Read our detailed guide on how to germinate marijuana seeds using the plate method & other safe ways. Start your pot-growing adventure the right way today. One of the most tricky things about growing your own cannabis is how to correctly germinate cannabis seeds. Here's an easy guide on how to go about that. Does cultivating cannabis seeds interest you? Do you want help with it? This piece will discuss the best ways you can opt for when germinating your cannabis seeds.
How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds: Quick Guide with Kyle Kushman
Growing weed from seeds is both rewarding and fun. Before you purchase your pack of cannabis seeds, it’s time to do your homework.
Reading this article is a great start!
Knowing how to germinate marijuana seeds is a vital first step towards a successful grow.
The biggest hurdle you’ll experience before germinating your cannabis seeds is contradictory advice. There are as many methods as there are growers!
You can germinate marijuana seeds however you want, obviously, but for the best results, and to take advantage of Homegrown’s germination guarantee, it’s vital you follow the steps laid out in this article.
Join us as we unravel the science behind germination and detail our tried and tested way to germinate weed seeds successfully.
Don’t fall at the first hurdle. Learn how to grow weed from seeds like a pro!
What is germination?
Help! What IS germination? Germination is the first stage of your plant’s growth cycle. It’s when the seed comes out of its hibernation period and starts to sprout.
Typically your bag of pot seeds won’t start germinating, known as ‘popping,’ without the presence of water.
When you’re ready to germinate the marijuana seeds, you need to kick-start their life cycle with a little drink. The seeds will then expand, the shells will break away, and a taproot will form. If all goes well!
Marijuana sprouting isn’t rocket science, but it can be easy to get wrong. Starting marijuana seeds without water is impossible, but even with water, you need to make sure they’re warm, dark and well looked-after.
What to do before germinating marijuana seeds
As you research how to germinate marijuana seeds, you’ll notice there are several things you can do BEFORE you germinate weed seeds.
The most paramount is to purchase high-quality weed seeds like those found at trusted and reputable online retailers, such as Homegrown Cannabis Co.
Another key component of growing marijuana from seed is knowing what to do with the germinated seeds. Planting marijuana seeds is the next step, but one we will cover later.
Avoid starting with marijuana seeds that are very green, pale yellow, or fully black. Your chances of a good grow will be reduced, though it’s still possible you’ll end up with a good plant.
Germinating your cannabis seeds successfully also depends on how you store the cannabis seeds. Like your cured bud, your seeds should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place.
Don’t store them in the fridge, or freezer, or in direct sunlight. Just keep it simple.
Sprouting marijuana is all about:
- Minimal handling
- Adequate moisture
- Warm temperatures (70 –77°F)
Like we said, growing marijuana from seed is simple and easy. There’s no need to complicate it but you will need to monitor your progress and keep records.
Before starting marijuana seeds, start a Homegrown Diary. You can germinate weed seeds with fellow growers and track the progress of your plants from the very start.
Do you need to germinate cannabis seeds before planting?
When learning how to germinate marijuana seeds, you may be asking yourself, why bother? Why not just stick them in the soil? It’s what happens in nature, right?
This is true, but each pollinated plant drops hundreds of seeds in the hope that one will survive. You don’t want odds like that!
There’s a better way to guarantee as high a germination rate as possible. Germinating marijuana seeds ahead of planting gives you the best chance of success.
That takes of care of why you germinate, let’s now look at the BIG question: how to germinate marijuana seeds.
My preferred way to germinate weed seeds: the paper towel method
There are so many methods, which one is the best? Follow the step-by-step guide to ‘The paper towel method’ below.
It’s Homegrown’s best way to germinate cannabis seeds.
The process is simple, and you’ll need only a few household items:
- Two plates
- Paper towels
- Bottled/purified water
- Homegrown Cannabis Co. seeds
Take two paper towels and moisten them. Remember to wring out any excess water.
Take a few paper towels and set them on your plate. Put the others to the side for later.
Using tweezers, place your Homegrown Cannabis Co. seeds on your paper towel. Leave around one inch in between each seed.
Take the second paper towel and lay it over the top, being careful not to nudge your seeds out of their designated space. Add more water if you need to.
