There is more than one way to germinate weed seeds. Each one comes with its benefits and disadvantages for growers. Common methods are:
One benefit of the paper towel method is that you can leave sprouted seeds in the towel for a while longer. It allows other seeds to catch up, and you can plant them all at once. Otherwise, you can plant the germinated ones as soon as the taproot appears.
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The water method is effective for hard seeds but is time-sensitive. Not to mention, the steps are simple to do, and results can be quick.
Some people use paper towels right after the water soaking method to get the remaining seeds to germinate. You can use paper towels from the start as well. The first step is to dampen the paper towel and put it on a plate. Place the seeds on it before folding the paper towel over.
Here is an explanation of each germination method.
– In a cup of water
We recommend not to touch the seeds or the seedlings with your hands. If you do anyways, make sure your hands are clean and if possible use plastic gloves.
Germinating cannabis seeds in a cup of water
– In soil
My favorite way to germinate the seeds is to put them in a cup of water and then between a damp paper towel. This goes well in 99% of the cases. How long does it take cannabis seeds to germinate in general? Or how do we germinate autoflowering seeds? The time depends on the strain or type of seed, but autoflowering seeds germinate in the same way and time as feminized or regular cannabis seeds. That is why I will more extensively describe this first way.
– On a damp surface
First, make sure you use the correct type of soil, either gently fertilized potting soil or a seed starter with a pH level of approximately six (6). The soil contains the right acidity and enough nutrients to strengthen your young cannabis plants for the first two weeks. Be careful not to add more nutrients, or you risk overfeeding and killing your seeds.
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
How to germinate seeds in soil
Whether you’re planning an indoor cultivation or outdoor grow, it’s best to germinate your seeds indoors. It’s easier to maintain proper temperature, light exposure, and moisture inside, and you can protect your seeds from the elements. Indoor germination, whether using soil or paper towels, will ensure your cannabis seeds have the best chance for survival.
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.
When the seedling stems reach two to four inches in height, it’s time to transplant your cannabis into larger pots with more room for roots to spread down and out. After you’ve done this, you’ve successfully germinated your cannabis seeds into proper, young plants.