Marijuana Seeds

5 Basic Methods of Germinating Marijuana Seeds


You might be seated in your room one day enjoying a good roll of Kush when you realize that growing your marijuana would be a dope idea. However, like most people, you might shelve this idea believing the process is challenging and best left to the experts. Well, the good news is that you are wrong. Cultivating cannabis is quite easy.

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Before we cover some essentials of growing the plant, let us first understand the initial step of the process; germination of cannabis seeds. For the success of the process, you first need to meet a few conditions. These include lighting, oxygen, the right temperature, and water. However, you first need to answer a crucial question before moving on; what is germination?

Germination is sometimes called ‘’popping’’. It describes a process through which a seed grows into a plant. This is the first step towards the growth of your cannabis plantation. The germination process will take 3-7 days irrespective of your environment and growing method. The lack of perfect conditions for germination could cause the failure of the process. After you have planted your seeds and are sure the conditions for their growth have been met, there will be a dormant period. After this, the seeds will fragment, and their roots will become visible. This heralds the success of your germination.

With your newly acquired information on the germination process, here is a tip to save you on your resources and time. Consider dividing your cannabis plants into females and males so that they will both produce flowers. Even so, the different sexes have diverse characteristics that will determine the growth of your plants. It is quite simple to divide the different plant sexes and successfully germinate your first seed provided you get the basics right.


Cannabis Seeds

Conditions needed for germinating cannabis seeds.


Below are some options for the start of your cannabis germination:

1. Germination in a Glass of Water

Germination of weed in a glass of water might not sound possible. Even so, it can be achieved. The process is sometimes called pre-germination since the cannabis seeds will be initially soaked in water, more so if they are older seeds.


Thankfully, the germination of your seed in a glass of water only needs lukewarm water and a glass. Though these do not sound like a lot of machines or considerable effort for seed germination, the success rates of the process are not as appealing. This is because you can easily damage the newly germinated seeds when handling them.

The Process

The best seed options when you choose a glass of water for germination are hard and old seeds. With your equipment ready, here are the steps for germination:

  1. Soak your marijuana seeds in clean lukewarm chlorine-free water overnight, for not more than 32 hours. This softens their hard coats and will, with the right temperature, kick start chemical changes on the inside of the seeds to activate a baby plant.
  2. In most cases, you will notice some seeds floating after the soaking while others will remain at the bottom of your water glass. The ones that will float first have high survival chances, but they will later sink as they soak up more water.
  3. You will see a little white/green root pop from the seeds. This is an indication of germination. The root will take 1-3 days on average to pop. For this change to be evident, it is best to use a transparent water glass for the germination process.
  4. Finally, you should remove the freshly germinated seeds from the glass and use a kitchen towel to dry them.

As already stated, there is a 50% chance of success with this germination option. If it does not work for you, place your seeds in a warm place, then try the paper towel germination method for them.

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  • The water glass germination method is an ideal choice for reviving old seeds. More so, it is very easy and does not need expensive equipment.


  • There is only a 50% chance that your seeds will germinate with the water glass method. As such, it is often only recommended for old seeds that might otherwise die.
  • Though germination with this alternative takes 1-3 days, it can sometimes take a week.

2. Germination Using a Wet Towel

It sounds absurd to use a wet towel to germinate your cannabis seeds, but this is one of the options that works when you want to establish your plantation. Similar to when using the water glass method, the wet towel technique uses a pre-germination method. Like the former, this method needs no costly equipment and is easy. These qualities make it a perfect choice for novice farmers and for seeds that have been declared dormant or become old.

Other than being inexpensive, germination of your cannabis seeds using a wet towel, unfortunately, carries the risk of damaging the roots of your plants when moving them from the towel. Moreover, you should be careful since the paper towel can lose the moisture necessary for the growth of the cannabis seeds. This will cause the death of the seeds.


Cannabis Seeds

Benefits of germinating cannabis seeds using wet towel.



