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starting weed seeds

Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The towels should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.

Males will have round balls—these will develop into pollen sacs, which will release pollen into the air when mature.

Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.

How to germinate marijuana seeds

A couple big drawbacks, though: Autoflower strains are known for being less potent. Also, because they are small in stature, they usually don’t produce big yields.

Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.

Ask yourself a few questions to decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.

Keep a close eye on the temperature and moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy. It’s very delicate at this stage. Use a spray bottle to water it—over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.

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.

Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds because the soil protects the fragile roots from any interference. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds. The soil protects the fragile roots from any interference, and soil is, after all, where a cannabis plant would grow in the wild.

How to germinate seeds using paper towels

It’s essential to acquire high-quality cannabis seeds for germination, as these will go on to become high-quality cannabis plants. Seeds that are fresh-feeling or too green indicate that they haven’t reached full maturity, while pale-green, white, or very dark cannabis seeds may have trouble sprouting. However, it’s tricky to know the outcome of a popped seed, so trying may be worthwhile. If you’re not ready to pop your seeds yet, store them in a dark, cool place until it’s time for germination.

So, you’ve decided to grow your own cannabis plants. You purchased a pack of seeds, assembled cultivation materials, cleared a space in your garden, and are ready to grow your first cannabis crop . With everything in hand, it’s time to begin the very first step of cannabis cultivation : germinating seeds.

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.

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.

4) Place the seeds in a warm location (70°F–80°F; 21°C–27°C), making sure they are in darkness. Some gardeners go so far as to set the plate in a vertical position (so taproot grows downward). The seeds can also be set on a grate for drainage and air circulation.

When the growing medium’s surface is dry (0.25 inches [1 cm] deep), it is time to water. Remember, there are few roots to absorb the water early in life and they are very delicate.

Other Tips for Germinating Cannabis Seeds

1) Soak seeds overnight in a glass of plain water. They may float on the surface at first but should sink to the bottom in a few minutes. Make sure seeds get good and wet so that water penetrates the outer shell and growth is activated. Do not let seeds soak for more than 24 hours, or they might get too wet, suffer oxygen deprivation and subsequently rot.

Some seeds have a very hard outer shell (testa) and are difficult to germinate. Such testy cases can be softened or scarified to allow water to penetrate. To scarify, line a matchbox with a piece of fine-grain sandpaper or emery board. Put the seeds in the matchbox and shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the seeds and make sure they have been scuffed a bit. Just a little scuffing will allow water to enter and set germination in motion.

1) Set seeds in a matchbox with an emery board or sandpaper on the bottom.