Did your cannabis seeds fail at the first hurdle? Don't worry, our germination guide will keep you right moving forward! Find out why your seeds aren't germinating and learn how to not make the same mistakes again with this guide on what NOT to do. Check out our article on Reasons Cannabis Seeds don't Sprout. Click for more Grow at Home information from I49 Seed Bank. Weed seeds for sale online in the USA. 1-888-441-4949
Why Won’t My Cannabis Seeds Germinate?
If you’re growing cannabis from seed, life begins at germination. But what happens if your seeds won’t germinate? Are you just doing it wrong?
It’s possible, but other factors contribute to the successful germination of seeds. Let’s look at what to do right, what can go wrong, and how to minimise the risk of germination failure.
Table of contents
What is Cannabis Seed Germination?
Germination is when the outer shell of a seed cracks open, and the first sprout pops its tired head out to see daylight for the first time. From there, your seed is awake, alive, and ready to grow into the superb cannabis plant it dreamed of becoming. The first initial sprout to break the surface of the seed is known as the taproot. That’s the root from which all other roots made by your plant will sprout. Once the shell breaks open and the taproot emerges, you can plant it in soil. With time and the right conditions, you’re well on your way to growing a healthy marijuana plant. If you’re wondering why your cannabis seeds won’t germinate, there are some important things to know.
Cannabis seeds need three things to germinate:
Each is a vital cog in the germination process, and if just one is missing – or inadequate – you’re looking at a bust. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to germinate your seeds correctly.
Three Ways to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
As sure as there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to germinate a weed seed. Which way is your choice, and how you choose is entirely up to you. Some methods are more straightforward, and some are slightly more scientific. The main thing, however, is simply knowing what’s involved in your preferred seed germination method and following the instructions to the letter. Doing this allows you to rule individual errors out of the equation if things go wrong. Here’s a quick and easy guide to three popular methods of germinating cannabis seeds.
The Wet Paper Towel Method
Without a doubt, the simplest method, and probably the most common method among home growers, the paper towel method, has been around forever.
All you need is four paper towels or kitchen paper, two plates, and some distilled water. Begin by dampening the paper towels with distilled water. Place two of your damp paper towels on a plate, then grab a utensil like a set of tweezers or tongs, and use them to place the seeds on the paper towels. Carefully place the other two damp towels on top of your seeds, and cover with the other plate.
Cannabis for Beginners
Keep your newly-crafted ensemble in a spot where the temperature is between 20 and 30°C, checking on them daily. After just a couple of days, if you see the taproots have emerged, congratulations! Your seeds have popped and are ready for the next stage.
The Glass of Water Method
It’s said that this method is less effective than the wet paper towel trick, but some people prefer to drop their seeds in a glass of room-temperature water and wait 3-5 days until the seeds pop and the taproots emerge. It’s probably even more straightforward than the paper towel method. Whatever floats your….seeds….
The problem with this method is that it seems directly counter-intuitive to the philosophy of seed germination 101 – too much water will drown your seed. Yet somehow, people have success with it.
The Soil Method
You want to limit the handling of your seeds as much as possible, so what better way than to drop them straight into the soil and let them germinate there? Put some soil in a small pot and water it, then make a small hole about 15mm deep in the centre, and carefully place the seed (one seed per pot) in the hole. Cover with a light dusting of soil, then mist with water. This method takes longer, so you’re waiting between four and ten days for the seed to germinate. The beauty of this method is that the taproot emerges into the soil, meaning no further handling, and the roots can get to work developing in the substrate.
My Cannabis Seeds Won’t Germinate
It’s not uncommon, but as long you’ve followed our germination guidelines correctly, you know at least it wasn’t your fault. So what went wrong?
Here’s a list of common reasons why your seeds may not have sprouted:
Poor Quality Seeds
Where did you acquire your seeds? There are plenty of disreputable sources for cannabis seeds out there, be they online retailers, back-alley head shops – or even just a jiffy bag of random undefined seeds from a friend. The genetics aren’t assured, quality control is non-existent, and as for after-sales care? Forget about it.
To give yourself the best chance of success, only buy your cannabis seeds from a quality seed bank like Seedsman.com. The variety and quality of cannabis seeds are second to none, and they come with the peace of mind of knowing your seeds will have a much higher germination success rate. Better yet, you get the added value of knowing those seeds will grow into cannabis plants of the highest quality, with bountiful yields. You don’t have to break the bank to purchase top-grade marijuana seeds. From competitive prices on the latest strains to regular special offers, Seedsman.com offers premium cannabis seeds to suit any budget.
