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Everything you need to know how to quickly and successfully germinate cannabis seeds. Compare different methods of marijuana seeds germination and choose the best one Growing cannabis comes with many challenges, with one being dud seeds. Learn how to recognise unhealthy seeds to save time and effort. Curious how to germinate weed seeds? Check the best way to germinate cannabis seeds! A helpful step-by-step guide for a successful germination!

How To Quickly And Successfully Germinate Cannabis Seeds

All cannabis plants, whether tall and lanky Sativa trees or compact and sturdy Indica bushes, start from a single weed seed. This tiny brown nut contains everything necessary to eventually yield hundreds or even thousands of grams of potent buds! However, to reach that point, it’s important to place the seed in a special environment that will trigger life inside it, crack the shell open, and let the roots and stalk out.

In this article, we’ll be explaining how to germinate cannabis seeds and tell you about the best ways to do it. Before we start though, it’s important to know what environment cannabis seeds are most likely to pop in. Since in nature, they germinate in spring, logically, you want to put them in conditions that mimic fertile ground in spring – think plenty of moisture, little light, and mildly warm temperatures of around 18-22 C (64-71 F). Now, you’re ready to learn about the best ways to germinate cannabis seeds. Let’s dive right in!

Main Methods Of Cannabis Seed Germination

The following three methods have proved to be some of the easiest as well as the most effective. This means each of them is a great way to help your cannabis seed to sprout.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds In Soil

When spread naturally, marijuana seeds germinate directly in soil. So, why not recreate the natural process? This method is great for beginners because of how few steps it requires. All you need to do is make a 1.5-2cm (0.5-1 inch)-deep hole in the soil, place your seed in it, and lightly cover it with more soil. Then, water the spot above the seed and keep an eye on it to make sure the area stays moist most of the time. It’s also a good idea to cover your starting pot loosely with a plastic bag or a wrap to keep the environment humid and warm until the seedling shows up from the soil. This method is preferred by many because it eliminates the stress of transplantation that, at times, can be too tough on fragile seedlings.

Cannabis Strains For Beginners

Germinating Weed Seeds In Water

If you’re not ready to get your hands dirty just yet, it’s fine! Some growers start their seeds in a glass of water. This method is easy and quite effective. Practice shows that germinating in water normally makes around 90% of weed seeds pop. This method is pretty self-explanatory – all you need to do is place your cannabis seeds in a glass of fresh water away from light. Usually, the nuts crack open on the second day. For older seeds, however, the process may take up to 7 days, which is also fine. After the taproot shows, the seed is ready to be planted. Some growers wait for the seeds to drown (about 24 hours in), then transfer them to a wet paper towel – the method we’ll be explaining next.

How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds In A Paper Towel

This next method is a true classic that’s been shared grower to grower for generations. It’s also pretty simple and has everything you need to maintain the perfect environment for cannabis seeds to pop. To use this method of germination, place your seeds on a clean paper towel, fold it over them, and spray the towel lightly with water. After that, put the moist towel on one plate and cover it with a second plate to keep the seeds in the dark and not let the moisture evaporate. That’s pretty much it! This method can also be modified and improved upon. For example, instead of a paper towel, you can use two cotton pads for each of the seeds – these will be easier to open when it comes to removing the seed. Instead of plates, you can also place your seeds in an airtight container or ziplock bag to ensure the moisture stays in the towel/cotton pads.

Easy-To-Grow Cannabis Strains

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds In Cotton Wool

Start with making a layer of cotton wool moist but not dripping wet, so that the excess water won’t suffocate the seeds. Then place your seeds on top, cover them with another layer (also moist), and put everything in a dark place.

Make sure the cotton wool is covered and won’t dry out while the seeds germinate.

The difficulty with germinating cannabis seeds in cotton wool is that the emerging roots may get entangled in it. For this reason, it’s better to use cotton pads in which cotton is more compacted and there is less fiber sticking out.

