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how to germinate weed

Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take a while, but generally, seeds should germinate in 3-10 days. If it’s been two weeks and a seed hasn’t sprouted, it’s probably a dud and won’t sprout.

Finding a cannabis seed in your stash is not ideal, but we’ve all been there before. Although much less common than it once was, it still happens. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower, or you’ll see one pop, spark, and crackle from the heat of a lit bowl.

Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.

Step 1

One way to avoid sexing plants is to buy feminized seeds (more below), which ensures every seed you plant will be a bud-producing female.

Because training happens during vegetative growth, for autoflowering plants, this period could be as short as a few weeks, which means time is limited. Try topping your autoflowers after they have three nodes, and stop once they begin to flower. You will want to prune them lightly.

After completing these steps, it’s time to wait. Check the paper towels once a day to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they are losing moisture, apply more water to keep the seeds happy.

Most cannabis plants begin flowering when the amount of light they receive on a daily basis reduces. Outdoors, this happens when the sun starts setting earlier in the day as the season turns from summer to autumn. Indoor growers can control when a plant flowers by reducing the daily amount of light plants receive from 18 hours to 12 hours.

Within a few days some or all of the seeds should open and put out a root. It is common for cannabis seeds to open within 72 hours of being put in the germination medium. Less commonly, some seeds may need up to 10 days or even two weeks to open and put out a root.

Place the cannabis seed, root first, into the hole and cover with a small amount of growing medium – just enough to block light, not enough to obstruct the seedling when it emerges.

Make a hole in the growing medium that is about twice as deep as the seed is long, so that each germinated cannabis seed sits 2-5mm below the surface.

Step 2. Germination – How to germinate cannabis seeds

Warning!
Unfortunately, regulation and implementation in respect of cannabis seeds often differ from country to country. For this reason we advise you as a matter of urgency to make inquiries about the regulations to which you are subject. Read the complete disclaimer here.

Lastly, cover everything with the second plate, upside down, to form a ‘clam-shell’ shape – this will create the dark, moist environment necessary for germination.

Check the seeds every day to ensure that the tissue does not dry out. Spray the tissues with water if necessary.

Seeds should be placed on top of the tissue, allowing each seed as much space as possible.

The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

Preparing to germinate cannabis seeds

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.

Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.

The best germination method depends on the cultivator’s choice. Here are some of the most common ways to pop your cannabis seeds.