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!
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. You can watch this tutorial video from Percys Grow Room. It will tell you everything you need to know about germinating cannabis seeds correctly. If you have used these techniques, and still, you have no success with your seed, then we can move onto other methods. 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Why Won’t My Marijuana Seeds Germinate
So, you have tried germinating your marijuana seeds, unsuccessfully. You might have tried using water, soil, peat, paper towel, or one of several other methods out there, but your seeds still did germinate and grow into a huge kush plant as you hoped. What the heck is going on here? (we recommend ILGM for quality seeds)
Well, there are various reasons why your marijuana seed won’t germinate. Marijuana seeds need pretty specific care and conditions to germinate properly. There could be a problem with too little or too much moisture, the wrong temperature, the weed seed could just be a dud, or there might be another problem too.
Let’s take a closer look at this issue of your weed seeds not germinating. Why won’t my marijuana seeds germinate?
Why Seed Germination Is Essential
Remember guys, all seeds need to be germinated, not just weed seeds. Of course, in nature, this often happens on its own, but if you want to grow your own marijuana plants, you will to germinate them manually. Seed germination is the act of bringing the seed to life.
By supplying it with some moisture and the right conditions, you are causing the interior of the seed to eat through its food, use up that glucose, crack through the shell, and become a little plant sprout.
Just think of it like the sprout being the yolk of the egg, which will grow into a chick, when it eats the egg white or food, which in the case of a weed seed, is the glucose stored inside of it.
A weed seed is not all that much different from a chicken egg waiting to hatch.
Why Won’t My Weed Seeds Germinate? (Using Paper Towel, Peat, or Water As The Medium)
There are in fact several reasons why your weed seeds might not be germinating. Some of these issues are caused by the people doing the germinating, and some simply cannot be helped.
Why are my weed seeds not germinating when I am using paper towel, peat, or water as the germination medium?
1. The Seeds Are Dead Ducks
The first reason why your weed seeds may not be germinating is simply because they are bad seeds. When you get weed with seeds in it, or you purchase seeds, they should look a certain way.
Generally speaking, a healthy marijuana seed is going to be a moderate to dark green in color, and should be fairly round.
If you have a weed seed that is really flat and/or light green or super pale in color, it probably won’t ever germinate. Sometimes seeds are just no good. It happens and there is nothing you can do about this.
However, on the other hand, your seeds might have been good at one point, but were then improperly stored.
Weed seeds need to be kept in a cool and dark environment until it is time for germination. If the weed seeds are not properly stored, they will degrade, die, and they will not germinate
2. Not Enough or Too Much Moisture
Another reason why your marijuana seeds might not be germinating is due to issues with moisture. For one, a lot of people end up drowning their weed seeds outright.
Yes, some people germinate their weed seeds in nothing else but water, but this tends to not have the best success rate, and it is because the seeds end up drowning.
This can also happen if you use soil, paper towel, or peat for germination. It’s not too difficult to drown them, so spritz them with enough water to be moist, but there should not be any dripping going on. Too much water can actually rot your seed outright.
On the other hand, if the weed seeds are too dry, and your germination medium is too dry, the seeds just won’t get enough water to germinate.
Water is an essential part of marijuana seed germination, and without it, nothing is going to happen.
3. Too Much Light
Now, this is not always the case, but generally speaking, germination needs to happen in a dark environment.
If your weed seeds are getting way too much light, there is a chance that they will not germinate. Like we said, this is not always the case, but it can definitely be a contributing factor.
However, what is interesting is that as soon as the seeds pop open, they can do fine with some light, but just not too much.
There is a really fine line here and it can be hard to gauge. It does somewhat depend on the quality of the seed in question.
4. Temperature & Humidity Issues
Your marijuana seeds need a specific level of temperature and humidity in order to germinate properly, or to germinate at all.
Whatever germination medium you are using, whether water, peat, or paper towel, the temperature needs to be a steady 26 to 28 degrees.
Any hotter or colder than that, and the seeds probably won’t germinate. On that same note, a 70% humidity level is what you are aiming for.
