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.
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.
To germinate seeds indoors, use any of the methods described above. Within a few days, you’ll have popped seeds ready to transfer to a growing medium.
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.
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 process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The seedling plugs and cubes already come moist. However, the setback is they dry out over time. Once you open a package, you have over a week to use them. Many products do not provide less than 50 cubes. If you plan to germinate only a few seeds, you could end up wasting a lot of cubes. Therefore, this method can be less cost-effective than others.
A disadvantage of soaking the seeds in a cup is that too much water can be damaging. The excess amount can rot the newly emerged root. Those that have not sprouted yet will drown if left soaking for too long.
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.
Jiffy Peat Pellets, Starter Cubes, and Seedling Plugs
Each cannabis seed is different. Some plants will finish their germination stage quickly, and others will take some time to sprout. On average, you can expect germination to last two to four days. Some growers end up waiting 48 to 72 hours. In some cases, a seed may take seven days to germinate. You usually do not need to wait longer than 10 days.
There is more than one way to germinate weed seeds. Each one comes with its benefits and disadvantages for growers. Common methods are:
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.
Some cannabis growers use Rockwool cubes to germinate weed seeds. The method requires some setup before you can plant the seeds. Start by filling a bowl with some water. Use some pH-balancing chemicals to bring the water down to around 5.5. You may need a test kit to measure the levels.