Improperly Stored Seeds
Not everyone realises that seeds have to be stored correctly to remain viable. If you’ve unfortunately got your hands on some old seeds, there’s a high chance they might not have been stored properly. If your seeds have been sitting in a bag on a window ledge, chances are the heat has sucked any chance of germination out of them completely. Treat your seeds like you would treat food. Whether you store in a cool, dry place or in a refrigerator in the correct container, you need to preserve them correctly to ensure they don’t spoil.
Over-Handling or Incorrect Handling
Treat your seeds with the utmost care at every step. If you over-handle them, use bare or dirty hands or use the incorrect tools to lift and lay your seeds, there’s a good chance you’ll damage their viability. Bare hands are harbours of all manner of bacteria, so it’s a good idea to use medical-grade gloves if you’re picking them up. Failing that, always wash your hands before and after handling cannabis seeds – but be careful what you use as soap!
The less you handle cannabis seeds, the lower the risk of damage. Sure, cannabis seeds seem hardy enough with that tough outer shell, but it would surprise you how easily they can be damaged. The same rule applies if using tools to lift and place seeds – tweezers and so on should be cleaned before and after use. Resist temptation to apply too much of a squeeze, as that can damage the seed shell.
Incorrect Planting Techniques
If you’re planting your seeds straight into the soil, place the seed carefully and gently into that 15mm hole mentioned earlier. Cover lightly with soil, and do not be tempted to push the seed further down into the soil. Don’t compress a large amount of soil over the top of the seed, either. This will do more harm than good because your seed won’t have the oxygen it needs. Likewise, excess moisture can scupper the chance of germination.
Everything from handling tools to pots and soil has to be spotlessly clean and sterile. Otherwise, you limit your seed’s chances of making its big breakthrough. Ensure you sterilise your pots; otherwise, there’s a good chance there will be residual mould and pathogens. Likewise, only ever use clean, new soil to accept your seeds.
Incorrect Water/Moisture Levels
Too much moisture in your soil and your seeds will suffer from a lack of oxygen. If that’s not bad enough, excess water will encourage fungal growth.
Too little moisture is just as bad – remember, moisture is one of the three critical components in the seed germination process. If using the paper towel method, ensure those towels are damp and not soaked. When potting in soil, make sure to mist the soil with a spray bottle. Don’t pour copious amounts into the soil, thinking the more, the merrier. If you’re overwatering the soil at this stage, neither you nor your seeds will be particularly merry.
You Germinated for Too Long
It can happen – if you take your eye off the ball, your seeds will have germinated, and that taproot has been exposed to air and light for too long before being planted in a safe growing medium. Don’t keep them out in the open beyond 2cm. If you do, handling and transporting the sprouted seed increases the risk of damage. Get them in soil or your preferred substrate as soon as possible.
Seeds germinate best when the temperature is between 20 and 25C. High temperatures increase the risk of drying out the soil. Any lower exposes the seed to conditions that could effectively stunt development or halt germination altogether. For this reason, we recommend carrying out germination indoors, where you can control the temperature.
After successful germination, allow your cannabis seedlings to develop indoors in pots. Wait until the outdoor temperature is high enough that your young plant will thrive (if you’re planning to grow your plants outdoors, of course).
Too Much Light
Cannabis plants love light – well, photoperiod ones, certainly. But seeds? Not so much. Light is not essential to seed germination; in fact, it’s not conducive to seed germination. Keep your seeds away from light as much as possible if you want them to have a chance at popping. Carry out germination away from windows and any other light sources, or you’ll hinder the likelihood of success.
The ‘Wrong’ Water
Avoid using tap water in the germination process. Tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and other additives that can harm seeds and potentially stop them from sprouting. Instead, use distilled water. Bottled water is fine.
They Can’t all be Winners
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why your seeds may not germinate successfully, and it’s a lot to consider. Keep this guide handy if you’re new to growing cannabis from seed, and follow the steps outlined above until you’re experienced enough to go it alone.
Always remember that, even if you do everything by the book, some seeds just won’t germinate. Frustrating though that is, sometimes it’s just bad luck. But by taking control of all the factors mentioned above, you significantly increase your chances of successfully germinating your cannabis seeds every time. Over many grows, an 100% germination success rate is unheard of. By obtaining good quality cannabis seeds from a reputable source like Seedsman.com, and following the guidelines, you can get pretty close. Good luck!
Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.
Why Didn’t my Seeds Germinate?
Why didn’t my seeds germinate? This is a question often asked by novice and experienced growers alike. Some people think that it’s because they bought old seeds or badly made seeds, but it’s generally because the germination process isn’t done properly. Cannabis seeds have a 99% germination chance, even after being in a box for up to 5 years.
