Half of my weed seeds won’t germinate

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!

Contents

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. 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

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.

Thick shell

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.

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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.

Fulvic Acid

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.

Carbonated Water

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.

Last resorts

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.

Sandpaper

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

How to prevent the death of cannabis seeds and seedlings

Every grower, almost without exception, will have occasionally suffered the death of a plant during cultivation, just when it seemed that everything was going along nicely. In this article, we’ll focus on the main reasons why seeds may not germinate properly, or why seedlings may end up dead in the first weeks of life.

Seeds dying before germination

Cannabis seeds can die even before we start to grow them, in which case, when the grower comes to germinate them, they won’t open up and sprout at all.

The seeds of the cannabis plant, like many other types of seeds, must always be kept in the correct conditions, especially if you want to save the leftover seeds for later use and ensure that they germinate well in the future.

The same goes for unopened whole packs of seeds that have been purchased to store for later use. Sometimes, certain varieties are in high demand and there is limited stock, so the more astute growers will make sure they grab a few packs to keep in the vault until they find the time to germinate the cannabis seeds.

Cannabis seeds must be stored in the correct conditions

What to do with leftover seeds or unopened seed packs

Cannabis seeds need very low relative humidity and relatively low temperature for their proper storage, so the best plan is to keep them in a “no frost” refrigerator, in which both the humidity and temperature are maintained at very low levels for better conservation of food.

If we want to keep a seed package that’s still sealed, simply put the whole unopened pack into the fridge. The best place for its conservation is usually the small shelf where the eggs or butter are kept, although really any part of the fridge is ideal for storage.

If we want to save the leftover seeds from a pack for later use, we recommend storing them in the original Eppendorf tube or container used by the bank. In the original packaging, these Eppendorf tubes hold the seeds and usually also contain a few small silica gel balls, included to maintain very low humidity (10 to 20%) and help to ensure that the seed does not lose any germination viability.

If, however, we leave the seeds for a long period of time in any corner of the house it is possible that over time their viability to germinate will decrease, and when we plant them they may take a long time to germinate or indeed not germinate at all. it is also important to protect them from sunlight.

So if you wish to save the seeds in the best conditions, always keep them in the refrigerator, well protected from air, light and moisture.

How do we store leftover seeds to grow at a later date?

Death during the germination of cannabis seeds

Death during the germination of cannabis seeds is one of the most frequent failures suffered by every grower over the course of his or her cultivation career. There are several possible reasons that can lead to the seeds dying before they even open and begin to grow, which we’ll examine here.

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Not all seeds have the same resistance to the errors that may occur during the germination process. Just as not all siblings are not all equal, neither are all seeds. By this, we mean that in the case of one seed germinating and the rest of them not doing so, it doesn’t necessarily mean that those that didn’t germinate were not strong or resistant, but simply that they were less so than the one that did germinate. If this occurs, we must ask ourselves why they did not germinate and look for any possible failings in the process.

Death by drowning the seed during germination

We start from the basic premise that the seeds require moisture, oxygen and a suitable temperature for germination; If one of the three aspects is not taken into account, it is quite likely that the seeds won’t end up germinating.

Putting the cannabis seeds in a glass of water and waiting 24 to 48 hours for their germination can be a fatal error for them. Re-hydrating the seeds in water is a good idea as long as they are not out of contact with the air for long, as they will be deprived of oxygen and most of the time they will end up dying; so if we use this method, we only leave them to re-to hydrate in water for a few minutes, although, preferably we will avoid any previous soaking or re-hydration (which in any case is not necessary).

We must maintain suitable levels of humidity for germination

The reason for this is that tap water contains chlorine, which sterilises the water to make it suitable for domestic use. However, this chlorine disappears by evaporation after a few hours, so if the water then gets contaminated, the seed can be attacked by any number of pathogens and eventually die. This example also illustrates why we must always touch the seeds with clean hands; If the seeds are handled with dirty fingers, it can lead a fungal or bacterial infection to contaminate them and severely compromise their development.

