With the root already exposed, the plant will grow into the soil faster and more efficiently. Plus, knowing how to germinate seeds can help you determine the viability of your seeds before you plant them. If you germinate a seed and it doesn’t crack, then you don’t waste the time of planting it only to find out later on that it’s unviable.
After you have the seeds wrapped up and in the container (or not), put them in a dark, warm place. A closet near a heating vent, under the bed, wherever there is little light while still staying warm, between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is Germination?
To start the germination process, you’ll want to wet the paper towel. Not dripping wet, but to the point that the whole towel is wet while staying strong. Place the paper towel down on a flat surface and put your seed into the center of the paper towel.
Simply put, germination is when a seed is exposed to moisture enough that it will crack, exposing its root that is seeking that moisture. Opposed to planting seeds straight into soil before they are cracked, germinating your seeds can speed up the process in which your plants begin their initial stages of growth.
You’ll then want to fold the paper towel over the seeds so they are completely covered. Now you can put the paper towel with the seeds wrapped within into a holding container if you’d like. Be careful with containers though, as a tight seal with no air flow can become a breeding ground for mold.
After 60 hours, the situation has changed in favor of unckracked seeds. A least, the one in the bottom-right corner seems to be the winner.
Sometimes, marijuana seeds are too weak or too old to sprout quickly, so you need to use some techniques to help them germinate. In this post, I will describe just one method – cannabis seed cracking.
The good news is that you can do the same with your teeth just as easily!
Cracked vs Uncracked
After 36 hours, 2/2 of the cracked seeds and 1/2 of the uncracked (the one on the left) have shown tap roots.
I’ve come across a forum thread where people discuss buying a special cannabis seed cracker tool. I even watched a video where a weed grower uses it for seed cracking. You may google this gadget and spend a couple of dozens of dollars on it. But in my opinion there’s nothing special about a seed cracker. It’s just a simple contraption to hold a seed in place and gently apply pressure on it until the shell gives way with an audible crack. The cracking is done one seed at a time.
Just firmly hold the seed with your finger tips, with the ridge positioned vertically and the pointy end facing outward. Gently bite on it with your teeth until you hear it crack. Then use your favorite germination method.
I’ve just placed 4 pot seeds between wet cotton disks.
If all else fails, there are still a few more aggressive tricks that should only be used when, after a few days, your seeds have failed to hatch and make their way into the world.
Saving cannabis seeds is a widely used method for preserving genetic varieties that one has particularly enjoyed or that worked very well when planted. Therefore, growers often store some seeds for many years.
For all this you will need an airtight container or canister, or an opaque plastic bottle in which, in addition to the seeds, you should place little pouches of silica gel, to reduce the moisture. With regards to the best place in your refrigerator, the crisper is a good choice, as it is a little warmer than the rest of the fridge. Also, one last tip: if you store several strains in different bottles, it is a good idea to label them, so that you won´t have to open them to see which is which when you decide to plant them.
Other good choices for germination
Another good investment, which can be key in the case of old seeds, is Jiffy 7. This product is a compressed pill of dried peat that you need to soak for a few minutes. At this point it becomes a small sack of soil that is specially designed to facilitate germination, because it features the ideal structure, is sterilized, has all the necessary elements to nourish the seedlings during the first week, and is pH-neutral. Due to these characteristics it can be your best bet to get your older seeds to sprout.
If you have only saved the seeds for a year and a half, they should not give you any problems. After this time period, even if you have stored them properly, germination may be more complicated because the older the seeds are, the harder their shells, so the water used to open them will take longer to penetrate them. Therefore, the first method to try to get the plant’s embryo to develop is to put your old seeds in a glass of water, with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, for 24 hours. Hydrogen peroxide softens the shell and facilitates the water’s infiltration.
But you must be careful: the liquid must not be cold, but rather at a temperature of around 22° C. And you must keep the container away from major sources of light. During the 24 hours that the seeds are there you will have to keep a very close eye on them in order to remove them quickly if they open, so they don´t “drown.”
For those beginning with the glass of water, the second step would be to move the seeds, after 24 hours, to the wet paper towels. Germination normally takes between 48 and 72 hours, and, in the case of old seeds, can last up to 5 or 6 days, or even weeks. Therefore, transferring the seeds to wet paper gives you more peace of mind, as you are dealing with less water and, if they open, they will not quickly drown.