Cannabis seeds are life matter, and if germination isn’t done correctly then the seeds are worthless. Cannabis plants are generally quite sturdy and they grow quite fast, but they’re extremely fragile before they begin their growth spurt. You need to germinate in humid places with a decent temperature, and make sure that the seeds have enough humidity for the 2-10 days it can take for them to germinate. Just because it hasn’t shown any roots in four days doesn’t mean that the seed isn’t going to open, you just have to wait and have some patience.
One of the most common errors is just leaving them in some damp kitchen paper on a plate, as they’ll dry up before they can root. You need to make sure that the paper isn’t dry, if it’s dry you’ll need to give them a bit more water, some people give them too much water in case they dry out etc. These practices are what cause seeds to dry out or to drown in too much water; it’s not the seed’s fault, but generally the grower’s.
Another big mistake is germinating in a glass of water. The issue with this method is many people don’t take into account the water temperature. If the water’s too cold then the seeds will sit there for days until they eventually rot due to the low temperature in the water. This method’s okay for warm summer months when there’s a decent temperature and the water doesn’t get too cold. This still isn’t the seed’s fault.
One of the biggest mistakes is germinating straight in a jiffy or soil. The issue here is that the seeds will most likely take much more than 48h to germinate, and by then the upper layers of soil will have dried out, and if it doesn’t die off due to that then it will probably die if you try and water it to keep humidity up; in these cases, the seed tends to come to the surface or they can sink even further into the soil. Once again, this is the grower’s fault.
The only way to be sure that your plants are going to get a chance to grow is to germinate them before putting them in the desired medium. The only way to make sure that they germinate is to make sure that the temperature never goes below 20º and that the paper doesn’t dry. How? By using a simple plastic kitchen container. If you germinate your seeds in a plastic container with some damp kitchen paper and you keep it closed, the water from the paper won’t evaporate and dry out. Even if it takes 10 days it will still germinate. Once the seeds have opened, you’ll need to place them in a properly watered pot because you won’t be able to water again until the seedling pops through the surface, although this should only take one day indoors and maybe 2 outdoors. With this system you can germinate hundreds of seeds in a small Tupperware container. If it’s summer and it’s warm, you can just stick them anywhere out of direct light. If it’s the winter and it’s colder you can place the container on top of your TV or internet box to give it that extra bit of heat. If it’s going to be somewhere where light can get to it, cover the box in tin foil.
So, now you know the best way to germinate your seeds. You might have been doing it one of the “wrong” ways and you’ve been lucky so far, but the only way you can germinate and blame the seeds if it doesn’t work is if you use the correct method we mentioned last. Happy growing!
Reasons Cannabis Seeds don’t Sprout
Top Reasons Your Seeds Aren’t Sprouting – And What You Can Do About It
Seeds are designed to sprout, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Some seeds sprout just about anywhere, whereas may need very specific conditions before they will crack. When it comes to marijuana seeds, sprouting should be easy, but there are times when the germination rate just isn’t what it should be. When this happens, it’s crucial to look at every part of the setup to determine what went wrong and what can be done to get the seeds to sprout.
Diseases or Mold Killing the Seeds Before They Get Started
Seeds can suffer from diseases and mold just like the plant can once it starts growing. Diseases can kill the seed before it gets the chance to start growing, and mold can cause the seed to die during the germination process. Fungi can also be an issue, as it can cover the seeds and prevent them from being able to sprout. Once diseases, mold, or fungi start to grow, there isn’t much that can be done to save the seeds.
What to Do About It:
Seeds can be soaked in diluted hydrogen peroxide for a few hours before planting. This kills any diseases that could be growing outside the seed so they have the best chance to grow. Watering should be done only as needed to prevent the growth of mold and fungi. The humidity in the room should also be carefully monitored to prevent the growth of mold and fungi and growers should ensure they have good ventilation if they are growing weed from seeds indoors.
Bugs or Other Pests Eating the Seeds or Seedlings
When growing outdoors, it’s easy for pests to devour the seeds. Bugs like to eat the seeds, and birds will often look through the garden and pick out any seeds they can find. Birds are often one of the biggest pests when planting seeds, even though they will be beneficial once the seeds have sprouted by eating caterpillars and bugs that might like to eat your sour deisel seeds or gelato seeds marijuana plant. Birds can destroy an entire crop of marijuana before it even gets started because they will search the area carefully and eat all of them once they know the seeds are there.
