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. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
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.
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.
To germinate seeds indoors, use any of the methods described above. Within a few days, you’ll have popped seeds ready to transfer to a growing medium.
The downside of water germination is that once they’ve popped, you’ll need to maneuver them into their growing medium manually. This is a delicate process, as germinating seeds are extra fragile, and any harm risks the development of your plants. Make sure to place the seed roots down in the soil when you transfer to a pot.
So, you’ve decided to grow your own cannabis plants. You purchased a pack of seeds, assembled cultivation materials, cleared a space in your garden, and are ready to grow your first cannabis crop . With everything in hand, it’s time to begin the very first step of cannabis cultivation : germinating seeds.
Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds. The soil protects the fragile roots from any interference, and soil is, after all, where a cannabis plant would grow in the wild.
So, if you do opt for the soil method, ensure you don’t pack the soil down. You also need to make sure that you choose a well draining potting soil. Oh and one last thing, be prepared for the mess that soil brings everywhere!
So, here’s my preferred method on germinating seeds on paper towels. You don’t necessarily have to use paper towels, there are a few other household items that work just as well with this exact method. For example, you can use: coffee filter papers, newspaper or cotton wool pads. Anyway, let’s get into it.
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.
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.
Add enough water that all the Rapid Rooters appear dark, but not shiny from too much water. Once you’re done, put the trays back on the seedling mat. Young seedlings love warmth!
Create happy little seedlings in less than a week!
Helpful Tool: Pointy tweezers (though most tweezers will work in a pinch)
6.) Place on Seedling Heat Mat
Why a seedling heat mat? Seeds germinate significantly faster when they’re kept 70-85°F (20-30°C). A seedling heat mat keeps seeds warm during the germination process. However, any warm spot works just as well (for example, on top of the refrigerator is the perfect temperature for some people). When you touch the wet paper towels, they should feel warm but not burning hot.
At this point, the seedlings are ready to be put under a gentle light. A sunny window works well, though your regular vegetative grow light should be fine as long as you keep it twice the normal distance away. Avoid touching the seedlings if possible. This is when they’re most vulnerable.
I used to use my fingers to remove shells but it can be hard not to disturb the seedling. Then I learned that a pair of pointy tweezers can be inserted into the crack and allowed to gently open to pry the seed apart. Don’t tug or use any force whatsoever. Just gently and slowly release the leaves. The leaves may be stuck to the shell at first and it can take several seconds of gentle tugging for the leaves to slowly loosen and pull away from the shell. If you’re having trouble, add some water to the stuck part and wait a few minutes to help soften it up.
Seeds typically sprout in 1-3 days. Certain strains and older seeds may take a few extra days.