How to Germinate your Cannabis Seeds


Table of Contents:

  1. Intro
  2. Fold to Start into Rapid Rooter (Method 1) (Best for Photoperiods)
  3. Fold to Start into Soil (Method 2) (Best for Autoflowers and Photoperiods)
  4. Direct Plant into Soil (Method 3) (Best for Autoflowers and Photoperiods)
  5. Video
  6. Supplies and Where To Get Them

Introduction

Hi there and welcome to this section which is all about germinating your seeds! If you have any questions about where to get seeds, if purchasing seeds online is safe and which seed banks we suggest, please check out our “Get Seeds” sections or click here (Get Seeds).

So the first step to germinating your cannabis seeds will obviously be getting your seeds. Once you have gotten your seeds make sure to keep them stored in a cool, dry and dark place until you are going to use them.


Method 1: Fold to Start into Rapid Rooter

The first method we are going to cover has the best results in our opinion and will work best for photoperiod strains.

Before we start you will need to do is gather the seeds you will be germinating, a glass that can hold two ounces (or more) of water, a plate, a paper towel and one rapid rooter for every seed you plan on germinating.

The first thing you do is expose the seeds to water. In order to do so fill your glass with filtered water (RO water, fridge water or inline filtered water is all ok), about two to three ounces will be enough, and put your seeds into the glass. Some growers Ph their water to 6.3, but we haven’t noticed any significant differences ourselves. Keep your germinating seeds in a dark space such as a closet.

After eight to twelve hours, poke the seeds with your finger (make sure to clean your hands first), and they should fall down to the bottom of the cup. If they don’t, don’t worry, simply check back every hour and poke them until they do fall.

Twenty-four hours after you have first exposed your seeds to water, you will need to dump them into the paper towel and plate. The point of this is the paper towel will give the seeds a damp environment to germinate in. Double layering a paper towel will allow the towel to hold more water meaning it won’t dry out as fast, and can prevent any accidental underwatering at this early and crucial stage of growth. Make sure to keep your seeds in a dark space during this time.

Over the next two to five days, you will need to check the paper towel every four to eight to ensure it is still damp, and add water when necessary. Once the seeds have grown a tap root (a single white root out of the seed itself) to ¾ of an inch long, it is time to plant.

Apply water to your rapid rooters and allow them to soak up water for about thirty minutes to an hour. After this time, go ahead and dump out the water into a cup for later use, or on other plants. Feel free to use a soluble mycorrhizal inoculant with this first watering to boost root development. After you have soaked your rapid rooters, go ahead and insert your germinated cannabis seeds with the tap root facing down into the rapid rooter. At this point, your seeds should be exposed to a light source such as a grow light or the sun. Over the next few days our hours depending on your genetics, the seed will break the seed starter and your on your path to harvesting your first cannabis plant! Make sure to check your rapid rooters every 8 to 12 hours to ensure they do not dry out. If you have your rapid rooters in a plant tray, remove excess water 5 minutes after watering.

Picture of cannabis seedling

You may also use a Jiffy Pellet or other seed starter, but we find Rapid Rooters or Root Riot to be the best option.


Method 2: Fold to Start into Soil

The fold to start into soil method is almost identical to Method 1, but is different in the way we will plant directly into the soil, and this method will work for both autoflowers and photoperiods. If you have already read Method 1, read the first paragraph then go ahead and scroll down to the last paragraph to see the differences.

Before we start you will need to do is gather the seeds you will be germinating, a glass that can hold two ounces (or more) of water, a plate, a paper towel and soil (plant pots, raised garden beds, direct ground planting etc will all work for this method).

The first thing you do is expose the seeds to water. In order to do so fill your glass with filtered water (RO water, fridge water or inline filtered water is ok), about two to three ounces will be enough, and put your seeds into the glass. Some growers Ph their water to 6.3, but we haven’t noticed any significant differences ourselves. Keep your germinating seeds in a dark space such as a closet.

