The seeds should start sprouting in about two days, though older seeds can take up to a week to sprout. You can remove them from the water and place them in the soil at any point once they’ve sprouted. Once the roots are about five millimeters long, they need to be planted.
To germinate seeds this way, lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel.
Germination is the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How to germinate seeds in water
When a seed enters an environment with enough moisture, it will increase in size and slowly break out of its shell. A seedling or germ forms from which roots will emerge, helping the baby plant absorb nutrients from the soil. Seeds naturally develop roots facing down and stems stretching upward, allowing the young cannabis plant to simultaneously feed off light and earth.
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.
You can also germinate your seeds by placing them in water. It’s slightly faster than the soil method, but you need to adjust your environmental factors accordingly. Remember, successfully germinating seeds requires a perfect balance of ideal growing conditions. When germinating in water, seeds need only 24-48 hours to pop their stems, though cultivators can keep them soaking for up to a week as needed. Water germination is faster because the seed gets all the moisture it needs immediately, and the shell softens and cracks more easily after soaking.
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
After 3–5 days, the seeds will start to open, and you should see tiny white tips appear. Once these roots reach 2–3mm in length, use extreme care to transfer them from the water to pre-prepared soil pots.
Often overlooked, it is all too easy to assume that the vegetative and flowering stages of cannabis growth are the most critical parts of the plant’s life cycle. However, with the chance of failure high unless you know what you’re doing, poor planning when it comes to germination can make or break your next grow. Giving your cannabis seeds the best possible start on their journey to bulging buds is a surefire way to encourage a healthy and robust plant.
CHOOSING YOUR GERMINATION METHOD
Place one sheet of damp kitchen towel on a flat surface. Space your seeds a few centimetres apart before placing the second piece of kitchen towel over the top. You need to ensure both pieces are damp, not wet. Once again, when the white root tips reach 2–3mm, move the seeds (carefully) to soil pots. Use the same guidance found above for planting techniques.
• The ideal temperature is between 22° and 25°C (71–77°F)
• Your growing environment should be damp/moist, but never wet
• Relative humidity range should be between 70% and 90%
• Seeds favour fluorescent lighting (Cool White code 33)
• Minimise the amount of seed handling you do
• In hydroponic/rockwool plugs, the ideal PH value is 5.8–6.2
Three fundamental principles will trigger that first small taproot to appear: warmth, moisture, and darkness. With the promise of moisture, a single root will take shape before slowly developing into the cannabis plant we know and love. In the right conditions, seeds will begin to develop within 12–36 hours of moisture being introduced to them.
Plants have come up with ingenious ways to disperse their seeds, using wind, water, animals, and even though their own physical force to throw them out.
Germinating cannabis seeds may seem straightforward, but it’s actually a subtle art that many have yet to master. This is the beginning of a long and arduous journey, so it’s necessary that your cannabis plants start off on the right foot.
Anatomy of a Cannabis Seed
Many are adapted for water submersion, while others are capable of being digested and remaining intact or to latch onto the fur of a passing animal.
Cannabis seeds, like all other seeds, are the result of reproduction between plants. Each plant has evolved throughout millions of years to adapt to their surroundings; thus, they’ve also made their seeds adapt to certain dispersion methods.
In the case of cannabis plants, their seeds are produced to enable new generations to spread across a landscape with ease.