What Is the Best Way to Germinate Cannabis Seeds?

best way to germinate cannabis seeds

The Most Effective Way To Germinate Cannabis Seeds


All cannabis plants start from seed.


Understanding how the seed works early in this stage of its life cycle is crucial to the success of any marijuana grower. Germination is when the seed comes to life: this is when the cannabis seeds begin to sprout and develop into young seedlings. Ensuring that germination is done properly can ensure your grows thrive, which is why it’s crucial to pay attention as early as this stage.


While this may sound complicated, the good news is that it actually is easy to do provided you have the right guidance. There are several germination techniques you can choose from, each of which only require a few basic tools. However, always pay attention to the temperature of the environment no matter which way you choose to germinate.


The most conducive temperature for germinating is from 71 to 77F, in an environment that is moist or damp. Never germinate your seeds in a wet environment. Last but not least, don’t handle your seeds more than necessary.


Having said that, successful germination means you can expect the first roots to appear in under 36 hours. The timelines can vary depending on the environment and your method.


The Importance of Indoor Germination


You can choose to grow marijuana outdoors, but germination should be done indoors. Germination done outdoors will increase the risk of failure because it exposes the tiny seeds to wind, weather and temperature fluctuations, mold, and even pests. Since the seeds are still vulnerable and sensitive to any changes, the best way to keep them safe is to germinate them indoors.


Paper Towel Method


The paper towel method is one of the most popular germination techniques for cannabis. You will only need paper towels, a flat container that can fit the paper towels, and a spray containing room temperature water.


Lay the paper towels flat on the container. Place the seeds on top of them, with a generous amount of space. Around 4-5 seeds in each paper towel will work just fine. Spray with water then cover it using a plate or a lid. Leave it in a dark, warm and humid room.


Open the container every 4-6 hours then give it a good spray with water. Don’t let the paper towels dry completely because this will prevent roots from growing. Keep the napkins moist but be careful not to soak them either. Once you begin to see the seeds growing, be sure that you are ready to transplant it to your next growing medium.


Soil Method


Soil is a natural way to germinate marijuana seeds. Germinating them in soil will increase the chances of success because it protects the fragile roots from any damage which can occur when transferring the seeds to a growing medium. Because of this, the soil germination technique is considered low risk.


The right kind of soil to use is mildly fertilized. Look for seed starters that have a pH level of 6, or which is a little more acidic. Don’t use soils that contain too many nutrients since these are more suitable for mature plants.


Put fresh, clean soil into small pots; you can transfer the plants to a bigger container later on. The soil should be moist with clean water but it should not be soaking wet or this can cause the seeds to rot. Put the seeds around 3mm deep but avoid making the seeds too deep. Cover them with soil and gently press on the surface.


Use cling wrap to cover the pots, then use a ballpen or ice pick to create tiny holes. The cling wrap will mimic the environment of a greenhouse for the seeds, ensuring they stay moist and warm.


Afterwards, wait for germination to occur. When using soil, you can usually expect the seedlings to begin showing around 5 days after planting though it can be as short as 3 days, and as long as 10 days. Remove the foil once you see the first leaves reach the surface.


Water Method


Germinating cannabis seeds in water is the quickest way to encourage them to sprout. Placing the seeds in water means they are already in a moisture-rich environment that will promote fast growth.


Simply place a few seeds in a glass jar filled with room temperature water and leave them there overnight. This method also works best with hard or old seeds that you may have had a difficult time germinating in the past. Soaking them in water will make it much easier for roots to break through the hard shells.


When placing the seeds in water, it’s completely normal for them to float for the first few hours. Eventually, they will sink to the bottom. A clear glass jar works best since it enables you to easily see once leaves and roots have sprouted; afterwards, you can already transfer them to a growing medium.


Don’t soak seeds in water for over 30 hours. This will cause seeds to drown, so if they have not germinated by this time, you can opt for the paper towel method.




Once your seeds have begun to sprout, immediately transfer them to your growing medium of choice. You can always start with small pots with soil which is a safe bet. Don’t leave the seeds in its germination container for longer than you have to because taproots can easily break. Handle them with care – tweezers are a great way to handle them so that you can drop the seedlings into a hole with the root down.


Always use a spray to water the seeds for the first week. A pH meter is an efficient way to test the soil’s moisture content, further increasing the chances of the seeds growing into completion.





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