Seeds are expensive, having them all germinate is achievable with these easy germination techniques. You'll be growing in no time! Here you can learn about germinate cannabis seeds. Germinating cannabis seeds is not hard. Here we explain it for you. So many Growers, so many Preferences. We asked 143 growers: what is the best way germinating weed seeds?
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
So you’ve gotten hold of some cannabis seeds and want to make sure they all pop? Seeds are expensive and having them all germinate is achievable, provided they were bred and stored correctly. There are various methods of germination that different cultivators will swear by, from pre soak solutions to the type of medium used.
General Requirements for Germination
Consider a seed falling off a tree in winter. By the time spring comes around the seed may be slightly covered in a light soil, temperatures have risen and rains are starting to fall. These are the basics conditions for a seed to germinate; warmth, water, air and some sort of darkness or cover.
The Seed Soak Germination
This is a part of germination where the seed is soaked for a period of time. Soaking can be in anything from distilled or RO water, to some form of special solution. Solutions can vary from beneficial microbial inoculation or a solution of hydrogen peroxide. The time a seed is soaked can vary from a few minutes to hours or even a day. The soft seed is then carefully transplanted to the growing medium of choice to sprout and grow. It should be noted that seeds can drown and we wouldn’t advise submerging seeds for more than 24 hours.
Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Hydrogen peroxide is used to sterilize the outer shell of the seed and increase oxygen levels around it. Oxygen is important for gemination and is not uncommon for cultivators to rinse seeds in a weak solution for up to 30 minutes. Add 3ml of 50% hydrogen peroxide to 250ml of water for this method of soaking. Be sure to rinse the seeds well with clean water after soaking. Microbial life of all kinds won’t survive this method, whether it be unwanted fungi spores and bacteria or beneficial microbes.
Beneficial Microbe Solution
An alternative solution is dechlorinated water and beneficial microbes. The seed is then placed in the solution for anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Beneficial organisms fight any “bad guys” around and coat the seed with “good guys.” The microbes will colonize the seedling’s root zone creating a symbiotic relationship between them. Rinsing with clean water afterwards is not necessary.
Paper Towel “Soak”
Many did it at school with paper towels or cotton wool. Seeds are placed in-between soft, water retaining materials in a warm place until a tap root is seen. Paper towels and cotton wool can dry out quickly so check on the moisture content regularly.
Once the tap root reveals itself, gently transfer it to a growing medium or starter plug. Place the sprouted seed tap root down and cover lightly. When transplanting seeds, minimize exposing the root to the elements especially sunlight. Sterilize all tools used and be sure not to break the tap root during transplant, as that can happen too.
Starter Plug Germination
Starter plugs range from rock wool to peat pellets and natural sponges of different kinds. What’s important to note is not to mix your mediums. For example, don’t germinate seeds in rock wool when planning a coco peat finish. A peat pellet or natural sponge would be better suited. For a sterile or inoculated plug to germinate in, add either peroxide or microbes to the water used to soak or expand with.
An old favourite able to hold both air and water well. Produced by the heating of basalt rock and calcium and spun into a sheet. Rock wool naturally has a high pH of 8 and should be soaked in water with a pH of 5.5 – 6 for 30 minutes. Shake excess water off and place the seeds in the designated hole. Pinch the hole closed and place the rock wool in a warm area. Keep the rock wool plug moist but not overly soaked.
Popular in recent years the coco peat pellet is expanded with water and surrounded by a soft material with an opening at the top. It’s pH is naturally around 5.5 but any water or solution used to expand the pellet should also be 5.5. Place the seed gently 1cm to 5mm inside the pellet and cover lightly. Make sure the pellet stays moist but not soaked, allowing for water to drain off.
A sponge shaped like rock wool but made from organic materials like coco peat. When produced, they are pH ready at around 5.5 and in some cases when sold in packs, are already sufficiently soaked too. Like above, place the seed gently inside and place in a warm area making sure they stay moist.
