Just starting out on your cannabis-growing journey? Congratulations! It’s a wonderful feeling to grow your own stuff but easy it is not. Don’t let that discourage you though – with the right steps, growing cannabis is not too different from growing any other plant. And it all starts with the most important step. Germination.
In this article, we’ll talk you through how to germinate a cannabis seed correctly and answer all of the important questions, from how long you should soak a cannabis seed to the right ambient temperature and more.
Start with High-Quality Seeds
One important distinction between other plant species and cannabis is that cannabis seeds are relatively fragile and the quality of the seed will have a huge influence on how well it grows. If you’re purchasing from an online seed bank or local dispensary, make sure it’s a reputable store.
If you don’t know where to look, check out Smoky Mountain’s THCa Seeds. We recently launched our Feminized Cannabis Seeds with 22 unique strains as well as our Autoflowering THCa Seeds. Both of these seeds are carefully bred under our in-house artisanal breeding program using the most sought-after cannabis strains.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds?
Germination is the process where a seed grows into a plant. You may know this process as sprouting. Either way, it’s the first big milestone on your growing journey and there are multiple ways to go about germinating cannabis seeds.
The most common, however, involves soaking your seeds in water. To germinate a cannabis seed, soak it in water for a maximum of 48 hours. Ideally, you can simply leave your seeds in a bowl of water overnight and within 36 hours you should be able to see signs of germination, that is, a visible white taproot.
Alternatively, you can use the paper towel method which involves leaving your seed over some paper towels kept in a container and sprayed with room-temperature water every few hours.
Why Should I Pre-Soak Cannabis Seeds?
In nature, cannabis seeds germinate by falling directly into the soil. You can do things this way but pre-soaking improves your odds of germination and overall makes things easier. Soaking is also considered a faster way of germination.
Additionally, pre-soaking in water is also easier than the paper towel method which requires you to spray water into the container/on the paper towels every few hours.
Make sure to take your seeds out of the water after 48 hours as the seeds risk developing mold or rotting due to excess moisture. Keeping the seeds underwater for longer than this period also means they are unable to get any oxygen and may die because of it.
That said, older seeds may require up to a week under the water for germination. If the seed shows no sign of germination after 48 hours, you can put them back in after refilling the container with fresh water.
What’s the Correct Temperature for Cannabis Seeds to Germinate?
Temperature is one of the three most important factors in seed germination (along with water and soil). You want to soak your cannabis seeds in water that is at room temperature, which is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be slightly warmer or slightly cooler but anything more extreme and you risk the seed going bad.
How to Plant Cannabis Seeds?
Once the white taproot is visible, take the cannabis seed out of the water and place it over a paper towel to get rid of the excess water. While it dries, dig a small hole not more than an inch into the soil. The soil can be placed in a small container, in a bucket, or in a dedicated farming area. For soil, you can use fertilized potting soil from a local store, online marketplaces like Amazon should also have it.
With everything ready, place the cannabis seed into the soil with its white taproot facing downwards, cover the seed with some loose soil, and that’s it.
How Long Does it Take for Cannabis Seeds to Germinate?
Cannabis seeds come in hundreds of varieties with different germination rates and germination periods. Normally, cannabis seeds germinate within 3-10 days, depending on the environment and strain, but in some circumstances, it can take up to 2 weeks! Don’t give up!
An example, Smoky Mountain’s Feminized THCa Seeds have a germination rate of 99% and a germination period of 2-5 days. Additionally, these seeds have a feminization rate of 99% which means out of 100 plants, 99 would be female (and thus contain flowers).
Once the cannabis seeds have been flipped to flower, they have a flower period of 8-9 weeks. This means that flowers from our Feminized THC Seeds should start to become visible after the first two weeks after of flower, if not earlier.
How to Care for Cannabis Seeds During Germination?
For a lot of us, growing cannabis is a hobby we put in a lot of time and effort into and we’d hate to see your enjoymnent ruined by one misstep. So with that in mind, here are some helpful tips on how to care for cannabis seeds during the germination stage:
- Humidity: Cannabis seeds thrive in humid conditions so make your growing environment does not get too dry. Ideally, the humidity around the seed should be 70-90%.
- Windows: Ideally, you should keep your cannabis seeds away from windows during germination as the temperature may vary a lot throughout the day which isn’t great for your cannabis seed.
- Lights: You don’t need lights during the germination period but make sure you have the right lighting setup ready for when your seed germinates.
- Water: Water only when the soil begins to dry up – but be sure not to let it get to dry!
- Storing: You probably purchased a lot of seeds but aren’t going to grow them all at once. In this case, correct storage is key to maintaining seed quality and freshness. We recommend keeping your seeds in a a dry, dark, and cold place. A ziplock bag kept inside a dark cool cabinet is perfect. Also. don’t forget to read what the breeder recommends!