Double-check for excess water by lifting the paper towel in one corner. If there’s any freestanding liquid, drain it! Check regularly to make sure the towels haven’t dried.
Take your other plate and use it as a lid to cover your seeds. Place it in a warm, dry spot, like a cabinet, drawer, or the top of the fridge.
Maintain a constant temperature of between 70 – 77°F.
You need to check in on your pot seeds regularly. Within 24 to 120 hours, they should pop a taproot.
Once your seeds have sprouted, they’re ready for planting.
Watch our video on how to germinate cannabis seeds for an amazing visual recap:
How long do cannabis seeds take to germinate?
Germinating marijuana seeds takes anywhere between one and five days.
Lots of things can impact the marijuana sprouting time. Germinating an old seed can take twice as long as a fresher one, for example. Or you may be trying to pop them in an environment that’s too cool or dry. Or the seeds might simply take longer – they’re a natural product and they play by their own rules.
Weed sprouting should occur within five days (120 hours). This is the only real rule you should consider. It’s very rare, but not abnormal, to have a seed pop on day 6 or 7.
Next step: how to plant weed seeds
You’re now the proud parent of seedlings! It’s time to learn how to plant a weed seed without damaging it.
Don’t panic, learning how to plant marijuana seeds is easy, and super-fun if you watch the Planting Your Seeds video I made with Nate Hammer!
What you will need for planting marijuana seeds
What do I need to begin? As with starting marijuana seeds, you’ll need to prepare a few items before you start:
- Red solo cups (or small plant pots)
- Elastic band (one per cup/pot)
- Plastic cup (one seed per cup/pot)
- Plastic wrap
- Neutral soil
- Germ Genie
Note: Germ Genie was still in development when we made the video, so we used a little Vegamatrix Grow instead!
How to plant marijuana seeds step by step
Now that you have everything you need, let’s start planting your marijuana seeds!
First, you need to prepare your cups. You’ll need one per seedling.
Pierce the bottom to add drainage holes and fill with soil.
Don’t pack the cups! The soil should be no more than half an inch from the top, fluffy, and move freely with a few taps from the bottom.
Next, you can add some food into the neutral soil. A ¼ strength grow solution.
Germ Genie: Use 1 to 3 drops.
The additional nutes keep your seedlings super happy as they develop.
Water the soil before you plant your seedling. That way, you’ll prevent them from floating out of position.
Once the water has drained through your soil, you’re ready to place the germinated seed into its new home. Use your fingertip to make a shallow hole around a knuckle deep.
Angle the taproot down into the center to stand straight, then gently move the soil over it.
Make a lid over your cups with cling film, using an elastic band to keep it in place. Pierce the film a few times for air.
By doing this, you’ll create a terrarium that will keep warmth inside and stop the topsoil from drying out.
Wait, you’re not done! Use additional lights to keep the sprouts at a constant temperature and encourage upward growth. You can use a regular house lamp or specialized equipment.
Make sure your marijuana plants have a gap of between 6 and 12 inches from the light source.
You can expect the first set of leaves to appear pretty fast—within 48 hours!
As soon as leaves appear, remove the cling film lid.
Leave the seedlings under the light for up to two weeks more or until they’re sturdy and a few inches tall.
Consider transplanting them to a larger pot when they’re around four inches tall. They’re 100% ready to move when the second and third set of leaves develop.
Key Takeaways about germinating cannabis seeds
What are the most important things to remember?
When learning how to germinate marijuana seeds, always follow the rules below:
- Only use viable, high-quality seeds
- Ensure you store and germinate your seeds in optimal conditions
- Try not to touch them with your bare hands
- Follow our germination guide
- Plant them before the taproot grows longer than an inch
FAQs related to how to germinate cannabis seeds
We hope that our guide to germinating cannabis seeds has given you the confidence and know-how to get started.
If you still have questions, don’t despair!
You’ll probably find your question about how to germinate cannabis seeds right here.
Do germinating seeds need sunlight?
No, seeds in the germination phase don’t need sunlight or any type of light source. At this stage of development, sprouting marijuana seeds is all about being dark and wet, as if the seed were slightly under the soil enjoying a little rain.
What temperature do seeds need to germinate?
The optimal temperature to germinate weed seeds is between 70 and 77°F. Taking it closer to 77°F is preferred, but maintaining a consistent temperature is the real key to healthy seedlings.
