How long to germinate weed seeds in paper towel

How Long does Germinating Cannabis Seed’s (Wet-Paper Towel Method) take?

Hello, Im very very new at growing. I have alway’s been interested in growing, but never really had the urge to try. I put 1 Pure Kush seed in a glass of water at Room Temp. 24 hours later the seed sank. I gave it one more FULL day in the glass and then i moved it to the wet paper towel method. It has been in the paper towel for about 4 days now and still no root or crack? I was just wondering if this means the seed is dead? or does it just need a little more time? Someone told me it takes around 2-3 days. TOTAL. And my seed has been germinating for about 6 days total. 2 in the water cup, 4 in the paper towel. Any thoughts?

brotherjericho
Well-Known Member

Once it sank you should have taken it out. You likely “drowned” it.

I’ve had great success with the water method, 100%. Once it sinks I go directly to soil. 3 days later, sprout.

CaptainTripps
Well-Known Member

2-3 days is typical, they can take longer. I doubt you drowned the seed either, some people germ seeds just letting them sit in water, I know they can continue to grow after they pop submerged in water. Is the paper towl being kept fairly warm?

CaliBoy93
Active Member

2-3 days is typical, they can take longer. I doubt you drowned the seed either, some people germ seeds just letting them sit in water, I know they can continue to grow after they pop submerged in water. Is the paper towl being kept fairly warm?

At first, i had the paper towel on a plate, and put a plastic bowl over it to keep in the mostiture. But I dont think it was staying very warm the first few days. Now I have the paper towel in a little black box and I put the box above my water heater and now the paper towel feels warm.

delvite
Well-Known Member
montanachadly
Active Member

Each strain is different i have a few seeds that took 12 days i gave up on them thank god i checked on them 5 days after i gave up. I put my seeds in a plastic baggy sealed in a wet paper towel under my tv and almost have 100% with germination. After these seeds germinated and popped soil they took off. Hopefully it is a good seed you have there if you have anymore try them too but beware growing is very addicting i got addicted almost to like heroin addiction here with my growing i eat sleep love my plants and cannabis its horrible

CaliBoy93
Active Member

Each strain is different i have a few seeds that took 12 days i gave up on them thank god i checked on them 5 days after i gave up. I put my seeds in a plastic baggy sealed in a wet paper towel under my tv and almost have 100% with germination. After these seeds germinated and popped soil they took off. Hopefully it is a good seed you have there if you have anymore try them too but beware growing is very addicting i got addicted almost to like heroin addiction here with my growing i eat sleep love my plants and cannabis its horrible

Haha yay! that gives me some hope then. Next round of seeds ill try your method. I think the problem was mine werent being kept warm.

kodiak7
Member

yea dont give up man some seeds take longer. next time try putting the paper towel in a plastic baggie and then put that somewere war and dark. personall i use jiffy peat pellets. i had one out of a batch of 12 that didnt sprout recently and the best thing is you can put the pellet straight into the soil.

CaptainTripps
Well-Known Member

Haha yay! that gives me some hope then. Next round of seeds ill try your method. I think the problem was mine werent being kept warm.

The might pop then if they were being kept cold. I have nothing but problems trying to germinate without heat. You also dont want your paper towel to be too wet. just damp no dripping water.

brotherjericho
Well-Known Member
operationkush
Member

The might pop then if they were being kept cold. I have nothing but problems trying to germinate without heat. You also dont want your paper towel to be too wet. just damp no dripping water.

They need to be warm. My method is glass of water until sunk. Into paper towel damp, not dripping wet. Fold it twice and place into plastic bag. I set the bag ontop of my router, its a nice warm location that doesnt get too hot. Just be sure to FOLD the paper towel, the extra layers are protection from too much heat and also from the light if your router is in the light(which mine is). My last germination attempt was on 34 seeds, 17 widow, 17 blueberry. Had 100% germ on the seeds. They were non fem from BCSeedKing.

Just my 2 cents.

polyarcturus
Well-Known Member

it can take 1 day up to 2 weeks. glass of water is fine it will not drown as there is o2 in the water after it sprouts a little tail (another day after it pops) remove it from the water as there will now be a slight risk of it drowning.

