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Germination is the first stage in the life cycle of your plant. Getting it right positions your marijuana crop for healthy development and bountiful harvest. Growing cannabis comes with many challenges, with one being dud seeds. Learn how to recognise unhealthy seeds to save time and effort. Are you interested in cannabis cultivation and wondering how to germinate cannabis? Then, you'll find this guide on sprouting your marijuana seeds helpful.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds: A Step-by-step Guide For 2021

Germination is the first stage in the life cycle of your plant. Getting it right positions your marijuana crop for healthy development and bountiful harvest. Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to fully understand all the variables involved when you want to germinate marijuana seeds. Due to the varieties of pot seeds, choosing the right strain for cultivation can be challenging, especially for first-time growers. You’ll also have to consider where to buy marijuana seeds at a cost-effective price.

The list goes on!

This guide answers all these questions and provides a step-by-step approach to the following:

Pre parations for germinating weed seeds

How to choose the right seeds

Where to buy marijuana seeds

The five standard germination methods

How to provide the most conducive growing conditions

It also covers some of the rules of thumbs to help your plants produce the highest yields possible.

It’s a long and exciting read, so let’s get the ball rolling with the seeds.

Choosing The Right Pot Seeds

The first step is to choose where to get marijuana seeds . You can get high-quality seeds online or from seed banks near you. Depending on the market demands or your preferences, you have to choose between Sativa or Indica. Your dealer will present you with a variety of strains to select. However, you want to buy feminized marijuana seeds.

That’s because the female cannabis plants are better at producing the massive buds and high quantities that weed lovers crave. Remember to ask for them when buying your seeds. You may not see much of a difference in the seed stage but making this strategic seed selection makes all the difference when your plants mature.

How to Identify Good Marijuana Seeds

Marijuana seeds are p retty distinctive. The fertile ones usually appear dark brown, black, gray, or red-brown with a slight glow as though the peel has some wax. Seeds that look different with colors like light-green, yellow, or white may also germinate, but the color should tell you they’re not high quality.

Usually, such seeds are not ripe because they were harvested at the wrong time. Healthy seeds are oval and small. On average, they should be between 2 to 3 mm thick and 2 to 5 mm long. When buying marijuana seeds , look for dark spots or tiger stripes on them. You also have to take the size and shape into account. In case of any doubts, a float test can help determine the viability of your seeds.

Float test

Although it’s not 100 percent accurate, placing your seeds in distilled water for about 2 hours can determine their viability. Seeds with sufficient mass will sink before the time is out. This indicates that they will sprout. But this test is only advisable when you’re ready to germinate them since the water will activate the seeds.

Tip : Keep your hand dry when handling marijuana seeds since moisture on your finger may damage them. It’s recommended to wear linen gloves to keep seeds safe.

Choosing The Right Cultivation Method

So you’ve selected the right seeds and are ready to germinate. If you’re like most growers, the top question on your mind is, “What is the best metho d to germinate marijuana seeds ?” Chances are you’ve experimented with marijuana germination but didn’t get the expected resulted.

That’s all right because even seasoned growers don’t get 100% germination. There will be some seeds in your batch that are duds. However, you can make significant improvements with the suitable cultivation method.

You should ask yourself specific questions to help choose the suitable method. Some of these questions include:

What kind of grow medium is available?

Can your budget afford all the necessary components?

How much time do you intend to work on your setup?

The answers to these questions will help determine the method you should use to germinate your marijuana seeds. But generally speaking, there are five standard methods you can use.

Continue reading to learn all about them.

5 Basic Ways to Germinate Your Seeds

Germination Station

Using a germination station offers one of the easiest ways to get your pot seeds started towards germination. It is a tool designed solely for this purpose. Doing so ensures that your seeds get the optimal conditions for germination. Assuming you lack the experience and time to try your hands at more demanding methods, using the germination station is the best option.

What is the Germination Station?

The germination station is a dedicated device with a growing space that ensures that cannabis seeds get optimal conditions for germination by allowing you to fully control the humidity and temperature. Usually, the problems faced when germinating marijuana seeds result from a medium that is too dry, too cold, or too wet.

The germination station enables growers to overcome these challenges. The station is the right size, user-friendly, and inconspicuous. It has a heat mat that keeps your growing medium warm with the right amount of moisture. You can house your seedlings in the germination station until their roots are at least 1” in length.

Components of The Germination Station

The station is designed to have everything required to get started with germination. Its components include:

Waterproof heating mat – You may get the 17 Watts, 120 volts heating mat with dimensions 9” X 19.5”.

Humidity dome – Retains moisture in the growing medium for the dampness required by seeds to sprout.

How to Use the Germination Station

The germination station allows you to use any growing medium of your choice in its cell seedling trays. Below are the steps involved:

Step #1: Soak your seeds for 24 hours in water

Step #2: Collect and place the seeds in the cells and use a small amount of medium to cover them.

Step #3: Watch for the sprouting of the first leaves to place proper lighting over the germination station.

NB: Light isn’t one of the prerequisites in this method; therefore, you don’t have to provide your seeds any light when using the germination station.

The Paper Towel Method

The paper towel method of germinating cannabis seeds is popular among home growers for several reasons. It is relatively more affordable, and you only need a few household items like a paper towel or cotton pad to get started.

Pot seeds do well with paper towels because they are kept protected and moist in the paper towels. Some argue that cotton pads do a better job of retaining moisture and are better suited for this method. However, affordable and non-porous paper towels will also do just fine.

Tip : Remember to buy single-ply paper towels instead of the cloth-like ones because the new taproots of your germinated seeds may grow into the cloth-like paper towels.

Let’s look at the steps involved in this method.

Items required

The items required for this method include the following:

Hand-held plant sprayer (optional)

Bowl or plastic bag

Steps

Step #1 – Spread a handful of your pot seeds on a paper towel and place another layer of paper towel over your seeds.

Step #2 – Moisten your seeds with a hand-held plant sprayer, or you may manually sprinkle some water on them with your hands if you don’t have a sprayer.

Step #3- Place your towel-cushioned seeds between two plates and cover it with a bowl turned upside-down. You can use a plastic bag to protect your seeds instead of the bowl.

Step #4 – Maintain a temperature of about 72° Fahrenheit or 22° Celsius and avoid putting your seeds on a windowsill.

Step #5 – Check on your seed after two to 5 days. By now, you should notice some seeds sprouting with tiny roots shooting from them.

You should regularly check on your seedling from the moment you find that they are sprouting. When the roots are between 0.1 – 0.2 inches or 3 – 5 mm long, transfer them to a growing medium like soil.

Starter Cubes And Seedling Plugs

Another common method of growing cannabis is the use of starter cubes and seedling plugs. The cubes and plugs help set up a seedling station by making the entire germination process quick and easy.

You only have to place your seeds in the cubes or plugs, provide enough moisture, and your seedling will grow automatically. The cubes and plugs are designed with holes to accommodate the seeds. You can scarcely go wrong with this method since the cubes and plugs leave little room for error. Hence, you should achieve a high germination percentage. The best part, there are several types to select.

The Best Types of Starter Cubes For Germinating Cannabis

Rapid Rooter Grow Plugs(Pros & Cons)

The rapid rooter grow plugs are the typical plugs used for hydroponic setups. They have round bottoms and don’t stand alone. Their makeup consists of a custom composting method that uses natural fungi to accelerate growth.

Hence the name rapid rooters. They are also 100 percent organic and made entirely from biodegradable materials. However, they need to be nutrient or water-soaked before use. Below are the pros and cons

There are 50 rooters available at a go.

It’s 100 percent biodegradable and organic.

They are usable in soil and any soilless growth medium.

New growers may find it tricky to use.

Rapid Rooter Mats (Pros & Cons)

Rapid rooters also come in the form of mats. These types are sectioned off and created with holes meant for germinating seeds. You can buy them with 98 planting areas for seed germination.

They can accommodate 98 marijuana seeds at once.

Using them makes transplantations easy.

Each cube is sectioned-off with already-made holes to house seeds.

They come with flat bottoms and cube shapes that enable them to stand alone.

It may be inappropriate if you’re on a tight budget.

Rockwool Starter Cubes(Pros & Cons)

Rockwool starter cubes are a must-use for hydroponic marijuana farms. Using Rockwool cubes for the germination process allows you to place your seedling into your hydroponic system safely. They are made to resist mold and retain adequate moisture to germinate the seeds. But before you decide to go with these, it’s worth knowing their drawbacks.

They are both cheap and readily available.

Come in handy for hydroponic systems.

It doesn’t comprise bio-friendly and organic materials

Can also lead to some health hazard: therefore, you need to wear protective clothing like masks and gloves before handling them.

You need to treat the cubes for use since their original pH isn’t friendly for cannabis germination.

Rapid Rooters(Pros & Cons)

Unlike some other types of starter cubes, rapid rooters work irrespective of your planting setup and growing medium. Generally speaking, they aren’t tricky to use since you only have to put your pot seeds into the rapid rooter with the smaller end turned downwards.