How To Germinate Autoflower Seeds

Cannabis is cannabis, and germinating autoflower seeds is exactly the same as any other variety. Just make sure to use the most effective technique because with autos you don’t want to lose any time at any stage, including germination.

Also, autoflower growers often choose the straight-into-the-final-pot method of germination to spare their precious babies any shock of transplanting.

Alternative Methods Of Cannabis Seeds’ Germination

Now let’s move to the more modern methods of cannabis seeds germination. These aren’t necessarily better in terms of germination rate, but still have some pros as well as cons that we find important to explain.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds In Peat Pellets Or Starter Cubes

If you want to give your seeds special treatment and make them feel loved from the very first day in your grow op, you might want to get your hands on peat pellets or starter cubes. So, how do you germinate marijuana seeds in rapid rooters, peat pellets, and starter cubes? These are all individual plugs of peat or a special seed starter mix that are incredibly easy to use and don’t leave much room for error. In the case of peat pellets (you may also know them as jiffy pellets), all you need to do is soak them in warm water, which will make the pellets expand. Then, squeeze the excess moisture out and place your seed (pointy side down) inside the pellet. Starter cubes and rapid rooters don’t require squeezing, but whatever you choose, you need to make sure your medium is slightly moist at all times. One of the greatest advantages of this method is that the seed germinates in complete peace and doesn’t need to be transferred from the pellet/starter cube/rapid rooter. After the seedling is out, just plant it into the soil together with what you were germinating the seed in.

Fast Flowering Cannabis Seeds

If you’re wondering how to germinate marijuana seeds for hydroponics, peat pellets, unlike other methods from this article, aren’t suitable for hydroponic setups. However, the rest of the techniques we’ll be discussing can be used for both soil and soilless media.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds In Rockwool Cubes

If you’re growing your seeds in a hydroponic setup, you might want to look into rockwool cubes for germination. As a material, rockwool is inert, cheap, and easy to find. Fans of hydroponic grows often choose rockwool for its mold-resistant qualities. The process of germination in rockwool cubes is the same as described in the previous method: simply place a seed inside a cube, water it, and keep it moist until the seedling is out.

Even though many growers prefer using rockwool for germination of their cannabis seeds, this method has quite a few drawbacks. First of all, the pH of new rockwool is not suited for cannabis seeds. It’s far too high and needs to be lowered before use. That’s why rockwool requires soaking overnight in pH-ed water and properly rinsed afterward. The second drawback of using rockwool for germination is that it’s a synthetic material that’s bad for both your health and the environment. When working with rockwool, it’s advised to use gloves and protective masks, because little pieces of the material can easily get into your mouth, eyes, and even end up in your lungs. Lastly, germination rates for seeds placed in rockwool cubes aren’t that great either – you can wait for your seeds to pop for weeks without any result.

Cannabis seed germination methods comparison table

In this article, we’ve covered five main germination methods. To sum everything up, here’s a comparison chart that can help you decide on how to germinate your marijuana seeds.

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds For Hydroponics

DWC systems have seen a huge rise in popularity among home growers, making the question of germinating cannabis seeds for hydroponics extremely relevant. Is it any different? Not really, because the basics stay the same. You can still start with the paper towel method or a glass of water. However, we suggest using either starter cubes or rockwool when germinating cannabis seeds for hydroponics, as this will take the risk of damaging the sprouts to the minimum.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Soak your starter cubes or rockwool pieces in clean, pH-neutral water for an hour.
  • Place a seed inside the cube.
  • Put the starter cubes/rockwool cubes with seeds in them inside the grow tray.
  • Fill the bottom of the grow tray with an inch (2.5cm) of clean water or a very light nutrient solution.
  • Dial in the temperature (20-30C/69-89F) and humidity levels (80-90%).
  • Keep the lid on for conditions close to a greenhouse.

That’s it! After a couple of days, you’ll see your sprouts emerging.

How Long Does It Take For Marijuana Seeds To Germinate?

