The germination of your cannabis seeds is the first step to getting your crop under way. Read more about the specific methods you can use. Cannabis Seeds sprout easily with our step by step guides for germinating weed seeds in soil, water, tissue, rockwool, & more! Whatever method is used to germinate, specific important considerations must always be considered. Don't bury the seeds too deeply and do not oversaturate the medium with water.
Germination Cannabis Seeds
Germinating your cannabis seeds is the first step to getting your crop under way. It is the process in which life within the seed is stimulated, turning it from a seed into a sprout.
There are three main stimuli that trigger germination; Water, air and warmth. All three must be present for the cannabis seed to successfully grow. The first is water; the seed goes through a process called “imbibing”, this is where the seed soaks up water around it, eventually causing the seeds shell to split as the embryo inside expands. The second factor which is required to trigger germination is air. This will ensure that the embryo that it has what it requires to perform photosynthesis and transpiration. Finally the cannabis seed needs a degree of warmth to trigger growth. The embryo contained within the seed has a small store of food to get itself going; it just needs these indicators to give it the go-ahead.
As your cannabis seeds take their first steps into life they will develop a tap root, which bursts through the shell of the seed. As it continues to grow it will produce 2 small embryonic leaves known as the cotyledons; these will push off the remainder of the seed shell – do not attempt to remove it yourself, you are likely to do more damage than good. When these leaves appear it is very important to start providing the seedling as much light as possible, allowing it to start its process of photosynthesis, which produces the fuel for its future growth.
There are a few methods by which you can germinate you cannabis seeds, some of which are more reliable than others. It is generally recommended as a novice cultivator, that if you have 10 seeds start by germinating 5, followed by the other 5 the following week. This will ensure that if you spoil your first batch due to poor technique, you will still have some seeds left to try again. If you are confident in your skills, and you have done this a few times, then there is no reason not to do them all at once.
Generally speaking, cannabis seeds germinate best in temperatures of 69-80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27 degrees Celsius), and will take around 2-7 days to germinate. Although many believe otherwise, it is fine to have your seeds germinate in daylight.
If you buy low quality/immature seeds then you are not likely to get very good success rates, no matter how experienced you are. Indicators of a bad seed can be a pale whiteness in color, but this can also be the appearance of some specific strains – so do some research or contact your seed bank if they have sent you white seeds you were not expecting.
Other factors that can cause cannabis seed germination to fail are incorrect pH levels, seed exposure/drying out, the incorrect depth, over feeding, physical damage or bad soil. Take care where you store you germinating seeds as well; for example, a cold draft could end up damaging your seeds, causing the growth to be stunted.
If you are growing in soil then refrain from the urge to uncover your seeds to see how they are doing – no matter how long you think they are taking. It will do more harm than good, as you can damage young roots.
Finally, some strains of cannabis can grow with fairly weak stems. If you notice your seedlings leaning to the side, prop them up with a small stick until they are stronger. Never use a stick from the outside; they can bring in unwanted, negative variables such as pests.
How to germinate marijuana seeds
Germination begins the life of your plant, so it is essential to understand precisely how to do it. There are many methods for germinating marijuana seeds – some more successful than others.
This guide will discuss the many ways to germinate your seeds as well as some strategies for ensuring you get the best results possible. But if even the right methods fail I stand by my seeds and replace non-germinated seeds for free.
About germinating cannabis seeds
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It starts with the seed
Like all plants, marijuana starts as a seed. What looks like a pebble is actually an entire plant conveniently stored with a few days supplies of food to support itself. During germination, this food is converted into sugars that the plant uses to break through its shell and form its roots. From that point forward, the young seedling depends on its environment to provide the nutrients it will need to survive.
Germination brings a seed out of its slumber and triggers the growth process. A seed will begin germinating once it receives enough moisture.
At that point, it will increase in size and break open its shell. A germ opening forms and a root will emerge, which will help the plant absorb nutrients from the earth.
Nature and gravity ensure that the root grows downwards and the stem upward, creating a young seedling that can survive off light and earth.
Since all marijuana grows from a cannabis seed, many people want to know how to identify a healthy seed.
Honestly, it is difficult to tell if a plant will be healthy based on its seed alone. There are, however some tell-tell signs.
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Generally speaking, a pale-green, white, or very dark marijuana seed may have trouble germinating well. But this does not always reflect the outcome of the plant and is always worth trying.
If you are unable to use all of your seeds, store them in a cool, dark and dry place until you can. A refrigerator is ideal.