What to Do About It
The best option to protect seeds from pests is likely to germinate the seeds indoors. Once the seedlings are a couple of inches tall and they have their first set of true leaves, they can be transplanted in the garden and the birds will leave them alone other than to check and see if there are any bugs on the plants that they can eat. Another option is to use row covers. These can be inexpensively made and will cover the seeds completely until they start to grow. There are plenty of options for keeping birds away from the garden to protect the seeds, depending on what’s already on hand and what is more effective.
Seeds Aren’t High Quality
When seeds are low quality, they’re not going to have a high germination rate. Very few of the seeds are going to sprout and those that do may grow a plant that dies quickly or that suffers from issues while it’s growing, leading to a reduced crop. Buy cannabis seeds, purchased from a reputable seed bank, are designed to have higher germination rates and lead to much healthier plants. They have been tested for higher germination rates, so growers have one less thing to worry about when they’re starting the seeds.
What to Do About It
There likely isn’t much that can be done about low-quality seeds to get them to sprout. It may be possible to soak them in water to soften the shell so they will sprout, but the resulting plant might not be healthy either. Even with that trick, it can be difficult to get low-quality seeds to sprout at all. Instead, it’s best to always purchase high-quality
cbd seeds or thc seeds from a reliable seed bank to ensure the germination rate is as high as possible.
Seeds are Too Old
Seeds should be planted soon after they’re purchased, but many people will order seeds early and wait to plant them. Depending on how long they wait, the seeds will likely be fine. However, seeds will become less likely to grow if they are stored for years before being planted. If you find old feminized weed seeds or other random unlabelled pot seeds in an old cupboard that have been stored for a significant amount of time, the germination rate simply isn’t going to be what it would be if the seeds were planted earlier. High-quality seeds can be stored longer, but still may not sprout.
What to Do About It
Seeds should ideally be planted within a year or two of purchase to ensure the best germination rate. The length of time before a seed is no longer viable can vary, but most seeds will still have at least a decent germination rate if they are stored properly and used within two to three years. The germination rate will decrease further with time. Proper storage means the seeds are kept in a cool, dark place and away from moisture until they will be planted.
Too Much or Too Little Water During Germination
Water is necessary for seeds to sprout, but too little or too much can make a huge difference in the chances of success. Too little water means the shell will be too hard, so the seedlings won’t be able to push their way out. Too much water for seeds started in soil can lead to the growth of mold. Seeds can be started in water to help them sprout faster, but once they begin to sprout, they should be planted in soil to prevent issues.
What to Do About It
Water only when needed. If the soil starts to feel dry, go ahead and water it to ensure there is water for the seeds. Never let the soil dry out completely before watering it again. If the soil still feels moist, there is enough water for the seeds, so wait another day or two to water. Keep a close eye on this during the summer months especially to ensure the soil doesn’t completely dry out during the hottest days.
Seeds Are Getting Too Much Light
Marijuana Seeds should be not just be dropped in the soil and covered with just a light layer of soil on top of them. This not only welcomes seed-hungry pests like birds into yoru garden, but also doesn’t give you much control over the consistency of water and light that they are provided. You wan’t to mimic the conditions that nature provides for idea seed growth: moisture, warmth, and darkness.
What to Do About It
Follow our i49 germination guide and sprout yoru seeds in a damp paper tower. This setup should be kept in a awarm and dark place like a cupboard inside your laundry room or in a box on top of your fridge. If possible some ventilation is helpful rather than a tightly enclosed space, and it is also a good idea to rinse yoru seeds periodically to prevent the development of mold. As soon as you see a taproot emerg, you can remove from the paper towel and transplant to a small amount of growth medium.
The Weather Isn’t Right for the Seeds
When your autoflower weed seeds are planted directly in the soil outdoors, the weather can have a huge impact on reducing the germination rate. If the seeds are planted too early, it may be too cold for them to sprout. If the seeds are planted too late, it could be too hot. Marijuana seeds prefer a warm temperature to sprout and may not start growing if it’s below 60 degrees or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Some seeds may start to sprout despite the temperatures, but the germination rate will likely be far below what is expected if it is too hot or too cold for the seeds.
What to Do About It
Always germinate your i49 seeds using our recommended germination methood. This will help give the seeds the best chance to grow. Indoors, the temperature can be more carefully controlled and once the seedlings are large enough and the temperature outside is warm enough, the plants can be transplanted to the outdoor garden.
The Bottom Line
If you’re planning on growing marijuana in the USA, use the tips here to ensure your seeds are more likely to sprout and that you’ll have a higher germination rate. The proper preparation can make a huge difference in how successful you’ll be and can help you cut down on many of the potential problems and frustrations that could lead to seeds failing to sprout.