Germinate Marijuana Seeds The Easy Way

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How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds

How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds

Germinating marijuana seeds paves the way for healthy development of the plant, so it is very important to make sure that every need of the seed and germ are fulfilled. This article will describe what seeds are, and what exactly makes them germinate.

Like every plant, marijuana begins with a seed, which requires water to grow. The seed houses the entire plant and can survive the first few days with a reservoir of food. While it’s germinating, the seed can turn this saved food into sugars, which it uses to grow.

We will uncover the process of germinating seeds as well as perfecting the conditions for young seedlings. Additionally, I will go through the different methods of germination, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method.



Don’t want to read? Watch the video!

Introduction to cannabis seeds

Buy Cannabis SeedsLike every plant, marijuana begins with a seed, which requires water to grow. The seed houses the entire plant and can survive the first few days with a reservoir of food. While it’s germinating, the seed can turn this saved food into sugars, which it uses to grow.

A seed increases in size and breaks open when it’s received enough moisture. A germ opening forms, allowing the root to go through, and it goes down into the ground. Because its downward motion is due only to gravity and not some other force, the root will always grow downward–even if the seed is positioned in a different way. Consequently, the stem consistently grows opposite to the root, so it will always grow upward.

Different ways of germination

Germinate Cannabis Seeds MethodsGermination methods come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its pros and cons. Rockwool cubes, soil, or peat pellets are all suitable locations for the germination process.

As long as the amount of moisture and temperature are right, they should all achieve the same thing in the end. Let’s start out by going through my favorite method of germination: water germination coupled with soil germination.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

I first submerge the seeds in water and let them soak for 24 hours. This assures that there is the right amount of moisture to begin germinating. The seeds won’t absorb too much water unless they’ve been soaking for 7 days or more, so don’t be concerned about that.

Pour tap water (no added nutrients needed) into a cup and let it sit for several hours, allowing it to get to a room temperature. Even if the seeds haven’t broken open, the seeds will have begun to germinate after 24 hours.

How to germinate marijuana seeds in soil

Germinate cannabis seeds in soilBecause soil makes a cushion of water and nutrients, it is very easy to germinate the seeds in soil. You should use mildly fertilized potting soil or a seed-starter; the pH level of proper soil should be approximately 6. Read the article Best Ph levels for more about pH

Seeds are delicate and can negatively respond to an overdose of nutrients. Potting soil should contain the right amount of nutrients to work for two weeks or so, and it is available in most garden centers.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

After putting soil in the pot, (one pot per seed), you can use a pen or pencil to make a quarter-inch-deep hole. If a root has already popped out of the seed, you can help it grow faster by making sure that part faces downwards. Once the seed is in the hole, make sure it is topped with soil; don’t push down the soil, however, since this will occur automatically when you water it.

All this will let the seed germinate, and you’ll soon find evidence of your work when the plant pops out of the soil in a few days or a week. Below the soil, many new roots will grow from the main root and a solid system of roots will form.

The amount of water seeds need

How To Water Marijuana Seeds?Like all living things, water is the most important element in germinating seeds. For this reason, you need to be sure that you feed your plants the perfect amount of water. If you water it too little, the plant will try to conserve energy in order to survive, and won’t grow to be very large.

If you water it too much, the roots will not get enough oxygen, making the roots rot and the plant above to go limp. The soil could also attract mold and other harmuful bacteria.

The way to make sure your plants receive enough water, add water until you see it seeping out from the bottom. Even though the seedling doesn’t absorb this much water, it evaporates very quickly. Consequently, this amount will just last for several days.

The perfect temperature for seeds

Best Temperature for Cannabis SeedsLight is the second most important ingredient to growing a healthy plant. Light gives plants the ability to form sugars from carbon dioxide and water. These sugars are used to power the plant’s growth. This is referred to as photosynthesis.

The amount of light is also very important, as it affects the precise way in which plants grow. For instance, if plants receive too little light, they will only grow in height and not in breadth, and won’t produce many branches. This is due to natural selection in their natural habitat; if a plant can grow above the others, it has a competitive advantage because it will absorb more light.

Plants that already have access to enough light will also achieve growth in breadth. More branches and therefore buds will crop up, which is ideal for these cannabis plants. If you keep light throughout the day (both day and night) you will accomplish a consistent temperature and can maximize your plant’s growth.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

Placing your seeds in containers under fluorescent lights is best, since the lights do not use too much power and don’t emit much heat, allowing you to place them quite near the plants. Although the seeds don’t actually need the light at this point, an immediate exposure to enough light once they pop out of the soil will help them develop best.

The temperature should remain near 73 degrees, but if it’s too hot then simply move the lamp further away from the plant. Wrap plastic wrap around the pot so all the extra moisture cannot escape, thus creating the perfect humid climate for the seeds to germinate.

The plants should start popping up after 3-7 days, as long as you are closely monitoring the temperature. You should remove the pot’s “lid” (plastic wrap) as soon as you see the first sprouts; then have the lamp on at intervals of 18 hours on, 6 hours off.

Germinate seeds in rockwool cubes

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds in RockwoolRockwool, is mineral wool that comes from volcanic rock and other materials (basalt and limestone, for example), that provides the perfect environment for the growth and germination of plants.

The stones are formed by heating them up to 1500 degrees Celsius, turning them into molten lava, which is then quickly spun, releasing drops of lava that solidify to form threads. These threads are further processed with compaction, curing, and cutting, turning them into the Rockwool forms that we know (including slabs, blocks, and plugs).

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

The main difference in this process is the addition of fertilizer; rockwool doesn’t contain the nutrients that soil has, so you’ll need to add a bit of fertilizer (TDS should be around 600ppm ) when you start. Additionally, the pH level is 7.0, which is too high for optimal germination, meaning you’ll need to lower the rockwool pH. This is achieved by placing the ockwool plugs in water (pH value 5.5) for a full day, allowing it to bring down the Rockwool’s pH level.

Although it can be a bit trickier, there are some pros to using rockwool instead of soil. First, while transplanting, rockwool cannot have a harmful effect on the roots (which can occur when using soil). Of course, pH and TDS meters are necessary for successful rockwool germination. The rockwool cubes are available by online order via Amazon.

Germinating seeds in peat pellets

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds in Peat PelletsPeat pellets are simply compressed peat within a bag made from mesh; this peat enlarges when you add water and turns into a sort of container. With the pH level of 5.5 and the TDS at 625, this little container creates the ideal environment for germinating your seeds and growing your plant.

You can also put the peat pellets or straight into the soil or rockwool right when you start to see the roots popping out, thus avoiding damage to the roots altogether. Peat pellets are also available for online order via Amazon.

Pre-sprouting seeds in water

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds in Water?If you allow marijuana seeds to remain in water for 24 hours, the seeds can be pre-sprouted. This allows you to view the seeds, and it ensures that they have plenty of moisture for starting the germination process. Additionally, putting seeds in water is a faster process than planting them directly into the soil.

This method isn’t perfect, however, as it means the seeds will need to be picked up (whether or not a root is already emerging). This root is extremely delicate; if harmed, it could be detrimental to the development of the plant, so you must be extremely cautious when touching a seed with an emerged root. To save time, plant the seed with its root facing down.

Although others might disagree, I have found that this method is the best one, so I’ve continued to use it for years.

Germination between cotton pads

How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds Between Cotton PadsGermination with the seed placed between wet cotton pads is also a suitable method. Like with placing the seed in water, this process ensures that the seeds will have plenty of moisture. On the other hand (also like the water method), the seeds will need to be picked up and moved, thus risking harm to the root. If proceeding with caution, however, this should not present many problems.

In 2 to 5 days’ time, the roots should be visibly growing out of the seeds, at which point you should move them. This is simply done by removing the cotton pads with caution and placing them into the soil or Rockwool, either with your fingers or tweezers.

Germinating marijuana seeds outdoors

How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds Outdoors?I would not recommend germinating your seeds outdoors, as it easier to maintain the suitable temperature inside, as well as the level of water and light. This applies even if you will actually grow the plants outdoors. Outdoors there can be variants in rain, clouds, and other things that can negatively affect the germination of your seeds.

Germinating inside also allows you to end up with bigger plants and a greater yield since you can start the growth earlier.

Germinating outdoors means that you would have to wait until the final frost has passed before you can begin. You can easily grow your plants outdoors by germinating inside and then moving the plants outdoors once they are bigger and stronger, having begun with a healthy germination period. These plants can endure much more than young seedlings that are germinated outdoors from the beginning.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

That being said, it is possible that germinating inside is simply not possible or not worth the inconvenience to you. In this case, you can begin germination in the location that you plan to fully grow the plants. This provides a certain advantage; since you are not moving the seeds, you’re also not risking accidental destruction of the root.

Before planting, dig holes (6x6x6 inch) in the ground and fill them with potting soil. This will provide the seeds with enough nutrients for the beginning. After that, create a small quarter-inch-deep hole and plant the seed inside. Make sure that you soak the soil in water. You might even want to add some more water in a few days if the weather is particularly warm.

Make sure to plant the seeds an 3 feet apart. Under the right circumstances outdoor marijuana plants can get very large and you do not want them competing with one another Note: if you won’t be growing the plants in your personal garden at home, some good locations for weed growing include corn fields and ditches.

Speed up the germination process

Fast Germinating Cannabis SeedsYou can speed up germination and kill infectious agents by soaking the seed for 12 hours in a 1% hydrogen peroxide or compost tea solution. First, position the seeds in sterile planting mix, planting pellets, rock wool, pasteurized soil, or Oasis cubes at about a quarter of an inch deep. Then, water the seeds with a 0.5% hydrogen peroxide solution with an added bloom fertilizer at about 25% strength.

Try to keep the medium consistently moist by, for example, covering the whole apparatus with a dome to ensure constant humidity. Also, try to keep the medium out of the sun and at a temperature of 72*F (22*C). Depending on the age of the seed, they should germinate between 2 and 10 days (older seeds take longer than younger ones). Keep a firm light on the seedlings or else they will stretch out.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

For outdoor plants, the seeds should be planted during the season in which corn is planted in your area. You can hasten the season with row covers, but this can cause vegetative growth and flowering problems if there is a critical dark period involved. This happens occasionally when the plants are put outdoors early in the season.

The seeds need to be planted about a quarter of an inch (6 mm) deep on tilled soil or simply drilled into untilled soil. They need protection from weeds and overgrowth, but when they reach unobstructed sunlight, they will soon take over the entire canopy.

Many strategies for germinating marijuana seeds are available to you; you simply have to choose which one is easiest for properly maintaining the needed moisture and temperature level. We would love to know of any other pieces of advice or methods you might have. Please write any tips or new information in the comments section.

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible.


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Comment Section

48 thoughts on “How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds

By david myers on 27 January 2015 at 01:27

Thanks! I need all the help I can get. I don’t have any experience growing indoors!!

By Peter on 30 January 2015 at 23:34

Hi Robert can you tell me what is the best type of Fluro light for germination, I’m
using rockwool and trying to grow indoors in a tent using water hydro instead of
soil, I have Gold seeds, can this be achieved using water instead of soil with these
Thanks Peter.

By Chris on 4 February 2015 at 02:22

Peter, the best type of fluorescent lights for germination and vegetation period are T5 HO (high output) with a color temperature of 6500K

By Icebox grower on 6 February 2015 at 02:11

Second grow started…I learned a lot with my first grow, not a positive experience with seed germination. This time around I read intensely and studied your Grow Bible, especially the germination section. I decided to use two methods together, glass of water soak for 24-28 hours, then planted seeds in jiffy pods in a grow dome. On day 4 in the grow dome 1 seed sprouted, on the fifth day all seeds had sprouted, which was this morning! I’m stoked to say the least! I bought my White Widow and Blueberry seeds from here and I was holding my breath that I’d get 100% germination results, which I have. Thank you for stellar seeds and stellar growing info! Kudos!!!

By Mike on 7 February 2015 at 15:03

what is the best way to store remaining seeds to keep them fresh and viable for my next grow.???

By Robert Bergman on 3 April 2015 at 15:31

Hi Mike,

It’s best to store them at a cool, dark and dry place. A fridge is perfect


By SAM on 16 February 2015 at 07:36


By Steve on 19 February 2015 at 16:06

My favorite germination method is water soaking (less than 24 hours) then transfer to moist paper towel. That works for me 90% of the time.

By Clayton Parsons on 23 February 2015 at 03:58

Enjoy reading grow guide. Like your weekly tips and tutorials. Great service on seed orders. TY

By Jasone on 2 March 2015 at 13:09

In your book you talk about the white light being 4″ from the leaves. The light is 240 w. For how long does this last till I move the plants to the yellow light?

By latewood on 29 May 2015 at 22:37

Not sure I know what you mean by 240w lamp. The white light, or the yellow light? You induce flowering when the plant is no more than half way up to the lamp, when lamp is at highest point allowed by your space.

By MARCO AGUIAR on 3 March 2015 at 18:29

I’m having issues I can’t diagnose via your forums and Grow Bible. How do I obtain Plant Care?

By latewood on 29 May 2015 at 22:41

Open a topic in the appropriate board on the forum. Copy/Paste a “support ticket” with the pertinent info.
Message me the link, and I will attempt to help you out. :)

By gary on 4 March 2015 at 18:45

hi Robert. well after much anticipation and worry, i finally have 2 seedlings. i’m sure there will be others very soon. my question now,,,,light requirements, and how far away should the light source be, to prevent spindly growth. that has always been my biggest problem in the past. any help would be greatly appreciated.


By Robert Bergman on 3 April 2015 at 15:26

Hi Gary,

Put the lights as close as possible but don’t let temperatures exceed 76 degrees. Fluorescent lights are great for seedlings…


By ken on 17 March 2015 at 04:43

i grow at 8000 lumens a square foot and never have plants that streach, biggest thing is to have proper light

By Danielle on 25 April 2015 at 03:58

When is it a good time to start planting in So Florida? I’m having problems with my plants are always stunted these pass two times I’m trying to grow. and I’m growing outside in the back yard…Thanks in Advance

By R D P on 10 May 2015 at 16:07

I start indoors in jiffy pots during april through early june and when four true leaves appear move them out side I get enormous plants and bud using horse manure,compost tea,worm castings and a little blood and bone meal also plenty of sun .Make sure your seeds are for outdoors and for tropical type of weather.also make sure if in pots there is good drainage,so when the rains start your plants wont drown.good luck

By Jennifer ILGM on 11 May 2015 at 09:08

Thanks for all your tips and sharing your experience Danielle!

By Diane on 30 April 2015 at 04:37

I had 90% germination of my seeds by putting them in warm water in shot glasses. Then I sat the glasses on top of my hot water heater in the closet — in the dark. Within a few days some had roots growing.

By Jennifer ILGM on 1 May 2015 at 09:33

Great! Thanks for sharing your experience Diane!

By Nicolas on 6 May 2015 at 23:22

So Florida has perfect weather for growing. Especially now that it’s raining so much in Miami, then pure sunshine, the vegetative states should be at soaring heights

By Jennifer ILGM on 11 May 2015 at 09:04

Thanks for sharing!!

By booder23 on 13 May 2015 at 08:12

I started with a bag of about 15-20 seeds I turned the dirt over 12″x12″ in my backyard outside picked out all the grass and just drop all 15-20 seed and now I have abou1 5-20 planets come up like side by side is thay ok to leave them like that because thay planned in my backyard not in pots?

By latewood on 29 May 2015 at 22:51

You need to have them spaced at least 2-3′ apart. If need be, gently dig them up individually, taking care as to not disturb the roots. Gently replant them at a decent spacing. :)

By John Cox on 14 May 2015 at 22:46

Thank you Robert for those seeds .We will do business this fall after I harvest my 4 different patches .Wish me luck and keep growing it green .

By nighthawk on 29 May 2015 at 09:40

I have not had the chance to read all of the bible yet, but 2 things I need to ask, you dont mention the double ended light style, or sulpher plasma, LED nor anything about the Blue spectrum and its importance and effect? can you help everyone with some feed back on this?

Also, when growing with hydroponics, should the nutrient strength be diluted as you mention for soil plants?

My questions are pertaining to hydro-P (AKA..hydroponics)


By latewood on 29 May 2015 at 22:56

It is definitely better to have a full spectrum of light. I use HPS bulbs with enhanced blue spectrum. The industry standard is the RYE Hortilux. Most growers use 1 or another due to budget limitations. Some use MH (blue) for Vegetative growth, and an HPS (red) for bloom. The warmer Redpectrum lamps allows the plant to think it is Autumn and it oils up and finishes.

By nighthawk on 29 May 2015 at 10:14

with so many choices of lighting to use, which would you suggest is the best? ie..
Metal Halide, HPS, T5, LED,Induction Lighting or Sulphur Plasma? I did find this website with a comparison of all these types of lights, and it seems to show sulfur being the best, if I understand it correctly. Dont know if Sulfur puts out a lot of heat though?
Robert, can you give us your professional opinion here? Thanks

By nighthawk on 29 May 2015 at 10:43

addition to my last message… this is what Hortilux claims…”HORTILUX BLUE is the closest match to natural sunlight of any light source available today” But, isn’t Sulfur Plasma closer match to sunlight?

By Winter on 20 June 2015 at 08:29

What are the best seeds for central Minnesota?

By latewood on 24 June 2015 at 09:20

We do not use plasma lamps; So, it would be incecent of us to speculate on whether this new idea is better. I can say; I am a big fan of Switchable digital lamp systems. They are efficient, and they are lost cost.

Eye Hortilux is a fantastic brand. Many old school indoor growers love this lamp. The best way to find out if the expense and yield work for you. leasecome to our forum and join in on the conversation. Peace, lw

By roy on 29 June 2015 at 00:39

newby at growing, love all the qt. and ans. and advice. it is complicated when you have limited $ and room. 65 on fixed income. old vet. hippy. love my herb. keep it green. I want to grow one or two plants to see if I can do it right and don’t know the minum to make it work. love some hinks!!!!!!!!!!

By Jimbob on 25 August 2015 at 00:42

Try YouTube videos..some are good, some not. Bare basic Lighting: standard cfl’s with a 3 or 4 bulb bath light fixture with socket splitters. Can get 6 or 8 bulbs on one fixture, need the 6500k. I think the homedepot 27w have something like 1600 lumens each, with 8 bulbs you’ll get 12800 lumens. Grow space: try rigid foam board, cheap, insulated, easy to cut and tape. Fertilizer: can get pricey. I believe something on this order will work well for 2 plants and hard to get any cheaper. Just my thoughts you’ll need to see what works for you. Good Luck.

By David1954 on 25 July 2015 at 17:33

Hi, Another great read full of the best tips. Many thanks.

By Mattman on 29 July 2015 at 00:10

I use the compressed peat pods (“Jiffy Pellets”) for the initial planting of seed. They’re so easy and convenient to move and keep moist. Once the seed pops up and white roots are just barely poking through the sides and/or bottom of the pod, I then transplant into a larger commercial peat pot about the size of a large drinking glass filled with good growing medium. After the young plants mature to a solid adult stage (say, about the 4th or 5th pair of true leaves with at least 3-5 blades each), I then transplant pot and all into their final grow pots, 7 gallon-sized Smart Pots. Two transplantings and the roots are never exposed: seed into pod, pod into peat pot, peat pot into Smart Pot. Easy. Works every time.

By Maz on 11 August 2015 at 15:00

Hi i attempted to download your bible and it hasn’t come i’ve checked my spam and nothing there either

By Ghostwire on 1 September 2015 at 03:23

I used to used the paper towel method of germination, but now I put the seeds between brand new sponges that I’ve moistened with water. I then places my seedling sandwich into a sandwhich bag and put the whole thing in a warm, dark place. I’ve had seeds germinate in as little as two days this way, with a taproot that clearly sticks out from the seedbody. Just remember to use new sponges as old sponges may harbor bacteria and fungi that can be harmful to your seedlings.

May all of you forever have a bountiful harvest.

By Jennifer ILGM on 1 September 2015 at 13:05

Thanks Ghostwire, great tip!

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