Direct Sowing Germination
You may want to sow your seed directly in the ground in the garden. For that, choose the sunniest spot with a bit of space around as cannabis can get big outdoors. You can soak your seed like above or just get it in there by placing it 5mm – 1cm deep in loosened soil. Keep the area moist and protected, even covered with something clear if preferred.
Cannabis plants become sexually mature and ready to flower from around 6-8 weeks strain depending. This allows for seeds to be planted from spring though to mid-late summer, the longer you wait though, the smaller the yield. Plant your seed in mid spring for vigorous growth during the summer months and a big harvest come autumn.
These are a few of the basic methods used to germinate cannabis seeds although the options are endless. Each method will vary in the time it takes for the seed to break ground, anything from a day or two, to two weeks outdoors with direct sowing. Starting off in the same fashion as vegetable seeds in seed trays are also options for germinating cannabis seeds.
Here are a few more tips for germinating cannabis seed:
If using a propagation dome or some sort of closed environment to increase humidity, the air should be changed daily.
The use of heat mats can greatly increase germination rates, the right temperature can make all the difference.
How to germinate cannabis seeds?
Germinating marijuana seeds can be done in different ways. Each experienced grower has his own prefereces. Before we dive into the diverse methods it’s a good idea to contemplate a little on how nature deals with this.
After the female cannabis plant has been pollinated by the male cannabis plant pollen, the female weed plant starts to produce seeds. This takes 9 weeks on average. When the seeds have matured the weed plant starts to rot causing the seeds to fall to the ground, winter begins.
A rotten cannabis plant in january.
It starts to freeze, then thaw setts on and the weed seeds start to germinate. This proces teaches us multiple things.
- Climate conditions needed for germinating marijuana seeds.
- How does nature store it’s marijuana seeds?
Cannabis seeds germinate in nature after the freezing stops. A moist cold period, especially low above ground where the seeds reside.
The cannabis seeds are stored during winter. This teaches you to store your cannabis seeds in a cold environment for them not to lose their ability to germinate.
Cannabis seeds germination
Cannabis seeds germinate in a glass of water.
Throw the marijuana seeds in a glass filled with slightly lukewarm water and wait. Is it really that easy? Yes! The glass filled with the water can be kept at room (ambient) temperature. The water will quickly become dirty. Therefore it is neccessary to refresh the water in time in order to prevent the seeds from rotting
Because the seeds are in the water for quite some time, the germs are very fragile. Keep this in mind when repotting. With multiple species, it is important during germination to label the glasses so you don’t forget which species of cannabis resides in which glass.
Germinating marijuana seeds in a glass of water
Since the water needs to be replenished, this is the most labor intensive germination method
Germinating cannabis seeds on a moist surface
A heavily used weed seed germination method is using a moist surface. This surface can consist of moist absorbing materials like kitchen roll paper and cotton. This is often done at living room temperatures which makes the moisture vaporize quickly. A commenly made mistake is underestimating the speed at which the moisture vaporizes. When the seeds lay dry, nothing will happen (they will not germinate).
To prevent dehidration the moist surface can be placed within a closed wrapping, for instance in between two dinner plates creating condensation. Also, it is possible to spray the surface with fresh water on a daily basis in order to prevent dehidration.
Germinating cannabis seeds on a moist surface.
A recently discoverd video shows a do-it-yourself method that doesn’t need any maintenance. Set it and forget it.
Germinating cannabis seeds in soil.
Germination marijuana seeds in soil is the easiest approach in our view. What is important? Right, MOISTURE! Don’t let the soil get dehidrated but also do not make it ludacrisly wet. Put the seed about 5 milimeter deep and moisturise the soil. Keep at room tempurature. Check the soil daily for dehidration. The perfect soil is special sawing soil but regular potting soil or even garden soil are also fine. As long as the seeds are not put to deep into the ground and do not get dehidrated things will work out fine.
Why using this method? Repotting is not neccessary as the seed is allready in soil and so no chance of damages during repotting occurs. Just occasionally check soil humidity, that’s all.
Germinating old, hard to germinate seeds
- Do you keep old seeds from the 80’s or maybe earlier in your fridge?
- Do you keep seeds in your desk that have been stored incorrectly?