How about humidity? For best results, you can aim for a relative humidity of around 70–90%.
Why won’t my seeds germinate?
Your seeds could be too old, too immature, dried out, stored incorrectly, low-quality, or you could just be out of luck! Sometimes, nature produces a dud. Attempting to germinate seeds using the wrong method can also ruin your chances.
Note: our germination guarantee applies only to seeds germinated with the above, paper-towel method.
How do you germinate seeds in one day?
Germinating cannabis seeds isn’t about speed. There’s no guarantee that even under the best conditions, your seeds will germinate within 24 hours.
That said, the quality of the seed plays a huge role in your success!
Follow our recommendations on how to buy cannabis seeds, store them appropriately, and provide the best environmental conditions to increase your chances of a super-quick pop.
What do I do after my seeds sprout?
It’s time to transplant them into your chosen potting medium. Be careful not to touch the taproot, and remember to use the above guide on how to plant a marijuana seed.
Will seeds grow if planted too deep?
Planting your seeds too deeply reduces your plant’s survival rate—A LOT! To reach the surface, they’ll have to use up more stored energy.
This energy is reserved for growing those all-important first leaves. Without it, any pot seeds that manage to reach sunlight could be weak.
How long can seedlings stay in trays?
After successfully germinating marijuana seeds, you can leave them in the tray or on the plate until their taproots have grown thick and strong. Seeds should be planted as soon as tap roots are ¼” and before they reach 1” in length.
Don’t let the taproots grow longer than an inch, or they’ll become fragile and be challenging to transplant.
Are there any other germination methods?
There are many methods to germinate weed seeds. Bear in mind the ONLY way Homegrown will replace non-germs is if you use the paper towel method.
Growing marijuana is a hobby anyone can enjoy, no matter their level of gardening experience.
There’s a lot to learn about how to germinate marijuana seeds, never mind all the other parts of successfully growing weed!
Thankfully the germination process is easy, especially if you follow our guidelines.
We hope that you’re confident enough to get started by now, and all your worries surrounding how to grow marijuana seeds have disappeared.
The next step is to GRAB THOSE SEEDS and start your home-growing adventure.
Good luck! Remember to check out Homegrown Cannabis Co. at any point for top tips and advice.
About the Author: Kyle Kushman
Kyle Kushman is a legend in the cannabis community. He is the modern-day polymath of pot: cultivator, breeder, activist, writer, and educator. After winning no less than 13 Cannabis Cups, there’s nothing this guy doesn’t know about indoor growing – he’s been there, done it, and is still doing it to this day!
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Growing your own weed is fairly easy, as explained in our article ‘All You Need For Growing Weed At Home‘. The hardest part for some growers though, is germinating their newly bought cannabis seeds. After all, the vulnerable seedlings are easily damaged. However, making sure your cannabis seeds survive germination is essential for a successful grow. In this blog, we highlight three tested methods that let anyone germinate cannabis seeds with minimal effort.
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds, Step 1: Get Good Genetics
We cannot stress this enough. If you want good results, you are going to need good materials to start with. In case of growing cannabis, the first thing on that list are good cannabis seeds, of course. Besides high quality cannabis seeds all you need is some water, a warm environment (between 20-25 degrees Celsius) and – lack of – light to start germinating your future cannabis plants.
Even though living weed plants love (and need) a lot of light, germinating cannabis seeds thrive better in a dark environment. And just like there are different methods of growing your own cannabis, there’s also a choice in how to make your seeds sprout.
Want good cannabis? Get good seeds!
Germination is actually a process where you activate a dry seed that is in a ‘sleeping state’. By adding water to the seed, a small root that is inside the seed-shell will want to come out in search for more water. This will make it develop into a big taproot that’ll serve as an anchor for the plant and from which more roots will sprout. Read more about root-development in this article: ‘Clones vs. Seeds: What Grows The Best Cannabis?‘
Germinate Cannabis Seeds In Water
The easiest way to germinate your cannabis seeds is to let them soak in a glass of water. The seed will absorb the water and due this process hormones will make the seed start to grow: expansion and elongation of seed embryo.
