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!
How Long Does It Take To Germinate Marijuana Seeds
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If you have considered growing your own pot plant, you might have heard about germination. Yes, the germination of marijuana seeds is essential to any grower’s success. You cannot grow a weed plant without first germinating the seeds (we recommend ILGM for quality seeds).
So, how long does it take to germinate marijuana seeds? Usually, it should not take more than 5 days for the germination process to happen from start to finish, and there are various methods you can use to do this which we cover on this article to help you.
What Is Seed Germination?
Ok, so the important thing to remember here is that you do need to germinate your weed seeds before you can plant them and start growing a plant. You cannot just stick a marijuana seed in dirt and expect it to start growing.
Now, germination is the process in which the food which the seed has stored inside of it is converted into sugars, so that the interior can begin to grow break through the shell of the seed and begin sprouting roots, the root system which your plant will need to grow.
A marijuana seed requires water to be applied to it in order to bring it out of its dormant state and begin its growth process.
Once you add moisture to the equation, the seed will break open and increase its size, this beginning the root growth process. Once again, you cannot start growing a pot plant without first germinating the seeds.
How Long Does Germination Take?
Generally speaking, with the right temperatures and the right amount of moisture, a marijuana seed will take between 2 to 5 days to fully germinate. What you need to know here is that you do need to apply a fair amount of water to get this process started.
Moreover, the temperature for weed seed germination needs to remain at a steady 20 to 22 degrees Celsius, or about 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
The seeds should also be kept in a dark place while this germination process is in the works. If all goes well, it should never take longer than 5 days for this process to occur. What you also need to know is that not all weed seeds will germinate. Some may just be dead ducks in the water. You can usually tell if a seed is healthy by examining in.
Generally speaking, a dark green seed should always germinate, whereas a pale or white seed is a good indication that nothing will happen. When it comes down to it, usually between 60% and 90% of seeds will germinate. If you do this right, you can expect about 4 out of 5 seeds to germinate.
However, there is really no way to tell until you actually do it, because all seeds are different. Sometimes they might all germinate just fine, and sometimes you might get a batch where none germinate.
It does kind of come down to chance, seed health, and the conditions. Trial and error and repeated tries are things you will have to deal with if you are going to attempt marijuana seed germination.
How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds – Common Methods
Now that you know how long it takes for a marijuana seed to germinate, you probably want to know how to germinate them in the first place. Well, there are several common methods used for weed seed germination.
Let’s quickly go over each of them, how well they work, and what you need to do in order to achieve success with each germination method.
1. In Soil
The first and most commonly used marijuana seed germination method is by germinating the seed directly in soil. Germinating marijuana seeds directly in soil works well because it allows for minimal root interference and damage.
In other words, you are germinating the seed in the same medium or place that you will begin the growth process.
This means that you can germinate your seed and start root growth, without having to transfer that fragile seed, with fragile roots, into potting soil. It minimizes the risk of having your weed seed’s root system being damaged.
The Right Kind Of Soil Is Important
First and foremost, when using the soil germination method, you need to ensure that you have the right kind of soil. You can’t just use the dirt from your garden or backyard. It needs to be mildly fertilized, only very mildly as too much fertilizer will cause burns and result in the quick death of your seeds.
The soil should have a pH level of roughly 6.0. Good potting soil can allow your seed to germinate and even provide it with enough nutrients for roughly the first 2 weeks of growth.
Place the potting soil in a small pot and then use your finger to make a little hole, about 1.5 cm or 0.6 inches deep. Take a seed, place it in the hole, and then cover it with soil, but don’t pack it down very hard. It should be somewhat loose.
Do not push the seed down further or mess with it in any way.
Don’t Forget Plant Sprayers
Use a plant sprayer to moisten the soil, ensuring that water gets down to the seed. However, make sure that you don’t apply too much water, as you can easily drown a marijuana seed and kill it.
