How to germinate cannabis seeds
Germination is the process in which a new plant begins to grow from a seed. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your cannabis garden.
Cannabis seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.
When acquiring seeds, you want to make sure they are matured and that they appear dark brown with lighter accents and a hard feel. You don’t want a seed that feels fresh and looks green, which indicates that the seed hasn’t reached full maturity.
Self-isolating? Order cannabis online with Leafly Pickup or Delivery
Once you have your cannabis seeds, make sure you have the space necessary to allow your plants to grow and be healthy. Don’t pop seeds when you are unsure of your grow space, time availability, or intention with your garden.
Check out these additional resources for more info on cannabis seeds:
What’s the best way to germinate cannabis seeds?
Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. Because of this, there are many methods to germinate your seeds. The most common and simplest method involves the use of paper towels saturated in water.
For this method you will need:
- Two clean plates
- Paper towels
Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The sheets should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.
Take two of the paper towels and place them on a plate. Then, place the cannabis seeds at least an inch apart from each other and cover them with the remaining two sheets of water-soaked paper towels.
To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds (like a dome).
Make sure the area they’re kept in is warm, somewhere between 70-90°F.
After these steps have been completed, it’s time to wait. You can check the paper towels to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they seem to be losing their moisture, you can apply more water to keep the seeds happy.
Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take several days. You know a seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears.
This is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination. It’s important to keep this area sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as the seed begins to split.
Transplanting germinated cannabis seeds
Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium. Small 2-inch pots are a good place to start.
Fill the pots with loose, airy potting soil and poke a hole in the middle about a quarter-inch down using a pen or pencil.
To transfer the seed, use a pair of tweezers to gently pick it up, then drop the seed in the hole with the taproot facing down. Lightly cover it with soil.
Next, you’ll need to water the soil. Initially, use a spray bottle to provide moisture without over-saturating the soil. You want to give the seed water, but over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.
Pay attention to the temperature and the moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy, and within a week or so you should see a seedling begin to grow from the soil.
Germinating seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.
This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones and which to breed with other strong plants to create a seed bank of your own.
Follow these simple steps on the best way to properly germinate your cannabis seeds, and find out how to transplant the seeds to soil after germination.
What is the best way to germinate cannabis seeds?
This article explains how to correctly germinate your cannabis seeds, covering everything from optimum temperatures, to potting your seedlings and transferring them outdoors (or inside under lights).
The best way to germinate cannabis seeds requires only two saucers or plates and some moist tissue. Here is a step by step guide.
Unfortunately, regulation and implementation in respect of cannabis seeds often differ from country to country. For this reason we advise you as a matter of urgency to make inquiries about the regulations to which you are subject. Read the complete disclaimer here.
Step 1. The setup – How to germinate cannabis seeds
Line the bottom of the first plate with a few layers of wet tissue and drain any excess water from the plate.
Seeds should be placed on top of the tissue, allowing each seed as much space as possible.
Place another few layers of moist tissue on top of the seeds, again allowing excess water to drain off.
Lastly, cover everything with the second plate, upside down, to form a ‘clam-shell’ shape – this will create the dark, moist environment necessary for germination.
Step 2. Germination – How to germinate cannabis seeds
Place the plates somewhere warm (21ºC) and away from direct light.
Check the seeds every day to ensure that the tissue does not dry out. Spray the tissues with water if necessary.
Within a few days some or all of the seeds should open and put out a root. It is common for cannabis seeds to open within 72 hours of being put in the germination medium. Less commonly, some seeds may need up to 10 days or even two weeks to open and put out a root.
When the first few millimetres of root have emerged from a germinated seed, each one should then be carefully transferred to a small container of growing medium (soil, coco-fibre or rockwool).
Step 3. Potting – How to germinate cannabis seeds
Make a hole in the growing medium that is about twice as deep as the seed is long, so that each germinated cannabis seed sits 2-5mm below the surface.
Place the cannabis seed, root first, into the hole and cover with a small amount of growing medium – just enough to block light, not enough to obstruct the seedling when it emerges.
Cannabis seedlings usually emerge from the growing medium 24 to 72 hours after the germinated seeds are planted.
Step 4. The seedling stage – How to germinate cannabis seeds
New seedlings should be given access to bright light from the time they emerge. Care should be exercised in the first week or two, as seedlings are still quite delicate.
Seedlings intended for outdoors should be acclimatised to direct sunlight by placing them on a windowsill inside the house and increasing their exposure to direct sunlight by an hour or two per day.
Seedlings intended for indoors may emerge into an artificially lit environment with no problems. If using HID lighting, seedlings should be kept a minimum distance of 50 to 80cm from the bulb. If using fluorescent light, seedlings can be kept a normal distance from the tube/bulb.
The best way to germinate cannabis seeds requires only two saucers or plates and some moist tissue. Here is a step by step guide. Find out the best way to germinate seeds, only on Sensi Seeds.