Planning for germination
Seeds are designed to germinate, but they are more likely to do so if given the ideal environment. There are many methods of germination, but they will all require:
- Moisture to help the seed expand and break through its shell
- Minimal interference so that delicate structures aren’t accidentally broken that mimic springtime (between 20°-22° Celsius or 68°-72° Fahrenheit)
If you remember these three things, your germination attempts are more likely to be successful.
It should go without saying that successful germination is important. Your seed is the foundation for your plants – which is why many successful growers choose to start with high-quality seeds.
You can also improve your germination attempts (and possibly speed up the process) by soaking your seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea solution for 12 hours before using them. This process will kill any infectious agents.
3 Simple ways to germinate your seeds
The best germination method is the one that works for you, and if you are like me, you’re going to want something simple and natural.
My favorite way to germinate seeds is a 24-water soak followed by soil germination, but something else may work better for you. Here are three of the easiest ways to germinate seeds.
Germinate seeds directly in soil
Planting your seeds in the soil that you intend to grow in is the most common and often, most successful method of germinating marijuana seeds.
This method is perfect for ensuring young seeds have minimal interference since the fragile root is protected by the soil. It’s also the most natural way for marijuana plants to grow.
How to plant marijuana seeds directly in soil
The first step in learning how to plant marijuana seeds directly in soil is to first make sure you use the right type. Use mildly fertilized potting soil or a seed starter. It should have a pH of approximately 6.
This type of soil will have spores and minerals that help young marijuana plants thrive. Do not add nutrients – potting soil has enough nutrients for at least the first two weeks of the plant’s life.
If you add any more nutrients, you risk killing your seedlings due to a nutrient overdose. Place your soil in a small pot.
In my free Grow Bible you will find even more tips for sprouting seeds and how to germinate weed seeds
- Grow with my Quick Start Guide
- Discover secrets to Big Yields
- Avoid common grow mistakes
Steps to germinating cannabis seeds
To prepare the soil for your seed, push your finger into it to create a small hole that is up to 1.5cm (0.6 inches) deep.
You can also use a pen or pencil.
- Place one seed into the prepared hole and cover it with soil. If you’ve already germinated, the seed will have a root – place the root facing downward (more on that later).
- After you’ve covered your seed with loose soil, do not mess with it.
- That includes pushing it down further – this will happen naturally as you water it.
- Use a plant sprayer to moisten the soil and place the pots under a fluorescent lamp.
- Don’t use a windowsill, because the temperature is not stable enough for germination.
- The temperature of the soil should be 22° Celsius or 72° Fahrenheit which is easy to achieve with lighting.
- Keep monitoring your soil to make sure it stays moist.
- Within a week (or as little as 4 days) you should start seeing stems emerge from the soil. You now have a seedling!
- Once your plants are 2 to 4 inches tall (5 to 10 centimeters), transplant your plants into a larger pot with the stems further in the ground. Your plant will now have many roots that will support it for the rest of its life.
Germinate seeds in water
As I mentioned above, germinating in water is my favorite way to start my seeds.
It may seem like a bad idea, as there are more water and light than recommended when using this method, but it works! I’ve found that it is around 90% effective.
The “trick” is not leaving the seeds in water too long.
Usually, 24 to 48 hours is enough for the seeds to show their tail, but you can leave them soaking for up to 7 days without too much of a worry.
Water germination is useful because it assures that there is the right amount of moisture to begin germinating.
If done for just a short period, it can help crack open the shell, pre-sprouting the plant right before your eyes.
Water germination shortens the process by making it easier for the plant rather than having to push through the soil.
- To germinate with water, fill a glass with tap water and allow it to reach room temperature over a few hours.
- The temperature should be around 18° C or 65° F. Do not add nutrients. Drop 2 to 3 cannabis seeds into the water and watch for any changes.
- Refill the glass with fresh water every other day while maintaining its temperature.
After about 2 to 4 days the seeds should start to split.
You can place your seeds in the soil at any point, but once the roots are 3 to 5 mm (.1 to .2 inches) long, they must be planted.
These are the basic instructions from my store that I share with new growers:
As much as I prefer to germinate my seeds in water, it does have its downside.
At some point, you will need to handle your seeds, and this is risky. Germinating seeds are delicate, and the roots are especially fragile. If you harm them in any way, your plant might not develop well.
Be very careful when placing your sprouted seed into the soil, and if possible place the root facing down.
Germinate with cotton pads or paper towels
Another easy way of germinating your seeds is to use cotton pads or paper towels.
