How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Germination is the beginning of your cannabis seeds’ life and is easy to master. At this crucial stage, seeds grow and sprout into young seedlings. The best genetics deserve the best start, and all you need is two plates, some paper towel, and water. Apply the best germination method today and enjoy a great harvest.
1. Germination set-up
Prepare the first plate by lining the inside surface with two to three layers of damp paper towel. Drain excess water from your plate.
Place cannabis seeds on the top surface of the damp paper towel. Approximately three per plate; ensure they are not touching but are evenly spaced apart.
Add only a few layers of damp paper towel on top of the seeds, and let any excess water drain from the plate. Too much water lowers the chance of successful germination.
To complete the set-up, place the remaining plate upside-down and on top of the first plate, resembling pearls inside a clam.
Cannabis seeds need a dark, warm, and humid atmosphere to germinate.
Around 21°C (70°F) is perfect. Check the paper towels every second day and if required, spray with water to keep conditions moist for your seeds.
After a few days, tiny roots will begin to emerge. Congratulations! Your seeds have survived their first stage of life. Don’t worry if some of your seeds have not yet changed, they may just need a little more time as germination can take up to 14 days.
3. Plant of the seeling
Once the roots are a few millimetres long, they are ready to be delicately transferred to a small container filled with your growing medium of choice (rockwool, coco-fibre, or soil).
Make a hole in the growing medium that is 2 – 5 mm deep. Use tweezers or your fingers to transfer germinated seeds gently into the hole (root pointing down) and lightly cover with a fine layer of your medium. Do not pat it down too hard. The stem and the first tiny set of leaves, called cotyledons or ‘seed leaves’, should begin to emerge 24 to 72 hours after the seeds are planted.
4. Supplying a light source
Seedlings must be exposed to sunlight once they sprout. Ensure this is a gradual process as too much heat causes stress and will stunt growth.
Find a sunny place where you can begin to increase sun exposure, such as a windowsill. Ensure sun exposure is increased by an hour or so a day.
For an indoor plant you can use a fluorescent light (keep normal distance from bulb) or HID lighting (50-80 cm from the bulb).
Take care in the first week or two, as seedlings are still quite delicate and sensitive to the elements. They won’t need a lot of attention until the vegetative stage so avoid overhandling.
Germination is the beginning stage of the growing cycle, and this easy-to-follow guide gives your premium genetic cannabis seeds the best start to life. Whether you are a first-time home grower or a well-seasoned gardener, share your experience or any questions in the comments down below, as well as your tips and tricks!
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22 thoughts on “How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds”
Hi, Once seeds have sprouted, how long can or should you leave them to grow under 24 hr lights before moving to your outdoor garden?
Good afternoon Ken,
I hope you’re having a great day.
For the vegetation process, a light schedule of 18 hours of light, and 6 hours of darkness is preferred. Many growers get plants acclimatized to outside by placing them in a window, or under direct sunlight for a few hours a day.
Thanks again, and have a great day!
Hello everyone, all these suggestions are wonderful but I think a lot of you make it sound a little overwhelmingly. I’ve been very successfully cultivating for decades and I’ve always just placed my seeds, be it 1 or 100, in between 2 folded sheets of tissue which I’ve made wet with tap water. I then place them on a tray or plate in a warm dark area , such as an airing cupboard and leave for how ever long they take usually, 12 to 24 hours. The ONLY thing I do which takes effort is PH balance the water I germinate them in and I’ve only lost 5 seeds in nearly 40 years .
Good afternoon Paul,
I hope you’re having a good day,
Thanks for sharing your experiences with germination. pH balancing is a great tip You also might be interested in our new Jamaican Pearl Feminized Grow Report
Thanks again, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog,
I lightly score my seeds by shaking them inside a rolled up piece of sandpaper – sandpaper side on the inside before leaving them in a cup of water for a few hours to hydrate. I then place them between wet (good quality) paper towel per instructions above. I find using an old plastic takeaway container with a heatmat below keeps the humidity high and with good end results.
Good morning Jonny,
Thanks for sharing your methods for germination with us, the heat mat and low-humidity are great tips!
