Online Growing Cannabis Education Center

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds For Beginners: Ultimate Guide

Germination is the growth of a new plant from a seed or seedling. It is the most important step when it comes to growing a cannabis garden. You can get the required seeds from a number of places. As a drawback, this means that the consistency of cannabis seeds varies greatly. To get your supply, we suggest looking at credible online seed banks. Please keep in mind that if you purchase seeds, you may have to deal with legal problems. This is particularly true if you purchase them from a vendor outside of the United States and certain countries.

Cannabis Seedling Macro
Cannabis Seedling Macro


When purchasing seeds, look for mature varieties that are dark brown in color and have a strong feel. Once you’ve got them, make sure you give them plenty of room to grow and prosper. It’s critical to understand how to properly germinate weed seeds if you want to reap years of good plants and abundant harvests. In this article, we will go through the optimal germination conditions and three different germinating methods in this guide.

The Ultimate Guide for a Successful Cannabis Seed Germination Process

Germinating the cannabis seeds is quite a simple process when done correctly. You only have to provide the seeds with three things: heat, water, and air. If you make sure to follow the essential steps listed below, the popular “paper towel” technique will be surprisingly simple for you to start germinating cannabis seeds. Before we get into showing you the different processes, here’s a short rundown of the best germination practices.


Make sure you don’t over-soak the seeds. The hard seeds need to be soaked for no more than 32 hours, but 24 hours is normally sufficient. Soaking them for too long will damage them. When marijuana seeds obtain the twin signals that include water & heat, they begin to grow.

Cannabis Seeds Water
26,000 Cannabis seeds getting their first watering (Source @Reddit)

The seedling would die if the root cuts through its shell and no more water is present. When the seed sprouts, maintain your roots moist to ensure enough moisture is always present.


This is, without a doubt, the most challenging part of germination. You must find a middle ground between “hot” and “warm.” In a normal year, spring temperatures are optimal. Cannabis seeds can also germinate successfully in colder temperatures, but it takes longer. When there is a lot of air humidity present, seedlings grow quicker. If low temperatures are a problem, you can fix it by buying incandescent bulbs, placing them over the seed region.


When seeds are left alone, they grow at their best. You need to provide the seeds with utmost care. For example, you should handle with caution while looking for the taproot. It’s best not to touch the white taproot since it’s prone to breaking off.


You don’t have to actually plant the germinated seeds too deep into the soil (or any other growing medium). A depth of 0.5โ€ to 1โ€ (1.27 to 2.54 cm) below the surface is sufficient. To make sure the seedling is best oriented, push the white root down into the soil.

Planting a germinated Cannabis seedling
Planting a germinated Cannabis seedling

Are the Seeds Good or Bad?

Always choose dark weed seeds because they are the ones that are most probable to germinate under ideal conditions.ย  The white or the pale-green seeds have a slim to zero probability of germinating. However if there is one essential aspect which shouldย  be always considered, that is to know the difference of Autoflowering Cannabis seeds vs Feminized seeds vs Regular seeds as these can make the entire difference regarding your success of a good yield.

3 Methods for Germinating Marijuana Seeds

1.ย ย ย  The Paper Towel Method

As we mentioned earlier, the paper towel method is one of the easiest germinating methods. Two clean plates, paper towels, and cannabis seeds are everything you need for this process. A word of advice: inexpensive paper towels are non-porous, so choose them. As a result, you won’t have to think about seeds and roots getting stuck on the soil.

It’s a simple method, but it’s also unsafe. For example, when you move the sprouted seeds, this may harm the taproot. Alternatively, the paper may dry out and damage the seeds. Letโ€™s take a look at how the process works:

  1. Soak up to 4 paper small towel sheets in distilled water before using. Make sure there isnโ€™t any water dripping from the sheet after it has been soaked.
  2. Two of your paper sheets should be placed on one of your plates. Place the seeds at least 1โ€ apart on the ground. Cover with the remaining two paper towel layers.
  3. To keep the seeds moist, cover them with the second plate. You’ve built a dome for a low price! Check the seeds frequently and see whether they have started growing.
  4. Place the seeds in an area with a temperature of 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 32 Celsius defgrees)
  5. You must now wait. Seeds usually sprout in 1-4 days, although some old seeds may take up to a week for germination.
  6. Made sure the sheets are soaked when checking the seeds. Add more water if they are dried out.

In a few days, the seed will crack and a small root will emerge, indicating that germination has occurred. Avoid touching the taproot when itโ€™s sprouting or transplanting.