If you are off by too much with either of these factors, the seeds aren’t going to pop open and come to life.
Why Won’t My Pot Seeds Germinate? (Using Soil As A Germination Medium)
Now, although we do not recommend using soil as your germination medium, many people go this way.
Of course, using soil as the medium has the benefit that your seed pops and sprouts in the same place you want it to grow, therefore eliminating the need to transfer the seed from the germination medium into the soil.
However, there are some problems that can arise when using soil for weed seed germination. Keep in mind that some people do plant their seeds directly in the dirt without first germinating them, but this is not a great idea and often results in failure.
Germinating a marijuana seed right in the soil is actually pretty hard and is not recommended. Why won’t my weed seeds germinate when using soil as the medium?
1. You Planted Them Too Deep
One reason why your weed seed might not have germinated in soil is because you planted it way too deep. What is interesting about planting your seed directly in soil for germination, is that it will need a bit of sunlight.
This is because when germinating directly in soil, the seed needs to both germinate and then be able to sprout and grow up past the dirt.
The issue here is that yes, a weed seed needs to have relative dark to germinate, but then needs light in order to grow through the dirt and sprout of the top.
If you bury the seed too deep, once it does open up, the sunlight won’t be able to reach it, and the sprout will therefore quickly die.
So, without just a bit of light, even if the seed does germinate in soil, it still won’t grow up past the dirt.
2. The Soil Has Mold, Fungus, or Insects
Ok, so mold, fungus, and insects of all sorts can easily kill a weed plant in just a couple of weeks. This is a big problem which many growers face, especially indoor growers.
Simply put, if the soil you are using for seed germination has any trace of mold, fungus, or burrowing insects, your seed will most likely die.
It probably won’t ever open up and sprout. However, on the off chance that it does still somehow germinate, it probably won’t live long enough to grow and sprout up past the surface of the soil.
3. The Soil Loaded With Too Much Fertilizer
Perhaps the biggest and most common issue that arises when attempting to germinate your weed seeds in soil is that the soil has too much fertilizer.
Yes, your weed plants will need some fertilizer and nutrients as they grow, but the young sprouts and seeds are extremely delicate.
Generally speaking, even small amounts of fertilizer can burn, destroy, and kill both the seed and the sprout.
4. Other Issues
- Moisture & Temperature – Once again, you might have drowned the weed seed in too much water. On the other hand, if you have not supplied enough moisture, just add some into the soil, and the seed may still germinate.
- Seed Quality – Whether you are using soil or any other medium, the seed may still just be defective on its own.
- Packing Down Too Hard – Now, packing the soil down on top of the seed should be done very lightly. Once the seed goes to germinate, if the soil is packed too tightly, it can prevent the seed from opening up, and if it does open up, the sprout might not be able to force its way up through the tightly packed soil.
Weed Seed Germination – A Quick Guide & Tips
Let’s just very quickly give you a couple marijuana seed germination tips for a fast step by step process.
you want to grow and get some seeds, ensuring that they are fairly round and a good, dark green in color.
- Choose your germination medium, which can be paper towel, water, soil, peat pellets, or similar things to peat pellets.
- Insert the soil into the medium, ensuring that the temperate is steadily around 27 degrees, with a humidity level of 70%, and place this in the dark. for the seed to germinate. Do not wait for longer than a day after the seed has cracked and the first sprout has started to come out to plant it.(if you have not used soil as the germination medium). Waiting too long to plant a germinated seed in soil can cause it to die.
As you can see, there are a number of factors which can affect weed seed germination, with there being a good few issues that can cause them to not germinate. It should be a fairly easy process, but there are some things that can get in the way. We would recommend using peat pellets or the paper towel method for this, as both soil and water as germination mediums usually don’t work too well.
My passion for the sticky icky started nearly a decade ago, and it all began when I first laid my eyes on the beauty that is the marijuana plant.
I cover all aspects of growing from equipment recommendations to plant health/care tips to help both new and experienced growers.