Your preferred method won’t make much difference in how long it takes for marijuana seeds to germinate. What actually matters when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds quickly is the quality of the seeds, their genetics, and how old they are. Normally, fresh seeds of good quality will never take more than 5 days to show taproot. However, if your seeds have been waiting for their hour for a little too long, it may take them around 10 days to germinate. Luckily, this won’t affect any characteristics of the future plant.

How To Germinate Old Cannabis Seeds

There are several tricks for germinating old cannabis seeds, all of them aimed at making the shell softer or thinner to help the sprout break out:

  • Germinating cannabis seeds with hydrogen peroxide. Before germinating old cannabis seeds, try soaking them in a glass of room-temperature water with a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide mixed in. This solution will help rehydrate and soften the seed’s shell. After 24 hours in this solution, switch to your preferred germination method.
  • Scarifying old seeds. This is another proven method of germinating old cannabis seeds. Try lining a small matchbox with sandpaper, placing the seeds in, and shaking them there for about a minute. This will cover the seeds in microfractures, making it much easier for the sprout to break through. After scarifying the seeds, use your preferred germination method.
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Tips For Caring After Germinating Seeds And Seedlings

As we’ve already pointed out, cannabis seedlings are very gentle, and you need to be careful not to put them in any danger or stress. Use the following tips, and your seedlings will make it safely to the next stage of their lifecycle.

Start Indoors

In order to germinate and survive the first days of life, cannabis seeds and seedlings need to be kept under certain conditions like warm temperature, high levels of humidity, darkness for seeds/lots of light for seedlings, and, of course, peace and quiet. Outdoor environments can therefore be too unpredictable – if the weather changes and brings heavy rain or wind, or if a bird or cat decides to try and snack on the seedling, the young plant most likely won’t survive and you’ll have to start all over. That’s why we recommend germinating your seeds and growing seedlings indoors, where you have full control over their environment.

Choose Soil For Seedlings Wisely

There’s a common term among growers used to describe soil extremely rich in nutrients, and that’s “hot”. While hot soil is beneficial for cannabis in general, especially when made and used correctly, hot nutrient-rich soils, or super soils, are not the best option for young marijuana seedlings. In the early stages of cannabis development, the plant’s nutrient needs are quite low, and too much of them can actually hurt the young plant’s health. So, make sure to use more neutral soil for seedlings. A good trick that you can implement in your practice is to cover nutrient-rich soils with a layer of a more neutral medium and plant the seedling in this upper layer. The plant will develop, and once it’s ready for bigger nutrient intake, its roots will reach the underlying “hotter” soil. Remember that the vegetative stage requires nitrogen-rich media.

Give Seedlings Enough Light

After spending so much time inside its dark shell, seedlings are hungry for light, and plenty of it! As we suggest starting your plants indoors, this means you’ll need to install a light to satisfy the seedlings’ needs. The vegetative stage of cannabis requires mostly blue light spectrum, so anything from fluorescent lamps to full-spectrum LEDs, 100W and up, will work fine for seedlings. Just make sure the light is placed close enough to the plants. The optimal distance for fluorescent lights is 5-6 inches (13-16cm) and 8-12 inches (20-30cm) for LEDs. In case the seedlings need more light, they will let you know by getting tall and leggy. This condition is dangerous for them, so make sure your baby plants are receiving enough light.

Keep Them In A Mini-Greenhouse

Finally, another nice touch to keep your sprouts safe and sound would be to provide them with a small improvised greenhouse of their own. Loosely covering the starting pots or pellets with a plastic bag will do the trick. However, in garden stores, you can also find specialized containers with tall transparent lids. Whatever you choose, this will help the seedlings stay warm, hydrated, and safe from any dangers of the outside world.

Is It Legal To Germinate Cannabis Seeds?

This is a tricky question to answer, as the situation depends on the jurisdiction of your country of residence.