Thanks again, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog,
I have found out that the best and fastest way is to take a glass of clean/filtered water and place the seed right on top of the water (floating – NOT immersed in it!). If the seed is viable it will sprout in no more than 48 hours. Right after that you plant it in your pot/soil etc and you’re done.
Good morning Mary Jane,
Thanks for your support, and for sharing your experiences with germination!
You might also be interested in our article on The Life cycle of Cannabis: From seed to harvest.
Have a great day!
What happend if they sink I had em sink they came out fine
Are you saying they sprout in the glass of water and don’t “drown”?
Take aluminum foil flatten it out and put on top of your dirt it detects planes and grow it just like a tomato plant
Good morning Tammy,
Thanks for getting in touch with Sensi Seeds, and sharing your germination method with us!
Thanks again, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
With best wishes,
Detects planes? Like magnetic? I’ve always has best success 24-48 hours soaked In water, spring water if possible. Usually do this in a shot glass, once they pop I’ll take a paper towel fold so it’s 2 layers then fold once more so you know where center is. Dump the seed in the middle of the edge and the true center (reason we folded a 2nd time)as well as the water just enough to saturate the paper towel. Do not soak! Carefully with the seed in the middle using sterile tweezers turn so the tap is growing down. This will prevent circling and tangling if doing multiple seeds. Now you can fold the other half so your seed will be “sandwiched” between 2 layers. At this time carefully take a corner and the waters attraction should keep your paper towel from unfolding but just in case be gentle. Holding it from 1 corner you can dangle it over a cub or the original shot glass so any extra water runs off. Now take a standard zip or press n seal sandwhich bag and slide your napkin in Carefully . REMEMBER which way was down! Work the air out making jt flat snd seal. Find a temperate dark area around 70°. A cabinet works we’ll as your going to prop it up with taproot facing downwards. Now just close it up and wait in 24-72 hours checking once a day. In rare cases you could have a 1/2″ tap root in the first 24 hrs some may take 4-5 days. Once the tap is about 1/2″-3/4″ long its ready for transplant into its first small pot. With this paper towel method I typically have 100% success.
Can you leave your seed to develop longer roots in the germination phase and can this make them better to grow or is a big no no?
Last year, I had 2 seeds that had really long roots with lots of secondary roots coming out when they were planted, one of which died after a couple of weeks and the other grew into a huge plant.
The other two seeds only had a short germinated growth and both died almost immediately after planting so not sure what I can learn from this…lol
Appreciate any thoughts and advice
Unfortunately, legal restrictions mean we can’t answer grow-related questions or give grow advice on this blog. However, other readers of this blog will often answer questions like yours.
Please check out the following articles on our blog which I think you may find of use, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!
With best wishes,
How often do you water and how wet should the plant be? Please.
Also if they are outdoor plants do you need to keep them covered with clingfilm for a wee while or do you just hope for the best. Thanks
This article, about how to water cannabis plants, should answer your questions. I can’t help you with the clingfilm one though, as it depends on the climate. Good luck, and happy gardening!
With best wishes,
Just drop the seeds in water, they will sprout , don’t have to use a towel and check it all the time , drop it in the water , let it float then it will sink and the root will grow out ,let the root get 1/4 inch and plant it where it’s going to grow , 8 hours sunlight starting as soon as it is out of the soil. Always grows great , don’t have to transplant from cup to gallon to bigger and bigger , if it’s growing outside put it where it stays , always does just fine.
Good afternoon Graham,
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with germination.
Thanks again for your comment, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
Have a great day!
I recommend this article to all breeders and cultivators who plans to germinate seeds and to some who don’t know how to germinate seeds, this article has the best and perfect ways on how to do it.
I have large bay windows at my condo which get about 11-12 hours of light per day. They are tinted but warm. I grow other indoor plants there perfectly. Is an ok place for my pot plants?
This sounds like a great place for all kinds of plants! I recommend you have a look at autoflowering varieties, as otherwise light pollution may negatively affect the flowering cycle. Good luck, and happy gardening!
