If you live in a state that permits it, you can grow a few cannabis plants for personal use. And, almost all plants start from a seed, including cannabis. Therefore, if you intend to grow your own, you will have to learn how to germinate cannabis seeds to get the process started.
While seed germination is the simplest part of a grow, proper germination means everything to successfully growing a plant. Check out a quick overview of how to germinate weed seeds to get you off on the best start possible.
First, Select the Best Seeds for Germination
Always start with healthy, feminized seeds. Feminized seeds are most likely to produce a female plant, which is what you want because male plants do not produce buds, and may fertilize your female plants, which will create seeds and inhibit bud production . Before going through the process of germination, make sure the seeds are in good shape by doing a quick visual exam. Look for a good, dense seed with a solid shell and no signs of mold growth like dark spots or fuzz.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Seed germination is the process of encouraging the first taproot to sprout from the seed shell before planting. Germinating cannabis seeds truly only takes a few important things to be successful:
- Good cannabis seeds
- A warm environment (68 to 72ºF)
Nevertheless, there are a handful of ways to germinate weed seeds, and a lot of passion and disagreement about which is the best one. See below for some of the most popular ways to germinate cannabis seeds.
The Paper Towel Method
Some prefer the paper towel method of germinating weed seeds because you get to keep an eye on the seeds before they ever go into the dirt. Therefore, if you have seeds that don't sprout, you can weed them out efficiently. With the paper towel method, you simply:
- Moisten two paper towels with water
- Place the seeds on one paper towel and cover with the other
- Slide a plate beneath the seeds on the towel and cover it with an inverted plate
During the germination process, be sure to keep the paper towels damp. Once the first taproot is a few millimeters long, you can transfer the seeds to soil with the taproot down.
The Water Soaking Method
The water-soaking method involves submerging the cannabis seeds in water for a day or two, and then planting the seeds in dirt. This method is simple, but you don't get to monitor the seed for taproot growth before it is buried in dirt in your seed-starter pots. This is frequently recommended to be a precursor to the Paper Towel method as well.
Note: We've been testing the different methods with autoflower seeds this season and this one has given us the best results.
The Direct-Sow Method
The direct-sow method is the way to germinate cannabis seeds if you’re not able to put in a lot of time or effort. For this method, you simply prepare your planter pots and directly sow the cannabis seeds in the dirt. Keep the soil good and moist until the seeds sprout. Generally there will be a lower success rate using this method.
How long do cannabis seeds take to germinate?
Typically, cannabis seeds will germinate in roughly three to ten days, but some seeds can take a bit longer. And, the germination method you use can make a difference in how quickly the seed sprouts. If the seeds have not sprouted within about a week, you can pretty much assume the seeds were either no good or something went wrong during the germination process.
Get Prepared for the Harvest Ahead with the Best Storage Solutions
With your weed seeds germinated and getting off to a good start, there's no time like the present to start planning for your future harvest. Read up on how to harvest cannabis and curing cannabis, and then explore Evergreen’s cannabis storage solutions.