If you’re a citizen of Canada, the U.S., the Netherlands, or Spain – all countries with lighter cannabis policies – it’s legal to germinate cannabis seeds. However, additional rules apply depending on what part of the country you live in and what seed type you want to germinate. Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that germination of cannabis seeds is legal everywhere where it’s legal to grow cannabis, and especially if you’re planning to start a garden of medicinal marijuana, you likely won’t break any rules by germinating seeds of strains with THC content lower than 1%.

In other countries, governments may draw the line at germination. For example, in the UK, it’s legal to trade and keep cannabis seeds, but you have to be careful with their germination, as this is where the law gets broken.

In our blog, we’ve covered the legality of cannabis seeds and everything you can do to stay safe. For more information, check out the following articles:

  • “Where in the World Is It Legal To Buy Cannabis Seeds?” for tips for residents of Europe, China, South Africa, New Zealand, Turkey, and more.
  • “The Legality Of Cannabis And Its Seeds In The UK”
  • “Is It Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds in the USA?”
  • “Canada Pot Laws”

What’s the best temperature for germinating cannabis seeds?

Cannabis seeds prefer a warm environment for germination, with the most optimal temperature being 25C (78F). However, it’s okay to add/subtract a couple of degrees from this number while still keeping the air warm.

What’s the best pH for germinating cannabis seeds?

The perfect pH for cannabis seed germination is between 5.5-6.0.

What’s the best soil for germinating cannabis seeds?

It’s better to use light, easily drainable soil for germinating seeds, as this will not restrain the growing sprout. The soil for germination and seedlings should also be neutral or very light on nutrients – “hot” and nutrient-rich soils are only suitable for mature cannabis plants.

What’s the best humidity level for germinating cannabis seeds?

The germination stage requires high humidity levels of 80-90%.

What’s the fastest way to germinate cannabis seeds?

All methods described in this article are more or less the same in terms of the speed of germination. Much more depends on the freshness of your seeds – the fresher the seeds, the sooner they will germinate.

Do weed seeds need light to germinate?

Weed seeds germinate in the dark. So, even after you put a germinated seed in soil, you can keep the lights off. Until the seed pops up through the surface, that is.

Will cracked seeds germinate?

The protective shell on seeds is there for a reason, so any cracks or chips decrease the chances of successful germination. However, much depends on how long ago the crack appeared. And, anyway, it never hurts to try.

How long for cannabis seeds to break soil?

If you put a dry seed into wet soil, don’t expect the sprout to appear sooner than 60 hours. For pre-soaked beans or those that were put into the soil when they had shown a taproot, this may happen earlier. Sometimes in as little as 12 hours.

Cannabis seeds sold in reputable seed shops sprout very fast. Seeds that are old or have been stored improperly may take up to 10 days to sprout.

Starting Off Right

Now you can see that growing marijuana from seed isn’t at all that hard. Just remember to give your seeds enough TLC and dial in some environmental conditions to fit their needs. We’ve shown you some of the easiest and most effective methods of germinating pot seeds. Which one is your personal favorite? Let us and fellow growers know in the comments below.

Herbies Head Shop expressly refuses to support the use, production, or supply of illegal substances. For more details read our Legal Disclaimer.

I’m trying my first seeds using the glass of water method, some seeds have sunk to the bottom and some are floating, are the floating ones no good?

If you lightly “tap” the floaters after they’ve soaked overnight, they’ll sink, they just weren’t heavy enough to break the surface. If they float back up, let them soak another day and tap it. If it still floats, you may have an issue. However, I’ve experienced floaters and after the overnight soak, every floater I needed to tap, sank, and germinated fine.

I used a cotton pad, wet in clear container w/ saran wrap over put in sunlight and after first day checked every 12hrs, and they cracked on the 2nd day. worked well

Hello Keepinit, we are happy to hear that our article is useful to the growers, we wish you best of luck in your hobby!

what i find the most effective way is placing in a coffee filter then putting a coffee filter on top, then put on a plate and place a cup over the seeds and coffee filters and keep moist until germination occurs

What’s the longest you’ve ever had to wait for a seed to germinate and still had a normal, healthy plant? I’ve had 100% success the last 4 strains I’ve germ’ed with seedlings showing in 3-5 days. Recently got 10 Northern Lights seeds from a local vendor, and the first three went 15 days and nothing. I retried with two more and I’m on day 8 and still nothing. Maybe just a bad batch of seeds.. I’m behind schedule now for my next grow!

most good and healthy seeds sprout after a couple days, some older seeds take longer. I usually give them a couple of days to germinate if i still see no signs after 5-6 days i start to get worried.

15 days is a lot. I’ve waited a week at most, longer than that u will see the seed get darker, kinda sluggish nd swelled, that’s a dead seed decomposing, sometimes they just flood

How’s it going? I’m new to the game and was wondering the best way of altering PH level of water? I have an abundance of 500ml bottled water that has a PH of 7.9, a good way off the optimal PH 6 required I know, but is there a way of adding solution to each bottle separately and if so any suggestions of best solution to use? Thanks.

Yes there is ph tester for water that takes drops to test which is the most efficient way to test ph. Also to adjust the ph you want to get ph-up or ph- down I believe general hydroponics is the company for it.

The pic at the top is wrong ,the seed is up side down pistols or the hairs should come out of the seed butt hole that’s how the pollen gets in .2 hairs pair seed one for seed the other for the food sac ,

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What happens to Seeds overtime they dry out and the carbohydrate that’s inside of them to feed them becomes weaker. As far as the potency of genetics that does not change however I recommend soaking all Seed between 12 and 24 hours. I use of seed starter MassiveGro invented formula pH to round 5.8 I pour about a quarter inch in a cup put my seeds in there put the next couple on top of it to force them down into the liquid. Occasionally give them a shake you don’t want them to be floating when you plant them. Then I soak my paper towel are use the nice cotton felt like paper towels I think a Brauny or veva with that seed starter formula pour the seed right onto it a ring out the excess moisture put it in a 1 gallon freezer bag place bag up high where it is 80° or put it on the heat mat with a thermostat and check it after one day because it’ll sprout fast. I like to let the sprout get a half inch long and then plant it The biggest problem you have with old seed is the lack of carbohydrate it may sprout then usually burn up all it has and die right away. Unless your seeds got hot you probably won’t have any problem unless they’re more than four years old. Old seed you can assist the carbohydrate by watering the soil with potato water a few drops of corn syrup or a fish fertilizer soak and Endo Mycorrhiza sprinkled around the seed. NPK industries wrong line of Omina is a good gentle amino acid helps break down substances so plants uptake faster when everything’s good I usually mix half strength of the weak dosage. NPK raw stuff can be bought on Amazon in small 2 ounce packages there everything’s pretty concentrated usually last you quite a while. But This is where a seed starter formula comes in because it usually has the carbohydrate to keep it going right away. I use pro mix BX with added perlite and when plants are tiny etc. I always measure my water and times with measuring spoons till a plant is healthy pro mix keeps plants from damning off as long as you’re not drenching it right away because it doesn’t dry out very fast easiest way to kill seeds to drowned it that’s why I measure watering and write it down I don’t try to push or stress my plants I either used seed starter fertilizer or plain pH water until they are about 6 inches high before a poor nutrients to them and once a week I do a full soil drench and drain prior to that you’re probably talking tablespoon or two of Water. Never let your pH get above 6.4 you lock out nutrients and you also root slower, once your plants are growing an strong between the 6 inch and 12 inch stage I’ll use about two weeks of red light will actually give you more roots. You can go to in NPK-University.com sign up for Harley Smith’s advanced grow you won’t be sorry Harley is like the master of the world lol

How To Test The Quality Of Cannabis Seeds

Sowing dud cannabis seeds can prove to be a waste of time and effort. But how can you tell the healthy ones apart? Take a look at these tips for some guidance.

