To germinate cannabis seeds, is the process of getting your seeds to sprout. When the seed begins to sprout you will see a small tendril usually white… No germination method is perfect (some seeds just won't germinate), but I've gotten 100% germination ever since I started using this method. Germinating cannabis seeds? Before you can start growing cannabis, you must first germinate the seeds. Read the best ways to germinate cannabis seeds.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
To germinate cannabis seeds is the process of getting your seeds to sprout. When the seed begins to sprout you will see a small tendril (usually white in colour) that pops out of the seed.
That small white tendril that breaks out of the seed when germinating cannabis seeds is your plants very first root. This root is also known as the taproot. This is the main root of the cannabis plant and every other root it produces will grow off the taproot.
The taproot of the cannabis seeds will begin to grow longer. As it grows longer the seed will get pushed upwards. Eventually, the shell of the cannabis seeds will push up through the growing medium you have used. The first leaves are known as “cotyledons” and they will begin to appear soon.
How to germinate cannabis seeds: step by step guide
In the first step you need to soak the cannabis seeds in clean water for around 12 – 24 hours. A small glass or container would be perfect. When you first put the seeds in the water, you will notice that they float on top of the water. After a few hours the seeds will slowly drop to the bottom.
The reason growers soak the seeds is so that the water can get into the seed through the protective shell. It also helps with activating the growth hormones. If you soak the seeds you are germinating for too long, they could end up drowning due to oxygen deprivation.
12 – 24 hours should be plenty of time for your seeds to soak.
The next step is to remove the seeds from the water. Get 2 plates out the cupboard and line the bottom of the one plate with a paper towel. Now pour the seeds onto the paper towel. Make sure the towel is totally wet, then pull the towel over to cover the seeds.
Take the plate to the sink to drain out all the water around the paper towel. Tip it and make sure that all access water has been removed from the plate. You want the towel moist not soaking wet.
Find a location to leave the seeds for a while. Ideally, you want a warm place that is dark or at least shady. The optimum temperature is around 21 – 25 degrees Celsius.
The paper towel should be checked once or twice a day to make sure that the paper towel is still moist. Depending on the temperature and humidity of the area you have placed your seeds, they might need some more water. Check the seeds once or twice a day.
NEVER let the towel and seeds get dry or dry out. Seeds should not sit in water either. Make sure to drain any excess water added to the paper towel.
Germination should take place in around 36 – 96 hours if all goes well. Some of the seeds will germinate quickly whereas others might take a bit longer. Often older and weaker cannabis seeds take a bit longer to germinate.
Marijuana seeds germination best practices
Below is a list of the things needed to get the best germination rates for your marijuana seeds.
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Keep it moist – Make sure that the cannabis seeds are kept moist but not soaking during the germination process. On average you should soak the seeds for 24 – 32 hours. They shouldn’t be left to soak longer than that. By keeping them wet and not moist you could actually drown your seeds.
Leave them alone – Make sure to not disturb your seeds while waiting for the taproot of the cannabis seeds to grow.
Keep it warm – You want to make sure your seeds are kept warm. If you live in a warm climate, this is not a problem. Colder climates might require you to get a heating pad to get the same results.
Be gentle – Always be gentle with new seedlings. Do not touch the white taproot they produce. It is very fragile in the early stages of its life. Always be gentle with planted roots south africa.
Taproot down – Make sure you plant the cannabis seeds with the white taproot facing downwards. Doing it this way will prevent the root from having to reorient itself when growing.
(1cm – 2.5 cm) deep – Make sure the seeds have not been planted too deep in your growing medium. They should be planted just under the surface where not much energy is used to pop through the surface.
How to Germinate Seeds via Paper Towel Method
Cannabis seeds are natural things and you can’t expect 100% germination every time. Unfortunately, that’s just not how nature works. Many factors can affect germination including genetics (some strains germinate easier than others), the age of seeds, and how well they were stored. But I’ve been lucky and gotten 100% germination ever since I started using this method.
Paper Towel Method – Germinate seeds between wet paper towels, lock in the moisture with two plates, and place on a seedling heat mat for a few days
- High Germination Rate – Almost every seed with germinate if you follow the instructions
- Fast – Often takes only 1-3 days to see roots
- Keep Track – You can check on seeds without disturbing them
- Less Space – Use less space than planting seeds in pots (helpful if germinating lots of seeds at once)
- Fun – I personally love seeing the whole germination process and it makes me genuinely feel closer to the seedlings
- Multiple Steps – Not as simple as planting seeds directly in soil!
- Requires Supplies – You need cheap paper towels, seedling plugs, and a seedling heat mat
- “Bucket Head” Seedlings – I’ve found that shells are more likely to get stuck on the seedling leaves with this germination method because seedlings aren’t pushing themselves out of the soil. You may want to use tweezers to remove the shell gently, or just leave them be. However, this can happen with any method (instructions at the end of the article explain how to remove stubborn shells safely) and I personally find the increased germination rate makes this worth it.
