You can also germinate your seeds by placing them in water. It’s slightly faster than the soil method, but you need to adjust your environmental factors accordingly. Remember, successfully germinating seeds requires a perfect balance of ideal growing conditions. When germinating in water, seeds need only 24-48 hours to pop their stems, though cultivators can keep them soaking for up to a week as needed. Water germination is faster because the seed gets all the moisture it needs immediately, and the shell softens and cracks more easily after soaking.
First, make sure you use the correct type of soil, either gently fertilized potting soil or a seed starter with a pH level of approximately six (6). The soil contains the right acidity and enough nutrients to strengthen your young cannabis plants for the first two weeks. Be careful not to add more nutrients, or you risk overfeeding and killing your seeds.
Germination itself is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. The seed germination process is the foundation of every marijuana plant, and steps can be taken to boost successful popping. For example, some cultivators improve germination attempts by soaking seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea for 12 hours beforehand to kill any dangerous pests.
To germinate seeds indoors, use any of the methods described above. Within a few days, you’ll have popped seeds ready to transfer to a growing medium.
The paper towel method also has its risk, as the fragile seedlings can be damaged during the potting process. The tiny roots can also get tangled in the paper towels, so make sure to move the seeds to potting soil before roots grow too long. Use your hands or tweezers to gently remove each seed from the paper towels and place them in a prepared growing medium.
How to germinate cannabis seeds
Germination is the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Place the soil in a small pot and use your finger or a pencil to push a small hole in the dirt, a bit more than half an inch deep. Insert the seed into the hole and bury it with soil. From this point on, don’t touch your seed. The young plant is fragile and knows how to position itself in the soil bed.
Make sure the area the seeds are in is warm, somewhere between 70-85°F.
For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.
However, a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis, which developed in extreme northern conditions without much sunlight, will begin flowering once the plant reaches a certain age—they automatically start flowering regardless of the amount of light they receive, hence the name “autoflower.”
If growing male and female cannabis seeds, they’ll start to show their sex organs, or “pre-flowers,” after 8-10 weeks from germination.
This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones or for breeding if you want to create a seed bank of your own.
Are you ready to grow?
This is sometimes referred to as “cloning by seed” and will not produce any male plants. This is achieved through several methods:
Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.
All 5 seeds germinated in 4 days within 24 hours of each other. You can now place them under a grow light, behind your window or outside (during spring / summer of course).
Cover the seed with soil and press the soil gently.
Make a small dimple in the soil and place the seed 3-5mm deep inside the soil. Don’t bury your seed too deep! When you put your seed too deep inside the soil, it will struggle to reach the surface, and have a high risk of dying before it does.
Never use soil from your backyard! It can contain pests and moulds that will damage or destroy your seeds, seedlings or plants.
Step 7: Wait for germination
All you have to do now is wait. In our experience it often takes about 4-5 days for your seedlings to show. But to calculate for differences in conditions and seeds, we say 3-10 days is a safe estimate. As soon as your seedling has sprouted (first leaves reach the surface) you can remove the foil.
Read here which 8 steps you have to take for this soil germination method.
Amongst the best ways to germinate cannabis seeds, this soil germination method is a low risk, easy method that explains how to germinate your seeds in soil. Germination can take 3-10 days, depending on environmental conditions and variety
Step 4: Cover the seed and press gently
When you use normal kitchen foil, poke some holes through the foil. This will avoid the risk of overheating and let air flow true.
Cover your pot(s) with kitchen foil or microwave foil (with the small holes). The foil will act like a small greenhouse, keeping the inside of your pot warm and moist. Perfect for germination.