This is a common way of doing it because cotton pads or paper towels can keep the seeds moist and protected.
While cotton pads (or balls) or the best for this method, cheap, non-porous paper towels will work as well.
Just make sure they are plain single-ply paper towels – the cloth-like ones may cause your roots to grow into the towel.
- To germinate using cotton pads, place a few seeds between two cotton pads and moisten with a plant sprayer.
- When using a paper towel, place the seeds in between two paper towels and store the towel-cushioned seeds in between two plates, under an upside-down bowl or in a plastic bag.
- Keep the temperature around 22° Celsius, or 72° Fahrenheit, and (once again) do not place the seeds on a windowsill.
- In about 2 to 5 days, the seeds will start to split open, and a tiny root should appear.
- Place them in the soil when they are 3-5 mm or 0.1- 0.2 inches long.
Read my free Grow Bible to learn more about germination and caring for your plant.
- Grow with my Quick Start Guide
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- Avoid common grow mistakes
Like the water method, germinating this way has its risk. If you are not careful, you can damage fragile roots while transporting them to the soil. You can also tangle the root in the wet paper towel if you are not extremely careful.
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Use your fingers or tweezers to move delicate sprouts, and don’t allow the root to grow too long before moving it into the soil.
Other germination methods
Water, soil, and cotton pads or paper towels are the easiest ways to germinate your seeds, but they aren’t the only ways. You can also use starter cubes or plugs for germinating cannabis seeds. Simply drop the seed in, add water, and wait for it to germinate.
They aren’t always as successful, but they eliminate the risk of damaging your root when transporting a young sprout to its final growing home.
Below are two types of starter materials that can safely germinate your seeds.
Germinating seeds in rockwool
Rockwool provides the perfect environment for germinating seeds.
It is mineral wool that is made from volcanic rock and other materials (such as basalt and limestone). Rockwool is man-made by melting its ingredients into molten lava that is quickly spun into threads. These threads are then compacted, cured, and cut.
Rockwool is an ideal growing environment, but it will need to be amended slightly for marijuana plants.
First of all, you will need to add some fertilizer before you use it to start seeds. The TDS should be around 600ppm. You’ll also need to lower the pH since Rockwool has a pH of 7.0, which is too high for germination.
To lower the pH, soak Rockwool plugs in water for at least a day. Since water has a pH of 5.5, this will bring down the pH.
It should also be noted that there are some serious drawbacks to using Rockwool.
Because it does not occur naturally, it’s not the best for the environment.
It’s also not the greatest for your health; wear gloves and cover your mouth and eyes when handling this stuff.
Because of the extra steps involved (such as adjusting the nutrients and pH) and handling issues, this method is not recommended for beginners, although it is not terribly difficult to do.
You’ll need to purchase and TDS meters for the most successful germination, but outside of that, the material is very affordable and easy to find.
Because it does not require soil, this method is ideal for those who plan to grow hydroponically.
Germinating seeds in peat pellets
Peat pellets are another way to germinate seeds without the risk of damaging young roots.
Peat pellets are compressed peat, which is made of partially decomposed vegetable matter and is simply yummy for young plants.
The pellet enlarges when you add water to it, forming a container of nutrient-dense soil alternative around germinating seeds.
Unlike Rockwool, peat is already optimized for cannabis germination.
It has a pH of 5.5 and a TDS of 625, so you don’t have to worry about making any adjustments. The only preparation required is soaking the pellets in warm water.
Once the roots become visible, (by popping out of the peat), simply move the entire pellet into the soil, rock wool, or coco coir, where it will continue growing.
This type of germination is not recommended for hydroponic setups.
Peat pellets have a good germination rate, are easy to use, and are suitable for beginners. They are also ideal for cloning.
I recommend the Jiffy brand of peat pellets which can be purchased on Amazon.
In addition to the material used to germinate your seeds, the grow environment you provide will play a huge role as well.
Your seeds will need the correct temperature and levels of moisture to sprout into a strong, healthy plant.
“Weak plants are the result of weak seeds and poor growing conditions.”
Below are some tips for creating the perfect germination environment.
How to water sprouting seeds
Watering is essential throughout the cannabis life cycle, and germination is no exception.
Not enough water and your seeds do not germinate, too much and that root doesn’t survive.
Excess water keeps oxygen from the roots and can attract mold, which is why you have to be very careful not to overdo it.