The problem with paper

If however you try the paper towel method to germinate Cannabis seeds, then you should prepare for risk that the paper will dry and at some point you will be curious to see if your seeds have germinated or not, and when you will try to separate the paper one from another, it is possible that the seed which germinated successfully to be ripped apart because of the seed itself being glued to a part of the paper, while the very fragile sprouted seedling to be glued to another side of the paper.

paper tower method cannabis seeds germination
An accident of a killed sprout which can easily be avoided

Of the dry paper towel would be watered once again before you would attempt to open it, there would be a chance that this wouldn’t happen. Unfortunately there are plenty of stories where the grower realizes that he just destroyed his succesful germinated Marijuana seed, just a second after unfolding the dry paper towel.

2.ย  ย  Direct Planting

Naturally, a cannabis seed can germinate in the soil and emerge with a taproot that extends into the ground. As a result, you can plant cannabis seeds directly into your preferred growth medium. The most significant advantage is that you won’t have to think about the seedling being “shocked” when transported.

Your seedling can quickly adapt to its new environment and grow. Dig a hole 0.5โ€ โ€“ 1โ€ deep in damp yet not saturated soil when using this process. Use a heating pad or lights to keep it warm.

3.ย ย ย  Seedling Plugs and Starter Cubes

This has been touted as the simplest method of germination. It’s essentially a fail-safe system. Simply place the seed into the cube/plug and fill it with water. Germination can happen naturally within a few days if you place the seeds in an environment with the correct temperature. The seeds are placed in a pre-made hole, so it’s a “set it and forget it” process.

The key disadvantage of this germination process is that such plugs are usually sold in 50-packs. If you just want to grow a few cannabis plants, waste is unavoidable. In around a week, the plugs will dry out and become unusable.

You can also use Rockwool cubes, which are inexpensive and easy to come by. They are, though, a huge burden on the atmosphere and harmful to your health. Rockwool often has a high pH (requiring pre-rinsing) and a poor cloning and germination success rate.

BONUS: Germinating Marijuana Seeds in Cotton Wool

The 2.0 version of paper is the method of germinating Marijuana seeds in cotton wool. The moisture added can be maintained for much longer than the paper method and does not come with the same problems on board.

Grab a clean bag or a dish, put some cotton wool on either of them, then place your seedsย  inside the cotton wool as if you were making a sandwich. Sprinkle water on one side of the cotton wool and make sure it reaches all your seeds, then fold the other half over them.

Before starting this, you can soak your “beans” in a cup of filtered or distilled water for 12 to 24 hours to maximize your germination success rate, but we will get to this part a bit later.

cotton wool marijuana seed germination
Now if you don’t have cotton wool, you can still do this with a paper towel or even a piece of clean cloth; be careful however as to how clean the piece of cloth is so that it does not contain detergents from washing, that may damage the seed and result in an unsuccessful germination.

Just remember to maintain moisture and always moisture the towel before attempting to unfold it in order to see if you have obtained any succesful sprouts.

It is really a simple yet effective method as this is the fastest way to germinate Marijuana seeds. What it requires the most is your attention for the small details, and to not be careless when handling the seeds as they are very fragile, especially when sprouted.

How to Maximize the Seed Germination Success Rate

This is the bonus twist which the article refers to in its title for massively increasing your chances of successfully germinating your seeds.

One of the best methods to increase your chances at a succesful germination, is to add a capful of Hydrogen Peroxide to 20oz / 600ml of water, and soak your Marijuana seeds for 12 hours. The Hydrogen Peroxide will kill any pathogen found in the water and on the seeds as well. If you do not have plenty of seeds available, this is definitely a must do step in order to maximize all the chances you got.

Cannabis Seeds Germinated
Cannabis Seeds Germinated

Another advantage of applying this method is also to help in prevention of the damping off disease in Cannabis seedlings.

How long does it take?

Whether you are using a paper towel, a piece of clean cloth or cotton wool, the duration of this process can vary from seed to seed, but it usually takes a few days. Some Cannabis seeds may take even 10 days to germinate successfully, however if some of them have not sprouted successfully within this period, it is not likely that they will germinate anymore and they cannot be considered viable anymore.

It is quite an important process to know how to pick the right Marijuana seeds not only for germination purposes or gender, but also to match your expectations of the final yield output.

Feel free to participate in a discussion below by leaving a comment describing your approach and experience towards germinating Marijuana seeds. We would love to hear them out!

Enjoy the excitement!

Germinating Marijuana seeds requires a meticulous attention to detail. Approach the germination process correctly and you will see wonderful results. Believe it or not, the measures you take throughout the very first day or two while germinating your little seeds, contributes to a significant part for the end result quality of your crops. Great care is taken by professional growers all over the world throughout the germination method to remove any variables which can negatively affect their seeds, and you can do it too!

Autoflowering Seeds vs Feminized Seeds vs Regular

1 thought on “How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds For Beginners: Ultimate Guide”

  1. Great post, this has helped me avoid the classic Cannabis seed germination mistake. Many thanks


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *