Curious how to germinate weed seeds? Check the best way to germinate cannabis seeds! A helpful step-by-step guide for a successful germination! Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go. Cannabis seeds are very easy to germinate, within a few days after being exposed to water, and warmth, most seeds would have germinated. After a week, if your
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis, better known as marijuana, is getting more popular across the United States as more medical reports deem it highly useful for better health and more states legalize its sale and use. There’s no question of how potent and beneficial marijuana is for health and recreation, so it is no surprise that more individuals are more getting interested in growing the herb in their homes.
Like any other plant, cannabis goes through the germination process before full growth. Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go.
Below here, we breakdown the main aspects of cannabis seed germination you need to know.
The Ideal Germination Conditions for Cannabis
For maximum cannabis seed germination, you need to provide the following conditions:
Marijuana seeds need adequate moisture in the soil to develop properly. You can maintain moisture by using well-watered soil or a naturally-moist medium such as compost. Alternatively, you can use mulch on the ground to lock the moisture in.
Your seeds need a stable setup during planting to guarantee proper germination. You can achieve this by placing the seeds about 1.3cm to 2.5 cm into the medium, not any further or closer to the medium surface.
Marijuana seeds require a proper balance between hot and cold temperatures for proper germination. Keep the temperature around the germinating area adequately warm, because colder temperatures tend to delay the germination process.
Marijuana seeds need direction when being germinated. When placing the germinated seed into the growing medium, ensure that the white root is looking downwards into the medium and the seed body is looking upwards. Positioning it otherwise means the root will have to reorganize itself, which can slow germination.
Seed Germination Methods
There are more than a few options to choose from when picking a method for your seed germination process. We list and explain the best of them below:
Use Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs
This is the most recommended cannabis seed germination method on this list because of its ease. Starter cubes and seedling plugs are specially designed for the purpose of seed germination, so they come filled with the right kind of planting mix and a hole drilled adequately in the middle for placing your seed. All you have to do is place your seed carefully into the hole and close it with a simple pinch of the nearby planting mix.
- They have high germination rates thanks to adequately pre-set conditions
- They are easy to use; you open them up and start planting
- They give less room for error
- Some of them are designed to allow hydroponic growing (water-based planting)
- They aren’t too expensive
- Are usually sold in packages of 50 plugs or more at once, no less.
- Some plugs dry out too quickly after opening.
- Some plugs must be soaked for a while first before use.
Plant your marijuana seeds directly in the final growing medium
Another good method for germinating your cannabis seeds is by planting them within your final growing medium from the very beginning, whether it is soil or compost or water.
- The seeds don’t get transplant shock during transplanting
- The seeds get accustomed to the medium early on, which fosters growth
- Some final mediums are not adequately nutrient-rich to support cannabis seed germination in its earliest stages
Use a germination station
For best seed germination results, you can alternatively employ a germination station before transferring to a final growing medium. Germination stations are pre-designed to offer optimum conditions for germination.
- Germination stations are cheap to purchase
- You can create your own DIY germination station at home using a plastic dome fitted over a plate that’s placed on a heating pad.
- Germination seeds are only appropriate for the early stages of growth, unlike, say, the final medium.
Soak Your Marijuana Seeds in Water Overnight
Alternatively, you can germinate your cannabis seeds using water alone. Place the seeds in a glassful of mildly warm water overnight and wait for the white root to break through the seed shell. Then you can transfer to a final growing medium.
- It works well for seeds with extra hard seed coats
- Cuts out all the extra preparation required in soil-based germination
- Some seeds, especially the older ones, cannot germinate in water because they require a longer time
- There is always the risk of over soaking the seeds and killing them
Try the Paper Towel Method
The most DIY cannabis seed germination method on this list is the paper towel method, which involves wrapping your seeds in thin paper towels, making them wet and leaving the setup a warm place. Soon enough, the white roots start showing and the seeds can then be transplanted.
- It is so cheap; the thinnest (and cheapest) paper towels work best
- It is so easy to do.
- Thicker paper towels can be hard to separate new seedlings from after they’ve sprouted
- There is a high possibility for errors during transplanting, such as root breakage when seed roots are found to have grown into the paper towel, not on its surface.
- Paper towels can dry if unattended, thereby killing the new seedlings.
Planting Germinated Seeds
Once the cannabis seeds have germinated, they need to be planted in order to grow into proper cannabis plants. The recommended method for planting cannabis seeds includes the steps below:
Step One : Set and prepare your planting medium. You can use either a rooting cube or a planting mix for planting, depending on your preference. Rooting cubes have no major preparation requirements –have one ready from Oasis, Jiffy or another good brand. If you’re using a planting mix, procure sterile soil for the process. Random soil doesn’t cut it here.