When germinating weed seeds indoors using soil or another growing medium it is relatively easy to monitor the water levels. You should water your seed until you see water dripping out from below (and not more).
Even though the seedling cannot absorb that much water, it will evaporate quite quickly, so you need to make sure there is always enough around.
If you water it until it reaches this point, it should supply enough moisture for a few days.
Lighting and temperature
Like water, lighting is essential to a cannabis plant. In a mature plant, light enables the plant to form sugars from carbon dioxide and water.
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The plant then uses those sugars to power its growth – something we humans call photosynthesis.
For a seed, lighting is important as well because it provides heat, which a seed needs to push open its shell and send its root into the earth.
The best way to give your seeds the temperature it needs is with fluorescent lights. (T5 high output with a color temperature of 6500K).
Fluorescent lights are ideal because they do not use too much power, and they don’t give off too much heat.
You can place them as close to a young plant as you need, and although your seed doesn’t need it at this point, it will as soon as those first leaves start peeking out from the top of the soil.
Incandescent bulbs can also be used because they are great at generating heat. You can’t use them as grow lights, but for germination, they work just fine.
You can also use a seedling heating pad (available at most gardening stores). These heat the seeds from the bottom instead of the top. They will not be enough once your plant has started growing, however.
Keep the temperature of the soil around 72 degrees.
Seeds germinate best in warm, humid temperatures, similar to springtime.
To create a humid environment, wrap plastic wrap around your pot, creating a biodome for your plants. Just remember to remove the plastic wrap the minute you see any sprouts emerge from the soil.
If the soil, or water, or whatever you are growing in is hotter than 72 degrees Fahrenheit, move the lamp further away from the plant.
Dry air won’t kill seedlings, but if you can reduce it, even better.
Where to germinate seeds
When you’re planning your outdoor grow and you received your seeds, it’s best to germinate them indoors. This is because indoors it is much easier to maintain the correct temperature, water levels, and light exposure.
Even if you plan to grow your plants outdoors, you do not want to try starting them outside (unless you absolutely need to).
Outdoors you must worry about rain, clouds, and plenty of other things that could keep your seeds from sprouting.
You’ll also have to wait until the final frost has passed, meaning your growing season may be delayed compared to if you had started the seeds inside.
Starting indoors gives you a head start and your plants a better chance at survival.
If you still plan to germinate outdoors, choose a location that will support the plant its entire life. You will not be moving the plant so choose wisely.
- Plant seeds when corn is typically planted in your area.
- Dig 6x6x6 holes at least three feet apart and fill them with potting soil.
- This will give the seeds enough nutrients to start.
- Then, dig a small, quarter-inch deep hole into the potting soil and drop the seed in.
- Soak that soil with water, and water it again in a few days if the weather is warm enough.
- You can use row covers to protect your seeds and keep the area warm but be careful to not leave them on too long – young plants will need the light once they break through the soil.
In my free Grow Bible you will find even more tips for sprouting seeds and how to germinate pot seeds
The Most Common Ways To Germinate Cannabis Seeds
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. May 31, 2022: Marijuana seed germination is a simple process, but it is critical for starting the crop in the best possible way.
There are several methods for germinating cannabis seeds. You can try to germinate weed seeds in a glass of water or use any other method shared below. All of them are correct, but some are preferable to others.
We must always germinate the seeds before growing them indoors, outdoors, in hydroponic or organic crops. To accomplish this, you must follow a series of simple steps ideal for effective and rapid germination.
This post will discuss the various methods for germinating marijuana seeds. We will also provide you with a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of each technique. Let’s get started!
How to germinate cannabis seeds
The first step is to summarize the conditions that must be met for adequate germination. The first thing we must control is humidity or water.
We can use tap water without issue unless it has a very high EC (from 1).
In the meantime, a small amount of distilled or reverse osmosis water will suffice.
Many growers typically add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide) to the water. As a result, the water contains more oxygen. In addition, hydrogen peroxide’s antifungal properties are used. This reduces the likelihood of fungi appearing.
The pH level of the water must be close to 6. The temperature should be around 22oC, and complexes or root stimulators can be added if desired.
Best seed germination substrates
- On the one hand, there’s Jiffy (pressed peat or coconut tablets)
- Rock wool cubes
- Paper napkins.
- Tacos with Root Riot Spread
Once we have the water and the medium for germinating, we must determine the best conditions for growing.
It is recommended that they be kept in a dark and humid environment, but they must be well ventilated. It would help if you also held it at 25 degrees Celsius.
There are some small greenhouses on the market that simulate ideal seed-germination conditions.
