Marijuana Seeds Germination: Step-by-Step Procedure

how to germinate marijuana seeds

Growing marijuana from cuttings is skipping the process of seed germination but if you are growing cannabis starting from seeds, germination is a requirement before transplanting them in either indoor or outdoor weed garden. In pot growing, do not throw away your money and time by germinating poor quality marijuana seeds and not doing the proper way of seed germinating. Germinating pot seeds involves a few simple steps but it also requires careful attention.

Growing pot from seeds takes time because you need to go through the process of seed selection, germination time, vegetative and flowering phases. Not all have a high success rate in seed germination especially those who are newbies in weed growing. Knowing the right method of pot seed germination and cannabis growing will give you success.

Process of Marijuana Seed Germination

Step 1– Set up the germination area and gather all necessary equipment including the seeds

marijuana seeds germination

First and one of the most important things you should do is to set up your working space. Keep it clean and ensure that the area will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Pot seeds will germinate well if provided with moisture and let stayed in a dark and warm room. Gather all the necessary tools for germinating marijuana seeds before you start doing the process. You will need small plates or trays, mist sprayer and paper towels.

Included with this procedure is the selection of marijuana seeds. A lot of resources are available when it comes to choosing the particular type of cannabis strain that you can grow. However, selecting the best one may depend on some factors. For instance, it is not easy to just tell whether a seed will germinate just by looking at it.

However, it is not really difficult to tell which ones are weak. Marijuana seeds that are viable and healthy are the ones that are slightly oblong in shape, just like a teardrop. The size may also vary, but usually healthy marijuana seeds are those with around 1/8 of an inch in width and 3/16 of an inch in length.

The color is usually brown, with some darker stripes on it. Cannabis seeds that are soft and tiny, yellow, greenish, white, or even chipped are those that are most likely not healthy enough for germination. However, if you feel that it would be too much of a waste to throw them away, it will not really hurt to try them and see.

Step 2– Moisten the paper towels and place your cannabis seeds

marijuana germination

Moisten kitchen paper towels and place it over the small plate or tray. Place the cannabis seeds and cover them with another sheet of paper towel. Then, cover it with another plate. Make sure that paper towels are moistened enough and never let them dry.

Afterward, you can tilt the plate or tray to an angle of around 45 degrees so that excess water will go down, dripping off the plate. Then, you can now place your plate on a heating mat, setting the thermostat to a temperature of 24 degree Celsius (or 75 degrees Fahrenheit). In order to closely monitor the temperature of the seeds from time to time, you can simply insert the thermostat probe beneath the paper towels.

As soon as the shells of the marijuana seeds have opened, with the taproot starting to show up, it is very important to plant them immediately. You may have to expect that not all of the seeds germinate at the same time. In turn, they will also not get planted all at the same time. Never allow the root to grow several millimeters long before you plant them, or else, you may unintentionally increase the possibility of damaging the plant roots, ultimately killing the plants.

Note to Remember:

By nature, the seeds germinate beneath the soil where the conditions are dark. Therefore, you may want to keep in mind that lights are not needed for germination. Light may be used in heating a particular area, especially if you do not own a heat mat. It is very important to monitor the entire germination process really closely.

However, there is a possibility that light will dry out the paper towels faster, even damaging the root as soon as the seeds open. At the same time, the heating mats may also overheat, even to the point of boiling your poor seeds or even causing the paper towels to dry out fast. Therefore, make sure to use your thermostat in monitoring the temperature of your heating mat as well.

Step 3– Place the pot seeds to be germinated in a dark and warm area

germinate marijuana seeds

The area where you will allow the pot seeds to germinate should be warm and dark.  Never allow direct sunlight to reach your cannabis seeds. There are a different growing medium that you can take into consideration when it comes to planting your seeds. Among the most common options are soil and rock wool.


If you decide to plant your seeds on soil, you can start the process by filling your pots with an airy and light potting soil. Afterward, you can press the soil down gently, compacting it at the same time. Soak the soil using clean water, ensuring that all soil is damp yet not waterlogged or soggy. Make sure that the pH of the water is tested, balancing it to a level of 6.3 if necessary.

Make a hole in your soil, around half an inch in depth using the end of your finger. Pick the marijuana seed up gently using a pair of tweezers, placing it tap root down towards the bottom of the hole. Then, fill the hole gently using loose soil in order to cover the seed. If you are not really sure with the type of soil that you can use, you may want to check on some forums which can give you helpful information.

