed hoarders at heart because there are so many incredible cannabis genetics out there.
Eventually, however, you’ll notice that you have more than a few old cannabis seeds. Luckily for you — all is not lost.
Here’s our tried and true technique to give your old seeds a boost during the germination process.
Cannabis Seed Scarification
Scarring cannabis seeds is incredibly simple.
All you need is a nail file or a piece of sandpaper. Use the file or sandpaper across the surface of the seed in question. You do not need to use an immense amount of force, but instead, a few good scrapes to scar the seed’s outer shell will do.
The point of seed scarification is to allow water to penetrate the seed coating easily. By doing so, the embryo receives a jump start that initiates the germination process.
Once the seeds are scarred, you may choose one of the three above mentioned techniques to complete the germination process.
A few readily available tools to get your cannabis seed scarification done
The Best Way To Germinate Marijuana Seeds
Now that you’re done reading this guide on seed germination — which method will you choose?
The soil, paper towel, and rooting cube methods are all tried-and-true and provide excellent germination rates. Remember, cannabis seeds are an investment, and you must use the best germination method possible to ensure a healthy cannabis crop.
You have one chance to germinate each seed the right way, and by using this guide, you’ll make each seed count.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis, better known as marijuana, is getting more popular across the United States as more medical reports deem it highly useful for better health and more states legalize its sale and use. There’s no question of how potent and beneficial marijuana is for health and recreation, so it is no surprise that more individuals are more getting interested in growing the herb in their homes.
Like any other plant, cannabis goes through the germination process before full growth. Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go.
Below here, we breakdown the main aspects of cannabis seed germination you need to know.
The Ideal Germination Conditions for Cannabis
For maximum cannabis seed germination, you need to provide the following conditions:
Marijuana seeds need adequate moisture in the soil to develop properly. You can maintain moisture by using well-watered soil or a naturally-moist medium such as compost. Alternatively, you can use mulch on the ground to lock the moisture in.
Your seeds need a stable setup during planting to guarantee proper germination. You can achieve this by placing the seeds about 1.3cm to 2.5 cm into the medium, not any further or closer to the medium surface.
Marijuana seeds require a proper balance between hot and cold temperatures for proper germination. Keep the temperature around the germinating area adequately warm, because colder temperatures tend to delay the germination process.
Marijuana seeds need direction when being germinated. When placing the germinated seed into the growing medium, ensure that the white root is looking downwards into the medium and the seed body is looking upwards. Positioning it otherwise means the root will have to reorganize itself, which can slow germination.
Seed Germination Methods
There are more than a few options to choose from when picking a method for your seed germination process. We list and explain the best of them below:
Use Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs
This is the most recommended cannabis seed germination method on this list because of its ease. Starter cubes and seedling plugs are specially designed for the purpose of seed germination, so they come filled with the right kind of planting mix and a hole drilled adequately in the middle for placing your seed. All you have to do is place your seed carefully into the hole and close it with a simple pinch of the nearby planting mix.
- They have high germination rates thanks to adequately pre-set conditions
- They are easy to use; you open them up and start planting
- They give less room for error
- Some of them are designed to allow hydroponic growing (water-based planting)
- They aren’t too expensive
- Are usually sold in packages of 50 plugs or more at once, no less.
- Some plugs dry out too quickly after opening.
- Some plugs must be soaked for a while first before use.
Plant your marijuana seeds directly in the final growing medium
Another good method for germinating your cannabis seeds is by planting them within your final growing medium from the very beginning, whether it is soil or compost or water.
- The seeds don’t get transplant shock during transplanting
- The seeds get accustomed to the medium early on, which fosters growth
- Some final mediums are not adequately nutrient-rich to support cannabis seed germination in its earliest stages
Use a germination station
For best seed germination results, you can alternatively employ a germination station before transferring to a final growing medium. Germination stations are pre-designed to offer optimum conditions for germination.
- Germination stations are cheap to purchase
- You can create your own DIY germination station at home using a plastic dome fitted over a plate that’s placed on a heating pad.
- Germination seeds are only appropriate for the early stages of growth, unlike, say, the final medium.