Suppose we use kitchen paper as a germination medium. We must maintain these conditions until the seeds germinate, that is, until the radicle appears, which will later become the plant’s main root.
The seeds are planted when this article is about 1 cm long, and after a few days, a tiny seedling can be seen growing.
Next, we’ll go over the various methods for germinating seeds:
Substrates and media for cannabis seed germination
Now we’ll go over the most common methods for germinating seeds. Keep in mind that the media must be wet with the previously mentioned water.
1. Peat jiffy
Jiffy is pressed, and dry peat plugs. It would help if you soaked them for some time before transforming them into a cloth bag of the substrate.
Usually, seeds are sown directly in the jiffy without first germinating. In other words, the seedlings germinate now in the jiffies where they will grow. The plant is then transplanted into a pot to begin the growth phase.
Jiffy comes in various sizes and materials, such as peat or coconut fiber. Because this substrate retains a good amount of water, they do not need to be hydrated during the germination stage.
2. Rock wool
Another germination method is Rockwool cubes or plugs, which are widely used, especially when using hydroponic or aeroponic methods. This method cannot contaminate the system with peat or coco residues, as occurs when cultivating with a jiffy.
The seeds germinate quickly in this substrate, but You must control the humidity level of the rock wool because it dehydrates, unlike jiffy, which retains moisture. As a result, a daily check should be performed to ensure that the rock wool is moistened.
3. Root Riot Spread Tacos
Root Riot’s propagation plugs are made of a sponge-like material composed of composted organic materials. Its porous structure aids in maintaining the ideal air/water ratio for root development.
They contribute to the proper balance of water, oxygen, and micronutrients. This method of germination produces excellent results. It is used in the same way that rock wool blocks are.
4. Kitchen paper
Cotton is commonly used in place of kitchen paper. It consists of moistening the folded kitchen paper in a container. It is one of the most common methods for germinating seeds.
It is one of the most common ways to germinate seeds of any plant, and it is sometimes replaced by cotton. It entails moistening the folded kitchen paper in a container (for example, a plate). The more paper you add, the more moisture is retained, and the less the paper must hydrate during the process.
When the seeds are moist, they are placed on top and covered with a thin layer of paper (this step is usually forgotten). The plate is then covered with another of the exact dimensions, with a small gap between them to allow the seeds to “breathe.” As with rock wool, we will keep the medium – in this case, the paper – moist at all times.
If the crop is to be grown outside, another option is to plant the seed directly in a pot or on the ground. This is not usually recommended because the seed may remain deeper than it should. We also push the seed deeper if we water after planting.
As a result, the soil must be watered before sowing the seed. It is also recommended to soak the seeds for one day before planting to promote seed germination.
Germinate marijuana seeds step by step
Marijuana seeds can be germinated using:
Germinate seeds in a jiffy (small bags of peat)
The jiffy must first be soaked in water for 15 minutes. When they begin to swell, They are drained slightly, and a 1cm deep hole is made. The seed is placed in this hole, with its crown facing upwards.
You can buy small plastic greenhouses with holes to allow them to breathe. The hole is filled with unpressed peat, and the jiffy is kept dry, warm, and ventilated. However, keep them away from drafts. Usually, seedlings emerge after three days. The plants took three days to hatch using this method.
Germinate marijuana seeds in Rockwool
To begin germinating seeds, we must first hydrate the Rockwool like we do jiffy. The excess water is then drained, and the seed is planted in the same manner as in the jiffy, one centimeter deep with the crown upwards and covered with rock wool. Because rock wool can dry out, we must keep it moistened daily if required. Small greenhouses are highly recommended because they keep the Rockwool moist and prevent it from drying out.
When the seedling emerges, it will be transplanted to our choice’s substrate or hydroponic system. Germination in Rockwool takes about three days on average.
Germinate seeds in Root Riot
Root riot’s seed germination procedure is very similar to Rockwool. Seedlings are born after four days using this method.
Germinate seeds on kitchen paper
To germinate marijuana seeds using this method, we take a couple of kitchen papers and fold them several times.
We moisten the paper in a deep plate or similar container with water. The seeds are then placed on top and covered with a layer of paper.
We use another deep plate with a small hole for air to enter as a lid.
It is frequently used in conjunction with one of the preceding methods. When the seed radicle appears, it is placed instantly, a cube of rock wool or a propagation block. After a few days, the seedling emerges.
Whatever method is used to germinate, specific important considerations must always be considered.