Seeds typically germinate in 1-3 days!
Create happy little seedlings in less than a week!
How to Germinate via the Paper Towel Method
- Cheap paper towels – Why cheap paper towels? Seed roots grow into expensive cloth-like ones and have to be cut out (learned that one from experience)
- Two Plates – You need to lock the moisture in during the germination process
- Cannabis Seeds – If you need seeds, here’s a list of seed vendors that ship worldwide
- Rapid Rooters with Tray – The perfect environment for newly germinated seeds
- Seedling Heating Mat – Or any warm surface that stays about 70-85°F (20-30°C) to keep seeds warm
Cheap paper towels (don’t use the expensive cloth-like ones!)
Rapid Rooters (note: extra Rapid Rooters can be stored in a cool place for future grows)
Seedling Tray to hold Rapid Rooters
Seedling heat mat to keep seedlings warm (or any surface that’s about 70-85°F or 20-30°C)
1.) Put 3-4 Layers of Paper Towels on Plate
You don’t want to load your plate up with tons of paper towels, but it’s nice to have several sheets so they can hold plenty of water. If necessary, fold or cut the paper towels to size so everything fits completely inside the plate. If a paper towel is sticking outside the plates, everything will dry out quickly.
You may need to cut (or fold) paper towels so they fit completely inside plate
2.) Label the Strains
If growing more than one strain at a time, label the paper towels so you’ll know which seed is which.
3.) Add Water & Seeds
Add some water on top of the paper towels so they’re soaked through, then place seeds down. I add water first to avoid accidentally moving seeds. It’s also a good idea to keep the plate flat so seeds don’t roll around.
4.) Cover with 1 Sheet of Paper Towel
Put a single sheet of paper towel on top. With just one sheet you will be able to see whether the seeds have germinated without having to disturb them. You may need to add a little extra water so that the top sheet is moist all the way through.
With a single sheet on top, you can still mostly see the seeds
5.) Put 2nd Plate on Top
Lock in all the moisture by putting another plate on top.
6.) Place on Seedling Heat Mat
Plug in your seedling heat mat. It should warm up quickly. I’ve put the plates directly on the mat before, which worked well, but sometimes I worry my little weed seedlings may get too hot with the plate directly on the mat. Since I already have a Rapid Rooter tray for later, I place it between the mat and the plate. Feel free to use something else like a book or towel. The basic idea is to put some space between the heating mat and the plate so the plate still gets warm but the extra air space keeps the heat nice and even.
Why a seedling heat mat? Seeds germinate significantly faster when they’re kept 70-85°F (20-30°C). A seedling heat mat keeps seeds warm during the germination process. However, any warm spot works just as well (for example, on top of the refrigerator is the perfect temperature for some people). When you touch the wet paper towels, they should feel warm but not burning hot.
7.) Check on Seeds at Least Once a Day
Ensure paper towels don’t dry out. You may have to add more water occasionally to keep them wet. You can usually tell when the seeds have germinated without looking under the top sheet. This means you can check on your seeds regularly without disturbing them by picking up the top plate.
Seeds typically sprout in 1-3 days. Certain strains and older seeds may take a few extra days.
8.) Put Germinated Seeds in Rapid Rooters
Once seeds have germinated, gently pull off the top paper towel to reveal the seedlings underneath.
Carefully and slowly remove top paper towel sheet
Did you know the first two round seedling leaves were already fully formed inside the shell? The germination process only releases them. New leaves are yellow at first but turn green once they start getting light.
At this point, you may see some seedling leaves have already broken free of their shells. That’s awesome. These seedlings often grow the fastest.
If there’s a short root or seedling hasn’t germinated yet, put the paper towel back and gave the seedling one more day. Seedlings grow faster if they have a bit more root before being planted.
This Critical Purple Kush seed took an extra day to germinate compared to the other seeds. I gave it one more day after this so the root could get longer before I put in a Rapid Rooter.
I recommend cutting your Rapid Rooters in half to make it easier to place germinated seeds. Even a seed with a long wiggly root will usually easily fit into the “crack” of the Rapid Rooter. This prevents you from bending the roots.
Cut Rapid Rooters in half to make it easier to insert germinated seeds
Try to place the seed head close to the top so they don’t have far to go. I’ve found that some seedlings don’t make it to the top if you put them too far down.
If the seedling has already lost the shell, place the leaves close to the top. These seedlings often grow the fastest.
Otherwise, add the seedling, root down, with the shell close to the surface
Gently close around the seedling
Put into the Rapid Rooter tray (make sure they’re moist all the way through!) The bottom shell of the tray will hold extra water so plugs don’t dry out.
Add enough water that all the Rapid Rooters appear dark, but not shiny from too much water. Once you’re done, put the trays back on the seedling mat. Young seedlings love warmth!
9.) You Have Seedlings!
The leaves should appear above the Rapid Rooters within a day or two.
Just 12 hours later, several seedlings have already appeared above ground.
