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. I am experimenting germinating I have two seeds AK48 and Afghan Silver. I have put the AK48 in damp tissue and a sealed bag while I have put the Afghan… Do you want to learn how to start cannabis seeds? Follow this quick tutorial and video guide to learn how to start cannabis seeds right at home here!
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.
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
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.
The items required for this method include the following:
Hand-held plant sprayer (optional)
Bowl or plastic bag
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.
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
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!
Germinating seeds>sealed bag and tissue and plate
I am experimenting germinating I have two seeds AK48 and Afghan Silver. I have put the AK48 in damp tissue and a sealed bag while I have put the Afghan Silver seed in damp tissue on a plate I have placed them both in a warm area to see which takes off first.
I will keep you all updated and let you know which seed roots first and I will post pictures once they start Thankyou
I usually just soak some paper towels with a 1/4 tsp or so of SuperThrive. Fold it up put in a zip lock bag fold it up. And put it under a flap of the mylar about some cfl I use in a clone box. 24hrs nice roots easily. The SuperThrive old timers advise to help producing females. Could just be a wise tale.
The AK48 rooted first which i put in wet towel and put in a sealed bag had a look at it this morning and it had rooted so i have put it straight in to a sponge until it starts, I will keep you updated about the Afghan Kush I have put that in a sealed bag because I have seen how quick it roots Thank you
“wives tale” as in “old wives tale”
Not to be a dick or anything, I just would rather someone corrected me if I misspoke than let me keep saying something incorrectly.
Anyway, I have always used a damp paper towel in a plastic bag, not sealed, so as to allow some air circulation. Nowadays, I am more inclined to just drop it in some moist soil out of direct light. Or a starter plug. Actually, I will probably end up using the paper towel thing again. Always reverting to what I know works.
“wives tale” as in “old wives tale”
Not to be a dick or anything, I just would rather someone corrected me if I misspoke than let me keep saying something incorrectly.
OK, I’ll bite and make the correction as I have for many years. Using any (non-conventional) method other than sowing directly in soil is, well, quite ignorant of plant processes.
Sheesh. only in cannabis forums. If it’s popular it’s usually wrong.
Light is OK, and direct sun all day is best once the seedling starts pushing.
Here’s my archive:
Germinating Cannabis Seeds (for Bio Growers)
Your seedlings will be alot better off if you germinate directly in soil – less handling and mechanical disturbance means less chance of physical damage to the plant’s taproot (and roothairs) and less food reserves used to position itself due to the natural hormonal influence called Gravitropism. That translates into less food reserves used and increased seedling vigor, especially in the very early critical stages of seedling development.
This is my foolproof method for Cannabis Seed Germination in soil:
First, if harvesting seeds from my own crosses, I air-dry newly harvested seeds for a couple of weeks, and then store them in the refrigerator with a little rice. Cold-treatment seems to increase viability and germination rates, especially with indica-dom strains. I almost always get a 100% germination rate with quality seedstock.
Soak the seeds in plain water for 12 hours prior to planting to hydrate them, which will speed up germination. In general, good seeds will sink, bad seeds will remain floating (they contain air, not an embryo). I first sterilize seeds in a bleach solution (1 Tbsp. bleach/1 gallon of water) for 1/2 hour to kill any fungus residing on the seedcoat.
Sterilize enough *damp* fine soil with heat to germinate all of your seeds. You can do this by treating the damp soil to temps of (no more than) 200F for 20 mins in a conventional oven, or in a microwave oven on high for 2 minutes, while stirring a couple of times. Your goal is to get and hold the entire soil mix’s temperature at 170F to 180F for about 20 minutes which can be monitored with a probe type thermometer. Let the mix cool thoroughly. This will insure that damp-off fungus spores have been killed in the soil mix. Make sure the soil mix is light and humusy (not real coarse). You can add a little sand or vermiculite to aid in drainage and weight.
Buy some white 20oz styrofoam “drinking glasses”, commonly called “Styro-Cups”, and punch holes in the bottom (and side bottom) for drainage. I use a red-hot ice pick for this. These containers are 6 1/2″ tall and will allow ample room for the taproot to grow before cotyledon emergence which will increase your seedling’s vigor. The taproot (radicle) is already at least 4″ long at the point of emergence – don’t restrict it (in order to maximize seedling growth rate). Styro-Cups can be found on the shelf displaying picnic items at your local grocery store.
Fill the pots almost to the top with your soil mix, water well to settle the mix, take a pencil and make a small hole about 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep, NO deeper, and drop *one* seed in. Cover the seed with *fine* soil, only enough to top up the hole, firm lightly with your finger, and lightly water until water runs freely thru the drain holes. Place in a warm spot around 80F/26C. Do NOT cover the cup with saran wrap or anything else. The seed has been hydrated from the soaking and will germinate soon. This container should not require further watering until the seedling is up and running.