These are two examples of seeds that are hard to germinate.
Research shows hydrogen peroxide stimulates germination of seeds. Healthy seeds will germinate in a hydrogen peroxide bath within 24 hours. Hydrogen peroxide is for sale at your local pharmacy for just a couple of euro/pount/dollar etc. Hydrogen peroxide is normally used for: rinsing when have olcers, oxidising, bleatching (hair), disinfection (in dencer concentration) even of drinking water.
Mix the hydrogen peroxide with regular tap water and put your seeds in it. Proportions: 1 part of hydrogen peroxide (3%) compares to 5 parts of water = 0.5%. Learn more about it at this post at the weed forum
General information on cannabis seeds germination
In the above explanation germination seeds at room tempuratures is regularly discussed. Research shows seeds like warmth and moisture that makes for the perfect germination conditions. When we look at nature, this is not a neccessity. Outdoor growers are advised to saw directly on full open soil so the roots will not be hindered while developing.
Be aware of the fact that the hatchlings need protection from snails, birds, rabbits and other leaf eaters when germination from open outdoor soil. Germs can quickly turn into a nice snack for these anymals. Therefore you need to saw extra seeds, and put a transparrent cup over the germs. Use a copper ring to protect the germs from snails
Snails hate copper.
- Is to much moisture possible? YES! To much moisture can make your seeds or germs rot so keep this in mind.
- Don’t forget to lable.
- Cannabis seeds like dark conditions.
- Germation periods vary among species and conditions, up to a two week diffence.
The above information is based on personal grower experiences and can contain errors. Do you have different experiences or ideas for improvement? Let us know!
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The Best Way Germinating Marijuana Seeds?
We asked 8 Experts + 143 MSB Growers!
Do you think there is 1 way to make your ladies sprout? Think again!
We asked 8 Experts & 143 MSB Growers:
What is your Preferred Germination Method?
We were blown away by the number of variations we received!
Perhaps your new best way of Germinating Marijuana Seeds is amongst them!
- Study Best Way Germinating Marijuana Seeds
- Dr. Dina, Queen of cannabis
- Ed rosenthal
- James Loud, Loud Genetics
- Jennifer Martin, Cultivation Sector Consulting
- Jesce Horton, LOWD
- Melanie Carruthers, 7acres
- Ryan Douglas, Ryan Douglas Cultivation
- Rudy Ellenbogen. Whole Grow
- Preferred Germination Method MSB Community
- Conclusion: What is the Best Way to Germinate Marijuana Seeds?
Study on Best Way Germinating Marijuana Seeds
Here at Marijuana Seed Breeders, we get many questions. From Beginner to Expert.
We love helping growers.
In fact, we try to address frequently asked questions into articles so that everyone, even non-MSB Growers can benefit.
One of these questions is about germination: what is the best way for germinating marijuana seeds?
Interesting one, because perhaps is our best way, not your best way. Therefore we created the article How to germinate weed seeds.
In the article we give steps for 5 frequently used cannabis germination methods:
- Glass of water
- Wet towel
- Directly in soil
- Stone wool blocks
- Using a starter kit
We also give pros and cons to every method. So this should give you enough information to determine what is the best fit for your next growth.
Which Germination Method is the most used?
Every spouted seed counts. To more plants the better, right?
That’s why we are interested to understand how marijuana growers around the world germinate their cannabis seeds.
When we ask people this question we get a lot of different answers. Which germination method is the most used one?
We had an idea, but we didn’t know for sure.
It was time for a survey amongst our beloved MSB Community. We also reached out to experts in the field to learn more about their preferred method.
We were blown away by the number of enthusiastic replies! Both from our MSB community as well as the experts.
Yes, sure we received replies, just confirming one of the 5 methods.
But the larger group of people actually took the time to reveal their ‘secret’ to cannabis seed germination!
But first: let look at the statistics from our own research.
Results Preferred Marijuana Seed Germination Study
Without further ado, the most favorite germination method amongst 143 growers is:
#1. Wet Towel (37.3%).
#2. Other. 21.1% of the growers follow another germination routine.
