Germinating Cannabis Seeds: Tips & Tricks

Germinating Cannabis Seeds: Tips & Tricks

Germinating cannabis seeds is a very fun way to start your cannabis from scratch, or if you have bred your own plant and want to grow the offspring.


Any Google search will reveal several different ways that you can germinate your cannabis seeds. More experienced growers may have figured out their own unique tricks, but if you are just starting out there is one particularly simple method that is proven to work.

All you will need is two clean plates, paper towels and your cannabis seeds.

Step 1: Soak four sheets of paper towel in distilled water. The sheets should be soaked, but not dripping wet.

Step 2: Place two of the paper towels on the plate and then place the cannabis seeds (at least one inch apart) before covering them with the two remaining sheets of water-soaked paper towels

Step 3: Take the second plate and flip it over to cover the seeds to create a dark protected space.


It is important to note that cannabis seeds do best at high moisture levels of 70-80% relative humidity. The temperature is best kept between 21 degrees celsius and 26 degrees celsius for optimal germination.

It is vital to keep the germinating seeds within this optimal range for the best results. Lower temperature or humidity may result in a slower, less successful germination process and higher temperature or humidity can result in fungus or rot.


As practice makes perfect, many growers have found lots of ways how to not germinate cannabis seeds. To ensure new growers don’t make the same mistakes, here are the most common mistakes to avoid when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds:


Successful germination can be done within a few hours or a few days, but it requires proper moisture levels. If the grow medium (such as the paper towel) completely dries out, the seed will stop absorbing moisture. This will result in germination activity being halted and the seed will never fully open. It is best to check your seeds a couple times a day to ensure that the paper towel does not dry out. This is extra important if you are using an additional heat source to manage the temperature. If you do find that the paper towel is drying out, a few spritzes from a water bottle with a spray nozzle will do the trick.


While it may sound like it makes sense, germinating directly in soil generally results in failure to germinate. This is especially true if the grow medium was not previously watered before the seed was planted, but was watered afterwards. Not only does planting directly in the soil run the risk of the seed being planted too deep, but also that it may get drowned with too much water. Germinating seeds in paper towel is ideal and makes it much easier to manage.


Another common mistake is leaving the seeds to germinate for too long. For the most ideal transplanting of the seed, it is best to do so when the tap-root is approximate 1cm (2cm at the most). If the cotyledons (leaf) is visible, it can cause damage to the root during transplantation. In addition, more damage occurs to the seed the longer the root is exposed to air and light.


Once the seeds have been germinated, you can transplant them into your cannabis garden or grow space.

Step 1: Choose your grow container. While it may be tempting to plant several seeds in the same container, restricting root growth always reduces the quality of the overall plant. Ideally, seeds are best transplanted into smaller pots (approx 2” in size).

Step 2: Fill the pots with your chosen grow medium – preferable loose, airy potting soil – and make an indentation using a pen or pencil in the middle, approx ¼ deep.

Step 3: With a pair of tweezers, gently pick up the seedling and drop it into the hole with the tap root facing down. Lightly cover with soil.

Step 4: Water the soil. Using a spray bottle is the best way to water seedlings initially, to ensure that you do not over-saturate them.

Step 5: Monitor your seedling for the next week and you will see it start to grow from the soil!

It is important to note that germinating cannabis seeds is not an exact science and does not always go as planned. Sometimes seeds are duds, or will be slow to grow while others may pop up very quickly. This is often determined by the plants genetics and can help you to determine which plants you may want to focus your breeding and cloning efforts as well!

Back to blog