Jorge’s Cannabis Encyclopedia: Seed Germination
Cannabis seeds need only water, heat, and air to break dormancy and germinate; they do not need extra hormones, fertilizers, or additives. Seeds sprout without light in a range of temperatures. Strong, viable, properly nurtured seeds germinate in 2 to 7 days. At germination, the outside protective shell of the seed splits, and a tiny, white sprout (radicle) pops out. This sprout is the root, or taproot. Cotyledon, or seed, leaves emerge on a stem from within the shell as they push upward in search of light.
Break dormancy: Put newly harvested seeds in the refrigerator for a week or two to simulate winter. Remove and germinate. Seeds will germinate more uniformly because they all come out of dormancy at the same time.
Timeline for Germinating Most Seeds:
At 36 to 96 hours – Water is absorbed, root tip (radicle) pops through outer shell and is visible.
At 10 to 14 days – First roots and root hairs become visible.
At 21 to 30 days – At least half of seeds are rooted by day 21. Seeds not rooted by day 30 will probably grow slowly.
Once seeds are rooted, cell growth accelerates; stem, foliage, and roots develop quickly. Seedlings develop into full vegetative growth within 4 to 6 weeks of germination.
Seeds are Prompted to Germinate By:
Water: Soaking seeds in water allows moisture to penetrate the protective seed shell within minutes. Once inside, moisture continues to wick in to activate the dominant hormones. In a few days, hormones activate and send enough signals to pro- duce an initial root tip. The white radicle (rootlet) emerges to bring a new plant into the world. Once a seed is moist, it must receive a constant flow of moisture to transport nutrients, hormones, and water so that it can carry on life processes. Some seeds need lots of moisture to wash out the dormancy hormones in the seed coat, and if they do not get enough moisture, they do not germinate. Conversely, too much water deprives the seed of oxygen, reducing its quality or destroying it. If fragile germinated seeds are allowed to suffer moisture stress now, seedling growth will be stunted. Soaking most seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours is all they need to initiate germination. All the nourishment for a seed’s initial growth requirement is pulled from the fleshy cotyledons, or seed leaves. Water seedlings with low-EC (electrical conductivity) household tap water during the first week or two of life. Supple- mental nutrients are unnecessary and if applied in excess can disrupt internal seed chemistry. Some gardeners prefer to germinate seeds using distilled or purified water that contains virtually no dissolved solids.
Temperature: Overall, cannabis seeds germinate in temperatures from 70°F–90°F (21°C–32°C) and grow best at 78°F (26°C). Temperatures below 70°F (21°C) and above 90°F (32°C) impair germination. Low temperatures delay germination. High temperatures upset seed chemistry causing poor germination. Seeds germinate best under the native conditions and temperature ranges where they were grown.
Air & Oxygen: Sow seeds twice as deep as the width of the seed. For example, 0.125-inch (3 mm) seeds should be planted 0.25 inches (6 mm) deep. Adequate oxygen is un- available for seeds planted too deeply, and tender seedlings have insufficient stored energy to drive through deep layers of soil or crusty hard soil when sprouting.
Agricultural Astrology — Planting by the Moon
Ancient Babylonians and Egyptians planted and harvested based on moon phases in relation to geographic location. The premise is that plants grow better when planted during the appropriate moon phase.
Moon phases cause ocean tides to rise and fall. They also affect the rise and fall of moisture in soil and fluids inside plants. The moon phase influence is said to be the same indoors, outdoors, and in greenhouse-grown cannabis.
Cannabis gardeners who plant by the moon report faster-sprouting seeds that grow into vigorous plants. However, scientific evidence is lacking in regard to cannabis and other plants’ relationship with agricultural astrology.
Seeds need oxygen from the air to germinate. Growing mediums that are too moist (soggy) will cut off oxygen supplies and the seeds will literally drown. Cannabis seeds germinate best when moisture is between 60 and 70 percent.
Cannabis seeds need only water, heat, and air to break dormancy and germinate; they do not need extra hormones, fertilizers, or additives. Seeds sprout
How to germinate weed seeds properly?
Maybe you have already bought cannabis seeds or are planning to buy them (via Weedseedsexpress). Either way, if you want to grow your own cannabis plant, you probably also want to know how to germinate weed seeds successfully.
Germinating marijuana seeds is not difficult. Certainly not with our seeds. Nevertheless, it is important to realise that you are dealing with a natural and sensitive product. The germination process should therefore be carried out professionally and with patience.