During the first couple of days, mist the top soil surface lightly (if need be), never allowing the top to crust over, but not to the point that the medium stays waterlogged which will invite pythium rot (damp-off). “Less is more” at this point. Do NOT water this pot any more until the seedling is up, and only if it needs it at the point of emergence. Again, no need to cover with plastic wrap as the radicle (taproot) will grow at least 4″ before the cotyledons emerge from the soil. IOW, even though you can’t see it, the plant’s root is seeking and finding moisture at the container’s lower soil levels. I cannot emphasize this enough. The seedling will emerge anywhere from 2 to 10 days from the time you sowed it.
That’s all to it! With good care, your faves will be ready to transplant within 1 to 2 weeks, and will easily slip out of the “cup” with a solid rootball that will never know it’s been disturbed if potted up gently and quickly. Move up to a final pot of 3 to 5 gallons to sex and finish.
How to Start Cannabis Seeds
When it comes to starting cannabis seeds, there’s a little bit more care that goes into that simply plopping the seeds into some soil. After all, you want them all to germinate right? Plus, by following the steps below to start your cannabis seeds, you may learn a thing or two before the seeds even germinate!
Video on How to Start Cannabis Seeds
Germinating Cannabis Seeds
- Alright to start, go ahead and pull out whatever cannabis seeds you intend to germinate. Today, we will be starting four different varieties to find the perfect strains to run for the light depping and full sun seasons.
- Now with your seeds picked out, go ahead and fill a few jars with water and label them accordingly. Once the jars are filled, just drop your seeds into the water to soak. You will want to let them soak for anywhere between 4 to 12 hours. Grower Tip: If your seeds are floating in the jar by the end, they most likely will have trouble germinating.
- Now that the seeds are done soaking, go ahead and get some wet paper towels and ziplock bags. Yup, back to the same seed germination steps you likely learned in grade school.
- With the paper towels moist, but not overly wet, set your seeds on it and fold over. After this, simply place the paper towels into your ziplock bag. Don’t forget to label each bag, so you don’t confuse the strains later on.
- Place these bags in a safe place that’s relatively warm. We will check back on them soon.
Preparing Your Soil
And, we’re back just two short days later with sprouted seeds! Once you see them sprout just a tiny bit, they are ready to be moved into some soil.
With the seed sprouted and still wrapped up in their moist paper towel, go ahead and grab some pots and fill them with soil. We use smaller pots at the beginning and then transplant them into larger pots later on, but feel free to move the sprouted seeds into any size pot you’d like. You can even place them in the pots you intend to use for the duration of their lifespan.
Now that the pots are filled with your soil, get ready to moisten that soil! But first, be sure to add some Rootwise Mycrobe Complete to your water. For this, you will want to use a pinch of the Rootwise product per plant. We had nine sprouted seeds to move into pots, so we used about half a tablespoon, but you could definitely go even less than that.
Of course, you could forgo using the Rootwise Mycrobe Complete all together, but we tend to get much better results when it’s used.
Placing Your Cannabis Seeds in Soil
Alright, you have your water all mixed up, go ahead and pour it into the pots. Be sure to get each pot very moist prior to planting your sprouted cannabis seed in the soil. Once moistened, simply stick your finger in to form about a ⅛ inch deep hole. This is where you will place the seed.
For this next part, there is actually some quite heavy debate. Feel free to do your research and do whatever works best for you.
Personally, we prefer to take the sprouted seed and look for the “hook” growing out of the seed. After locating it, place the part protruding from the seed down into the soil, the other side of the “hook” facing upwards, and cover the remainder of the seed with soil except for the very tippy-top of the seed itself.
Again, this is a personal preference, but we like to leave the very tip of the seed exposed at the top to ensure the plant knows which way to go. We know, we know, plants are beyond smart beings, we do this just to be cautious and ensure each one has the best chance of survival.
Letting Them Grow
Now with your newly sprouted seeds in the soil, put them under lights or place in a window sill to allow them to continue to grow. A controlled environment is best, as you can ensure the plant gets enough sun, as well as remains at the perfect humidity and moisture for optimal growth. However, we totally understand if that’s not an option. A window sill or even outdoors will work just fine.
Just beware of the conditions you are placing your newly sprouted seed in. After all, it’s just like a newly born child, small, fragile and trying to figure out the world around them, so care for them the same. They are your plant children and deserve some tender, love, and care, so they can provide you with a strong plant that produces in abundance for you.
With the plants in their new home, we get to wait again! It’s okay though, everything takes time to grow, just like us, so be patient and let the seeds keep working hard to come to life for you.
And, we’re back just a few short days later! The seeds have officially sprouted their first leaves. Now, care for them using this calendar and feeding schedule until they begin showing their sex. At that time, you will want to separate the female and male cannabis plants, so you can place the female plants into flower.