After eight to twelve hours, poke the seeds with your finger (make sure to clean your hands first), and they should fall down to the bottom of the cup. If they don’t, don’t worry, simply check back every hour and poke them until they do fall.

Twenty-four hours after you have first exposed your seeds to water, you will need to dump them into the paper towel and plate. The point of this is the paper towel will give the seeds a damp environment to germinate in. Double layering a paper towel will allow the towel to hold more water meaning it won’t dry out as fast, and can prevent any accidental underwatering at this early and crucial stage of growth. Make sure to keep your seeds in a dark space during this time.

Over the next two to five days, you will need to check the paper towel every four to eight to ensure it is still damp, and add water when necessary. Once the seeds have grown a tap root (a single white root out of the seed itself) to ¾ of an inch long, it is time to plant.

Apply water to your soil and allow the soil to absorb the water. If you are planting a photoperiod seed, we suggest starting in a 3.5” square pot, and transplanting up as needed as explained on this page (How to Grow). If you are planting an autoflower, make sure to plant it into its home (the final plant pot, raised bed etc) as autoflowers do not respond well to being transplanted. Once the soil as absorbed the water, go ahead and poke a hole into the soil with your finger. The moist soil will retain the hole you have poked, and go ahead and drop your germinated seed in tap root down, lightly place soil back over the seed, and water again lightly. At this point, your seeds should be exposed to a light source such as a grow light or the sun. Feel free to use a soluble mycorrhizal inoculant with this first watering to boost root development. Make sure to check your soil every 4 to 8 hours to ensure they do not dry out for the first few days. Over the next few days our hours depending on your genetics, the seed will break the soil and your on your path to harvesting your first cannabis plant!


Method 3: Direct Plant into Soil, Rapid Rooter or Ground

This method is completely different than the other two and can sometimes be temperamental. This method into soil will work for photoperiods and autoflowers, while the rapid rooter option would work best with photoperiods only.

We will be explaining this method with a rapid rooter, but the same steps should be taken if you are planting into garden bed, the ground directly, or soil in a plant pot.

Before we start you will need to do is gather the seeds you will be germinating, water and your rapid rooters.

The first thing you will do is place your seeds into your rapid rooter, then simply water your rapid rooter(s) and remove the excess water. Like the other steps, you can choose to use soluble mycorrhizae at this point. You may also water your rapid rooters before depending on preference, but as the seeds are not already germinated with a tap root, that is not necessary with this method.

Put your rapid rooters with seeds under a light source, and check back in every 8 to 12 hours to ensure your rapid rooters are still moist. Depending on your genetics your seeds will sprout between two and seven days. Once your seeds have sprouted, allow them to grow for several more days before transplanting to a larger pot.

If you are using soil in a plant pot, a garden bed, or planting directly into the soil outdoors, put your seed into the soil, then follow the remaining steps.


Video

Updated video on Cannabis Germination by Robert Organixx
Old video on Cannabis Germination by Robert Organixx

Supplies and Links

Seed Starter: General Hydroponics Rapid Rooters or Root Riot or Jiffy Pellets

Soil: Big Rootz Soil (Soil King) or Roots Organic (Original) or Pro Mix HP Soil

PH Adjusters: Earth Juice Natural Down and Earth Juice Natural Up (Organic) OR PH Down and PH Up (General Hydroponics, Inorganic)

Plant Pots: 3.5″ Square Pots (Starter Pots), Nursery Pots (1, 2, 3 Gallon)

Generic Fabric Pots: 3 Gallon Fabric Pot, 10 Gallon Fabric Pot, 30 Gallon Fabric Pot, 100 Gallon Fabric Pot

Smart Pots (Suggested over Generic but Pricier): 1-1,000 Gallon (Select Size and Quantity)

Equipment: Electronic PH Tester, Measuring Cup (Shot Glass Style), Plant Labels