Best Ways to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

marijuana seedling

Germinating cannabis seeds is much like germinating any other kind of seed. However, correctly germinating the seeds, which will ensure that they mature into healthy plants, can sometimes be a bit tricky. Luckily, there are several relatively simple, yet successful, ways to germinate cannabis seeds.

Paper Towel Method

One of the easiest ways to germinate cannabis seeds is the paper towel method. To do this, line a plate or platter with paper towels. Moisten the paper towels with water, so that they are just damp. You can use a spray bottle to do this. Cheese cloth or thin pieces of cotton can also be used. Spread the seeds on the paper towel or cloth. Leave as much space between each seed as possible, so that they won’t disturb each other as they sprout. Then, cover the seeds with another damp layer of paper towels or cloth. Flip another plate upside-down and rest it over the first plate. This will help to seal in humidity.

Move the seeds to a warm area. Cannabis seeds germinate best in temperatures between about 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Each day, check on the seeds to make sure they are moist enough. Spray the paper towels or cloth to keep them damp. Be careful not to soak the seeds, though. The towels and seeds should be moist, but not wet. In addition, try not to touch the seeds while you moisten the paper towels.

Cannabis seeds usually sprout within two to seven days, although sometimes they can take up to two weeks. The seed will split and a tiny root will emerge. Once a few millimeters of the root, called a taproot, it visible, the cannabis seeds can be moved to a pot. Create a hole between three millimeters and one centimeter deep, or twice as deep as the cannabis seed is tall, in the soil. Move each seed carefully, ensuring that the taproot is never touched. Plant the seed with the root down, and cover the seed with the potting medium. Don’t pack the soil down.

Soil Method

Another great way to germinate cannabis seeds is to germinate directly in the soil the seedling will grow in. This ensures that the seeds won’t need to be moved or disturbed while they’re germinating. To germinate the seeds in soil, first choose a good seedling soil, as opposed to an adult plant soil, and fill small, individual pots. Do not press down on the soil too much as you fill the pots. The roots of the seedlings will be able to push through loose soil much more easily than compacted soil.

Dig a small hole about twice as deep as the cannabis seed is tall in the soil. Place one seed in each pot, and cover the seeds loosely with soil. Make sure the soil stays damp, but not wet. You can cover the pots loosely with plastic wrap to maintain a high humidity. Cannabis seeds grow best when the humidity is between 70 and 90%, and the temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The seeds should start sprouting within a few days, but remember that some seeds are slower, and may take a couple weeks to sprout.

Water Method

The third way to germinate seeds is to use a glass or bowl of water. This method runs the risk of creating an environment that is too damp, so it’s not recommended for new seeds. However, this is an excellent way to germinate older seeds that have been sitting for a while, and may have tough or thick shells.

To use the water method, fill a bowl or glass with distilled water. Ensure that the water remains at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the seeds in the bowl, and place the bowl near a light source. Cannabis seeds germinate best with a schedule of about 18 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness. Soak the seeds for about one to two days. Small roots may start to sprout at this point. The soaked seeds should then be planted in the potting medium. When using this method, be careful not to soak the seeds for too long, or they will die.

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