With best wishes,
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Germinating Marijuana Seeds: Step by Step Guide
The life of any plant begins with germination , making this process the most important in your plant’s life. You will undoubtedly come across many different methods for germinating your marijuana seeds when conducting your online research. Some may be successful, but others will disappoint you. The following guide will provide you with an effective list of practices and critical information home marijuana growers can utilize to help ensure they’re preparing the best crop possible to produce some smooth, enjoyable hits.
Please continue reading to find out everything you need to know about cannabis seed germination. And if you’d like even more information on the wonders of growing cannabis from the comfort of your own home, please consider exploring the top-quality grow kits provided by our cannabis industry experts at a Pot for Pot today , along with their range of expertly written educational articles.
What Does it Mean to Germinate Cannabis Seeds?
Germination is the natural process by which a particular organism grows from a spore or seed. In this case, the term is referring to the sprouting of a cannabis seedling from a seed , which can be encouraged by help from the cannabis grower. Germinating your seed is the first crucial step in the cannabis growing process, and it can be surprisingly simple with the right tools. Even though the process of getting a seed to sprout and bear a healthy plant is a challenge for some growers, it doesn’t have to be when you start with a Pot for Pot. With our help, your plant will sprout and start growing in no time!
What to Understand About Germination and Endosperm
The first thing to understand is that seeds come naturally equipped with their own starting food- endosperm. It plays an essential role in ensuring your plant reaches its full potential. As a seed begins to sprout, this starchy blanket around the embryo provides nutrients to a growing plant. If it doesn’t seem like a lot, don’t be fooled- there’s enough starch there to feed humans.
That starch is only part of what you’ll need, however. You’ll also need to provide specific temperatures to germinate your seeds. Ideally, you’ll want to keep the temperature around 25 degrees Celsius (77 F) for the best results.
What Happens During Germination?
The process of germination is when plants start to sprout from their seeds, and it’s relatively the same throughout the plant kingdom. A little bit of moisture makes the tiny plant inside crack open its outer shell and sprout upwards while pushing its root downwards. Once it’s cracked through the shell, you’ll need to give your little babies a bit of water and some love for the fun to begin.
Your seeds will need the right conditions to break through their shell and continue to grow, however. Otherwise, they may take longer to germinate. Our seedling starter kit can help you create those perfect conditions. It makes sure your seed has just the right amount of water (so that it stays moist, but not too wet). Once it has germinated and grown enough to sprout its third set of leaves, simply move your young plant into the Pot for Pot fabric pot for continued healthy growth.
It’s best to germinate seeds indoors where you can better control the temperature. Seeds are more likely to sprout in a warm and stable environment.
How to Sprout Marijuana Seeds
Marijuana plants start as a seed . That tiny thing resembling a pebble is a whole plant securely stored with a supply of food to support itself for a few days. In the germination process, the food converts into sugars, which the plant uses to cut the shell and develop its root. Identifying a healthy seed is, therefore, the first thing that you need to do.
The sprouting process is the foundation of your marijuana plant, so do not take this step lightly. Other than starting with a high-quality seed, you need to ensure that your conditions are optimal. It is challenging to optimize the natural mediums, which is why a medium such as Jiffy Pellets comes in handy.
Different Ways to Germinate
There are many ways to germinate seeds, but we recommend using peat pellets. Not only is it the safest way to start your seeds, but it’s also the easiest. Jiffy is hands down one of the best brands of peat pellets on the market , and if you are thinking about germinating using peat pellets, this is the way to go. This method is great for avoiding the risk of damaging new roots. We’ll get into more detail about the wonders of Jiffy Pellets in a later section of this article. But first, let’s explore the benefit of peat pellets in general, along with some other mediums growers can use to facilitate effective cannabis germination.
Peat pellets are comprised of decomposed vegetable matter which your plants will absolutely love. When you add water, it expands, creating a nutrient-dense medium that is a good replacement for soil. When the roots are visible, you can transport the whole pellet into a Top Soil mix with fortified Pot for Pot Superb Soil so it can continue developing without accidentally causing root damage.