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The rapid rooters have perfect conditions that your seeds require to germinate. All you have to do is to provide a place where your seeds can sprout without interruptions. In a matter of days, your cannabis seeds will germinate with tiny visible roots.

Not difficult to use, even for first-time growers.

Works regardless of the growing medium or system

It doesn’t require any setup or preparation.

Only come in sets of 50.

It only takes one week for them to dry up.

Rapid Rooter Tray

Another effective rapid method for germinating marijuana seeds is the rapid rooter tray. You only have to leave your seeds in the tray with water and watch the roots develop with time. A standard tray can go into a humidity dome and carry 50 rooters.

It makes the transplanting of seedling hassle-free.

Enables you to germinate 50 seeds at once.

It is ideal for germinating seeds or cloning when you have a humidity dome.

You only need your seeds and water to get started.

It can be wasteful if you’re germinating less than 50 seeds

Direct Growing Method

Although the various ways of germinating cannabis seeds are effective, there are times that nature’s way is also the easiest. In the wild, marijuana seeds germinate in fertile soil provided there are favorable conditions.

As a cannabis farmer, you can emulate this process by directly planting your seeds in the final growing medium. It doesn’t matter the growing medium you choose. You can get a cannabis seed to germinate provided you use the right approach. However, it’s needful to state that some mediums are more demanding than others.

Using this method means that your young seedlings don’t have to go through the shock of transplantation after sprouting since they germinate in their final resting place. Hence, it can save you some time, and the seedling development is immediate without any interruptions.

Plus, seedlings do not have to adjust to any other environment. Mind you, your marijuana plants have to deal with stress anytime you transplant them into a new medium, and this isn’t the case with the direct growing method.

Assuming you choose soil as your growing medium, here are the steps to follow:

Prepare your soil to be moist but not soaking wet.

Make a knuckle-deep hole in the soil that’s about 0.5 to 1 inch or 1.3 cm to 2.5 cm.

Place your seeds in each hole and gently cover them with soil.

Using a heating pad or light, gently keep your setup warm

Check on your seeds after two days to check for germination.

Apart from the soil, you can also use coco coir or any other soilless growing medium. However, the idea is to exclude the transplanting process. Therefore, you should only choose this method when you know your seeds will become plants in the same medium you used to germinate them.

The Water-Soaked Method

Another easy way to grow cannabis seeds that you should consider is the water-soaked method. It is simple and is just as easy as it sounds. This method involves leaving your seeds overnight in lukewarm water and comes in handy for reviving old or hard seeds.

The lukewarm water softens the hard exterior of the seeds and enables the taproot to break through the coating. When you soak your fertile and feminized marijuana seeds in water, it will take some time for them to sink to the bottom of your container.

Get clean, lukewarm water and pour it into a container, ideally glass.

Collect your seeds and pour them gently into the water and close the lead.

Observe the container for the next 32 hours.

Carefully pour out the water and transfer your sprouted seeds into a growing medium or somewhere ideal to continue germinating.

Tip : You may use any container to soak your seeds. However, it’s better to use transparent glass since you can observe the seeds and find out when the taproots break out.

Generally, you shouldn’t keep your seeds soaked for more than 32 hours. Not all seeds will germinate after 32 hours. At this point, you should remove them from the water to prevent drowning them. Instead, find a moist, warm place for them to continue the germination process. You can use a paper towel here and follow the steps outlined in the paper towel process.

Planting The Germinated Marijuana Seeds The Right Way

The first few weeks after germination can be the most vulnerable days in the life of your marijuana plant. Therefore, handling them requires you to exercise extra caution. At this stage, the strain you chose makes no difference because all marijuana seedlings are quite delicate after germination.

Always keep the taproot of your seeds in mind while transplanting them. Do not touch it for any reason! The plant may survive when you touch it but break the taproot. However, the effects will show later in the life of the plant, usually as stunted growth.

Follow these tips when transplanting your sprouted seeds:

Drop the white taproot about 0.5 – 1.5 inches downwards.

Let the top part of the seed rest just beneath the surface of your grow medium.

Cover it gently and let it rest for a maximum of 10 days.

NB: Don’t worry if you mistakenly plant any seed upside down. Nature has a way of correcting such incidents. The root will eventually find its way downwards, provided there’s enough room for it.

Providing All The Right Conditions

Light is essential to most plant species, including the cannabis plant. Mature marijuana plants use it to produce sugars from water and carbon dioxide, commonly called photosynthesis. Sugar serves as the primary source of resources necessary for healthy growth and development, apart from soil minerals and nutrients.

