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germinate weed seed

Germinate weed seed
Step 3: Put the plugs into a square box or tray and cover with a plastic dome. This ensures a high humidity environment, which increases germination success, and helps seedlings along after germination.

Best Way To Germinate Weed Seeds

You’ve probably noticed by now that there are a few different methods you can choose to germinate your cannabis seeds.

Not all of these methods have the same success rate, and your precious cannabis seeds are expensive to buy.

Therefore, you really want to choose the germination method that’s going to give your seeds the best chance to become beautiful, bud producing plants.

So what is the best way to germinate weed seeds? Read on to find out…

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Best Way To Germinate Weed Seeds

First, take a look at the comparison table below to get an idea of some general success rates for each germination method.

We’ll explore each method in more detail below.

Germination Method Success Rating
1. Starter plugs & Seedling Cubes 5/5
2. Planting directly into soil 3/5
3. Soaking seeds in water 4/5
4. Paper towel method 3/5

1. Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs

This is by far the best method to germinate weed seeds.

Germinating with starter plugs or cubes is easy and the most reliable method on this list.

What Plugs Should You Use?

Options for starter cubes are seemingly endless, but the majority are made of either rockwool or peat.

The differences are subtle, but very important depending on how you plan to grow your plants after germination.

Peat plugs are an organic option, and sometimes contain a small starter nutrient charge which helps young seedlings after germination.

Rockwool cubes, composed of fibrous wool-like material provide great water and air exchange, which is ideal in hydroponics.

Peat plugs hold more water than air compared to rockwool cubes, so they aren’t ideal for hydroponic grows.

So, rockwool or peat? The primary difference comes down to how you will grow the plant after germination.

For hydroponics, rockwool is the better choice.

For soil/coco/etc., peat plugs generally fare better, but ultimately germination will be nearly identical for these two germination mediums.

How To Germinate With Plugs:

Step 1: After buying your plugs or cubes, soak them in water until they are fully saturated.

Step 2: Place your seed(s) into the pre-cut holes in the plugs. Use some of the plug material to gently cover the opening.

Step 3: Put the plugs into a square box or tray and cover with a plastic dome. This ensures a high humidity environment, which increases germination success, and helps seedlings along after germination.

2. Planting Directly Into Soil

This method is as old-school as it gets, drop your seeds in some dirt, add water, and you’re done.

If only it were that easy!

Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple.

There are lots of factors that go into this method, and each must be nearly perfect for germination to occur.

How to germinate seeds directly in soil:

Step 1: Purchase quality soil from a reputable source. You want soil with good drainage, this allows for air exchange; seeds need moisture but you don’t want to drown them.

Step 2: Now, you need to plant your seeds at the right depth. A good rule of thumb is to plant seeds 2 times deeper than the width of the seed.

Step 3: Provide water for your seeds by soaking your container in a tray containing about an inch of water. This allows the soil to be moistened uniformly, preventing over-watering. This also keeps the seed in the perfect place for germination to occur.

Check out this method in action:

This method allows you to start your seed directly in your planting medium, but if you aren’t careful with this technique, you can run into trouble.

Seeds need air and water to germinate, if there’s too much of one, the other falls short, preventing germination.

If planted too deep, the energy available to the seedling won’t be enough for it to break the surface.

This will essentially starve and kill your seedling.

If you don’t plant deep enough, the seedling may dry out, or never become moist enough to germinate.

3. Soaking Seeds in Water

This method is not so much a way to fully germinate your seeds, but rather ensures rapid and reliable germination.

As mentioned in the previous methods, seeds need water to germinate.

This method involves placing seeds in a container filled with water rather than into a plug or the soil.

How to start germination with water:

Step 1: Place your seeds in a container of clean water and allow to soak overnight, or for at least 12 hours.

Step 2: After soaking at least 12 hours, use sterilized tweezers or clean hands to remove the seeds. Immediately place the seeds into your medium, such as a plug or soil.

Check out this method in action:

Why does this work?

This method increases germination rates because the seed is primed, it’s already absorbed water and broken dormancy, so is ready to push out it’s first roots.

4. Paper Towel Method

The paper towel method is similar to soaking seeds in water, but this method will germinate your seeds to the point where the taproot has emerged.

How to germinate seeds with paper towels:

Step 1: Place a folded wet paper towel into a plastic container, or on a plate.

Step 2: Place your seeds on the paper towel with adequate space between them. Cover the seeds with another folded wet paper towel.

Step 3: Put a lid or plastic wrap on the container, or another plate on the plate. Seal the container but leave a small hole for air exchange.

Step 4: Place your plates or container in a warm (70-80F / 21-26C) and dark environment

Like soaking the seeds in water, this method provides lots of water to the seeds to start germination.

But it also allows enough air exchange for the seed to produce a taproot and begin growing into a seedling.

Check out this method in action:

This method helps to increase the chances of germination and seedling success, but can introduce some extra issues.

  • Once seeds have germinated, they may grow into the paper towel, making removal difficult and potentially damaging the fragile seedlings.
  • The paper towels and the container you use for germination must be sterile. This is nearly impossible, so you are likely to grow more than seedlings (i.e. fungus) with this method.
  • The extra handling of sprouted seedlings is the biggest issue with this method. Even if you’re very clean and careful with your seedlings, it is extremely easy to damage or contaminate them. Contamination and early damage can ultimately stunt or kill your baby plants.


So what is the best way to germinate weed seeds?

After examining each method, if you absolutely had to pick one, it would be starter cubes and seedling plugs.

If you consider everything that can go wrong when germinating seeds, this method does the most to remove potential pitfalls.

Why Plugs?

  • It’s relatively fool-proof because the cubes can only hold so much water, so no overwatering.
  • The pre-drilled holes are not too deep or too shallow for cannabis seeds.
  • The cubes/plugs hold moisture for long enough time to allow for the seeds to take up water. They also won’t dry out too quickly.
  • They provide a soft medium for young roots to push through.

But the best way to germinate weed seeds would really be a combination of these methods.

Use either the paper towel or water soaking method to get your seeds to uptake water.

Next, transition them to either soil or plugs.

This gives you the advantages of each method, with the least downside of each.

Germination Tips

Here are a few extra tips to follow when trying to germinate your cannabis seeds:

  • Keep temperatures in the area you are germinating seeds between 70-80F (21-26C)
  • Germinate seeds in total darkness
  • Don’t use hard tap water (ppm above 120), it can damage the seed
  • Avoid using chlorinated tap water, it can damage or kill microbes that help young seedlings develop
  • Don’t add nutrients to the water when germinating seeds, the seeds already contain all the nutrients they need
  • When seeds germinate, don’t put them under intense light (HID or sunlight), the seedlings will burn and/or dry out
  • Provide non-intense light (i.e. T-5 fluorescent light) for seedlings as soon as they emerge, this will prevent stretching

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Weedseedsexpress supplies cannabis seeds for indoor and outdoor growing that are easy to germinate, but because you are dealing with a product from nature, you need to skillfully address the germination process. Moreover, a successful germination requires patience.

How to germinate weed seeds properly

Maybe you have some old weed seeds in your possession or you bought some fresh ones via Weedseedsexpress. Either way, when you have weed seeds and you want to start of you probably want to know how to germinate weed seeds properly.

Weedseedsexpress supplies cannabis seeds for indoor and outdoor growing that are easy to germinate, but because you are dealing with a product from nature, you need to skillfully address the germination process. Moreover, a successful germination requires patience.

Do you want to know what’s the best, quickest and easiest way to successfully germinate your weed seeds at home and what you need? Please take your time to read all the information on this page carefully. In this way you ensure yourself of a successful germination process.

Best way to germinate weed seeds

Although there are several germination methods, not all methods are equally efficient. An example of a less efficient method is for example by planting the seed directly in the soil. Especially since you cannot determine the direction of root with this method and the change of rot. Fortunately, there are different ways that have proven to be efficient like the germination in rockwool. So what is the best way to germinate weed seeds?

The best and most safest way to germinate weed seeds is by applying two different methods one after the other. First the water cup method and then the paper towel method. Both really easy methods which you can do at home. Let us guide you through.

How to germinate weed seeds in a paper towel?

The germination process of cannabis seeds with the paper towel method consists 5 simple steps. Here’s a short summary:

  1. Place the cannabis seeds in a cup of lukewarm water and put them in a dark room for 18 to 36 hours. Wait until the seeds start to crack a bit before you apply the paper towel method.
  2. Put two layers of paper towel on a plate and spray the paper wet with a plant spray.
  3. Pour your seeds carefully on the wet paper towel, place a new paper towel over it and spray the paper wet. Make sure that the seeds are in contact with the wet paper towels.
  4. Take another plate and place it upside down on the plate with the seeds so that you create a dark space. However, do not exactly align the edges of the plates. The seeds need oxygen to germinate. Check every 5 to 8 hours if the paper towel has not dried out and spray water again if necessary.
  5. Check after 24 hours if the seeds have germinated. If not just let them germinate for another 24 hours. Note: some seeds need 48 to 72 hours to germinate but it can even take 168 hours (7 days). Patience is therefore required.

How to germinate weed seeds – step by step

Below you find a complete explanation of the steps above. If you stick to our step by step guide you ensure yourself of germinating cannabis seeds in the right way.

What do I need to germinate weed seeds?

For a successful germination you need:

  • Cannabis seeds
  • Paper towel
  • Two ceramic plates with the same size
  • Plant spray
  • Water
  • Drinking cup (glass)
  • Tweezers

Step 1: Soaking weed seeds in water

For an successful germination, it is important to soak your weed seeds before applying the paper towel method. By pre-soaking the cannabis seeds, the husk of the seed softens and the seed will germinate more easily.

How to do this?

Grab a glass drinking cup and fill it for three quarters with lukewarm water. Then place the cannabis seeds into the cup of water. You will see that the cannabis seeds will float first. Try to push the seeds down gently with the tip of your finger without touching the bottom of the glass. Will the cannabis seeds rise again? Then wait 1 – 2 hours and try again.

Put the glass with the seeds for a maximum of 18 to 36 hours in a dark room with a temperature of 21° to 25°. In the meantime, check if the cannabis seeds are all sunk. Are some seeds still floating? Try pushing the cannabis seeds down again carefully.

What will happen?

Your seeds will eventually sink to the bottom. This happens normally after a few hours. In most cases the seeds have sunk to the bottom of the glass after 14 to a maximum of 24 hours and some are cracked open. Sometimes not all seeds are cracked open yet, but you won’t have to panic. In step 2 these cannabis seeds are further stimulated to germinate.

Note: be careful with leaving the seeds in the water for more than 36 hours. If you do that, seeds can get a lack of oxygen, drown and rot.

Step 2: Prepare the plate and kitchen paper

In step 1, some seeds probably germinated a bit. Others possibly not yet. Whatever the situation is, after a maximum of 34 hours you go to step 2 of the germination process.

What to do in step 2?

In this step you need a ceramic plate and two sheets of kitchen paper (paper towel). Kitchen paper is thick enough to retain the moisture, which is very important for the germination of your cannabis seeds.
Take the plate and put two sheets of kitchen paper on it. The kitchen paper must cover the dish or plate entirety. Spray the paper towel completely wet with a plant spray. The paper must be wet, but not dripping wet.

Step 3: Place the cannabis seeds on the wet kitchen paper

Before placing your seeds on the wet kitchen paper, the cannabis seeds are still in the glass with water. Depending on the glass, you may have a lot of water in it. Therefore, carefully pour ⅔ of the water out of the glass. Be careful not to wash the seeds down the drain.

What to do in step 3?

Leave your seeds in the glass with about 1 cm of water and carefully pour them out onto the center of the kitchen paper. Carefully pick the seeds up with a tweezers and place them on the center of the edge slope. Place the blunt end of the seeds, the tip without point, on the paper towel and make sure there is a space of 1.5 cm to 2.5 cm between the seeds. In this way you prevent their roots from becoming entangled. Do you have insufficient space on one plate? Then use two plates.

Note: try to place the seeds in place with as little contact as possible. The less you touch the seeds, the smaller the chance of damage. Besides, never touch the roots.

Are all the seeds neatly in place? Then grab another double paper towel. Spray the kitchen paper a little damp and place the paper over the first sheet of kitchen paper where the seeds are on. Once the paper is in place, spray the paper again so that the wet paper towel makes good contact with the seeds. This is very important to let the seeds germinate well.

Step 4: Covering

To germinate your pots seeds, the seeds must be in a dark environment.

What to do?

You take the second plate and place it upside down on the plate with the seeds.

Note: because the seeds need oxygen to germinate, the edges of the plates may not lie exactly on top of each other. Then place the double plate with seeds for 24 hours in a dark room with a constant temperature of 21° to 25°. Check every 5 to 8 hours if the paper is not dehydrated, without removing the top layer. Spray the paper again if necessary. This is very important. When the seeds become too dry, they can die and never germinate.

Step 5: How long does it take for weed seeds to grow roots: Check after 24 hours

A germination process lasts on average between 24 – 48 hours. After 24 hours you can do your first check by carefully removing the top layer of kitchen paper. The germinated seeds with a root of 1 to 1.5 cm have to be planted directly.

Seeds that haven’t germinated after 24 hours will need extra time. Provide these seeds with another additional 24 hours and repeat step 5 by keeping the paper towel wet. Check again after 24 hours whether these seeds have germinated. In rare case, germination can take up to 168 hours.

Note: Be very careful when the seeds germinate. Avoid poking, pulling or touching the seeds with bare hands. You don’t want to damage the roots.