Note: if you decide to use pots which may be too large, it may take up the needed space, and quite challenging to fit your pots using a heating pad. At the same time, you will be introducing more moisture to the room. This means that you are just wasting your money on specific nutrients every time you water your seeds. At the same time, it is very important to remember that as the excess water evaporates, it will also increase the humidity of the room, thus increasing the possibility of experiencing humidity related issues such as mildew, bugs and mold.


Since rockwool cubes usually have a high pH, there is a need for you to adjust the pH level down by taking the time to soak your rockwool cubes in lukewarm water that has a pH level of 5.5. Allow the cubes to soak for around half an hour, removing it from the water, and letting the excess water to drain.

After, you can flush the cubes with fresh water with a pH level of 5.5, but not the one you used for soaking. After flushing them, make a small hole of around half an inch in depth using a screwdriver or a pencil. Pick the marijuana seed up gently using tweezers, placing the seed tap root down inside the hold. Cover it using loose rockwool which has also been adjusted in pH level.

Note: There are things that you also have to watch out for. For instance, you have to ensure that you avoid packing the rockwool all around the seed because it has to move through or past it. Avoid squeezing excess water out of the rockwool, because it may end up compressing it, and changing the intended ratio (air-to-moisture) allowed for rockwool.

At the same time, keep in mind that when you are growing your marijuana seeds using rockwool, it is very important to monitor, not just the pH level of the water that you are giving your seeds, but even the pH level of the runoff water. In order to keep the cubes from floating around runoff water, you can opt to set them on top of a think perlite layer.

Step 4– Check on the marijuana seeds regularly

marijuana seedlings

Always keep an eye on your pot seeds and make sure they are receiving enough moisture. Add a drop of water or two on the paper towel regularly. Keep the seeds moist but never over-soak them. Just enough moisture will allow proper seed germination.

Start your weed growing project by germinating seeds with good genetics and high germination rate. Use the best method of seed germination. When seeds have finally sprouted, handle them with care when you begin transplanting them in your preferred grow medium because marijuana sprouts are fragile during this stage.

In a period of two to five days, you will eventually start noticing the seeds starting to emerge from the medium. After they shed their shells, they will start to show their ovular embryo leaves, called the cotyledons. From time to time, these cotyledons are not really strong enough to have their shells shed off, and may require some help. However, make sure that you avoid this as much as possible because it needs precision.

It is also important to consider lighting accordingly. If you are currently using the most common option, that is, T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights, make sure that they are in between 6 to 8 inches from the top edge of the seeds. Also, set the schedule for 18 hours on and 6 hours off.

If you are growing using soil as the medium, it is highly recommended by expert growers to wait a week before adding further 20% nutrient strength to the water. On the other hand, if you grow using rockwool cubes, you can start feeding your seeds with diluted nutrients (20% maximum strength) as soon as they are ready. Keep in mind that the seeds are quite fragile at this time. Even a very small miscalculation may kill your seeds.

Reasons Why Germination of Seeds May Fail

reasons why marijuana seeds fail to germinateYour ultimate goal at this point is to make sure that most, if not all, of your marijuana seeds germinate successfully. However, it may not be avoidable that some seeds do not germinate the way you want them to. There are several reasons for this, including the following:

Too hot – if the germination area is too hot, your seeds may not be able to germinate. True, they need warmth, but too much heat can kill the seeds. Therefore, make sure that you keep an even temperature.

Too cold – a temperature that is too cold can also kill your seeds. For best practices, and to ensure a safe choice, you may want to germinate your plants at room temperature.

Too wet – too much excess water will easily flood the oxygen supply of your seed, thus resulting to the death of your seed. Seeds should be damp enough to let a steady supply of oxygen. However, you have to make sure that your soil is drained well in order to avoid water logging.

Too dry – too much dryness will also cause your seeds to shrink, and eventually die.

Planted too deep – the initial shoots of the germinated seed usually do not have enough strength to move huge amounts of soil. As recommended by expert growers, you can plant about half an inch in depth, lightly covering with soil in order to see the best results.

Germinating your marijuana seeds using the tips mentioned above will result to a successful project. At the same time, by avoiding certain conditions listed, you can also avoid some problems during the seed germination process. Just take your time and avoid rushing things out so that nature can just take its course on your plants.

If you want a complete growing marijuana guide from germination to harvest, then you might want to check on this growing elite marijuana ebook.

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