You will see them sprout after 24 to max. 48 hours. Note that you need to store the glass of water in a dark place on roomtemperature. After sprouting they are ready to plant in soil, 1cm to max 2cm deep. All they now need is love, light, water and heat!
Ready to sprout!
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds: Wet (Paper) Towel Germination
The best known way of germinating cannabis seeds is to put them on or between wet paper towels or cotton wool. This method exists in different varieties, as it’s not so much about the paper itself, but more about the absorbency of the material. It’s very easy to make sure the ‘medium’ doesn’t get too soggy and doesn’t dry out easily. If it does dry, you can effortlessly add a few drops of water to immediately re-moisten it.
Wet paper towels are probably the most common way of germinating cannabis seeds
The goal here is to balance out the moisture so it’s not too dry, nor to wet. Go for a piece of paper that is moist all over, but doesn’t drip when you pick it up. If the seeds stay to dry, the root that’s supposed to sprout won’t be able to make it out of its shell in search for water. If the paper is too wet though, the root will come out and quickly stop looking for water; as it’s already soaked in it. This stops the development of the root, delays the growth and might even cause the seeds to rot after a while. So, be careful not to give too much water as this is one of the most common rookie mistakes when it comes to growing weed!
Transplanting In Soil
After the root has sprouted and has gained a few millimetres in length, it’s time to transplant the seedling into its soil and put it under a light-source. As a rule, a small 1cm deep hole made with your fingertip should do. Gently pick up the seeds one by one, taking care not to touch the root. Use a clean pair of tweezers and don’t squeeze. Make sure that the roots don’t cling to the paper or cotton wool. Lovingly cover the seed with a little (loose) soil and add a few drops of water. Now, all you can do is wait whole the story continues below the surface. As soon as the seedling pops her head above the ground and green leaves emerge, she’ll needf light to continue growing.
This is the part where most growers (especially the hasty ones) sometimes lose a seed. Remember that you are handling a baby plant here. The vulnerable root is easily damaged during the transplant. If you don’t trust your steady hands, it might be better to choose another germinating method.
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds In Soil
Another common method of germinating cannabis seeds, and probably the most natural one, is to stick the seeds directly in their intended medium: the soil. You can do this with or without soaking it in root stimulator for a few hours first.
By planting cannabis seeds directly in their soil or coco – or whatever other medium you might be using – growers cause the minimal amount of stress for the plant. Direct planting also allows the taproot to immediately dive as deep into the ground as possible. Furthermore, its leaves can enjoy the light as soon as they emerge from the developing seed. This way the seedling can start its growth with a fair chance, providing you with a steady, high-yielding cannabis plant.
Cannabis seeds and sprouted seedlings require constant temperatures of around 20-25 degrees Celsius
For this method, simply prepare your medium by moisturizing it, again, without soaking the soil completely. Then take your flower pots and use your finger to make a small hole about 10-15mm deep in the top layer to put the seed in. Cover the seed up loosely and top it off with a little water. Be careful not to give too much at once though! A stream of water can cause the seed to travel further down the pot where it’s too moist – and too deep to travel back up again.
The top layer is the perfect place to germinate cannabis seeds, as it dries out faster than the soil further down the pot. This makes it easier to ensure the right level of moisture for the seed to germinate. If it gets too wet, the seeds will rot in the soil. If it stays too dry, the plant will not be triggered to emerge from its shell. Again, it’s all about finding the perfect balance between too wet and too dry.
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds in Plugs
Last but not least on this list is the germination of cannabis seeds in special plugs. These plugs are available in various materials, especially designed for quick and efficient germination of cannabis seeds.
Plugs are a practical way to germinate cannabis seeds
Most plugs are dry blocks of (usually) coco fibre. Peat plugs are an interesting alternative, as these contain some initial nutrients to help the seedling along. After fully absorbing about 500ml of moisture, or 250ml of a root booster and another 250ml water, they slowly turn into a moist, soil-like plug. Grow plugs usually have a premade hole in which to place the seed. After sticking the seed in the top of the plug, cover it lightly with a little leftover plug fibre. It takes a few days at maximum before you see the first heads pop. As soon as the roots grow out of the bottom or the side of the plug, you can stick the entire plug, complete with its seedling, into your intended medium. These plugs make germination and the initial transplant a piece of cake.
