Plant Cultivation

How to Germinate Weed Seeds Easily & Successfully

How to Germinate Weed Seeds

Germinating weed seeds is the very first step in cultivating your own cannabis plants. After purchasing high-quality cannabis seeds, how to germinate weed seeds with a big shot at success? Additionally, you definitely want to make sure the approach is easy to navigate, preferably beginner-friendly. Well, if that’s what you’re looking for, here’s the exact post you should read. 

In the following content, we’ll show you how to germinate weed seeds in two working ways. One with paper towels, which is prized to be the best way to germinate seeds. The other is to go with the soil, benefiting from the multiple minerals and microbes that the soil contains. Both ways should reach an 80% germination rate if you follow our guides, to say the least.

Table of Contents

Selecting Quality Weed Seeds

The type of cannabis seeds can perform diversely in growth rate and the final yield. Meanwhile, some types are better managed by seasoned growers while others are easier to handle by all. If you haven’t decided which weed seed to grow, check the 3 major types of weed seeds: 

cannabis seed

Regular Seeds: As the name indicates, these seeds are natural seeds produced by the cannabis plant. No fixed gender is expected from regular seeds - they can grow into either male or female plants. This means you are faced with the risk of male cannabis plants pollinating your females, not something beginners wish for. Therefore, regular seeds are preferred by experienced breeders and those who want to experiment with creating new strains. 

Feminized Seeds: Since almost every cannabis grower wants female cannabis only, feminized seeds come in as the perfect rescue. These seeds are bred to grow only into female plants, which are the ones that produce buds, giving you high CBD and THC. That’s why it’s an ideal choice for beginners who definitely want to avoid male plants and focus solely on bud production.

Read more: How to Identify A Female Seed

Autoflowering Seeds: These seeds are not considered super easy to germinate, however, they are bred to flower automatically after a certain period of time, regardless of the light cycle. If you don’t have a budget for the grow light system, autoflowering seeds save you the effort. They tend to flower earlier and faster than other seed varieties, too. 

Pre-germination Preparations: Temp & Humidity

Before we start, all seed germination should be done indoors. Only in this way can you have full control over humidity, temperature, and light, which are key factors to whether you’ll succeed in germination or not. For the highest success rate, you should maintain the metrics to:

  • Humidity: Ideal humidity levels often range from 70% to 90% relative humidity.
  • Temperature: Keep indoor temperatures between 70°F and 77°F (21°C to 25°C). 

How to Germinate Weed Seeds in Paper Towels

As one of the most popular and effective approaches, germinating your weed seeds in paper towels can be easily done as long as you follow the steps:

  1. Proper hydration is crucial for the seeds to activate and initiate the germination process. Therefore, we recommend soaking the seeds in a small glass of spring water for no longer than 18 hours. 
  2. Prepare thick paper towels that are able to retain moisture well. This helps ensure that the seeds remain adequately hydrated throughout the germination process.
  3. To provide the necessary moisture, place the cannabis seeds on a paper towel and soak the towel in water. Ensure that the towel is thoroughly wet but not dripping.
    germinate seeds with paper towel

    Microgreen germinated with paper towels

  4. After soaking the paper towel, transfer it with the seeds to a small plastic container. Maintain a temperature range of 70°F and 77°F (21°C to 25°C) in the container. 

Once the seeds are in the container, it's time to exercise patience. Germination can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days, depending on factors like the strain of cannabis and environmental conditions.  Once you see the seeds sprouting into seedlings, congrats! This indicates that weed germination is successful.

How to Germinate Weed Seeds with Soil

Compared with weed germination with paper towels, planting seeds directly into the soil has its own advantages, notably the nutrient and microbe availability. Even in the early stages of plant growth, soil contains essential nutrients that can be absorbed by the emerging seedlings, say, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Moreover, soil is teeming with beneficial microorganisms that can aid in breaking down organic matter and making nutrients more available to the growing seedlings.

Here’s how to germinate a weed seed with soil:

  1. Prepare Your Soil: Well-draining soil is a must for seed germination. You can either get it from your nearest gardening store or create your own mixture of native clay and coarse sand (50/50). Fill small pots or seedling trays with the prepared soil. germination box
  2. Plant the Seeds: Create a small hole in the soil (about 0.25 to 0.5 inches deep) using your fingertip. Place a cannabis seed in each hole, and then gently coat it with a touch of soil.  
  3. Water the Soil: Use a spray bottle or a gentle stream of water to moisten the soil thoroughly but avoid creating standing water. The soil should be damp, not waterlogged. 
  4. Place the Pot on a Seedling Heat Mat (Optional): A seedling heat mat is not a must, but it’s a great booster to weed germination in chilly areas by offering constant and uniform heat. The germination rate is likely to increase much higher with this tool. 
  5. Temperature, Humidity, & Oxygeon: Similarly, you should focus on providing the optimal environment for germination. I don’t bother to do everything on my own, so a complete grow tent kit shoulders the responsibility. It includes full-spectrum LED grow lights, inline fans, and carbon filters that can all contribute a greater weed germination. 

Weed germination with soil can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days. Later on, when the seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves (typically after a few weeks), you can transplant them into larger containers or your desired growing medium.

Two Other Ways to Germinate Weed Seeds: Water & Clone

Since we are focusing on the easiest and beginner-friendly ways, how to germinate weed seeds with water or cloned weeds won’t cover long. These two methods are workable, but the first method tends to have a lower germination rate and the second requires you already have a fully grown mother plant, both are not the best choices for novices. However, if you are confident or experienced enough, give them a shot!

FAQs about Cannabis Seed Germination 

  • How long does it take for weed seeds to germinate?

On average, it takes about 3 to 10 days for marijuana seeds to germinate. Factors such as seed quality, environmental conditions, and the germination method used can affect the germination time.

  • Do weed seeds need oxygen when germinating?

Yes, oxygen is one of the three factors for the germination of weed seeds. During germination, the seeds undergo respiration, which requires oxygen. Proper aeration of the germination environment ensures that the seeds receive the oxygen they need to initiate growth.

  • Do seeds need light to germinate?

Contrary to your common sense, seeds don’t need much light to germinate, at least not as much as you expect. Light exposure is crucial for the seedlings but not exactly necessary for seed germination. Instead, you should worry more about the optimal temp, humidity, and oxygen when germinating weed seeds.


About Ciki

Ciki has been navigating the digital world of SEO for over 3 years, applying her expertise originally in the software sector before turning her attention to indoor gardening. Merging her tech-savvy background with a passion for nature, Ciki offers a unique perspective on gardening, blending modern techniques with time-honored traditions.

2 thoughts on “How to Germinate Weed Seeds Easily & Successfully

  1. David Zemba says:

    How big of a container should I use once the germination begins ? Is a tomato plant size container you get from the garden center to transplant good enough? And what type of soil should I grow them in? I was just going to use a loose potting mix. And should I worry about PH levels? This is my first time any other advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. Frank Davis says:

    Good work

Leave a Reply

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