A lot of preparation is required before embarking on the quest of growing cannabis. Growers must ensure they have a good lighting setup to provide their plants with energy. They also need a designated area, indoors or outdoors, in which to cultivate their crop. Furthermore, growers will need a water source, an array of macro and micronutrients, and a good-quality soil if choosing this growing medium.

There’s another box that needs to be ticked off the list before growing as well, one that is often overlooked. Checking the quality of your cannabis seeds before placing them in the soil is a simple process, and one that can save a lot of time and energy in the long-run.

The most reliable way to check if your seeds are viable is to simply place them in the soil and allow them to germinate. Although this method is easy, waiting for them to pierce through the top layer of soil can take some time. This can be especially time consuming when growing on a large or commercial scale, or when simply wanting to get a grow started as quickly as possible.

Below are a few simple and easy methods you can use to assess the quality of your cannabis seeds.

SOURCE OFTEN DETERMINES QUALITY

Before we even get around to testing the quality of our seeds, it’s important to discuss where to source them. By purchasing seeds from reputable dispensaries, seedshops, and headshops, you greatly enhance the chances of your cannabis seeds being of good quality. Additionally, you will have the knowledge of exactly what the strain is, its characteristics, flowering time, and so on.

Some cannabis users might be thrilled to see a few cannabis seeds laying at the bottom of the bag of weed they just purchased. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing. As well as adding weight to the bag, there’s less of a chance that these seeds will be viable, and they are more than likely not feminized. Plus, there’s no telling exactly what strain they are and if their genetics are of any value. If you’re determined, there’s nothing wrong with attempting to cultivate these seeds; it could prove to be a fun side project. Just refrain from being overly optimistic from the get-go.

WHAT DO YOUR SEEDS LOOK LIKE?

So, you’ve obtained some seeds and plan on germinating them soon, but you’re a tad unsure about their quality. Well, the first port of call is to take a closer look at them. This can be done with the naked eye, but using a magnifying device makes things a lot easier.

Healthy seeds usually feature a “tiger print” pattern upon the shell with intertwined colours of brown, grey, and sometimes black. Healthy seeds also often display spots on their shells and appear to have a waxy coating. Sometimes, however, seeds will appear green, white, or pale, which signifies a low chance of germination.

Healthy seeds are mostly hard to the touch and should be able to resist external pressure when placed between the index finger and thumb and given a squeeze. If your seed cracks under this pressure, then it’s a sign of a weak and unhealthy one.

HOW OLD ARE YOUR SEEDS?

If you’re buying from a dispensary or headshop, you might be able to inquire about the age of the seeds you’re interested in and get an honest answer. You’re far less likely to find out the age of seeds found in bags or acquired from other sources. Knowing the age of a seed before attempting to cultivate is beneficial, as seeds that are too old won’t end up sprouting, or will take a lot longer if they do.

Seeds are a life form in themselves, and are subject to ageing and deterioration. Although passing the point of being viable might take years, it’s still something worth considering before growing.

CHECK IF YOUR SEEDS FLOAT IN WATER

One cost-effective and simple trick to determine if your seeds are worth the time is to see if they float in water. Fill up a glass or jug with water and place your seeds on the surface. Leave your seeds in the water for a few hours and return to check on them later. Seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the water are healthy and should be germinated now that they have been soaked. Any seeds that remain floating on the surface are likely of bad quality and shouldn’t be used if you don’t want to risk wasting time.

YOU CAN ALWAYS GO AHEAD AND GERMINATE THEM ANYWAY

If you have time to spare and are growing cannabis purely out of recreational joy, then you can simply go ahead and germinate the seeds. This is a 100% accurate way to determine whether a seed is viable or not.