Depending on where you store your seedling and the method used for germination, lighting may be required because the seeds need heat. When lighting is necessary, you can use fluorescent lights with 6500K color temperature and T5 high output. The temperature conditions should be around 72 °F.

Next, you need a moist, humid environment. You can spray moisture on your setup when required to keep it from drying up or wrap your pot with plastic wrap. This will create a biodome for your setup. However, you must get rid of the plastic wrap when any tap roots emerge or sprout break through the soil.

Typical Mistakes to Avoid

No matter which method you choose for germinating your marijuana seeds, there are some errors you should try and avoid. Most of these mistakes are common among new growers. Therefore, you should pay extra attention to the following if you’re growing cannabis for the first time.

Placing the seed too deep when planting or transplanting them

Overcrowding the seeds into one pot

Using an unknown soil composition

Overwatering the seeds

Using a direct method where soil conditions are unfavorable

Using too much fertilizer instead of a porous and moist environment

Overusing hydrogen peroxide in the water

Leaving seeds to be drawn in water when soaking them

Failing to hygienically handle radicles, seedlings, and seeds, especially with wet, dirty hands

Exposing the young roots to air for too long when transplanting them

Temperature fluctuation in the environment

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far, and you can consider yourself ready to germinate your seeds. However, it all begins with the right seeds bought from the right source. Then after germination comes other challenges when plants start growing toward maturity. Watching your marijuana plants go through the four growth stages of development is exciting and satisfying. But it’s also hard work so remember to enjoy yourself while you’re at it!

How To Test The Quality Of Cannabis Seeds

Sowing dud cannabis seeds can prove to be a waste of time and effort. But how can you tell the healthy ones apart? Take a look at these tips for some guidance.

A lot of preparation is required before embarking on the quest of growing cannabis. Growers must ensure they have a good lighting setup to provide their plants with energy. They also need a designated area, indoors or outdoors, in which to cultivate their crop. Furthermore, growers will need a water source, an array of macro and micronutrients, and a good-quality soil if choosing this growing medium.

There’s another box that needs to be ticked off the list before growing as well, one that is often overlooked. Checking the quality of your cannabis seeds before placing them in the soil is a simple process, and one that can save a lot of time and energy in the long-run.

The most reliable way to check if your seeds are viable is to simply place them in the soil and allow them to germinate. Although this method is easy, waiting for them to pierce through the top layer of soil can take some time. This can be especially time consuming when growing on a large or commercial scale, or when simply wanting to get a grow started as quickly as possible.

Below are a few simple and easy methods you can use to assess the quality of your cannabis seeds.

SOURCE OFTEN DETERMINES QUALITY

Before we even get around to testing the quality of our seeds, it’s important to discuss where to source them. By purchasing seeds from reputable dispensaries, seedshops, and headshops, you greatly enhance the chances of your cannabis seeds being of good quality. Additionally, you will have the knowledge of exactly what the strain is, its characteristics, flowering time, and so on.

Some cannabis users might be thrilled to see a few cannabis seeds laying at the bottom of the bag of weed they just purchased. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing. As well as adding weight to the bag, there’s less of a chance that these seeds will be viable, and they are more than likely not feminized. Plus, there’s no telling exactly what strain they are and if their genetics are of any value. If you’re determined, there’s nothing wrong with attempting to cultivate these seeds; it could prove to be a fun side project. Just refrain from being overly optimistic from the get-go.

WHAT DO YOUR SEEDS LOOK LIKE?

So, you’ve obtained some seeds and plan on germinating them soon, but you’re a tad unsure about their quality. Well, the first port of call is to take a closer look at them. This can be done with the naked eye, but using a magnifying device makes things a lot easier.

Healthy seeds usually feature a “tiger print” pattern upon the shell with intertwined colours of brown, grey, and sometimes black. Healthy seeds also often display spots on their shells and appear to have a waxy coating. Sometimes, however, seeds will appear green, white, or pale, which signifies a low chance of germination.

Healthy seeds are mostly hard to the touch and should be able to resist external pressure when placed between the index finger and thumb and given a squeeze. If your seed cracks under this pressure, then it’s a sign of a weak and unhealthy one.

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HOW OLD ARE YOUR SEEDS?

If you’re buying from a dispensary or headshop, you might be able to inquire about the age of the seeds you’re interested in and get an honest answer. You’re far less likely to find out the age of seeds found in bags or acquired from other sources. Knowing the age of a seed before attempting to cultivate is beneficial, as seeds that are too old won’t end up sprouting, or will take a lot longer if they do.

Seeds are a life form in themselves, and are subject to ageing and deterioration. Although passing the point of being viable might take years, it’s still something worth considering before growing.