ReignboCloudz
Active Member

I have 4 Orange bud seeds and 1 seed I found in some purple.. they all sunk now I’m.waiting for them to sprout in paper towels. 1 has even gotten green not mildew but a wet flower green no sprouts in a apt so Where is the bed place for good heat.. in paper towel inside plastic bag in side a black plastic bag and inside a drawer. Been 6 days now.. should I just pop these in miracle grow?

bigsteve
Well-Known Member

I use the papertowel method. I don’t look at them until after 48 hours. I usually see most with small roots. 24 hours later and 95+%
will have a 1/2 inch root or bigger and ready to go into dirt. Remember to keep the soggy papertowels sealed air-tight, especially
after the 48 hour check.

Kordz85
Member

I’m new to growing herb but not to gardening. I don’t use the shot glass method as I’ve had a 0% success rate but using the paper towel method i place the towel between 2 paper plates and set it on my cable box(warm and constant) 2 days later maybe all but 1 pops half inch tails. I was away for 3 days once and a few had shed their seed casing and had embryo leaves and grew into the towel, but I just cut around the root and planted the into my grow medium(paper towel is biodegradable) and they grew just fine.

KT420
Active Member

I have 4 Orange bud seeds and 1 seed I found in some purple.. they all sunk now I’m.waiting for them to sprout in paper towels. 1 has even gotten green not mildew but a wet flower green no sprouts in a apt so Where is the bed place for good heat.. in paper towel inside plastic bag in side a black plastic bag and inside a drawer. Been 6 days now.. should I just pop these in miracle grow?

green isn’t good.. . I sed to use paper towl on a plate on top of the TV, back when Tv’s where thick enough to set stuff on, heh, but I felt the evap from the plate cooled too much, so I switched to paper towels in a small (6 quart) sterlite with lid on, and set it behind computer tower so the exhuast fan blows on it. Watch TV on the computer now too, heh

ReignboCloudz
Active Member

green isn’t good.. . I sed to use paper towl on a plate on top of the TV, back when Tv’s where thick enough to set stuff on, heh, but I felt the evap from the plate cooled too much, so I switched to paper towels in a small (6 quart) sterlite with lid on, and set it behind computer tower so the exhuast fan blows on it. Watch TV on the computer now too, heh

It’s not bad green it just look like a fresh seed green I have them in a damp not dripping paper towel on top on of a lamp. The lamp is.a desk lamp with a hard glass like shade its keeping it warm not hot we shall see. I.still.have hope 5 of these babies something has to.give or ima.just pop them in soil and hope for the best

rixter1986
Member

Just pop tha bitches straight into the soil lightly water and pop some cling film over the pot put in worm dark place 2-6 days later whalha got a seedling neva mind paper towels and glasses of water

dieselmj
Member

I wouldn’t use the paper towel method. Your seeds will be alot better off if you germinate directly in soil. what I do is soak the seeds in plain water for 12 hours prior to planting to hydrate them, which will speed up germination. It’s also possible that you may have a batch of bad seeds. in general, good seeds will sink, bad seeds will float. Here it’s some resources on how germinate marijuana seeds:

Menfee
New Member

I dont grow any of the good shit like any kids of kush or what in florida its all called dro but i mainly grow high grade mids cause I think its the cheapest and easiest way to grown weed other then just throwing them bitches in dirt and hope they grow. but anyway when I germinate my seeds I take a paper towel put two seeds on it fold it over pour water of it put it in a bag and that the seeds do their own thing when they start to sprout i give in about another day or two (or until the roots have grown at least an inch) then i put them in little starter pots and put them outside until the grow about a foot them in my closet with a fan and two led lamps (i only grow for personal use) it takes about about 4 months sometimes sooner before they are ready to harvest

How to Germinate Seeds via Paper Towel Method

Cannabis seeds are natural things and you can’t expect 100% germination every time. Unfortunately, that’s just not how nature works. Many factors can affect germination including genetics (some strains germinate easier than others), the age of seeds, and how well they were stored. But I’ve been lucky and gotten 100% germination ever since I started using this method.

