Lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds because the soil protects the fragile roots from any interference. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.
Gently water the soil with a spray bottle and situate your pots under a fluorescent lamp. Keep seeds away from the windowsill, as the temperature is too volatile for germination. In general, you’ll want to keep the temperature in the range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Germination itself is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. The seed germination process is the foundation of every marijuana plant, and steps can be taken to boost successful popping. For example, some cultivators improve germination attempts by soaking seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea for 12 hours beforehand to kill any dangerous pests.
You can also germinate your seeds by placing them in water. It’s slightly faster than the soil method, but you need to adjust your environmental factors accordingly. Remember, successfully germinating seeds requires a perfect balance of ideal growing conditions. When germinating in water, seeds need only 24-48 hours to pop their stems, though cultivators can keep them soaking for up to a week as needed. Water germination is faster because the seed gets all the moisture it needs immediately, and the shell softens and cracks more easily after soaking.
Germination is the first stage of the cannabis growth cycle : the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. After all, seeds in a bag don’t spontaneously start developing roots. Also known as “popping” seeds, seed germination begins when a seed receives environmental cues letting it know the setting is perfect to start growth.
How to germinate cannabis seeds
The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.
Autoflowering seeds are also popular with beginning growers. They are easy to grow because you don’t have to worry about light cycles and how much light a plant receives.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
Pros and cons of growing autoflower
Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.
How weed clones work
Seeds for these varieties are now widely available online and through dispensaries. It should be noted, however, that any plant grown from these seeds is not guaranteed to produce high levels of CBD, as it takes many years to create a seed line that produces consistent results. A grower looking to produce cannabis with a certain THC to CBD ratio will need to grow from a tested and proven clone or seed.
Plant a seed or two in each pot, making sure to keep the pots moist. Once the plants sprout, you can transplant them in their Jiffy Pot to a container or to a raised bed or garden plot.
Also known as seed starters, germination stations are like mini greenhouses. They include a tray filled with soil and a heat pad underneath to keep the soil warm.
How long does it take to germinate marijuana seeds? Typically, it will take anywhere from a couple of days to up to a week to see your seeds start to turn into plants.
There are five basic germination methods that are popular. With any of these methods, remember that seeds will need adequate warmth, moisture, and air to germinate properly. Generally, cannabis seeds like a temperature of 70° F to 90° F for sprouting.
Lots of folks like this simple, direct method. Simply soak your seeds overnight in a glass of lukewarm water. The next day, plant them directly in the ground, containers or wherever you plan to grow them.
This is an even more natural method than water soaking. Just plant your seeds 1/2 inch to one inch deep in soil or another medium that has been moistened. A key benefit of this technique is that your seedlings won’t be subject to transplant shock. Because they have grown up in their surroundings, they will have acclimated to them.
And maybe you have been using trial and error but ended up thinking, “Why won’t my marijuana seeds germinate?”” Truth is, you’ve likely been making some mistakes without knowing it. You can increase your results, although some seeds inevitably will be duds. No one can attain 100% germination, but there is room for improvement regardless.
Choose between indica and sativa according to your preferences for cannabis effects or the market’s demand. You will also have dozens of strains to choose from.
The paper towel method is a favorite for many home growers. Simply take two pieces of paper towel. Moisten them with water. Then place your pot seeds in between the two layers of moist paper towels.