#3. Directly in Soil. A surprisingly high percentage (19%) put their precious seeds directly in soil!
#4. Starter kits. 10% use starter kits (like Spongepot).
#5. Glass of water is the best way for 8.5% of the growers.
#6. Stonewool (3.5%).
Here is the breakdown in a chart:
Preferred Germination Method Experts
Ok, enough of the statistic, it’s germination time.
Let’s start with Expert advice!
First off: even though they were busy, we received kind feedback from the Experts. This shows again how approachable and awesome the people in our growing community are,
We received feedback from these experts from the field (sorted in alphabetical order):
#1. Dr. Dina, The Queen of Cannabis, Co-Owner of AHHS WeHo
#2. Ed Rosenthal, The Guru of Ganja
#3. James Loud, Founder of Loud Genetics Loud Seeds
#4. Jennifer Martin, Founder Cultivation Sector Consulting LLC
#5. Jesce Horton, Founder and CEO LOWD
#6. Melanie Carruthers, Director of Propagation 7ACRES
#7. Ryan Douglas, Cannabis Growth Consultant Ryan Douglas Cultivation
#8. Rudy Ellenbogen, Founder and CEO Whole Grow
Ready? Let’s dive right in!
Dr. Dina, The Queen of Cannabis, Co-Owner of AHHS WeHo
When someone gets a nickname from Snoop Dogg, and when that person is referred to as The Queen of Cannabis, the Mona Lisa of Mary Jane as well as The Queen of Weed AND the main character of the 8 season series Weeds is based on their person, then you know that you are dealing with a true expert.
I prefer to germinate My seeds in root gel (clonex) and stick them in cubes. Paper towels work well too, but I think the root gel gives the seeds the extra push to become a strong plant.
– Dr. Dina, The Queen of Cannabis
Ed Rosenthal, Author, Educator, Social Activist, And Legalization Pioneer
I use starter trays and plugs from iHort – EXcel T-50 and 32 Star Excel trays to start seeds. They come pre-moistened, with a little hole to drop a seed.
I use the 50 per tray when I will be transplanting within two weeks and the 32 per tray for growing up to 3 weeks.
When I’m using fresh seed, I just drop them into the hole in the cube.
With stale seeds, first I soak them in a 0.5% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution for 3-4 hours. The recipe is 1 part drugstore 3% H2O2 to 5 parts water. This sterilizes their surfaces. Then they soak in mycos and liquid kelp solution for about 6 hours. Then they are placed in the cubes.
Upon first signs of germination, I water them with mycos and kelp to promote root growth. The next day they are watered with a weak combo of veg and flowering formula about 400 PPM.
– Ed Rosenthal, The Guru of Ganja
James Loud, Founder of Loud Genetics
Well it’s a loaded question because it depends on scale.
I sterilize in an h2o2 Soak then germinate in a jiffy #7 typically. However, large scale I prefer a needle/vacuum seeder to place the seeds evenly in the substrate.
Well and with autoflower I believe direct sow in optimal conditions can yield better results.
– James Loud, Loud Seeds
Jennifer Martin, Owner Cultivation Sector Consulting LLC
I use coco plugs. I gave up the wet paper towel method years ago because managing the moisture was too cumbersome.
I buy coco plugs that come in the 50-cell sheet, make a light nutrient mix, put all of the plugs in a pitcher of the nutrient mix, squeeze them to fully saturate them with the mix, put them back in the cell sheet, push a seed into each hole, and put a dome on the tray under the light.
Then I just keep the plugs moist. The seeds start to pop in about 3 days. Some take up to a week. I leave them in there until they overgrow the tray, then transplant into 3″ pots.
Jesce Horton, Founder and CEO, LOWD
I’m a water glass guy. I like to know before planting which seeds are more vigorous and then assess based on that benchmark throughout the growth process.
I carefully pull the seeds with a spoon and drop them into a coco mixture a day or two after they pop.
– Jesce Horton, LOWD
Melanie Carruthers, Director of Propagation, 7ACRES
Our processes at 7ACRES for seed germination use a combination of a glass of water and wet towel.