Planting a seed into soil and waiting for it to sprout is one way to see if the specimen is healthy. However, a slightly faster way is to watch it germinate in real time. Place seeds between two pieces of paper towel and place them on a plate. Mist the towel with water until damp and store the plate in a dark spot. Check once a day and look out for any signs of a white tail emerging; this structure is called a radicle, which eventually becomes the primary root. Any germinated seeds can then be placed into the soil to sprout and become seedlings.

Germinating Weed Seeds Guide: How to Germinate Weed Seeds?

The life of a cannabis plant begins in the germination stage. It finally starts to sprout after a period of being dormant. Even a seed that is a few years old can become a thriving plant. Growers need to provide special care when trying to germinate weed seeds – like they do with any growing plant.

The early development stage requires things like warmth and a gentle touch. You can approach germination in multiple ways. A couple of them are better than others. This article will provide you tips and other helpful information on how to germinate weed seeds. Soon, you will have many healthy cannabis plants growing.

Basic Rules for Germinating Weed Seeds

Some general tips for germinating cannabis seeds include:

  • Dampness. Water helps let the seeds know that it is time to start sprouting. Do not let them dry up, and do not soak them a lot. Think of the conditions you see in the spring. Many cannabis plants start to grow during this season in the wild. If you have hard seeds, you can soak them for 24-32 hours, but no longer than that.
  • Warmth. Warmth also signals that it is time to sprout when combined with moisture. Cannabis seedlings thrive in warmer temperatures. During the germination process, try to keep the temperature around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If needed, you can use an incandescent bulb or two to achieve this.
  • Patience. Weed seedlings are fragile at first. Not only do you have to make sure they have access to water, but they also need to be left alone for the most part. At least, they should be at peace until the taproot emerges.
  • Careful. While the young seedlings should be at peace, it is necessary to check on them occasionally. When you do, you should treat them extremely gently. The taproot can break off easily, so avoid touching the seed’s white root.
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Do Cannabis Seeds Need a Light or Dark Environment for germination?

A person should meet several conditions when it comes to trying to germinate weed seeds. One condition is the amount of light the seeds need. While germinating, they do not need any light sources. You can keep them in a dark, warm environment during this stage to save on energy costs.

Keep things dark but turn on your grow lights at the first sign of sprouting. Once the seeds have sprouted, you will need to provide plenty of light. Preferably, they should receive it 18 hours a day.

How Long Does It Take for Cannabis Seeds to Germinate

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.

If it has been well over a week without any signs of a sprout, it is likely a dud. Germinating cannabis seeds requires patience. Keep in mind that the method you use can influence how long it takes.

How to Germinate Weed Seeds?

There is more than one way to germinate weed seeds. Each one comes with its benefits and disadvantages for growers. Common methods are:

Here is an explanation of each germination method.

Water (recommended)

While cannabis seeds primarily need to remain moist, you can soak them in water overnight. All you need is a glass cup. Fill it with three-quarters of a cup of water that is filtered or pH neutral. Make sure the temperature is neither cold nor warm. The ideal temperature is lukewarm.

At first, the seeds will float, but they will sink to the bottom after a few hours. Carefully push them down if they are still floating. You can leave the cup in a kitchen cabinet or dark area. Keep the glass there overnight or for 18 to 36 hours. Try not to leave them soaking for more than 36 hours. If there are any seeds that have not finished germinating, leave them in a moist place until they sprout.

Soaking cannabis seeds in water is more advantageous for the ones with a harder shell. Older seeds can benefit from the method as well. The water helps wake them up, in a sense. Another benefit is that it is not as costly. All you need is a clean glass cup and some distilled water.

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.

The water method is effective for hard seeds but is time-sensitive. Not to mention, the steps are simple to do, and results can be quick.

Wet Paper Towels (recommended)

Another way of germinating cannabis seeds is by using wet paper towels. The best type of paper towel to use is the cheap kind. It may seem strange, but the cheaper ones tend to be non-porous. Non-porous is preferable since the newly sprouted roots will not grow into or get stuck to the paper towel. So, you can save a bit of money.