Soak Your Marijuana Seeds in Water Overnight
Alternatively, you can germinate your cannabis seeds using water alone. Place the seeds in a glassful of mildly warm water overnight and wait for the white root to break through the seed shell. Then you can transfer to a final growing medium.
- It works well for seeds with extra hard seed coats
- Cuts out all the extra preparation required in soil-based germination
- Some seeds, especially the older ones, cannot germinate in water because they require a longer time
- There is always the risk of over soaking the seeds and killing them
Try the Paper Towel Method
The most DIY cannabis seed germination method on this list is the paper towel method, which involves wrapping your seeds in thin paper towels, making them wet and leaving the setup a warm place. Soon enough, the white roots start showing and the seeds can then be transplanted.
- It is so cheap; the thinnest (and cheapest) paper towels work best
- It is so easy to do.
- Thicker paper towels can be hard to separate new seedlings from after they’ve sprouted
- There is a high possibility for errors during transplanting, such as root breakage when seed roots are found to have grown into the paper towel, not on its surface.
- Paper towels can dry if unattended, thereby killing the new seedlings.
Planting Germinated Seeds
Once the cannabis seeds have germinated, they need to be planted in order to grow into proper cannabis plants. The recommended method for planting cannabis seeds includes the steps below:
Step One : Set and prepare your planting medium. You can use either a rooting cube or a planting mix for planting, depending on your preference. Rooting cubes have no major preparation requirements –have one ready from Oasis, Jiffy or another good brand. If you’re using a planting mix, procure sterile soil for the process. Random soil doesn’t cut it here.
Step Two : Next, add water to the sterile soil or rooting cube to saturate it. Then use a needle or chopstick to drill small planting holes within the soil or rooting cube. Please do not use your finger for this task.
Step Three : Get your tweezers and sterilize them with alcohol or spirit first. Then use the tweezers to pick the seeds, paying good attention to the fragile white roots.
Step Four : Place each germinated seed into a hole of its own, ever so tenderly, such that the root faces downward. Don’t place the seeds too deep into the ground either, because it slows growth. Move quickly because the roots are easily damaged by exposure to the atmosphere.
Step Five : Next, cover each of the holes with adequate soil or rooting cube. Make sure the planting mix or root cube is moist and not too cold.
Germinating and growing cannabis seeds requires a bit of work, but when done right, the end results are worth every minute spent. Like any other plant, cannabis seeds have to go through germination and then plant growth. Making sure each of these stages is done right will guarantee you a super bouncy harvest every time.
How to Germinate Weed Seeds
There are numerous phases of cannabis cultivation that must be completed before you may be greeted with copious amounts of dank buds. You won’t have a plant to harvest unless you can successfully germinate cannabis seeds.
Germination is the process through which a seed sprouts into a new plant. Often known as “popping,” germination is the first step in beginning a cannabis garden.
Picking out good quality seeds
Cannabis seeds may be obtained from a variety of places, although they are most often purchased online. Because there are so many different internet seed sellers, it’s crucial to pick one that you can trust.
Regardless of where you obtain your seeds, it is a good idea to check them carefully before planting. Seeds will germinate in the majority of cases; nevertheless, poor-quality seeds will result in a weaker plant. Unfortunately, you won’t find out until the vegetative and flowering periods are well underway.
When purchasing seeds, make sure they are ripe and have a dark brown color with lighter highlights and a firm feel. You don’t want a seed that feels fresh and seems green, as this suggests that it hasn’t fully matured. Once you’ve got your cannabis seeds, make sure you have enough room for your plants to develop and thrive.
Preparing to germinate cannabis seeds
The act of germination is important in the production of cannabis. Seed germination is the basis of every cannabis plant, and there are actions that can be performed to increase the likelihood of successful popping. Some growers, for example, increase germination attempts by soaking seeds in a compost tea for 12 hours or in a solution of 1 percent hydrogen peroxide prior to planting to eliminate any harmful bugs.
The environment in which seeds germinate has an impact on the final result. There are a variety of germination methods, however, they all require:
- Moisture is required for the seed to swell and break free from its shell.
- Minimal intervention to avoid accidentally breaking the fragile structures.
- Temperatures that are similar to those of spring (between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit).