A fantastic view on this seedling with it’s shell sticked to her leaves
After Germination: Growing Your Seedlings
So there you have it: whichever method you chose, germination should now be underway. Remember that even the best seed banks work with organic, natural materials, so 100% germination rates can never be guaranteed. If you get your technique right, though, most or all of your seeds should germinate according to plan. Once your seeds have become seedlings, the next steps of your grow await. There’s a lot of choices to make from here to harvest time: indoor or outdoor, which spot to pick, what nutrients to use, and so on. Keep an eye on our expanding grow blog collection if you want to learn more!
Spotlight: The 3 Best Ways to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Does cultivating cannabis seeds interest you? Do you want help with it? This piece will discuss the best ways you can opt for when germinating your cannabis seeds.
Courtesy Photo / Samuel Mind
Have you recently decided to germinate your own cannabis seeds? It is a very exciting and rewarding process, only if you know the right way to do it. For that, we have come with a complete guide that will help you germinate cannabis seeds in the best way possible.
What exactly is Germination?
Germination is the very first stage of any plant growth. It is when the seed “realizes” that it is in a fertile environment and can start breaking out of its shell. A seedling will break through the shell, resulting in the growth of roots. The fertile environment helps the plant grow and feed off the light, water and nutrients in the environment. In the cannabis world, germination is a very important process. It is very important for the seed to pop out properly. There are different things that cultivators do to ensure that the seed germinates successfully.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
There are different methods that cultivators use to germinate their cannabis seeds. Some use the old school method and germinate their seeds in the soil, while there are some people who germinate them in water. Lastly, you can also find people who germinate their seeds in paper towels. The way of cultivation depends on the cultivator. Let us take a closer look at each of these methods.
Germination of Cannabis Seeds in Soil
Soil is the most natural method to germinate your cannabis seeds. The soil is the perfect environment for the germination of cannabis seeds as the soils protects the weak roots from being damaged. However, there are things that you must take care of. For instance, it is very important to use the right type of soil.
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You can go for potting soil that is only lightly fertilized or you can also go for a seed starter that has a pH level 6 or slightly more acidic. The acidity in the soil is the optimal environment for the growth of the seed. Be careful, excess of everything is bad, and “hot soils” that are very rich in nutrients aren’t suitable for germination and seedlings – leave this type of medium for mature plants.
Germination of Cannabis Seeds in Water
If you want your plant to grow faster, germinating your seeds in water will probably be the best way forward. However, even though it is faster, there are things that you need to be careful with. You will have to make sure that the environment is of the optimal condition. Usually, to germinate, cannabis seeds need only a total of 24 to 48 hours. However, cultivators can keep their seeds soaked for a week. This method is faster than the soil method as it provides more moisture. Moisture is a key component in growing the seeds. The hard shell cannot withstand the moisture and it will become easier for the root to break through.
Germination of Cannabis Seeds in Paper Towels
Paper towels are a fairly new way for cultivators to germinate their seeds. Cultivators use damp paper towels or cotton pads to give the seed the moisture it needs. The seeds are placed in between two dampened paper towels and then enclosed between two plates. This helps keep the moisture in seeds need to be stored inside, under room temperature.
The germination process in this method takes up to 5 days to happen. The seeds will start sprouting in the paper towels and once the roots grow up to 5 millimeters in length, you can plant them. However, you must be very careful when planting them. They can easily break, as the roots are very fragile. It is possible for the roots to be tangled in the paper towels and break off. This is why it is best if you are extra gentle when handling them – the best way is to use a pair of sterile tweezers.
These are three ways you can germinate your cannabis seeds. The question remains as to which of these ways is the best. That depends solely on the cultivator. They need to decide what method works best for them and is the easiest to carry out. As our experience shows, more and more growers tend to use paper towel method, as it is simple, keeps the seed away from light, and usually results in quick germination. Also remember, that it is best to germinate the seeds and keep the young seedlings indoors as you can control the environment.
If you want to buy the highest quality of seeds, you can always do it at Herbies Seeds. They have some of the best seeds across the world with the guarantee of germination. The seeds they offer are authentic and high quality. If you want to give cannabis cultivation a go, it is best to get the seeds from a reputable place.