Basic Mediums for Marijuana Germination
There are many different germination methods, and results will vary. Here are some basic ways to sprout your seeds :
Sprouting marijuana seeds in regular soil is a common practice. Soil is a natural medium and can protect the seeds as they develop their fragile roots. For this option, be sure to start with the right type of soil for marijuana. Use a seed starter or fertilized potting soil with a pH of around 6. Soil has both minerals and spores that support growing marijuana plants.
Water is another method for sprouting a marijuana seed. This method produces a seedling in 24-48 hours. The advantage of using water is that you can ensure adequate moisture for germination. The plant will also have an easier time breaking its shell compared to when it is in a soil medium. For this method, water daily while checking the temperature, ensuring that it is around 65° F.
This mineral wool comes from volcanic rock and other materials such as limestone and basalt. To make this material, the ingredients are heated into molten lava and rapidly spun into threads. These threads then undergo compaction, curing, and finally, cutting.
While Rockwool is a suitable environment for germination, you’ll need to adjust it a bit for growing marijuana. First, you’ll need to add fertilizers- around 600 parts per million. You’ll also need to reduce the pH, which is too high to support sprouting. It’s also a bit dangerous to use, so please wear gloves and protect your mouth and eyes while handling it.
Would you like to save money and reduce the number of trips you need to take to your local dispensary to stock up on marijuana? Consider trying out the potential of your green thumb by investing in one of our top-quality cannabis growing kits today.
The Best Marijuana Germination Medium: What to Know About Jiffy Pellets
For the best results, you need a precise understanding of how to get started growing your marijuana plant. As stated a few sections above in this article, choosing Jiffy Pellets as your initial medium is probably the best way to go. Every Pot for Pot kit includes a Jiffy Pellet, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing it separately, and if you run out, you can order some refills or one of our expansion kits .
What is a Jiffy Pellet and How Does it Work?
A Jiffy Pellet is a natural, biodegradable growing medium conveniently available as little compact discs that help sprout seeds into seedlings. Jiffy Pellet composition includes peat moss, a mesh, and other ingredients such as lime, fertilizer, and ammonium to help seedlings grow.
Jiffy Pellets are both a container and a potting mix for sprouting seeds. Peat moss is a medium that’s rich in organic materials, and the mesh securely holds the peat moss in place. Using Jiffy peat pellets either indoors or outdoors is an effective method to grow healthy and robust marijuana plants.
To use a Jiffy pellet, water it first. Then, place your marijuana seed a bit below the surface level. When the plant is strong enough, transplant the entire pellet to a larger pot.
What are Jiffy Pellets Composed of?
To help you better understand the advantages that Jiffy Pellets can provide to your seed germination efforts, let’s take a moment to explore the various beneficial components they contain and how they work to benefit your plants.
Technically, a Jiffy peat pellet is a small disc made of compressed material. However, Jiffy pellets enlarge up to seven times their original size when you add water , creating a suitable environment for the sprouting process. The fine netting keeps the Jiffy pellet ingredients in one place as your seed sprouts. Said ingredients include:
Peat is an organic medium that provides plenty of nutrients for sprouting seeds. It is made from sphagnum peat moss, which has a high water-holding capacity as a result of its fluffy and light texture. Peat provides excellent root aeration, making it easy for roots to grow without interference.
Lime, Ammonium, and Fertilizer
Jiffy pellets are primarily made from peat moss. However, peat moss on its own is not ideal for sprouting seeds. That’s why they also include lime, which raises the pH of the medium. Jiffy Pellets have a pH of 5.5, compared to peat moss’s 4.4.
Jiffy Pellets also include fertilizer that provides seedlings with all their required nutrients for the first 1-2 weeks. You won’t need to add anything else as your seed sprouts. After transplanting, you can apply fertilizer, if desired.
How Big are Jiffy Pellets?
Jiffy pellets come in diameters of 24 mm, 33 mm, 41 mm, and 70 mm. The sizes vary to cater to the various needs of different seedlings. The larger Jiffy Pellet sizes are convenient to handle and are ideal for marijuana.
How to Germinate With Jiffy
Jiffy pellet instructions are easy to follow and will take you less than 20 minutes to set up, ensuring you’ll be able to start your cannabis seed germination project quickly and easily without wasted time or effort.