Some people will begin to provide fluorescent or other types of lighting already at this stage, but technically this is not necessary until you see the plant sprouting from the dirt.
2. In Paper Towel
Another commonly used method for marijuana seed germination is using paper towel or cotton pads. The benefit here is that germination process is very easy to keep an eye on, it tends to be fairly safe, and is very easy to get started. Now, be sure to pick good cotton pads or paper towels, ones that are smooth.
You don’t want to use overly porous materials here because once the roots start to come out of the seed, you run the risk of having them grow into the porous paper towel. The result here will be that the roots are hard to remove from the paper towel, potentially damaging them before you get the chance to transfer them into good potting soil.
All you have to do here is take some of that paper towel, a double layer of it, and fold it in half. Now, take your marijuana seeds and place them in between the paper towels, where you folded it in half.
Once again, use a plant sprayer or just drip some water onto the paper towels to moisten them. Be sure to get them wet enough so that the seeds inside get moisture, but don’t soak it to the point of dripping because you will drown the seeds.
Use A Plastic / Sealable Bag
Here, most people will choose to place the paper towel in a plastic and sealable bag. Don’t worry, there will be enough air in there for a few days. The good part about this is that you can keep an eye on the process. Yes, you can open up the bag, unfold the paper towels, and check to see if the germination process has started.
However, do not do this more than once or twice. For instance, you can check on day 3, and then on day 4 after you have started the process.
Darkness is best for this, so don’t keep them open for long, only long enough to check if the roots have started sprouting.
IMPORTANT: Wait For 4 MM Before Moving To Soil
Once the roots have sprouted, and are about 4 mm long, you then have to place them into soil. Do not place them into soil if they are shorter than 2 mm, and don’t wait until the roots are longer than 5 mm, as the roots will start to grow into the paper towels and cause you trouble.
Just be careful when transferring the germinated seeds to soil, as the root system will be fragile.
3. In Water
The next commonly used method for germinating weed seeds is by placing them directly in water. This method does usually work quite well, but it can also be a hit and miss depending on who you ask.
Most people would say that placing your seeds in water for germination provides them with both too much water and light, thus potentially drowning and killing them. Although, depending on the seeds you have, it can work.
This tends to work best if you leave the seeds in the water for about 1 day. This method is usually pretty quick with germination, and can jump start the process, often only taking a single day for germination.
However, if nothing has happened in the first 3 days, chances are that the method has failed you, and the seeds may have drowned.
Take some normal tap water and fill up a glass, making sure to maintain a steady 18 degrees Celsius, and keep replacing the water every day. The seeds should sprout and the seeds need to be transferred to soil before the roots are longer than 5 mm.
There is the risk here of damaging the roots during transfer, the risk of the seeds getting too much light, and of course, the risk of drowning. Some people do prefer this method, but we find it to be way too risky when compared to the others.
4. In Peat Pellets
Actually one of the easiest ways to germinate marijuana seeds, especially for beginners, is to use peat pellets. Peat pellets are great because they have a high germination rate, usually between 80% and 90%, and they are great for the roots too.
For one, peat pellets already have some nutrients in them, they retain water well, provide a dark place for germination, and you can just take the peat pellets once germination has occurred and plant the whole thing in soil, this protecting the root systems of the seeds.
Simply take the peat pellet, soak it in warm water for a couple of minutes, plant the seed about 1.5 cm deep in it, and then place the peat pellet in a fairly dark area with the proper temperature level.
Once you see the plant beginning to sprout out of the peat, you can then take the entire peat pellet and put it right into your potting soil. It’s a really easy method with a good success rate.
As you can see, if you want to grow your own marijuana plants, the beginning is actually quite easy. Yes, you do absolutely have to germinate your weed seeds, but it is a fairly easy and straightforward process with many available methods. Just choose the one which suits you best, and you are well on your way to having a happy and healthy weed plant.
A helpful guide on how long it takes to germinate marijuana seeds and a important tips on how to do it the right way for the best results.