How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

When it comes to getting started in the cannabis seed growing industry, there is a lot of seemingly contradictory advice out there for people to use. These pieces of advice can conflict with one another and, for many people, this can make it hard to know where to start with the germination of their cannabis seeds. Thankfully, there are a number of reliable methods for how to germinate cannabis seeds that you can follow, regardless of your experience, that will help you to germinate your cannabis seeds.

Things to Consider

Prior to germinating your first cannabis seeds, you should always consider the quality of the seeds themselves. Indeed, one of the largest impacts on the germination of cannabis seeds is that of the seed quality itself; poor quality seeds will often have a very poor germination rate, and vice versa.

As such, when it comes to buying your seeds, always try to do your research first. Ideally, you should consider buying seeds from somewhere that offers free replacement seeds in the event that the company’s standard for germination isn’t met by the seeds; this guarantee will help you to ensure that as many seeds germinate as possible, and if not, you’ll get the chance to try again for free.

Additionally, different seeds will naturally vary in their germination rates, primarily based on their genetics and the care which they were produced with by the original breeder; when choosing a strain of cannabis seeds, always try to check that the strain you have chosen has a good reputation for germination rates or otherwise comes from a well known and highly regarded breeder in the cannabis industry. It is also important to note the difference between a breeder and a seed bank; a seed bank might be the ones who sell you the seeds, and they will usually be the ones responsible for offering quality and germination guarantees and replacements in the case that any seeds that you buy aren’t fitting with this criteria.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

There are many different ways to germinate your cannabis seeds, however, our favorite methods have to be the ones below. If you follow these methods carefully then you should have a good chance of getting the best possible germination rates for your seeds.

A Word Of Caution

An important point to note is that some seed banks will have their own preferred germination methods. As such, you should always be careful when buying seeds with a germination guarantee as these guarantees will often only apply when you germinate the seeds in line with the seed bank’s own recommendations. Indeed, if you follow our method but your seed bank recommends another then you might not get the free seeds in the event that the germination doesn’t go as well as planned.

Plant Them—Duh!

Planting your cannabis seeds in the soil might seem a little basic, but simply planting the seeds and allowing them to germinate naturally is still a great way of germinating your cannabis seeds. 

When germinating seeds in the soil, buy top quality soil (that is breathable and well-drained). The seeds should be planted in the soil to a depth of approximately twice their width.

Planting seeds in the soil can be a risky way of germinating your cannabis seeds as over or under-watering is a very real issue. Additionally, if the seed isn’t planted at the correct depth, it may not be able to germinate properly. However, when done correctly, germinating seeds in the soil can be affordable and highly effective.

Paper Towel

Another popular germination method is that of the paper towel method. In this, the cannabis seeds are placed on a folded, damp paper towel and covered with another wet tissue. This “system” should then be covered by a container—with a small gap being left to allow the system to breathe.

By providing the seeds with plenty of moisture from the two paper towels, germination should soon begin. The seeds should be stored at a temperature of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the best possible results from this method.

Peat/Rockwool Plugs

The easiest and most effective way to germinate your cannabis seeds is through the use of starter cubes. Made from rockwool or peat, these different plugs are great for both hydroponic and soil-based systems. 

In order to use the plugs, you should first fully soak them. Once the cubes are fully saturated with water, you then need to gently place the individual seeds in the cubes—there should be a hole cut in the cubes in preparation for this. Then, simply place the plugs in a square tray, cover with a dome in order to protect the seeds from the external environment and increase the humidity; this will help encourage the seeds to germinate quickly.

In Summary

There are many different options available to growers for germinating their seeds. Arguably the best method, though, is that of the peat or rockwool plugs; these come ready cut at the correct planting depth, are moist, and are soft enough to allow the germination process to be incredibly easy for the seeds. If you don’t have the cubes on hand or any way of sourcing them, though, then soil or damp paper towels can also be a good alternative.