Choose Your Container
The first step is to place your pellets in a container. Ideally, you can use a Jiffy pellet tray. Ensure they do not overlap and leave a small border for water retention.
Water Your Jiffy Pellets
You can use tap water or distilled water. Keep in mind, tap water may have chlorine, which is harmful to your plant and can cause it to dry out faster. However, you don’t have to buy distilled water to prevent chlorine problems. Evaporate the chlorine by pouring your water, and let it rest for some time. Use very warm water, around 95oF, to help the pellet expand faster.
Plant Your Weed Seeds in the Jiffy Pellets
Place the seed in the middle of the enlarged pellet. Don’t place the seed too deep, or it will not sprout.
Cover Your Seeds
To avoid moisture loss, use a plastic cover – this usually comes with the pellets. You can also use plastic wrap. If you don’t have a Jiffy pellet dome, you will need to water again after around seven days. Avoid dropping water from the top; otherwise, you will disturb the developing seeds.
Transplant Your Plant into Some Soil
The seeds are usually ready for transplanting after two weeks. To do this, simply make a hole in the soil and place your pellet directly in that spot.
An Alternative to Jiffy Pellets to Consider
Coir is a popular alternative to Jiffy pellets , with Coconut Coir leading the trend. This material is made from coconut husks. If you choose this medium, use a coir Jiffy Pellet tray to hold it. Coir has excellent water retention capacities similar to peat, and it also facilitates the healthy development of roots.
Coir also repels insects and is reusable , so it can help you if you choose to expand your growing operations to include more cannabis plants.
What to do After Germination
After your seeds have germinated, they need to go into a pellet so the roots can spread out and grow. You may be wondering just how far in the jiffy pellet the seeds should be planted once it has germinated. You’ll want to drop the seed about a half-inch to an inch. If the seed has not sprouted, it’s okay to place it in the jiffy pellet – as long as it has soaked for at least 12 hours, but no more than 24 hours. If it has sprouted, drop the white root downward, so that the head of the seed is about an inch below the surface.
Damping-Off With Hydrogen Peroxide
Once your seed becomes a tiny plant, it’s now known as a seedling. This is great, except that seedlings are very delicate. You’ll want to be on the lookout for the number one seedling killer: damping off. Damping-off occurs when something (such as fungi or other diseases) causes the nutrients in your plant to stop being transported properly. The stem becomes mushy and falls over, and your plants will die young. The risk increases when there is minimal direct sunlight and air circulation, combined with warm temperatures and high humidity.
Eventually, your plant will be able to protect itself, but until then hydrogen peroxide is an excellent solution to this problem before it can begin. Hydrogen peroxide provides oxygen to the soil and reduces the chances of fungus spores developing.
To effectively prevent damping off, combine 1 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide with 2 cups of water. Use this solution to water the plants. Or you can soak the seed in 1% hydrogen peroxide before planting.
Frequently Asked Questions: Marijuana Seed Germination & Jiffy Pellets
Before signing off with this article, let’s take a few more moments to cover some key points included in this article to ensure you understand the basics of everything you’ll need to know when advancing forward in the seed germination process. We’ll also cover the answers to a few common questions new home-growers may want to address before getting started.
Germination is the process of seeds developing into new plants
All weed seeds need water, oxygen, and proper temperature in order to germinate.
It takes 1-2 weeks for weed seeds to germinate
We love jiffy pellets. They mimic the plant’s favorite natural medium; good soil.
The Bottom Line: What a Pot for Pot Can do For You
Germination can be tricky, but not if you have the right tools. The quality seedling starter kit from a Pot for Pot makes going from seed to seedling fairly effortless. It’s included in all our kits, or you can purchase it on its own. Simply select the seeds and provide some love and we’ll provide everything you need to grow healthy plants.
Do you enjoy an occasional marijuana smoke break but want to avoid costly trips to the local dispensary every time your bud stash starts to run low? Consider growing your own marijuana from the comfort of your home with one of our top-quality cannabis growing kits.
Learn how to cultivate marijuana. Find the best marijuana growing advice for seed germination, cloning, pruning, trimming, and curing to help maximize your yields.