CHECK IF YOUR SEEDS FLOAT IN WATER

One cost-effective and simple trick to determine if your seeds are worth the time is to see if they float in water. Fill up a glass or jug with water and place your seeds on the surface. Leave your seeds in the water for a few hours and return to check on them later. Seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the water are healthy and should be germinated now that they have been soaked. Any seeds that remain floating on the surface are likely of bad quality and shouldn’t be used if you don’t want to risk wasting time.

YOU CAN ALWAYS GO AHEAD AND GERMINATE THEM ANYWAY

If you have time to spare and are growing cannabis purely out of recreational joy, then you can simply go ahead and germinate the seeds. This is a 100% accurate way to determine whether a seed is viable or not.

Planting a seed into soil and waiting for it to sprout is one way to see if the specimen is healthy. However, a slightly faster way is to watch it germinate in real time. Place seeds between two pieces of paper towel and place them on a plate. Mist the towel with water until damp and store the plate in a dark spot. Check once a day and look out for any signs of a white tail emerging; this structure is called a radicle, which eventually becomes the primary root. Any germinated seeds can then be placed into the soil to sprout and become seedlings.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds: 7 Best Ways to Sprout Weed

Interested in cultivating a crop of cannabis but worry it’s too difficult? Many prospective farmers feel similarly, but the reality is raising pot has never been easier. Fantastic options like beginner seeds allow newcomers to get in on the action and grow their own marijuana.

Once you’ve chosen your preferred beginner-friendly strain, the first step on the path to pot is germinating your cannabis seeds. Are you ready to learn everything there is to know about this crucial process? If so, get comfortable, and let’s get started.

Why do I need cannabis germination?

There are two main ways to raise a ganja garden. The first method is sourcing clones to populate your cultivation space. These are sections of an adult plant that have been removed and treated so that they produce a new root system.

Cultivating cannabis from clones has its benefits and is the method of choice for many commercial operations. They guarantee consistency and reach harvest quicker but aren’t without their downsides.

These crops finish faster by skipping the marijuana seedling stage but possess a less developed root system. As a result, they tend to produce smaller plants with lower yields than marijuana sprouting from seeds.

Clones are initially extremely sensitive and highly vulnerable to environmental changes or stressors. While experienced growers might know how to care for the tender plants successfully, it could prove trickier for beginners.

These drawbacks make the second method more suitable for small-scale cultivators and novice growers. That is, growing a weed plant from a seed. Germination is the first stage of all plant growth.

To get going, you need to know how to germinate marijuana seeds successfully.

The process begins when environmental triggers cause seeds to “wake” from their dormant state. With the right temperature and the presence of water and light, the seeds open up and begin to grow.

Cannabis is part of a group of flora classified as dicotyledons. These kinds of plants grow foliage in alternating pairs. Seeds from most members of this category, including cannabis, undergo epigeal germination.

Over the following sections, you’ll understand the germination process and learn how to accomplish it using various methods. By the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll be equipped to sprout seeds like a pro.

How to germinate marijuana seeds

You’ve got your beginner seeds; now, let’s take a quick look at how this process works in germinating weed seeds.

  1. When the right conditions exist, the seed opens, sending out a tiny shoot called a radicle that affixes the seed to the soil and begins growing small roots.
  1. Next, the seed sends out another shoot, called a hypocotyl, which develops into the plant’s main stem. It often grows so rapidly that the seed casing is lifted into the air with its rise.
  1. The plants’ first pair of proto-leaves emerge from the seed casing. These tiny oval cotyledons serve to provide nutrients and perform an initial round of life-giving photosynthesis.
  1. As the seedling gains independence, a new shoot called a plumule appears from between the cotyledons. This growth bears the first true foliage of your baby pot plants.
  1. Once the seedling possesses more leaves, the cotyledons are no longer necessary and shrivel off soon after.

Cannabis seed germination is a reasonably hands-off process. To get it started, you just need to create favorable conditions. Three main things are required; warmth, moisture, and then light.

Various germination methods exist, and they all achieve the same goal if performed correctly. Each creates an environment with at least 70–90% relative humidity and temperatures between 69.8–78.8°F.

While some growers may warn you off one method or advise the use of another, there’s usually some subjectivity at work. Most horror stories about cannabis seeds not germinating are often caused by other factors such as poor quality or improper storage.

Avoid these situations by buying quality products and learning how to store pot seeds correctly if you’re not planting them immediately. Follow these tips, and they should sprout successfully regardless of the method used.

With that in mind, the best way to germinate your cannabis seeds is the method you’re most comfortable with. The following sections detail seven different ways to get started.

Germinating seeds in paper towels (highly recommended)

The paper towel method is our preferred choice if you want to learn how to germinate weed seeds cheaply and quickly. It only requires a few household objects.

Seeds that started using this method usually germinate between 24–120 hours.

  • Pros: Cost-effective and straightforward to set up. It results in speedy germination and is easily monitored without disturbing the process.
  • Cons: Seeds that germinate on paper towels may fuse to the towels if not moved promptly. Removing them in this state might damage the tender taproot. Monitor their progress closely and pot them as soon as they open.

What will you need?

Before learning how to start marijuana seeds using this method, you’ll need a few things.

  • 2–4 absorbent paper towels. Alternatively, use cotton wool pads, but ensure they aren’t treated with any cosmetic compounds.
  • Some purified or bottled water. Avoid using tap water as it may contain chlorine or other additives that could negatively affect germination.
  • Two medium-sized plates.

Paper towel method: Step-by-step

Once you have the necessary ingredients, these steps outline how to germinate cannabis seeds in paper towels.

  1. Moisten some paper towels using purified water. Squeeze out the excess liquid afterward, leaving the towels sufficiently damp but not soaking wet.
  1. Take a plate and place a damp towel on top. Arrange your cannabis seeds on the paper, leaving an inch of space between each one. Then cover them with another moist towel.
  1. Take the second plate, turn it over and use it as a lid for the first. Closing the seeds in like this helps the towels remain moist for longer and raises the humidity levels around them.
  1. Take the plates and put them somewhere dark and moderately warm. If your ambient temperatures are below the 69.8°F necessary for germination, you may need to use a heat mat.
  1. Check your seeds’ progress twice daily, spritzing the towels with water to keep them moist.
  1. Your marijuana seeds should pop open between 24–120 hours.
  1. Use sterilized tweezers to carefully transplant them to their starting pots as soon as they open.
  1. Place them in a hole in the soil about half an inch deep, with the taproot facing down.

Germinating cannabis seeds in water (the easiest)

If you want to learn how to germinate cannabis seeds with minimal effort and equipment, this method is perfect. Sometimes known as the tumbler method, it’s especially effective for older marijuana seeds.

  • Pros:A low-cost method requiring a minimal amount of work. Completely submerging the seeds in water leads to accelerated germination.
  • Cons: Inattentive growers could easily end up drowning their seeds. Keep a close eye on their progress; leaving them submerged after they open may quickly rot the taproot. Another minor drawback is that removing the seeds from the glass is finicky.

What will you need?

Getting the necessary equipment for this method should take you two minutes. Here’s what you need:

  • Purified or dechlorinated water.
  • A container to contain the liquid and seeds. Most use a simple tumbler or glass. Avoid using too tall or narrow ones, as they’ll only make it harder to pluck the seeds out once they open.

Water soaking germ method: Step-by-step

Grab what you need and then follow these exceedingly simple steps:

  1. Pour some water into your container of choice, filling it about halfway to avoid any spills. The water should be lukewarm, between 70–80°F.
  1. Pop your seeds into the water. Give it a gentle stir to dislodge any air bubbles clinging to the seed exteriors.
  1. Leave the seeds overnight to soak in the water. Those with thin casings should open in the first 24–36 hours.
  1. Monitor the seeds closely and remove any opened ones from the water immediately.
  1. Plant any germinated seeds, as before, in starting pots about a half inch deep, taproot down.

Germinating cannabis seeds in soil

Organic growers may be wondering how to start marijuana seeds in the most natural way. The answer is to germinate directly in the soil.

While some growers aren’t fans of this method, it’s entirely viable and shouldn’t be dismissed.

Plant in favorable soil with a pH of six, and they should sprout once the temperature and humidity are right.

  • Pros: It allows you to grow cannabis as nature intended. Seeds planted this way have immediate access to nutrients in the soil. If performed correctly, this germination method involves the least amount of manipulation, limiting opportunities to damage the seed.
  • Cons: It’s more challenging to regulate humidity and temperature in large bodies of soil. Burying the seed beneath the surface prevents growers from checking on their progress and may cause them to disturb it, slowing its growth or damaging it outright. This method is slower than others, taking 4–10 days.
See also  When To Transplant Weed Seeds

What will you need?

You don’t need much to germinate cannabis seeds in soil. The requirements are:

  • Soil: Use lightly fertilized, loamy potting soil. The pH of your substrate should sit at around six or slightly more acidic.
  • Container: Even if you’re growing outdoors, planting the seeds in containers is recommended. Using appropriately sized pots makes it easier to regulate moisture. Keeping the crops separate also means pathogens won’t spread as easily as they would in a large body of soil.

Soil germ method: Step-by-step

Here’s how to plant weed seeds directly in the soil for germination.

  1. Fill a pot with your preferred substrate.
  1. Feed it using water or a nutrient solution, depending on your substrate. You may also add rooting agents at this point.
  1. Give the substrate some time to absorb the liquid before planting. Make a depression in the surface about half an inch deep and place the seed inside. Cover with a layer of soil, pressing down gently.
  1. Keep the soil moist and monitor each day. Your seeds should sprout within a few days but may take up to ten.

Germinating cannabis seeds in jiffy pots

Jiffy pots or soil plugs are an excellent means of weed seed germination that strike a nice balance between other methods. These little blocks usually have an ideal mix of peat and wood pulp.

  • Pros: Easy to use and transplant. Possess a balance of moisture retention and aeration. Like with direct planting, the seed remains undisturbed during the entire process.
  • Cons: Some growers won’t appreciate not being able to check on the progress of their seeds.

What will you need?

Get together the following to begin:

  • Jiffy pots: There are many brands and choices in various sizes. Go with the smaller-sized ones if available.
  • Water: Like all methods, use dechlorinated, purified water, ideally, with a pH between 6–6.5.
  • Humidity Dome / Germination chamber: Using a dome or propagation chamber keeps relative humidity levels high and prevents the jiffy pots from drying out.

Jiffy pots method: Step-by-step

Follow these steps to have your cannabis seeds sprouting in a jiffy:

  1. Place your jiffy pots into your germination chamber and prepare the water. Consider adding a seed germination booster or beneficial bacteria like Trichoderma or mycorrhizae to promote rapid root growth.
  1. Hydrate the pots using your water solution and allow them to expand fully. Give them a gentle squeeze to remove excess liquid and introduce some air into the substrate.
  1. Use something like a pen or chopstick to make a small hole in the top of the jiffy about half an inch deep.
  1. Put one of your seeds in the hole you made, fill with peat and gently press down. Place the germination chamber somewhere at a suitable temperature.
  1. Regularly moisten the jiffy pots while waiting for the cotyledons to emerge.
  1. The seedlings can stay in the chamber until their first true leaves form; just ensure they receive enough light.
  1. Transplant directly into larger pots afterward.

Germinating cannabis seeds in Rockwool

It’s possible to use Rockwool cubes when growing in soil, but they’re most often employed in hydroponic setups. These synthetic blocks of fiber work in much the same way as jiffy pots, providing a porous substrate for growth while retaining sufficient moisture for germination.

  • Pros: Rockwool cubes are the best way to start weed seeds for hydroponic growing as they’re easily integrated directly into the system.
  • Cons: Rockwool isn’t great for the environment, and inhaling the fibers may cause irritation.

What will you need?

For Rockwool germination, you need to have the following items to hand:

  • Rockwool cubes.
  • Water: Rockwool doesn’t contain any nutrients, so prepare water with a light amount of fertilizer and any rooting agents or germination boosters.
  • Humidity Dome / Germination chamber: As with jiffy pots, Rockwool is best kept inside a germination chamber.

Rockwool seed germination: Step-by-step

This way of how to start weed seeds is almost identical to the jiffy pot method. Follow this simple five-step process:

  1. Hydrate the cubes using the water/nutrient mix. Shake off any excess liquid.
  1. Poke a half-inch hole in the top of the cube and place a seed inside. Gently pinch the hole closed afterward.
  1. Put the cubes inside the propagation chamber and place them somewhere at a suitable ambient temperature.
  1. Keep the cubes moist, and your seeds should sprout within a week.
  1. Transplant the cubes to larger pots when roots show through the bottom.

Germinating cannabis seeds in plastic bags

This method is really just a variation of the paper towel method. Instead of using two plates to trap moisture and humidity, the towels are placed inside of a sealable plastic bag.

  • Pros: Retains high levels of moisture leading to rapid germination.
  • Cons: Has the potential to suffocate sprouted seeds if left inside too long.

What will you need?

Gather the following:

  • Absorbent paper towels or cotton pads.
  • Purified, dechlorinated water. Germination boosters and rooting agents may be added at this stage if desired.
  • A sealable plastic bag. Ziploc sandwich ones work fine. Ensure you use a fresh, unused bag and not one that previously contained any food.

Sprouting seeds in plastic bags: Step-by-step

Learn how to germinate a weed seed in a plastic bag by following these four easy steps:

  1. Use water to moisten 2–4 paper towels. Wring out excess liquid, they should be wet but not dripping.
  1. Lay out half the towels and place the seeds on top, leaving some room between each one. Use the remaining towels to cover the seeds, sandwiching them between the two layers of paper.
  1. Carefully place the towels inside the plastic bag and seal it shut. Put the bag somewhere with an appropriate temperature out of direct sunlight.
  1. Keep a close eye on the seeds inside, and remove sprouted ones as soon as possible.

Remember that the bag also traps warmth, which may cause it to be hotter than the ambient temperature.

Germinating cannabis seeds in hydrogen peroxide

Over the years, most cannabis enthusiasts have accumulated random seeds. This interesting method is the best way to germinate marijuana seeds that have been sitting around for a long time.

Chemically similar to water, hydrogen peroxide possesses an additional molecule of oxygen that stimulates germination. The substance also kills off any harmful microorganisms on the seed while simultaneously softening its shell.

  • Pros: Most healthy seeds germinate within 24 hours using this method.
  • Cons: Requires additional expense; handling may cause irritation of the airways.

What will you need?

Take care when handling the following:

  • Purified or distilled water.
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide.
  • A wide-necked glass to hold the solution and seeds.

Germination of seeds in 3% hydrogen peroxide method: Step-by-step

Here are the steps to successfully sprout your seeds in hydrogen peroxide:

  1. Make up your solution by adding 10ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 170ml pure water, mixing thoroughly.
  1. Deposit the seeds in the solution and allow them to soak overnight.
  1. Check back after 24 hours, and you should see sprouting taking place. Most seeds germinated in this way open within a day, but particularly old or stubborn ones may take 2–3 days.
  1. As with the straight water method, immediately move any opened seeds from the glass to their starter pots.

Frequently asked questions about the cannabis germination process

Here are some of the most common queries new growers tend to have about the germination process.

What is the ideal temperature for cannabis sprouting?

Maintaining the ideal temperature for cannabis at all stages of growth goes a long way toward a healthy crop. When germinating marijuana seeds, getting the conditions right makes for fast, successful sprouting.

The idea is to mimic spring weather conditions when seeds are naturally sprouting in the wild. Maintain a temperature range of 69.8°F–78.8°F.

How much light do weed seeds need to germinate?

While you need illumination from the sun or cannabis grow lights once your seedlings have sprouted, the germination process itself doesn’t require any. It’s not necessary to sprout marijuana seeds in complete darkness, but you should avoid intense light.

Germinating in a windowsill or other moderately lit area is fine if the temperature isn’t too high. Another reason some growers prefer darkness is because it’s easier to maintain high humidity without light causing moisture to evaporate.

Do good seeds sink and bad seeds float?

If you decide that the best way to germinate your marijuana seeds is in water, you may notice some floating. Cannabis seeds that continue to sit at the top of the water after 12–24 hours are most likely non-viable.

While it’s true that all bad seeds float, it’s not true that all the ones at the top are bad. They may take some time to take in water and gain the extra weight to sink. It’s also possible that microbubbles on the surface of the seed are increasing its buoyancy.

The float test is a helpful way of determining viability, but don’t throw out your seeds if they don’t immediately sink. Give them time to absorb the water and check again after several hours.

What to do with a weed seed after germination?

Our advice is to take your germinated marijuana seeds, plant them, and raise a productive crop of marijuana to enjoy.

Unless you’re using feminized seeds, you need to wait for the vegetative stage to determine the plants’ gender, as there’s no way to identify female seeds.

How long does it take for weed seeds to sprout?

In favorable environmental conditions, cannabis seeds sprout in as little as 24 hours. The further conditions stray from the ideal, the longer it may take for them to pop open.

Another factor affecting the speed of germination is seed casing thickness. Those with tougher exteriors take longer to absorb the moisture needed to begin sprouting. Generally speaking, most quality cannabis seeds sprout within 1–6 days.

How do I plant weed seeds after germination?

Whether you’re growing outdoors or cultivating indoor weed seeds, the process remains the same. Planting marijuana seeds is straightforward and something you’ll get the knack for over time.

Before planting, prepare your container by filling it with loosely packed soil. Use your thumb to press out a hole about a half inch deep in the center of the pot. Carefully take the opened seed using sterile tweezers and place it into the previously made hole in the soil.

Before covering it, ensure the taproot or radicle points towards the bottom of the pot. While geotropism allows the radicle to sense the correct way to grow, positioning it correctly now saves energy used to reorient.
Keep your freshly sprouted seed moist, but avoid overwatering. Cannabis fertilizers aren’t necessary until your seedling develops two or three pairs of leaves. Until then, dechlorinated water is sufficient.

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