Paper Towel Method – Germinate seeds between wet paper towels, lock in the moisture with two plates, and place on a seedling heat mat for a few days

Pros

  • High Germination Rate – Almost every seed with germinate if you follow the instructions
  • Fast – Often takes only 1-3 days to see roots
  • Keep Track – You can check on seeds without disturbing them
  • Less Space – Use less space than planting seeds in pots (helpful if germinating lots of seeds at once)
  • Fun – I personally love seeing the whole germination process and it makes me genuinely feel closer to the seedlings
  • Multiple Steps – Not as simple as planting seeds directly in soil!
  • Requires Supplies – You need cheap paper towels, seedling plugs, and a seedling heat mat
  • “Bucket Head” Seedlings – I’ve found that shells are more likely to get stuck on the seedling leaves with this germination method because seedlings aren’t pushing themselves out of the soil. You may want to use tweezers to remove the shell gently, or just leave them be. However, this can happen with any method (instructions at the end of the article explain how to remove stubborn shells safely) and I personally find the increased germination rate makes this worth it.

Seeds typically germinate in 1-3 days!

Create happy little seedlings in less than a week!

How to Germinate via the Paper Towel Method

Supplies

  • Cheap paper towels – Why cheap paper towels? Seed roots grow into expensive cloth-like ones and have to be cut out (learned that one from experience)
  • Two Plates – You need to lock the moisture in during the germination process
  • Cannabis Seeds – If you need seeds, here’s a list of seed vendors that ship worldwide
  • Rapid Rooters with Tray – The perfect environment for newly germinated seeds
  • Seedling Heating Mat – Or any warm surface that stays about 70-85°F (20-30°C) to keep seeds warm

Cheap paper towels (don’t use the expensive cloth-like ones!)

Rapid Rooters (note: extra Rapid Rooters can be stored in a cool place for future grows)

Seedling Tray to hold Rapid Rooters

Seedling heat mat to keep seedlings warm (or any surface that’s about 70-85°F or 20-30°C)

1.) Put 3-4 Layers of Paper Towels on Plate

You don’t want to load your plate up with tons of paper towels, but it’s nice to have several sheets so they can hold plenty of water. If necessary, fold or cut the paper towels to size so everything fits completely inside the plate. If a paper towel is sticking outside the plates, everything will dry out quickly.

You may need to cut (or fold) paper towels so they fit completely inside plate

2.) Label the Strains

If growing more than one strain at a time, label the paper towels so you’ll know which seed is which.

3.) Add Water & Seeds

Add some water on top of the paper towels so they’re soaked through, then place seeds down. I add water first to avoid accidentally moving seeds. It’s also a good idea to keep the plate flat so seeds don’t roll around.

4.) Cover with 1 Sheet of Paper Towel

Put a single sheet of paper towel on top. With just one sheet you will be able to see whether the seeds have germinated without having to disturb them. You may need to add a little extra water so that the top sheet is moist all the way through.

With a single sheet on top, you can still mostly see the seeds

5.) Put 2nd Plate on Top

Lock in all the moisture by putting another plate on top.

6.) Place on Seedling Heat Mat

Plug in your seedling heat mat. It should warm up quickly. I’ve put the plates directly on the mat before, which worked well, but sometimes I worry my little weed seedlings may get too hot with the plate directly on the mat. Since I already have a Rapid Rooter tray for later, I place it between the mat and the plate. Feel free to use something else like a book or towel. The basic idea is to put some space between the heating mat and the plate so the plate still gets warm but the extra air space keeps the heat nice and even.

Why a seedling heat mat? Seeds germinate significantly faster when they’re kept 70-85°F (20-30°C). A seedling heat mat keeps seeds warm during the germination process. However, any warm spot works just as well (for example, on top of the refrigerator is the perfect temperature for some people). When you touch the wet paper towels, they should feel warm but not burning hot.

7.) Check on Seeds at Least Once a Day

Ensure paper towels don’t dry out. You may have to add more water occasionally to keep them wet. You can usually tell when the seeds have germinated without looking under the top sheet. This means you can check on your seeds regularly without disturbing them by picking up the top plate.

Seeds typically sprout in 1-3 days. Certain strains and older seeds may take a few extra days.

8.) Put Germinated Seeds in Rapid Rooters

Once seeds have germinated, gently pull off the top paper towel to reveal the seedlings underneath.