Some people use paper towels right after the water soaking method to get the remaining seeds to germinate. You can use paper towels from the start as well. The first step is to dampen the paper towel and put it on a plate. Place the seeds on it before folding the paper towel over.

The paper towel can dry out, so put a bowl or another plate on top to trap the moisture. Alternatively, you can spray the towel every five hours to keep it wet. The process can last one to four days, so check periodically to see if the taproot appeared. If you have older seeds in the paper towel, you may end up waiting longer. Afterward, you can place the young seedling into a growing medium.

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.

Other than drying out over time, one disadvantage of the paper towel method is that there is a chance of hurting the taproot. Be careful when checking on the seeds, and do not move them too much.

Jiffy Peat Pellets, Starter Cubes, and Seedling Plugs

Many people choose to use peat pellets, starter cubes, and seedling plugs when germinating weed seeds. You can buy starter cubes and seedling plugs if you are starting out. Many of them consist of micronutrients to promote root growth. Each one already has a hole made for a single seed.

Place the seed inside the hole and cover it up. Then, you can add some water. The packaging should have instructions on how much water to add. The weed seeds can take anywhere from two to five days to finish germinating.

Peat pellets, starter cubes, and seedling plugs are easy to use, which is beneficial for beginners. You do not have to worry about spending time for preparation. Another advantage is that you can transport the cubes with ease, especially if you use a tray.

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.

Another common method is to put the cannabis seeds in some soil. In nature, they sprout their taproots in soil, so growers may choose to germinate them directly in the medium. Prepare fresh soil by putting them in a pot or a container. You may want to use a small pot and transfer the seed to a larger one later. Next, add enough water to make it damp but not soaked.

Make a small hole that is about half of an inch deep. If the hole is too deep, then the seedling may have a tough time reaching the surface. Cover it with soil and press down gently. Some people add a covering to keep the growing medium warm and moist. Kitchen foil or plastic wrap can work. However, you will want to poke some holes to allow air to flow through. It can take about three to five days.

One benefit of the soil method is that transferring the seedling to a bigger pot is simple. The cannabis is less likely to become stressed and can adapt to the new environment quickly. A disadvantage would be needing to buy clean soil rather than using some from outside. Pathogens in the dirt can damage the young seedling. Soil density can be an issue with air flow, and growers need to be careful about the seed placement.

Rockwool

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.

Next, place the cubes into the bowl and let them soak for one hour. After an hour, take the Rockwool out. They can maintain the correct water-to-air ratio, so it is important not to squeeze the cubes. Like regular starter cubes, Rockwool usually comes with holes already in them. If not, make one that is a quarter-inch deep. Carefully insert a seed and push them to the bottom. Cover the top of the hole and wait. The seedlings finish germination in an average of three days.

Rockwool comes with a few advantages. One is that the cubes are cheap and easy to find. They can hold plenty of moisture, and you do not have to worry about mold. Not to mention, they are convenient to use.

However, the Rockwool method also has some drawbacks. The material does not break down since it is not a natural substance. As a result, the cubes are not an eco-friendly option. Rockwool has poor germination rates, and it comes with a high pH level. The material also can affect your health. The Environmental Protection Agency found that the fibers in Rockwool can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. You may experience a sore throat or coughing.

Best way to germinate cannabis seeds

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.

You only have to worry about making sure the seeds are not soaking for too long. The method is more effective when you follow it up with the paper towel method. Damp paper towels can help get any remaining weed seeds to sprout.

The Next Step

Now that you know how to germinate cannabis seeds, the next step is to plant the sprouted seedlings. You do not need much in terms of planting. For example, you will want a large enough pot and a plant sprayer. If you used incandescent bulbs to keep the seeds warm, switch them out for actual growing lights.

The plant should have a root length of 1.5-2.5 centimeters to avoid dying. Some young cannabis plants are delicate, so growers often plant them indoors first. Of course, you can move them outside at the end. Like with germination, planting requires plenty of patience.

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