Do you want your regular, feminized or autoflowering weed seeds to germinate and are you curious what the best, quickest and easiest way is? Use this germination guide and take your time to read the information on this page carefully to ensure yourself of a successful germination process.
How long does it take to germinate cannabis seeds?
Before you get started it is good to know how long the germination of marijuana seeds takes. The germination time depends on the seed and method so there is no unambiguous answer to this, but germinating weed seeds usually takes 2 to 4 days.
The best way to germinate marijuana seeds
Although different germination methods exist, not all methods are equally successful. An example of a less efficient method is to plant the seed directly into the soil. This method is not recommended for two reasons.
First of all because non-germinated seeds can rot in the soil. Moreover, with this method you cannot determine the direction of the root.
Fortunately there are several efficient methods so let’s quickly tell you how best to germinate your cannabis seeds.
How to germinate weed seeds? Use our step-by-step plan!
We advise to germinate cannabis seeds indoors. Not in the light, but in the dark. Also when you want to grow outdoors. The root should not be exposed to (sun)light. Moreover, a young plant is young and often not resistant to changing weather conditions.
The best, fastest and safest way to germinate your marijuana seeds is to use two methods one after the other:
- Method 1: Germinating cannabis seeds in a glass of water
- Method 2: Further germination between damp kitchen paper
What do you need?
Before you start the germination process, it is useful to have all the supplies ready. This way you will be well prepared. You can read exactly what you need below.
- Drinking glass
- Two ceramic plates
- Kitchen paper or cotton wool
- Plant sprayer
- Optional: tweezers
Did you set everything up? Then the real work can begin.
Step 1: germinating weed seeds in a glass of water
For a successful germination process we advise you to first soak your seeds in water before germinating them further between damp kitchen paper. By soaking your seeds beforehand, the skin of the seed becomes soft and the root can easily come out.
How to germinate marijuana seeds in a glass of water?
Grab a glass and fill three quarters of it with lukewarm water. Attention: no cold or warm water. You can also use sterile water, but tap water is also fine. Drop your seeds carefully into the water. The seeds will first float (for a few hours) and then sink to the bottom of the glass. Your seeds don’t sink? Then carefully push the seeds to the bottom with the top of your finger. If the seed does float up again, wait for 2 hours and then carefully push the seed down again. Make sure you don’t crush the seed on the bottom.
Put the glass with the seeds in the dark for 18 to 36 hours with a temperature of 19 ° C to 25 ° C. A kitchen cabinet or other dark place is fine.
After a maximum of 36 hours, all seeds are sunk and often already partially germinated. Seeds that start germinating can be recognized by a broken skin where the white of the root becomes visible. In any case, do not worry if your seeds do not start germinating yet. The germination process has not yet been completed.
Step 2: Germinating your cannabis seeds with damp kitchen paper or cotton wool
After step 1 is completed you proceed to step 2. In this step you’ll need two ceramic plates and two sheets of kitchen paper. Do not use toilet paper, but real kitchen paper. Kitchen paper is thick enough to retain moisture for a longer period of time, which is very important.
Step 2 actually consists of 6 tasks. Take a look at the tasks below.
- Grab a plate and put two sheets of kitchen paper on it. The kitchen paper should completely cover the plate.
- Carefully pour your seeds with the water on the kitchen paper.
- Fold the paper towels over the seeds so that the seeds are between the paper towels. Make sure the seeds are in contact with the wet kitchen paper.
- Take the other plate and place it upside down on the plate with the seeds to create a dark space. Do not align the edges of the plates exactly. The seeds need oxygen to germinate.
- Check every 5 to 8 hours that the kitchen paper has not dried and if necessary re-wet the kitchen paper using the plant sprayer.
- After 24 hours, check whether the seeds have germinated. Is that not the case? Then check every 12 hours whether the seeds have germinated and keep the kitchen paper moist at all times.
Note: some seeds take 48 to 72 hours to germinate, but it can even take 168 hours (7 days). Patience is therefore required.
Step 3: Your weed seeds have germinated, and now what?
After germination and as soon as the root is about 1.5 to 2.5 cm long, the seed is ready to be planted. Want to know how to do that?
Read our next blog: How to plant weed seeds?
Wondering how to germinate weed seeds? Check the best way to sprout cannabis seeds here! A helpful step-by-step guide for a successful germination!