Step Two : Next, add water to the sterile soil or rooting cube to saturate it. Then use a needle or chopstick to drill small planting holes within the soil or rooting cube. Please do not use your finger for this task.
Step Three : Get your tweezers and sterilize them with alcohol or spirit first. Then use the tweezers to pick the seeds, paying good attention to the fragile white roots.
Step Four : Place each germinated seed into a hole of its own, ever so tenderly, such that the root faces downward. Don’t place the seeds too deep into the ground either, because it slows growth. Move quickly because the roots are easily damaged by exposure to the atmosphere.
Step Five : Next, cover each of the holes with adequate soil or rooting cube. Make sure the planting mix or root cube is moist and not too cold.
Germinating and growing cannabis seeds requires a bit of work, but when done right, the end results are worth every minute spent. Like any other plant, cannabis seeds have to go through germination and then plant growth. Making sure each of these stages is done right will guarantee you a super bouncy harvest every time.
Cannabis Seed isn’t Germinating
Cannabis seeds are very easy to germinate, within a few days after being exposed to water, and warmth, most seeds would have germinated. After a week, if your cannabis seed isn’t germinating, there may be problems. There could be a few reasons why your cannabis seed isn’t germinating, in this guide we will discuss why your seed hasn’t germinated, and ways you can get it started. By the end of the guide, you should be able to pop that stubborn seed, and see signs of your plant growing within a week! Good luck!
Germinating Cannabis seeds
Germinating cannabis seeds is relatively easy, as long as you know what you’re doing. Providing the seed with the optimal conditions will improve your chances of a successful germination, so you waste less seeds. This guide is on what to do when a cannabis seed isn’t germinating. The first thing you can do is make sure you have germinated your cannabis seeds correctly. You can watch this tutorial video from Percys Grow Room. It will tell you everything you need to know about germinating cannabis seeds correctly. If you have used these techniques, and still, you have no success with your seed, then we can move onto other methods. To know what the problem is, it is good to understand possible reasons why a cannabis seed doesn’t germinate.
Why your Cannabis seed isn’t germinating
95% of the time, cannabis seeds will germinate easily, and quickly, just by adding some water, and some warmth. A seed can germinate and show a shoot above ground in just a few days. At the most it should take no longer than a week for a cannabis seed to germinate, and show signs of shoot above the medium, if you do not see a shoot after this long, there may be a problem. There can be a number of reasons why cannabis seed isn’t germinating, let’s explore some of them.
Genetics is half the battle towards a good crop. This can’t be stressed enough, though you can get good plants from random genetics, buying good quality seeds from good seed banks will increase your chances of germination, and a quality end product. Some growers may be tempted to use seeds they found in a bag of cannabis they bought from somewhere. These seeds may not germinate at all, they may be infertile, or if it does grow, it could grow into a hermaphrodite cannabis plant. Improve the chances of your seeds germinating by buying good genetics. You won’t regret it!
Age of the seed
Inside of a cannabis seed there are some stored up nutrients. When a seed gets wet, a small amount of water will make its way inside, and this is a signal for the plant to begin germination. These food stores can become less and less nutritious as time goes on, and if cannabis seeds are not stored correctly, these stores can be used up, without the seed germinating at all. Your seed will need this food store to grow a tap root, and push a shoot above the medium, if it is used up, your seed isn’t viable, and it will not germinate.
The Older a seed is, the harder the outer casing will be. So, if you know your seed is old, you should soak it for a little longer before planting it to soften the shell a little. This will make it easier for the tap root to get out and start to grow.
Incorrect storage methods
If a cannabis seed is stored incorrectly, they will lose viability. To keep cannabis seeds viable for longer, they need to be stored correctly. Incorrect storage is a big factor in germination, and could be the reason why your cannabis seed isn’t germinating. Cool temperature between 5 and 10°c and humidity levels no higher than 25% is a great way to store your cannabis seeds. A dark cool place with very few temperature fluctuations is ideal. A refrigerator is perfect, but do not use refrigerator that you use often. Opening and closing the door will change the environment in the fridge. A stable environment is what a cannabis seed needs. If they have been stored incorrectly, they may not germinate at all. Store your seeds in a light proof container, in the back of the fridge, and your seeds could stay viable for years.
Left underwater for too long
Some growers like to soak their cannabis seeds in water before germinating them. This softens the shell, and prepares the seed for planting. If the shell is soft, the tap root will not have to work so hard to push its way outwards. The seed is placed in a glass of water, and usually, the grower waits until the seed sinks before planting. But this can be a problem. A Cannabis seed needs air to breath, and once the seed has fully submerged it cannot get air any more. This can kill a seed, as it can drown. Do not leave your seeds fully submerged for more than a couple of hours. Once they sink move them into paper towels or your chosen medium.