The same can happen in other germination media such as jiffy plugs, where the most common mistake is usually not draining away the excess water after re-hydrating the compressed peat. To this error, we can add that of burying the seed at more than twice its own depth, in which case it may not emerge despite having germinated perfectly well, but instead, simply end up rotting due to excess water and lack of oxygen. This error is also frequent in growers who germinate directly in the soil because when they first irrigate, the seed can be washed down into the soil resulting in them being buried too deeply, which makes it difficult for the seedling to reach the surface. It is always better to wet the substrate first, before sowing any seeds.

If you want to sow the seed directly into the soil and do it properly, when growing outdoors you must also act to prevent seed predators. Ants, birds, and many other animals or insects are another common cause of seed failure during germination. In the case of ants, they eat the small, delicate root, leaving the plant unable to develop and condemning it to imminent death.

Placing the seeds between moist serviettes/paper towels is one of the best germination methods for beginner growers. Since you can easily see if the seed has taken root or not. But we must also bear in mind that the germination medium, the kitchen paper, is made of cellulose, meaning it is an organic material that will decompose and rot, just like any product of this type.

Planting the germinated seed is also a crucial moment

It is, therefore, obligatory to change the napkins every day and a half, more or less, to avoid the seeds being contaminated by the pathogens that can appear as the napkins begin to rot. For this reason, we recommend placing the napkins in a deep plate and covering it with another one, leaving a small gap between the two so that air can enter, oxygenate the microclimate that is created during the germination of the seeds and avoiding them rotting.

Seeds dying due to lack of moisture

Just as excess water is one of the most common causes of germination problems, the lack of moisture is equally detrimental to the process.

If outdoor temperatures are around 20 to 24ºC, then we shouldn’t need do much more than start the seeds to germinate and wait for them to open, following the precautions already discussed. But in case of having warmer or cooler temperatures, we must act to raise or lower the environmental temperature for optimal germination, and find the best location for germination to be successful.

If it is winter, the plates holding the seeds are often placed on top of a low heat source to raise the temperature. We must, however, be careful: if this heat source emits hot air, the paper towels will dry out and the seeds will run out of moisture, affecting germination. If you realise this in time, you can re-hydrate the seeds and they will usually recover from and continue to germinate, although it is also possible that there will be consequences that may affect the subsequent development of the plant during its cultivation.

Not long after sowing the seed, we will see our little plant emerge from the soil

If we haven’t noticed soon enough that the seeds have been left without moisture, we can assume that they will have dried up completely, with their consequent death, and this is even more likely if the seeds had already opened up to show the root. This can also happen very easily if we germinate during summer when temperatures are high and humidity is usually very low compared to other times of the year.

Death of the plants during the growth period

The start of the growth period is a very important stage in a plant’s life, so several aspects must be taken into account so that it does not die of any of a number of causes.

One of the most frequent problems is root rot due to excess irrigation and lack of oxygen in the substrate. Up till now, this has been one of the most common causes of plant death during the growth period, especially with beginner gardeners who lack previous cultivation experience. In addition, the likelihood of this happening increases considerably in crops with auto-flowering varieties; we’ll explain what to do here.

When the plant emerges from the substrate, leaving behind its germination stage, it is crucial to take care with any excess water and the lack of humidity in its aerial parts such as leaves, stems and branches.

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The proper conditions guarantee good germinación

When the plant is young and only has a very small root, its needs are few, it feeds and drinks very little. If we saturate the substrate with too much water, apart from halting the growth of the root (leading to little or no growth in the aerial parts), it creates the ideal conditions for the small roots to slowly rot. If the plant loses a part or all of its tiny root system in its first stage of life, it is almost guaranteed that it will die within a few days.

If we use a small 0.5L to 1L plant pot for the first part of vegetative growth, before transplanting them to a bigger pot, we will be covering our backs in case of any excess of irrigation, since the substrate will dry out again much faster than in larger pots. For this reason, this issue is very common for novice growers who are cultivating auto-flowering cannabis plants, where the use of 20L pots is recommended from the start.

