The downside of water germination is that once they’ve popped, you’ll need to maneuver them into their growing medium manually. This is a delicate process, as germinating seeds are extra fragile, and any harm risks the development of your plants. Make sure to place the seed roots down in the soil when you transfer to a pot.
So, you’ve decided to grow your own cannabis plants. You purchased a pack of seeds, assembled cultivation materials, cleared a space in your garden, and are ready to grow your first cannabis crop . With everything in hand, it’s time to begin the very first step of cannabis cultivation : germinating seeds.
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
How to germinate seeds using paper towels
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.
When a seed enters an environment with enough moisture, it will increase in size and slowly break out of its shell. A seedling or germ forms from which roots will emerge, helping the baby plant absorb nutrients from the soil. Seeds naturally develop roots facing down and stems stretching upward, allowing the young cannabis plant to simultaneously feed off light and earth.
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.
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.
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.
Arguably one of the least effective methods, but it is still viable. Incredibly simple to facilitate, beginner growers may opt to germinate their seeds in a glass of water. Half-fill a glass or bowl with water that is approximately 22°C (71°F).
You will need to invest in a few pieces of unique equipment, but by using stone wool blocks, you can create a perfect utopia for germinating cannabis seeds. Soak the stone wool blocks in the same way you would a soil medium. The wool will retain the moisture and prevent the need to water during the early stages of germination. After the wool blocks are soaked, stick them in a plastic tray that also has a lid. Large cake tubs are ideal.
CHOOSING YOUR GERMINATION METHOD
Planting directly into your growing medium prevents having to move seeds when they are at their most fragile. That first root tip is covered with microscopic filaments that are easily damaged. Given that both a cup full of water and moist paper towels are more prone to temperature fluctuations from their environment, planting in soil is a much safer option.
Two or three weeks after germination, your young seedlings should be ready for their new home. At this point you have two options; transplanting them into soil pots, or taking on the challenge of hydroponics. You’ll know when the seedlings are ready to be moved because the root system should start to poke out of the bottom of the wool blocks. As long as the roots haven’t begun to engulf the bottom half of the wool block, they will seek out water and nutrients in their new surroundings and continue to grow downwards.
Your growing pots will need to be placed in a damp climate that is within the temperature range listed under our golden rules. After 4–10 days, you should see a young seedling sprout, while the roots will have begun to develop underneath the soil. The entire plant and its soil can now be transferred to a larger pot, where normal growing routines should start.
Before we jump straight into the germination methods, there are a couple of germination golden rules. For the best results, we recommend staying within these guidelines, no matter how you choose to germinate. That being said, of all the factors to consider, temperature is one of the most critical. Seeds will always seek out even the smallest amount of moisture, but they use temperature as a sign that they need to do so.
We work with distributors who enjoy the best reputation in the industry for professional storage and service. Our resellers are supplied by us directly or through our distributors. Although we make an effort to identify any black sheep in the cannabis seeds market it is impossible for us to monitor resellers all the time.
Germinating cannabis seeds is not difficult.
We provide the basic information and many hot tips on what is important to support you in having a successful start!
Placing healthy & fresh seeds in water/wet tissue can lead to the development of fungi or bacteria on the seed hull. Lack of oxygen and contaminating substances in the water/wet tissue promote fungal growth which can be transported to the substrate later on. Often the seed simply rots away if left for too long in a glass of water, or wrapped up in wet tissue.
A #1 seed killer is a closed humidity dome/mini-greenhouse.
Take 8-10 cm/3-4” (diameter) pots or a seedling tray and fill with quality potting soil. Press the soil slightly down and make a 1,5 cm/0,6” deep hole with a pencil or finger. Place the seed in a horizontal position in the hole (this is the easiest method). Fill the hole and gently tap down the soil. Use chlorine free water (preferably good mineral water without gas) with a pH of 6-6.5 to water the pots. The soil should be uniformly moist and properly watered, but not soggy or waterlogged. The pots or tray should also not stand in a tray filled with water. Use a spoon or small beaker to dosage properly if you are unsure and want to avoid accidentally overwatering the soil. Put the pots or tray at a warm location and ideally under lighting. Temperatures at 25°C/75°F or higher accelerate germination. Take care that the soil does not dry out and that the pots don’t stand in the cold (ie. at or under 21°C/70°F). Misting the soil surface with water spray is not effective. You should water the pots properly if the soil surface dries up. Within 3-7 days the seedlings should appear out of the soil. You can switch on your lamps during germination to provide warmth or when the first seedlings appear. Since they might also grow out of the soil during the night it's best to have lighting switched on 24 hrs.