Germination is the process by which a plant begins life from seed, that means it’s pretty important. Correctly germinating cannabis seeds will help the plants grow into large and healthy bud factories. Though new growers shouldn’t feel too much pressure. As long as they follow the relatively simple steps to germination they shouldn’t have much trouble. Of course, the very first step is choosing the seeds. This is really up to the grower as some strains will be easier to grow and better suited to beginners whereas others will be a little more complex and suited to advanced growers.
Once the seeds have been selected it’s time to get started with the germination process. The primary ingredients for successful germination are heat, water and light. There are two separate methods that we will cover to make sure everyone is suited.
Method 1: Paper Towel Method
This tends to be the most popular way to germinate seeds and just requires two paper plates, paper towel and the seeds. We will need four pieces of paper towel soaked in clean, distilled water. They need to be fully saturated but try to make sure that there isn’t too much excess water. Two sheets will be placed onto one plate followed by the seeds. Give the seeds a decent amount of space, around an inch between each seed. Cover the seeds with the other sheets of water and top it all off with the other paper plate. Essentially we are making a little dark, soggy cocoon for the seeds to start life in.
Once the seeds are safe and snug they need to be placed into a relatively warm area. The temperature should sit at around 20 – 30 degrees celsius. Next, it’s time to play the waiting game as our seeds start to come to life. Make sure that the seeds stay damp and that the paper towels don’t dry out too much during the process. It is perfectly fine to add water if we think that the towels are getting too dry. The amount of time we need to wait depends on the seeds, some will take hours and some will take days so it’s important to keep an eye on the seeds. Once the seed splits open and a small white root appears we know that the seed is germinated. This root is what the plant will use to anchor itself when it is transplanted. We need to be very careful not to touch the root during the transplanting section of planting or we could damage the future plant.
Method 2: Straight To Medium Method
Once we have chosen a growing medium we can just poke a small hole into it for the seed. The seed will be dropped about a quarter to half an inch into the medium. Ensure that the space for the seed is sufficiently moist then cover it over and pat down gently. This essentially produces the same cocoon effect as the two plates and the paper towel but can be a little trickier to check on. To increase the humidity and the warmth it can be a good idea to cover the top of the pot with a clear plastic wrap. If we are using a growing tray it may also help to place a heating pad underneath the tray to improve the chances of successful germination.
Both are excellent growing methods and it totally depends on personal preference whether we go for plates or straight to medium. There are upsides and downsides to both, for example with plates we have to be incredibly careful when transplanting the seedling into the medium, which of course doesn’t happen with the straight to medium method. With this method however it can be harder to tell when germination is complete.
The next step after the seed is germinated is transplanting seeds or seedling care depending on the method used.
Transplanting after Paper Plate Method:
Once the initial root has shown itself we remove the seedling from the plates with tweezers, being careful not to touch the root. Then carefully transplant the seedling into the medium we have chosen for growing. It’s a good idea to start off with a small pot initially and then to move the plant as it grows. If we are using soil we would use something light and airy and fill the pots before making a small dent about a quarter to half an inch down with a pencil. Pop the seed into this hole, making sure that the root is facing down. For initial watering, it’s a good idea to use a spray bottle with a mister on it so that we don’t drown the seedling. As the days go on be careful of the temperature and moisture of the environment.
Looking After the Sprouting Seeds
This section is for both growing methods as the little sprouting seedling starts to show through the soil. It should only take a few days for a little green shoot to appear in the soil. As soon as this appears it will need light for nourishment, so it is important to get it under adequate light asap. This would either be grow lights or ensure it gets plenty of sunlight, depending on the growing method. If we are using a grow light it needs to stay relatively close to the plant. If we place it too high the seedling will try and get to the light, likely overstretching itself. New plants need around 18 hours of light a day and will need a cycle so a timer is never a bad idea.
We need to remember to keep the temperature and humidity at decent levels so that the new plants don’t get dry or withered. Keep using the mister and ensure the temperature doesn’t drop below 20 degrees celsius. To be certain it’s smart to use a thermometer and hydrometer to track the ambient temperature and humidity, which wants to be around 50 – 60%.
If we stick to these rules we should have healthy young plants ready to be transplanted into larger pots in no time.
We hope you enjoyed this guide. If you have anything to add or any of your own helpful guides you’d like us to publish, let us know.
Remember: It is illegal to germinate cannabis seeds in many countries including the UK. It is our duty to inform you of this fact and to urge you to obey all of your local laws to the letter. The Vault only ever sells or sends out seeds for souvenir, collection or novelty purposes.
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