Planted too deep
Don’t plant seeds too deep! A seedling will only have a certain amount of energy it can use. To make its food, it needs light. Whilst a seed is underground, it will get no light, and without it, the plant cannot photosynthesize and make the food it needs to grow. If you plant your seed too deep, it will not have the energy it needs to break through the surface. Plant cannabis seeds about 1/2″ deep (2-3 cm) and this will give them plenty of room to grow a tap root, and then shoot above the surface. Planting your seed to deep may be the reason why your cannabis seed isn’t germinating
Too much nutrients in the medium
Sometimes, cannabis seed will germinate beneath the medium, and of course, you will not see it. The tap root will grow and come into contact with the medium. If the medium has a lot of food in it, it can severely shock your seedling and it can kill it. When you are germinating cannabis seeds, be light on the nutrients, and if you’re planting into soil, make sure you’re using a potting mix. A potting mix will have less nutrients in it than normal soils, and this can be better for young plant to grow into, before moving them into strong mediums.
What to do when a Cannabis seed isn’t germinating
After you have tried to germinate your cannabis seed, but had no success, you shouldn’t just give up there. There are ways you can still get your cannabis seed to germinate, it may just take a little more work. The main objective is to soften the shell, and provide the tap root with as much help as possible it is emerging from the seed. Sometimes all it takes is a slight break in the shell, and the seed can germinate.
Soak the seed with H²O²
If you’re seeds are old, you may want to do this on the initial soaking, before you try germinate your seeds, but it is also a great method to try and crack stubborn seeds. H²O² will make the water a little more reactive, but only use a few drops in a glass. Hydrogen Peroxide will help soften the shell, making it easier for water to get inside the shell, and for the tap root to emerge.
Add some microbes to the seed
Roots love microbes! If your cannabis seed isn’t germinating, try rolling it in a rooting power and plant it again. When exposed to moisture these powders will begin to grow colonies of friendly bacteria that works in conjunction with the root zone. These can help soften the shell, and produce some nutrients for when the tap root emerges from the seed. If your cannabis seed isn’t germinating, some beneficial bacteria can be very helpful.
Using 2.5ml per cup of water of fulvic acid can also help weaken the shell of your seed and help it germinate. Fulvic acid is an organic acid, that is found in soils, and comes from the decomposition of organic matter. This will help break down the outer shell of your seed, as the organic molecules break down the casing.
Carbonate water has CO°2 dissolved into it. This takes it from being still water to being fizzy. The bubbles in carbonated drinks are formed on nucleation sites. This is where the CO²2 can latch onto a place, and turn into a bubble. The bubbles then form and float up through the water. This makes the water more reactive, and can help soften the shell of your seed if it isn’t germinating.
If none of the above techniques have worked for you, there are some last resorts you can turn to if your cannabis seed isn’t germinating. These are harsh, but they can work, you just have to be gentle. The whole idea of these techniques is to either soften or crack the shell, so water can get into the seed, and the tap root can get out. This can be difficult if the seed is old, or has been stored incorrectly, so we have to give it a helping hand sometimes.
Take some sandpaper, of a very fine grain, and gently scuff at the outer shell of your seed. Now be careful, you’re not trying to removing the whole layer of the seed. Just scuff the surface in a few places, and begin the germination method again. This will weaken areas of the seed, which can now be softened and penetrated by the water. But sometimes this still isn’t enough. You can also use a nail file to scuff the edge of your seed, just make sure its fine grain as you do not want to remove big pieces of shell.
Cracking the shell
The very last case scenario, and your last resort is to actually crack the seed manually. This can be done by holding the seed between your finger and thumb, and using your other hand to pick of a bit of the casing with your thumb nail. By putting a small crack in the seed, you can be sure water will get in, and the germination process should begin. Do not soak the seed for too long, and it may be better to go straight into the medium after you have cracked the seed. Too much water can drown it, and you don’t want to kill your seed after going through all this trouble to germinate it.
Final thoughts on Cannabis seeds that won’t germinate
If your cannabis seed isn’t germinating, then you should just be a little more patient, most of the time, they will pop without any extra help, they just need a couple more days. If you have waited for longer than a week, than you should start using these methods. Buy your seeds from a seed bank with a good reputation, and your seed should germinate first time every time, as long as you germinate them correctly. Thanks for reading! Stay safe, and happy growing More news in Soft Secrets about Preparing your seeds for Spring