Carefully and slowly remove top paper towel sheet

Did you know the first two round seedling leaves were already fully formed inside the shell? The germination process only releases them. New leaves are yellow at first but turn green once they start getting light.

At this point, you may see some seedling leaves have already broken free of their shells. That’s awesome. These seedlings often grow the fastest.

If there’s a short root or seedling hasn’t germinated yet, put the paper towel back and gave the seedling one more day. Seedlings grow faster if they have a bit more root before being planted.

This Critical Purple Kush seed took an extra day to germinate compared to the other seeds. I gave it one more day after this so the root could get longer before I put in a Rapid Rooter.

I recommend cutting your Rapid Rooters in half to make it easier to place germinated seeds. Even a seed with a long wiggly root will usually easily fit into the “crack” of the Rapid Rooter. This prevents you from bending the roots.

Cut Rapid Rooters in half to make it easier to insert germinated seeds

Try to place the seed head close to the top so they don’t have far to go. I’ve found that some seedlings don’t make it to the top if you put them too far down.

If the seedling has already lost the shell, place the leaves close to the top. These seedlings often grow the fastest.

Otherwise, add the seedling, root down, with the shell close to the surface

Gently close around the seedling

Put into the Rapid Rooter tray (make sure they’re moist all the way through!) The bottom shell of the tray will hold extra water so plugs don’t dry out.

Add enough water that all the Rapid Rooters appear dark, but not shiny from too much water. Once you’re done, put the trays back on the seedling mat. Young seedlings love warmth!

9.) You Have Seedlings!

The leaves should appear above the Rapid Rooters within a day or two.

Just 12 hours later, several seedlings have already appeared above ground.

At this point, the seedlings are ready to be put under a gentle light. A sunny window works well, though your regular vegetative grow light should be fine as long as you keep it twice the normal distance away. Avoid touching the seedlings if possible. This is when they’re most vulnerable.

Within a day or two under a light (or in a sunny window), you’ll have a bunch of happy seedings!

The seedlings are ready to go in plant containers once they’ve spread out their first set of serrated leaves (to about the width of the Rapid Rooter)

At this point, you can plant the whole Rapid Rooter. Don’t forget to label the strains!

Move the grow light down to the standard distance once the plants have 3 sets of leaves. By now they should be growing fast!

Note: Move grow light down early if seedlings start getting tall with long stems. Tall, stretchy seedlings are telling you they want more light.

What If the Seedling Shell Gets Stuck? (“Bucket Head” Seedlings)

One downside to this method is sometimes a seed shell will get stuck on the seedling. Here’s how to deal with that.

Helpful Tool: Pointy tweezers (though most tweezers will work in a pinch)

Sometimes leaves get stuck in the shell. Here’s what to do.

First, give the seedling 24-48 hours to see if it pushes the shell off on its own. Many seedlings just need a little extra time and don’t need your help.

Ignore stuck shells if the leaves are already free. The shell will fall off on its own.

If you don’t see any progress and leaves still seem trapped after a day or two, you may need to remove the shell to release the leaves contained inside. If leaves can’t break free and see the light, the seedling may die.

Close tweezers so they are as narrow as possible and put inside the crack. Then slowly allow tweezers to open, which will gently pry the shell apart.

I used to use my fingers to remove shells but it can be hard not to disturb the seedling. Then I learned that a pair of pointy tweezers can be inserted into the crack and allowed to gently open to pry the seed apart. Don’t tug or use any force whatsoever. Just gently and slowly release the leaves. The leaves may be stuck to the shell at first and it can take several seconds of gentle tugging for the leaves to slowly loosen and pull away from the shell. If you’re having trouble, add some water to the stuck part and wait a few minutes to help soften it up.

If the seedling leaves aren’t opening up because they’re stuck inside the seed membrane, wet the membrane and give it a few minutes soften up. Then use tweezers to gently remove the membrane. In some cases, it’s easier to stick the tweezers inside and pry the leaves apart just like with a shell.

If leaves are stuck inside the shell membrane for more than a day or two, do this: Wet the membrane, wait a few minutes, then use tweezers to gently pry it away from leaves.

Once you can see the two individual leaves are separated, you’re good to go!