A single root will take form in the presence of moisture before gradually growing into the cannabis plant we know and love. Seeds will begin to grow within 12-36 hours of being exposed to moisture under the correct conditions.
The length of time it takes to germinate depends on how great your germination environment is. Even the worst grower can get a seed to germinate, but it will take a few weeks and will, of course, result in a weaker plant.
How to germinate seeds in soil
The most popular and generally effective technique of germinating cannabis seeds is to plant them in the soil where they will be grown. Because the delicate root is shielded by the soil, this approach is ideal for ensuring that immature seeds have minimal disturbance. It is ideal for plants to develop in the most natural way possible.
If you’re going to utilize soil, be sure you have the proper kind. Use seed-starting or potting soil that has been lightly fertilized. It should have a pH level of around 6. This sort of soil contains spores and nutrients that aid the growth of new weed plants. At this point, don’t add any nutrients; potting soil has adequate nutrients for the first 2 weeks of the plant’s existence. If you apply any additional fertilizer, you risk nutritional overdosing and harming your seedlings.
Place the soil in a tiny pot and make a small hole in the dirt with your finger or a pencil, about half an inch deep. Place the seed in the hole and cover it with dirt. Do not handle the seed beyond this stage. Seedlings are delicate, yet they understand how to place themselves in the dirt.
The seed will have a root if it has already germinated. Place the root in a downward position. Spray water onto the soil gently using a spray bottle and place your pots beneath a fluorescent light. Seeds should be kept away from windowsills since the temperature is too fluctuating for germination. The soil temperature should be kept at 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Every day, keep an eye on your soil and maintain it to stay wet. You should observe small stems growing from the dirt in 4-7 days.
Move your weed sprouts to bigger pots so that roots can spread out comfortably around the time the seedling stems reach 2-4 inches in height.
Germinate seeds in water
Seeds can also be germinated by immersing them in water. It’s a little quicker than the dirt technique, but you’ll have to modify your environment variables accordingly.
The key is to not soak the seeds for too long. The seeds will usually show their tail within 24 to 48 hours, but you may leave them soaking for up to 7 days without fear.
When seeds germinate in water, they sink to the bottom once they’ve been wet. Water germination is beneficial because it ensures that the proper quantity of moisture is present for seedlings to germinate. It can help shatter open the shell, pre-spouting the plant right before your eyes if done for a brief length of time. Water germination speeds up the process by removing the need for the plant to push through the soil.
Fill a glass halfway with tap water and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours to germinate. The temperature should be between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not include any nutrition. Watch for any changes after dropping 2 or 3 cannabis seeds into the water. Every other day, refill the glass with fresh water while keeping it at the same temperature.
The seeds should begin to divide after 2 to 4 days. You can plant your seeds at any time, but they must be planted after the roots are 5 millimeters long.
Germinate seeds by using paper towels
You don’t have to use paper towels; there are a few other objects around the house that will do the job just as well. You can use coffee filter papers, newspaper, or cotton wool pads as examples.
First and foremost, wet your paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is thoroughly wet before placing it onto a holding container such as a plate or Tupperware. Spread a few seeds across the paper towel. Make sure there are a few centimeters between each seed so they don’t touch.
With a zip lock bag to seal your container. This essentially creates a greenhouse-like atmosphere, allowing your seeds to grow a bit faster. Place your new mini-greenhouse somewhere that will maintain a constant temperature of approximately 68 degrees Fahrenheit while being out of direct sunshine.
You should notice your seedling growing in about a week. It’s time to move them into a dirt container when you notice this. Take your time and use the tweezers; don’t touch them with your bare hands because this might cause them to be destroyed.
Germinate with starter cubes and seedling plugs
Using specially designed starting cubes and seedling plugs is a more creative approach to grow seedlings. Cannabis germination is simple with these plugs. Simply insert the seed in the cube or plug, add water as indicated, and the seedlings are automatically provided with ideal germination conditions. This is one of the most straightforward germination procedures, with little opportunity for error.
Each cube or plug already has a hole in it where you may plant your seed. Simply place your seed in the precut hole and seal the lid with your fingers. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to screw this up. You should be fine as long as the seed gets in there.
The Sanctuary Editorial Team
Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.