The main thing you will need with the wet towel germination technique is a paper towel. As such, it is considered among the easiest methods of weed seed germination. You need not get the most expensive paper towels on the market for the germination; even the cheapest brand will work as well as the most expensive one. Other than the paper towel, you will need the following:

  • Clean chlorine-free water.
  • Two plates.
  • A fluorescent tube that will help maintain the germination temperature at 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Process

Once you have the above requirements in place, you can follow the simple steps below to germinate your seeds using the wet towel technique:

  1. Wet your paper towel, if possible using distilled water. Ideally, you should wet the towel until it is entirely wet, but not to a point where it is dripping.
  2. Fold the seeds inside the wet paper towel in a way that you will tuck them firmly inside the towel. Space your seeds so that they are not too close to each other. Without enough space between them, you do not give the seeds room to grow.
  3. Place your wet paper towel with the seeds tucked inside it on a paper plate. The other paper plate should be used to cover the one with the seeds placed on it. This guarantees that the wetness on the wet towel is locked in to support seed germination.
  4. Leave the plates in a warm environment that maintains an optimum temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use the fluorescent lights to preserve this temperature range in the paper plates’ environment, but you should also ensure the environment has enough light. It is best to turn the fluorescent lights on for a few hours per day so that you do not burn your germinating seeds with the heat from the lights. Periodically check whether the seeds are drying out by checking the wetness of the towels. If you notice the towels are too dry, you can add some water to them so that the germination process is kept under favorable conditions.

Patience is crucial when using the wet towel germination process. This is because it can take 1-7 days for your seeds to germinate. However, if your seeds show no signs of germination for three days after they are placed on the plates, there probably is something that has gone wrong. Even so, keep periodically checking for any signs of germination. When you see a small white or green root pop out, you can rest assured that the germination process is complete.

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Once the process is complete, you can choose to carefully transfer the seeds from the wet towels to a small soil-filled pot or make a hole in the ground and plant the cannabis seeds. To avoid damaging your germinated seeds during the transfer, consider using a pair of tweezers for the process. Either way, be extremely careful during the transfer because newly-germinated seeds are very fragile.

If you choose to plant the seeds in the ground, ensure the roots face the hole to guarantee a bountiful harvest.


  • The wet towel method is easy to handle with minimum equipment use.
  • You need not worry about having the ideal climatic or soil conditions for the seeds’ germination.
  • Your old and dormant cannabis seeds can be quickly germinated using the wet towel technique.


  • The seeds can lack enough oxygen for their growth because they are covered in paper plates and a towel.
  • There is a risk of your plants becoming infested by mildew and mold because of the moist conditions.
  • Even when all things seemingly go well, your seeds might be too weak to hold up to the rigors of a standard transplant.

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3. Germination in a Germination Station

This is the best alternative for growing novice farmers and amateurs. The germination station used in the technique is a tool that is exclusively constructed with the optimal germination conditions in place for a hassle-free venture. Thankfully, the construction of a germination station is not so complex, and anyone can do it. Even so, for amateurs, it is best to settle for a professionally-constructed station.


The only thing you will have to purchase for this technique is a germination station. After procuring the station, you will need the soil or medium in which you plan to germinate your cannabis seeds. Once you have these in place, it is time to ready the germination station for the process. Here is a guide on how you can read it:

The germination station comes with a seedling cube in which you will germinate your seeds. To prepare it for germination, fill this cube using the medium in which you would like to germinate your seeds. You will then transplant the seedlings you have into the cube. For amateurs, this alternative is very convenient since you simply need to carry the seedling in the cube then plant it in the location you wish.


Cannabis Seeds

Process of germinating cannabis seeds using germination station.


The Process

The germination process for cannabis seeds in a germination station is easy. You can start right after you have all the needed things in place. Here are the steps involved in your seeds’ germination:

  1. Ensure you place your germination station in a warm location.
  2. Most starter kits for seed germination come with all the things you will need for the process. One of the things you will get is a small pack containing bacteria. Dissolve this pack in a liter of water.
  3. Use the water in which you have dissolved bacteria to water the cube pots in your germination station.
  4. Drain any excess water from the cube pots since you would not want your pots dripping water. The germination environment for your seeds should be moist but not drenched.
  5. Now you can start the seed planting process. Ensure the seed is buried at a depth of not less than 20 inches in the growing pot you have prepared.
  6. Since your germination station has been in a warm place, it will have already reached an optimal germination temperature. Maintain this temperature at 69.8-77 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the above steps, you cannot do much other than wait for 3-7 days for your seeds to germinate. At the end of this period, you will notice a small green or white root popping from the seeds to indicate the completion of the germination process.

After the germination process, you can simply transplant your cube with the seed in it straight into the pot in the germination station to start the seedling phase. Ensure the cube is placed in a similar manner as it was in its growing medium since the roots of your seeds will protrude through the cube’s bottommost part.


  • The germination station is very easy and convenient to use.
  • The station comes equipped with a soil enhancer, so do not worry about this. There is also an organic soil mixture supplied with the station. This contains useful fungi that ensure your seed has all the nutrients it needs to grow.
  • The use of a germination station promotes the development of healthy roots because germination will take place in the same environment as actual cultivation.
  • Among new harvesters, the use of a germination station has been shown to have the highest rate of success among germination techniques.

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  • The germination station is not as readily available in most places. You often need to order it from an online store, then wait for its delivery for you to begin the germination process of your cannabis seeds.

4. Direct Germination of Seeds in the Soil

Mother earth, that is the soil, marks one of the most natural alternatives for the germination of your cannabis seeds. With this option, you need not mess around with the pre-germination phase involved in the three preceding alternatives. The direct germination technique has been around for ages. In it, seeds will be sown in the soil and will emerge as their roots begin growing downwards. If you settle for the direct germination option for your cannabis seeds:

  • You do not have to worry about the optimal conditions for the germination of the seeds.
  • There is no risk of damaging the seeds during their transplantation.
  • There are no adjustments you will need since its surroundings remain unchanged.


Cannabis Seeds

Requirements for direct germination of cannabis seeds in the soil.



When using this very natural technique, all you will need is soil with perfect texture and just the right amount of nutrients, along with nature. The soil should have the right amount of moisture, and the weather conditions should have temperatures of 69.8-77 degrees Fahrenheit for your cannabis seeds to thrive. With these, you are now ready for the germination process.

The Process

Here are the steps you will go through with the most natural germination process for cannabis seeds:

  1. Get a pot that is 3-4 inches deep and fill it with soil.
  2. Make a hole in the center of the soil in the pot measuring about 0.20 inches. This is the approximate size of a fingernail.
  3. Place your seed gently into the hole. It is essential to place the seed properly in the soil if you want to have a bountiful harvest.
  4. Use chlorine-free water to ensure the soil around your seed is sufficiently moist. Be careful not to oversaturate the soil because this can kill your seeds. The recommended option to get the right amount of water for your soil is to use a spray bottle for watering.
  5. After watering, place the germination pot in a warm place to allow the seeds in it to rest. Getting the optimum temperature for the surroundings of the seeds at this stage is essential because the excess cold will keep the seeds from sprouting, while excessively high temperatures will dry them out. You can consider using fluorescent light to warm the pot’s surroundings if you live in a cold place. The ideal environmental temperature is 69.8-77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Be careful about your growing location’s humidity. Ensure you keep the humidity at 50-70% to maximize the success rate of your germination process.

After the above steps, you will wait for 3-7 days for the germination process to be complete. When this process is complete, you will see a small green or white root popping out of the seeds. After the germination process is finished, there is no need to transfer the newly-germinated seed because it is already in the soil where it will keep growing from that time onwards.


  • This is the closest option you have for the germination of weed seeds to a natural setup. There is a decreased risk of damaging the germinated seed because you will not transfer the seed to its eventual growing location like you will in the options with pre-germination.
  • You need very little equipment with the direct soil germination technique. This means you will not go broke trying to germinate cannabis seeds.

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  • With this alternative, you have to work together with the soil, and numerous factors will affect the germination of your seed.
  • The method does not work for old or dormant seeds because these have minimal chances of growth.
  • You cannot see the seeds, so you have no sure way for you to know whether or not it has germinated.

5. Germination of Seeds with Rockwool

The word ‘Rockwool’ might seem like something out of space for you. You might be wondering what on earth this might be. Well, Rockwool is found right here on earth. It is a ball of mineral wool formed from volcanic rock mixed with materials like limestone and ballast. The making of Rockwool constitutes the melting of its components to make molten lava that is quickly spun into threads.  The freshly-spun threads are then further compacted, cut, then cured.  Though Rockwood forms an ideal germinating environment for most plants, it should be somewhat tweaked to make it suitable for cannabis seeds. It is not a recommended alternative for beginners because tweaking it to suit cannabis seeds is challenging.


You will need several things for the successful germination of your cannabis seeds when using Rockwool. Below are tidbits on these requirements:

  • Before starting, you should have some fertilizer. For the best germination results, ensure that the total dissolved solids in the fertilizer you choose are approximately 600ppm. The total dissolved solids {TDS} content denotes the fertilizer’s total concentration of dissolved materials in water.
  • The PH of your growing medium should be lower than that of Rockwool. The standard PH of Rockwool is 7. This is too high when you are germinating cannabis seeds. You should soak the Rockwool in water for about 24 hours for you to lower its PH. This is because water has a PH of 5.5-8.5 on average.


Cannabis Seeds

Benefits of germinating cannabis seeds using rockwool.


The Process

You should be careful when using Rockwool for the germination of cannabis seeds because the process is a bit complicated. This means that it will not work for beginners. The following are the basic steps of germinating weed seeds using Rockwool:

  1. Submerge your Rockwool cubes in the water at a 5.6-5.8 PH reading. This is crucial so that you can reduce the PH of Rockwool to an acceptable one for the germination of cannabis seeds.
  2. After soaking the Rockwool for about a day, gently squeeze the cubes to reduce the amount of water they hold.
  3. There will be a hole that has already formed in your Rockwool. Place your weed seeds in it horizontally.
  4. Cover the hole using another piece of soft Rockwool. This is done carefully because if the covering is too tight, enough oxygen needed for your seed’s germination will not reach it.
  5. Get a warm location for the placement of the seeds in the moist Rockwool. The ideal temperature range for the germination of weed seeds is 71.6-77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. You will need to water the Rockwool cubes every one or two days with water that has the same PH as what you initially used to soak the cubes to lower their PH.

With this alternative, it will take your seeds 3-5 days for them to germinate, so be patient and wait. When germination is complete, you will notice a green or white root on the seeds. Though the germination process when using Rockwool is not difficult, the adjustment of nutrients and PH make it unsuitable for beginners.


  • Rockwool is easy to get, as are all the supplies you will need when using it for weed seed germination.
  • Rockwool is cheap, and this makes the germination process inexpensive.
  • Since there is no soil needed for the germination, it can be comfortably used by those planning to grow their weed hydroponically. You can easily use Rockwool cubes in a hydroponic setting since it retains a lot of water and resists the growth of mold.
  • Rockwool is available in convenient cubes that ease its handling.
  • The germination process when using Rockwool is much like the natural alternative.


  • Rockwool is detrimental to the environment. The material does not break down easily when dumped, so it will remain in the same form for years and pose a considerable environmental risk.
  • The high PH of Rockwool has to be countered early. If this is not handled correctly, there is a considerable threat of a low success rate of the germination process and cloning.
  • The success rate for germination when using Rockwool cubes is not so high. These cubes sometimes harbor moisture that can cause the cannabis seeds in them to die.
  • Rockwool cubes have often been reported to hold insufficient oxygen. As such, the oxygen will not get to the roots of your seeds, and this will kill them.
  • Rockwool cubes are hazardous to human life. It is harmful to the lungs, so experts recommend wearing goggles, a mask, and gloves when handling them to protect yourself.

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Now that the above tidbits have exhaustively discussed your germination techniques for cannabis seeds, you are in a good position to choose the technique that best suits you. Thankfully, most of the methods do not need special equipment or knowledge. Moreover, they do not need a considerable monetary investment or effort, so we recommend that you try them. The primary element you should have when germinating the seeds is patience. Equip yourself with the right tools, and with practice, you are sure to be amazed at the results of your weed seed germination process.

If you have tried one of these germination methods, we would like to hear about your experience in our comment section below.

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