Germinating Marijuana Seeds In Rockwool

Newbies may find it a challenge to germinate marijuana seeds, here’s my experience sprouting them in rockwool cubes. Here’s how to germinate marijuana seeds the easy way with the most success and less hassle. Hi mates! Hey i really do need a BEST advice how to start my uniq seeds in high success rate! Some of my seeds may be damaged over years, but i need to…

Germinating Marijuana Seeds In Rockwool

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After acquiring growing equipment and cannabis seeds I now had everything I needed to start growing marijuana. The first major step in this process is germinating the seeds or getting the plant to sprout from the seed.

The Plan: Use Rockwool to Sprout and Grow

There are many numerous methods germinating seeds. Popular methods include using paper towels, solo cups or just directly inserting seeds into soil.

I decided to use rockwool cubes as my germination / sprouting medium. It seemed like many people had success using rockwool to start their homegrows. In addition, I liked how after they sprouted it’s easy to transport to soil (the cube has a solid structure) without disturbing the root structure which stresses the plant.

My plan for growing the marijuana plant using rockwool was as follows:

  • Insert the cannabis seed in the rockwool cube (1.5 inch size)
  • Let it germinate and sprout
  • Transfer the cube into a pot with soil
  • Let it grow and flower on my balcony
  • Harvest the fruits of my labor

When formulating this plan I was a little hesitant as I hadn’t seen that many people using this process. Most people if they use rockwool stay with rockwool in a hydroponic indoor growth setup. I didn’t find many people who took the rockwool cube and transferred it to soil after it sprouted and wasn’t sure if this would work.

From this Question & Answer post someone asked if you could use rockwool outside and answered:

Sure, you can grow autoflowering plants using rock wool cubes outside or inside. If you are using the large cubes you can put them into a fabric container, plastic, etc., but they do need a place for the water to run out of them when it rains and when you water.

Granted this was only one answer and didn’t mention if it’s OK to transfer rockwool directly into soil. A little further digging and I found this snippet from another guide which said:

Another method is to use 3″ rockwool cubes to start seedlings in, then put 20 of them in a litter pan, cover it with another pan, and transport this to the grow site. The cubes can be planted directly into soil.

That was good enough (I’m so trusting about stuff I read online) for me so I decided to proceed.

Below will show you what the whole process looks like in video form:

Preparing Rockwool Cubes for Germination

The downside to using rockwool is the need to prepare the cubes before you insert your seeds. Rockwool has a pH of 7.8 and plants like a pH range of 5.5 – 6.8. If you were to simply insert the seeds into rockwool soaked in regular water the pH would be too high and will cause the seed not to sprout or kill the seed.

To prevent this from happening you use an acid like pH Down (phosphoric acid) which can bring down the pH level of the water you plan to soak your cubes in. This is why it was important to buy a reliable pH meter.

Calibrating the pH Meter

The pH Meter I bought was new so even before I could start soaking my cubes I needed to calibrate it first.

Bringing Down the pH

Now I had to mix a proper pH water solution to soak the cubes in. I filled a plastic food container with Brita filtered water (don’t think this is needed, but why not?) and added 0.25ml (a few drops) of pH Down. I stopped when I got to a pH level of 6.1.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Use pH Down sparingly as it’s a strong acid and will quickly bring down the pH level if you use too much. I ended up going too low and had to add more water to bring the pH back up. Better to be more conservative with this stuff.

Soak the Rockwool Cubes

With the rockwool cubes properly pH adjusted to 6.1 I placed 5 rockwool cubes into the solution for 60 minutes. As for the exact time to soak I found conflicting advice. Some guides said to soak for a whole day while others said 15 minutes. I took a gamble with 60 minutes.

Remove Cubes and Let Drain

After 60 minutes I removed the rockwool cubes and let it drain in the sink for 10 minutes. I was surprised how little water came out and how firm the cubes still were after being soaked. I thought from pictures that rockwool would be like a sponge, but it holds its structure surprisingly well.

Another tip I learned is to not squeeze out or shake out the water from the cubes. You want the cube to be damp as the wetness is what helps trigger the germination process.

Saving Some of the pH Adjusted Water

Instead of tossing away the reduced pH water I saved some in a separate container. As you wait for your seeds to sprout you may need to re-water the rockwool cubes if they get dry. Re-using this water saves you from having to mix up another batch of reduced pH water.

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Insert the Seeds and Store

Now that the cubes were properly prepared it was time to insert the marijuana seeds and store them in an ideal sprouting environment.

Inserting the Cannabis Seeds

I placed the cubes into the seedling starter tray and then inserted each seed about a quarter of an inch into the 1.5 inch cube. The seeds are really tiny so to help I used tweezers to place them inside the cubes.

Here’s a video of me inserting one seed into a cube:

Place Humidity Lid and Store

With the seeds now inserted I placed the humidity dome / lid onto my starter tray (came with the set I bought). The reason for the lid is it helps keep the humidity high which assists with the germination process.

In addition to humidity in order to trigger the sprouting process experts advice to place the seeds in a dark environment. This mimics being in soil and coaxes the seed to sprout. To do this I placed the tray onto a shelf in a storage closet.

Wait for Sprouting

Once setup it could take anywhere from a few days to a week or more before the seed sprouts. Just check on it each day to see the progress. You probably won’t need to add additional water as rockwool does a good job at retaining water. However, if you touch the cube and feels dry it doesn’t hurt to add some of the pH-adjusted water you saved from earlier.

Below you can see a time-lapse of a marijuana seed germination process.

FAQ on Cannabis Seed Germination

If you are using the rockwool cube germination method and have followed the procedure correctly it could take 2 days or up to a week for it to germinate. If it’s over a week there could be issues.

Don’t get too deep. No more than a quarter of an inch.

Find a dark place or room to store the seeds. In order to germinate the seed needs to be in darkness so avoid places where light could leak in.

You need to make sure the pH of the water you used is in the correct range, 5.5 – 6.8. Depending on your pH meter it could be off as well if not properly calibrated or if you are using a cheaper pH meter. In these cases try removing the seed and re-soaking the rockwool cube in another batch of pH-adjusted water

There are multiple ways to germinate seeds. The rockwool cube method describe here is just one method. In addition, another popular method is the “paper towel” method where you place the seeds into a water soaked paper towel.

Successful Germination, Now What?

Congrats! If you succeeded in getting your cannabis seeds to sprout you are now on your way to growing a healthy marijuana plant.

Checkout our other marijuana grow phases posts to make sure you continue to succeed.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds the Easy Way

There are many opinions about how to germinate marijuana seeds.

Some people advocate putting cannabis seeds in between two wet paper towels.

Others say put them in a glass of water.

Such methods force you to handle your seeds when they’ve just sprouted.

The seeds have to be carefully plucked from the paper towels or water, and just as carefully placed into a growing media.

The extra handling creates opportunities for germinated seeds to be damaged.

The simplest methods that work well are always the best methods.

That’s why I germinate marijuana seeds in the media they’ll grow in.

If the final destination for my seedlings is soil, soilless mix, or coco coir, I put the appropriate material in a JiffyPot and water them from the bottom with reverse osmosis water at 6.1 pH.

You may notice it’s impossible to get accurate pH readings on zero parts per million reverse osmosis water.

I add beneficial microbes such as Voodoo Juice, Piranha, and Tarantula until I get enough parts per million to make my pH readings accurate.

The added benefit of using beneficial microbes products is they protect cannabis roots and root zones, and speed up root development.

If the final destination for my marijuana seedlings is a pure hydroponics system such as deep water culture or an ebb and flow hydro system using rockwool, I plant my seeds into a rockwool cube.

Not the smallest size ones either. I like the larger sizes.

Look here for detailed information that helps you germinate marijuana seeds using rockwool cubes.

Note that rockwool must be pre-treated before use to get its pH where you want it.

Look here for instructions on how to condition rockwool.

The best depth for planting marijuana seed is 3/8 th to ½ inch below the surface line.

The best temperature range to germinate marijuana seeds is 74-76°F, but they can germinate up to 80°F. Warmer than that is too warm.

If you don’t have precision temperature control where your seeds are germinating and temps are too cool, you could use a seedling heat mat.

Be careful to control the seed zone temperature when using a seedling heat mat.

It’s best to get a seedling heat mat with built-in thermostat.

Don’t Drown Your Cannabis Seeds

The biggest mistake growers make when they germinate marijuana seeds is overwatering.

The rockwool cube, soil, soilless mix, or coco that you germinate marijuana seeds in shouldn’t be soaking wet.

The media should be totally damp, but not soaking wet.

If the media is too wet, seeds might rot or drown.

If you have healthy seeds, they should germinate in 2-5 days.

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Old or inferior seeds can take as long as 10-11 days.

If they’ve been moist that long and haven’t germinated, they’re most likely not going to.

If your seeds are old or otherwise not fresh or reliable, look at this kit that can help them germinate.

As soon as your seeds germinate, put them under a Hortilux PowerVeg lighting fixture, or some other T-5 or low-power LED, for at least 2-3 weeks until you’re sure your seedlings’ root systems and leaf structures can handle full HID, LED, or sunlight.

Rather than using the paper towel or submerse in water methods, this method we’ve given you to germinate marijuana seeds is direct, easy, and doesn’t require you to handle, transplant, and possibly damage a sprouted marijuana seed.

You might also like:

As a hydroponics marijuana grower, you need total control over how your plants absorb water, oxygen, and hydroponics nutrients. Fact is, what you choose as the environment for your cannabis…

Your marijuana plants breathe out oxygen through their leaves, while intaking oxygen from their root zone. But many cannabis growers aren’t providing enough root zone dissolved oxygen. Their plants’ roots…

Marijuana seedlings are like children. They grow faster and healthier when you nurture them through a steady and sustained program of lighting, feeding and watering. Well, they’re sorta like children.…

Best way starting seeds in rockwool?

Hey i really do need a BEST advice how to start my uniq seeds in high success rate! Some of my seeds may be damaged over years, but i need to try to save them!

Strains,
Whitewidow x Euforia x “Mindfuck”.
Ghost of Ghana 100% equatorial sativa. (special).
Food of Gods secret strain from village of south Africa! (special).

Professional advice = reputation+

Charlie Green
Well-Known Member
Humboldt14
Well-Known Member

germinate them them move them to the rock wool cubes

Charlie Green
Well-Known Member

germinate them them move them to the rock wool cubes

Humboldt14
Well-Known Member

germinate them what ever method you prefer to use,

I use the paper towel method 100 percent success rate for me, then once the little white tail pops out of the seed, then move the seeds to the 1 inch rock wool with the tail facing down in the hole then lightly put a little piece of rock wool over the hole that the seed is in.

Dirty Harry
Well-Known Member

Soak the rock wool in 5.5 PH water for an hour or so. Squeeze out a little water from each piece. Put a seed 1/4- 1/2 inch in each one and put a cover or humidity dome to prevent from drying out. When they pop, keep them moist and under cover until they get a good start.
Any seed that doesn’t pop just didn’t pop. Pre-germination is just a say to see what seeds pop before you put them in what ever. Some of those will die before they pop out after being put into what ever.
I find it is less stressful on the seeds to just start them in what your going to grow in as they can be damage when moving them when they are just a sprouted root. but that is just MHO and it works for me. Your mileage may differ.

Humboldt14
Well-Known Member

you dont use a humidity dome for starting seeds and second rockwool cubes will not dry out. they retain allot of water, and with

seedlings in them you would not have to water for about a week maybe longer.

i have a Hydro set up also so i have been starting seedlings in rockwool for years.

Dirty Harry
Well-Known Member

you dont use a humidity dome for starting seeds and second rockwool cubes will not dry out. they retain allot of water, and with

seedlings in them you would not have to water for about a week maybe longer.

i have a Hydro set up also so i have been starting seedlings in rockwool for years.

Just stating my opinion and am not going to argue about it. But trust me, rock wool dries faster than you think when it has seeds/sprouts in it. Cost me some $ to learn that lesson.

Charlie Green
Well-Known Member

Well i putted them in wet toilet paper and inside 2 saucers holding them locked inside. I didnt soak it with water i just made the paper wet. Now im waiting them to crack that shell open, then i will fast plant them into rockwool carefully (becouse later when the root is too long its more danger them to put in rockwool). So lets see what happens! I will start posting some pics also.

ganicsarebetter
Well-Known Member

germinate in paper towl folded up, leave a littel pocket, and moisten the paper towe, and keep moist. leave it in a tupperware contaier in the dark for 3-7 days, keeping the towel moist, and you should see the embryo.

another ethod that ive HEARD works is just to put in a shotglass over night, see what happens ins the seed absorbs the moisture until it pops. thats what ya want..

the paper towel method ALWAYS works. IMO

Dwezelitsame
Well-Known Member

i would have soaked mine over night first 75 percent of time is split the next day

from there go to paper towel all in dark on heating pad at about 80 degrees

once split i transfer to cup with holes in bottom covered with a baggie and rubber band for a little greenhouse effect once soil break i remove plastic once again all heating pad .. i normally use heating pad until first transplant at 3 or 4 weeks old

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Fuzzbutter
Active Member

Pre-sprout your seeds in a moist paper towel and then plant in the rock wool once the spouts are over 1/2″ I did this and got 14/20 sprouted from which I had to pick 7 and they are all doing AMAZING.