At this point, the seedlings are ready to be put under a gentle light. A sunny window works well, though your regular vegetative grow light should be fine as long as you keep it twice the normal distance away. Avoid touching the seedlings if possible. This is when they’re most vulnerable.
Within a day or two under a light (or in a sunny window), you’ll have a bunch of happy seedings!
The seedlings are ready to go in plant containers once they’ve spread out their first set of serrated leaves (to about the width of the Rapid Rooter)
At this point, you can plant the whole Rapid Rooter. Don’t forget to label the strains!
Move the grow light down to the standard distance once the plants have 3 sets of leaves. By now they should be growing fast!
Note: Move grow light down early if seedlings start getting tall with long stems. Tall, stretchy seedlings are telling you they want more light.
What If the Seedling Shell Gets Stuck? (“Bucket Head” Seedlings)
One downside to this method is sometimes a seed shell will get stuck on the seedling. Here’s how to deal with that.
Helpful Tool: Pointy tweezers (though most tweezers will work in a pinch)
Sometimes leaves get stuck in the shell. Here’s what to do.
First, give the seedling 24-48 hours to see if it pushes the shell off on its own. Many seedlings just need a little extra time and don’t need your help.
Ignore stuck shells if the leaves are already free. The shell will fall off on its own.
If you don’t see any progress and leaves still seem trapped after a day or two, you may need to remove the shell to release the leaves contained inside. If leaves can’t break free and see the light, the seedling may die.
Close tweezers so they are as narrow as possible and put inside the crack. Then slowly allow tweezers to open, which will gently pry the shell apart.
I used to use my fingers to remove shells but it can be hard not to disturb the seedling. Then I learned that a pair of pointy tweezers can be inserted into the crack and allowed to gently open to pry the seed apart. Don’t tug or use any force whatsoever. Just gently and slowly release the leaves. The leaves may be stuck to the shell at first and it can take several seconds of gentle tugging for the leaves to slowly loosen and pull away from the shell. If you’re having trouble, add some water to the stuck part and wait a few minutes to help soften it up.
If the seedling leaves aren’t opening up because they’re stuck inside the seed membrane, wet the membrane and give it a few minutes soften up. Then use tweezers to gently remove the membrane. In some cases, it’s easier to stick the tweezers inside and pry the leaves apart just like with a shell.
If leaves are stuck inside the shell membrane for more than a day or two, do this: Wet the membrane, wait a few minutes, then use tweezers to gently pry it away from leaves.
Once you can see the two individual leaves are separated, you’re good to go!
Germinating cannabis seeds
Germinating cannabis seeds? What is the best way to do this?
Before you can start growing cannabis, you must first germinate the seeds.
In general, there are three ways to germinate cannabis seeds:
- Germinating cannabis seeds in a cup of water
- Germinating your cannabis seeds on a damp surface
- Germinating cannabis seeds in soil
It is good to know that a cannabis seed does not need light to germinate, but only a damp environment. Light is only important for the cannabis seed when leaves appear, because they absorb the light. Until then, it does not matter whether it is light or dark.
Germinating cannabis seeds in a cup of water
Make sure the ambient temperature is at least 20 degrees, otherwise the seeds will not germinate, or not optimally. Fill the cup with water and place the cannabis seeds in it.
After 1 to 3 days the cannabis seeds should pop open and show their roots.
If this is the case, you can put these germinated seeds directly into the ground. Put them about 1 – 7 millimetres into the ground with the roots facing downwards. The stalk that comes out of the cannabis seed after germination is not the plant, but the root! It is best to point this small stem downwards when planting the germinated seed. In this way the plant will find its way down more easily. This is not a must, but it is a tip.
Germinating cannabis seeds on a moist surface
Place the cannabis seed on a surface that retains moisture. This can be done on cotton wool or toilet paper on a saucer. Make the surface moist, but make sure it does not get too wet.
Germinating cannabis seeds in a kitchen roll
The moisture in the cotton wool or toilet paper evaporates fairly quickly at room temperature. It is important that the seeds remain moist during the time they have to germinate.
The moisture absorbed by the seeds activates them and makes them germinate.
You can cover the weed seed with a piece of moist toilet paper and put an inverted saucer on top.
Germinating cannabis seeds in soil
Every plant knows that it has to grow upwards. It is therefore also possible to put the cannabis seed directly into the soil. The chance of a cannabis seed germinating in this way is somewhat smaller than with the other methods.
Germinating and planting cannabis seeds
After the seed has grown a root, it is ready to be put in the ground.
Cover the pot with a piece of clear plastic, this way you actually create a small greenhouse with a high humidity level, which young baby plants love very much.
Germinating cannabis seeds
How quickly and how easily the cannabis seeds germinate depends on the type of cannabis seed. Germinating cannabis seeds is a process that needs attention. We recommend the following steps for successful germination: First soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. Make sure the ambient temperature is at least 20 degrees, otherwise the seeds will not or not optimally germinate. Fill the cup with water and place the cannabis seeds in it.
After 1 to 3 days the cannabis seeds should pop open and show their roots.