There are many reliable techniques you can use for germinating cannabis seeds. They all work equally well so pick the method that works best for you!
Seed germination occurs when a seed is exposed to water, darkness and the correct temperature. You should aim for a humid environment between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 32 degrees Celsius). When a seed germinates, it splits apart and a tiny root emerges from the seed. This marks the transition into the seedling stage of plant growth. Read this article to learn more about the science of seed germination.
How long does germinating cannabis seeds take?
It will generally take around 2 to 5 days to germinate weed seeds but some strains of weed can take up to 2 weeks to germinate.
How to germinate weed seeds
1. Germinating weed seeds in water
- Place your seeds in a jar or cup filled with distilled water at around 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 32 degrees Celsius).
- Store the container somewhere dark, warm and fairly humid and place a plate or jar lid on top to retain the heat. Change the water every 2 days.
- Distilled water must be used because it doesn’t contain any chlorine. You can purchase distilled water here.
2. Germinating weed seeds using wet tissue paper
- Place your seeds on a plate between layers tissue paper moistened with distilled water.
- Cover the plate and store it in a somewhere dark, warm and fairly humid
- Re-moisten the tissue paper when required.
3. Germinating weed seeds using peat pellets (jiffy pellets)
Peat pellets are great because you can control the germination indoors but also directly plant the pellet in the growth medium so there no risk of damaging your seeds when you transport them.
- Pour water over each pellet until it expands to its full size
- Make a hole in the pellet and add seed to each hole
- Store in a dark, warm and fairly humid place until germination
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When germinating cannabis seeds using peat pellets, a humidity dome can be very useful for keeping your plants at the right temperature as your seeds germinate.
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A heat mat can also help keep your seeds warm if you live in a cooler climate.
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Dan Thomas has a nice video that shows the process of germinating seeds in peat pellets.
4. Germinate weed seeds by planting directly in the growth medium
In addition to germinating in jiffy peat pellets, you can germinate weed seeds directly in any type of growth medium. Make a small hole in the growth medium where you want to plant (about 0.5” deep) and place the seed in the hole with the pointy side facing up. The orientation of your seed is not critical because seeds have the natural ability to orientate themselves in the correct way. It can also help to soak the seeds in distilled water for 24 hours before planting to soften up the shell and encourage germination. The technique is the same whether you’re planting in potting mix, soil, coco coir or any hydroponic growth medium.
There are lots of different growth mediums you can choose to germinate and grow your seeds in:
How to plant germinated seeds
If you germinate weed seeds before planting you need to be very careful when moving and planting the seeds. The germinated seed is extremely fragile and susceptible to damage. Plant your seeds the same way you would an un-germinated seed by making a 0.5” hole in the growth medium and dropping in the seed.