It is often said that you must irrigate with an appropriate amount of water and nutrients for the size of the plant. As this is often complicated to carry out, as a rough guide we can irrigate the plants with an amount not more than 10 or 20% of the plant pot’s capacity. So, if they are 1L pots we will water from 100 to 200ml as long as it is not an auto-flowering plant.

If the plan is to grow automatic varieties, then during the first two weeks we water with 100 to 350ml per irrigation, every 1 or 2 days. Remember that the substrate must maintain a minimum of humidity to allow the plant to feed and continue to develop normally. If it is raining and the plants are outdoors, it’s a good idea to move or cover them, to prevent the substrate from getting soaked, which could easily lead to root zone problems.

The first stages of growth survived with success!

We hope that this information will be useful and help to stop your seeds and seedlings dying. Don’t hesitate to leave any comments or questions, we’ll be pleased to help.

The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.

Why Didn’t my Seeds Germinate?

Why didn’t my seeds germinate? This is a question often asked by novice and experienced growers alike. Some people think that it’s because they bought old seeds or badly made seeds, but it’s generally because the germination process isn’t done properly. Cannabis seeds have a 99% germination chance, even after being in a box for up to 5 years.

Cannabis seeds are life matter, and if germination isn’t done correctly then the seeds are worthless. Cannabis plants are generally quite sturdy and they grow quite fast, but they’re extremely fragile before they begin their growth spurt. You need to germinate in humid places with a decent temperature, and make sure that the seeds have enough humidity for the 2-10 days it can take for them to germinate. Just because it hasn’t shown any roots in four days doesn’t mean that the seed isn’t going to open, you just have to wait and have some patience.

One of the most common errors is just leaving them in some damp kitchen paper on a plate, as they’ll dry up before they can root. You need to make sure that the paper isn’t dry, if it’s dry you’ll need to give them a bit more water, some people give them too much water in case they dry out etc. These practices are what cause seeds to dry out or to drown in too much water; it’s not the seed’s fault, but generally the grower’s.

Another big mistake is germinating in a glass of water. The issue with this method is many people don’t take into account the water temperature. If the water’s too cold then the seeds will sit there for days until they eventually rot due to the low temperature in the water. This method’s okay for warm summer months when there’s a decent temperature and the water doesn’t get too cold. This still isn’t the seed’s fault.

One of the biggest mistakes is germinating straight in a jiffy or soil. The issue here is that the seeds will most likely take much more than 48h to germinate, and by then the upper layers of soil will have dried out, and if it doesn’t die off due to that then it will probably die if you try and water it to keep humidity up; in these cases, the seed tends to come to the surface or they can sink even further into the soil. Once again, this is the grower’s fault.

The only way to be sure that your plants are going to get a chance to grow is to germinate them before putting them in the desired medium. The only way to make sure that they germinate is to make sure that the temperature never goes below 20º and that the paper doesn’t dry. How? By using a simple plastic kitchen container. If you germinate your seeds in a plastic container with some damp kitchen paper and you keep it closed, the water from the paper won’t evaporate and dry out. Even if it takes 10 days it will still germinate. Once the seeds have opened, you’ll need to place them in a properly watered pot because you won’t be able to water again until the seedling pops through the surface, although this should only take one day indoors and maybe 2 outdoors. With this system you can germinate hundreds of seeds in a small Tupperware container. If it’s summer and it’s warm, you can just stick them anywhere out of direct light. If it’s the winter and it’s colder you can place the container on top of your TV or internet box to give it that extra bit of heat. If it’s going to be somewhere where light can get to it, cover the box in tin foil.

So, now you know the best way to germinate your seeds. You might have been doing it one of the “wrong” ways and you’ve been lucky so far, but the only way you can germinate and blame the seeds if it doesn’t work is if you use the correct method we mentioned last. Happy growing!