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germinating weed seeds paper towel how long

The seeds should start sprouting in about two days, though older seeds can take up to a week to sprout. You can remove them from the water and place them in the soil at any point once they’ve sprouted. Once the roots are about five millimeters long, they need to be planted.

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

While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.

How to germinate seeds in water

The paper towel method also has its risk, as the fragile seedlings can be damaged during the potting process. The tiny roots can also get tangled in the paper towels, so make sure to move the seeds to potting soil before roots grow too long. Use your hands or tweezers to gently remove each seed from the paper towels and place them in a prepared growing medium.

Germination itself is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. The seed germination process is the foundation of every marijuana plant, and steps can be taken to boost successful popping. For example, some cultivators improve germination attempts by soaking seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea for 12 hours beforehand to kill any dangerous pests.

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.

Germination is the first stage of the cannabis growth cycle : the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. After all, seeds in a bag don’t spontaneously start developing roots. Also known as “popping” seeds, seed germination begins when a seed receives environmental cues letting it know the setting is perfect to start growth.

This is arguably the trickiest aspect of germination. You have to strike a balance between ‘warm’ and ‘hot.’ Spring temperatures are ideal in a ‘normal’ year. While cannabis seeds can germinate in colder weather, the process takes longer. Seedlings also germinate faster when there is plenty of humidity in the air. If you are concerned about low temperatures, invest in incandescent bulbs, and place them over the seed area.

It is a simple method, but also a risky one. You could damage the taproot while moving the sprouted seeds, or else the paper could dry out and kill the seeds. In any case, here is the process:

Planting

If you use a transparent container such as glass, you get to see the white taproot break out! You shouldn’t leave seeds soaking in water for more than 32 hours. Otherwise, seeds that haven’t sprouted yet will drown. If the seeds haven’t germinated by the 32-hour mark, put them in a warm and moist place to complete the process. You should probably use the paper towel method at this point.

You will know that germination has occurred because the seed will split, and a little root appears. Make sure you don’t touch the taproot when it sprouts or during the transplantation process.

Inevitably, some will fail, while others will flourish. You will have seeds that pop fast and proliferate. Don’t be disappointed if you have a few failures because that’s part and parcel of the growing process. Even when you get everything right, you will inevitably lose a few seeds, and it won’t be your fault!

The next positive to the soil approach is that you don’t have to transport your seeds once they’ve sprouted. This is the main advantage this method has over paper towels as it’s less effort. On the flipside though, as it’s already in the soil, if it’s packed too tight your seed will never be able to sprout. As you can’t see how your seed is doing, you wont know if it’s packed too tight or you’ve planted them too deep until it’s too late.

One of the my favourite childhood memories from school is a science project. What was that science project? Germinating seeds on a paper towel. It was cress to be exact. Little did I know at the time how often I’d end up following this method during adulthood, with more success than my adolescent attempts!
Anyway, I’ve written up my exact method so you can sprout seeds on paper towels just like I did in my childhood, with a few tweaks improving the method. But before that, let’s check out why I usually opt for the paper towel method over sprouting them in soil.

When To Transplant Your Seeds From The Paper Towel

The first drawback is the exposure (which is also a positive as I mentioned earlier). Leaving your seeds exposed means they are a little vulnerable, even the slightest of touches can send them into an early grave. However, you shouldn’t really need to touch them anyway until you’re moving them into a planter, but you can just use tweezers for that. This also leads us onto our next drawback.

Transporting your seeds can be a pain as they’re so sensitive. With paper towels, once your seeds start to sprout you need to transfer them into some soil, this is the only thing I prefer about the soil method, no transferring! They’re the only two drawbacks in my opinion though, so let’s take a look at germinating seeds in soil.

Another benefit to this is that you know if the seed has failed or not, saving time and effort. As everything is exposed, this also makes it easy to monitor the moisture levels and gives you greater control. It’s pretty much impossible to over water them with this method.