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
While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.
Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds because the soil protects the fragile roots from any interference. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The best germination method depends on the cultivator’s choice. Here are some of the most common ways to pop your cannabis seeds.
The paper towel method also has its risk, as the fragile seedlings can be damaged during the potting process. The tiny roots can also get tangled in the paper towels, so make sure to move the seeds to potting soil before roots grow too long. Use your hands or tweezers to gently remove each seed from the paper towels and place them in a prepared growing medium.
The seeds should start sprouting in about two days, though older seeds can take up to a week to sprout. You can remove them from the water and place them in the soil at any point once they’ve sprouted. Once the roots are about five millimeters long, they need to be planted.
Place the soil in a small pot and use your finger or a pencil to push a small hole in the dirt, a bit more than half an inch deep. Insert the seed into the hole and bury it with soil. From this point on, don’t touch your seed. The young plant is fragile and knows how to position itself in the soil bed.
But if the seed you found looks decent, you might as well germinate it and see what sprouts.
To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds, like a dome.
Most seeds that you will buy are regular seeds as described above, but here are a couple more types.
Is the seed viable?
Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.
However, a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis, which developed in extreme northern conditions without much sunlight, will begin flowering once the plant reaches a certain age—they automatically start flowering regardless of the amount of light they receive, hence the name “autoflower.”
Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.
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: