When the seedling stems reach two to four inches in height, it’s time to transplant your cannabis into larger pots with more room for roots to spread down and out. After you’ve done this, you’ve successfully germinated your cannabis seeds into proper, young plants.
The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
To germinate seeds indoors, use any of the methods described above. Within a few days, you’ll have popped seeds ready to transfer to a growing medium.
Monitor your soil every day and keep it moist. Within four to seven days, you should see tiny stems sprouting from the soil.
The paper towel method is also a common way cultivators pop their seeds. Some even use this method with cotton pads instead of paper towels, but the necessary steps are the same.
Place the soil in a small pot and use your finger or a pencil to push a small hole in the dirt, a bit more than half an inch deep. Insert the seed into the hole and bury it with soil. From this point on, don’t touch your seed. The young plant is fragile and knows how to position itself in the soil bed.
Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.
Stack two paper towels on top of each other. Fold the towels in half and sprinkle them with water until they are completely moistened but not dripping wet.
Slide the paper towel into a plastic zip-top bag. Seal the bag closed to trap the moisture and prevent the towel from drying out.
Things You Will Need
Check the seeds every two days until the seeds begin to swell and the first short sprouts emerge. Sow the seeds immediately in a pot or prepared garden bed at the depth and spacing recommended on the seed package once they begin to sprout.
Small seedlings can prove challenging to sprout in the garden bed, since watering or rain may wash them away before they germinate. Growing the seeds in advance inside a plastic bag prevents this issue and helps speed germination. Plastic bag sprouting also allows you to test germination rates, which is vital if you are using saved garden seed or old seed from previous years. Germination time varies depending on the plant variety, but most sprout within three to 14 days.
Fold the damp towel in half, sandwiching the seeds between the towels. Press lightly on top the towel so the seeds are in full contact with the towels on both sides.
If you’ve never grown any kind of plant before, germination is simply a term for the sprouting and initial growth of a seed. Every plant seed, though tiny, hard and dry in appearance, harbors a delicate plant embryo, water, and even stored food. All it needs is a jump start from you to sprout and begin its life, and there are several different methods for doing this. Each method can be successful, and you may decide to try one or two and see which technique brings you the best results. Think of it as a really fun science experiment, with the ultimate grand prize being a healthy, hearty cannabis plant.
Check the seeds daily to make sure that the paper towels have not dried. When they begin to dry, simply pour more water on them and squeeze it out gently. Do not let standing water accumulate in the bag or plate you have placed them in. This process should take between five to twelve days. Sometime in that period, you will see the seed casing burst, and a small but strong root will emerge.
What Is Germination?
The containers with the newly planted seeds should be kept in a warm area indoors. A plant heating pad can be placed underneath the soil containers to help warm them, or you can create warmth and humidity by cutting plastic soda bottles in half and placing them gently over the containers, creating a greenhouse effect. It’s important that the seedlings remain undisturbed, so resist the temptation to uncover them to check if they’re sprouting. You should see plant growth sprouting out of the soil somewhere between seven and fourteen days, depending on the strain and age of the seeds.
Growing cannabis from seeds is no more difficult than growing any other plant. It doesn’t take a magic touch or a green thumb, and it doesn’t require special knowledge of horticulture. For many reasons, growing cannabis plants from seed is a better, more reliable route to success than growing cannabis plants from clones, and the road to healthy plants yielding high-quality buds begins with the germination of the seeds.
Next, you’ll want to place the towel-covered seeds into a plastic bag. This creates a humid, warm atmosphere, like a greenhouse. You can also place the paper towels on a glass plate or baking dish and cover them with plastic wrap. Find a dark place in your home to put them while they are getting ready to germinate. A drawer in your kitchen or a closet shelf would make an ideal germination environment.