It’s easy:
get 2 paper towels
fold them in half together
place the seeds in-between the folded area
dampen the paper towel (damp, not dripping, but not too dry either)
place the damp paper towel with seeds in a ziploc bag
put them somewhere dark for a couple days
ta-da!

Also, rock wool is naturally alkaline, so you’ll need to soak it in PH balanced water over night first before putting ANYTHING in it. My plants are currently in rock wool and doing great

Fuzzbutter
Active Member

you dont use a humidity dome for starting seeds and second rockwool cubes will not dry out. they retain allot of water, and with

seedlings in them you would not have to water for about a week maybe longer.

i have a Hydro set up also so i have been starting seedlings in rockwool for years.

Just stating my opinion and am not going to argue about it. But trust me, rock wool dries faster than you think when it has seeds/sprouts in it. Cost me some $ to learn that lesson.

He’s right, rock wool can and does dry out very fast. I had to work with professional hydroponics in my horticulture classes and we ended up losing a whole crop from a tard forgetting to properly set the water timer and the cubes dried up.

Serapis
Well-Known Member

I don’t know where the paper towel method started, I only know that it has been around far too long. I first learned of it over 30 years ago. It’s hogwash. does it work? Most of the time, but why risk handling a delicate seed and it’s new born tap root when you can simply place the seed in any moist medium and have it germinate? If the seed germinates in a paper towel, which surely can’t sustain the seed, won’t it surely germinate in moist rockwool?

Please don’t tell me God created weed that needed man’s assistance to sustain it’s self because there is no paper towels laying around in mother nature. LOL I’m sorry, but I have to laugh at the though of all the extra work towlies have to go through. Just plant the seed already, if it’s viable, it will grow, because amazingly, it is a weed. It’s hardy. The only time the plant has troubles is when we try to care for them.

Serapis
Well-Known Member

He’s right, rock wool can and does dry out very fast. I had to work with professional hydroponics in my horticulture classes and we ended up losing a whole crop from a tard forgetting to properly set the water timer and the cubes dried up.

Yep, you can skip the dome ONLY if you are flooding the tray and watering from bottom up, which is actually recommended. I understand Humboldt’s concern too, because moist seedlings in a cold environment run the risk of damping-off disease. Those trying to avoid damping-off disease, usually the same one’s who have lost crops to it, do not use dome tops unless absolutely necessary. So it’s not that one guy is more right than the other, it is just 2 different methods. Pick the one that best suits you or develop a 3rd.

Well-Known Member
Serapis
Well-Known Member

No, I sense a debate/argument brewing with this one. lol Also, we haven’t heard the other 27 ways to do it yet.

Well-Known Member

i know, i know. i think you nailed it pretty much with the viability aspect. i personally use root riot plugs but i have also had 100% success rate with striaght into coco and water. i don’t know why people make a big deal out of germinating seeds, it couldn’t be much simpler.

Serapis
Well-Known Member
Fuzzbutter
Active Member

I don’t know where the paper towel method started, I only know that it has been around far too long. I first learned of it over 30 years ago. It’s hogwash. does it work? Most of the time, but why risk handling a delicate seed and it’s new born tap root when you can simply place the seed in any moist medium and have it germinate? If the seed germinates in a paper towel, which surely can’t sustain the seed, won’t it surely germinate in moist rockwool?

It’s done because it gives a higher growth yield. This is a fact. In my horticulture class we were taught this by having to germinate seeds in different ways. Some were just dropped in soil, some rock wool, and others were pre-germinated like the above mentioned method. You get a higher yield because you are supposed to germ more seeds than you expect to sprout, once sprouted, so long as they are properly taken care of, you’re all set to go and you already know that your plants are started vs waiting to see it the seeds ever sprout. It’s very rare to lose a sprout from transplanting long as you know what you’re doing. Also, germinating with the paper towel method let’s you already see which plants are growing fastest and strongest so you can do an initial picking of stronger genetics to start with and possibly end up with better plants. I’m a wee bit stoned, so i hope this makes sense. I’ll re-read it later and edit if necessary. but I think that conveys what I’m trying to get at.