Jake Randall is a journalist, author, and student with expertise in all things cannabis (especially edibles), along with knowledge in economics, the environment, and everything in between. Originally from Canada, Jake has taken on the role of a senior cannabis correspondent at The Cannabis School. The difinitive guide to germinating cannabis marijuana seeds from AmsterdamSeedSupply. Much controversy surrounds the raising of cannabis seed. Many first time growers are bombarded with advice, often conflicting, on how exactly this should be done. Learn 4 top techniques for germinating cannabis seeds using distilled water, wet tissue paper, jiffy pellets and planting directly in the soil.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
How to germinate cannabis seeds with for beginners the easiest possible way. This was my first time growing indoor cannabis in my entire life. I had no clue where to start, so I just bought some cannabis seeds and told myself I would figure out the rest later.
The first problem I faced was how to germinate the seeds.. what does germinate even mean?
Seedlings breaking through the dirt.
“Germination is the process by which an organism grows from a seed or similar structure. The most common example of germination is the sprouting of a seedling from a seed”
Materials and Equipment Used:
What does germinating a cannabis seed mean?
Germination is the process of getting the seedling to begin sprouting/growing. So the problem I faced was finding the most efficient method of doing this. I did my research online and there were a few different ways, but I found them very unclear.
Seedlings a week after germination.
Germinating a cannabis seed with a paper towel for beginners
There is one common method where you drop the seedling in water for 24 hours. Then transport the seed into a wet piece of paper towel, which is then placed in a ziplock. Then after a few days, you need to carefully transport them into the soil. This methods success rate is a lot lower due to all the different variables and careful handling required to do it.
I saw this method and thought to myself there must be an easier way. To germinate cannabis seeds for beginners this is too hard. Then I started finding more and more people talk about jiffy pellets. I did my research and found some very interesting things. The first being that all you need to do is add water. That’s it.
How to germinate cannabis seeds for beginners with jiffy pellets
After discovering jiffy pellets I quickly decided this was the route I’d take in starting my first indoor cannabis grow.
I bought a pack of 36 jiffy pellets as the 12 pack was out of stock. When starting this you need to choose how many plants you want. I wanted to grow 4 plants.
Jiffy Pellets are the best invention I have come across. Here is a link to Amazon to check them out.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds Step by Step Guide
Here is a 6 step guide on how to germinate cannabis seeds for beginners using jiffy pellets. This method was 100% successful for me and i wanted to share it with everyone else looking to start growing for the first time.
Step 1: Decide how many plants you want to grow
I want to grow four plants in total. Therefore to be on the safe side I planted 50% more than I intended to grow in case anything happened.
So I planted 6 feminized auto-flowering seeds in 6 separate jiffy pellets.
I planted 50% more seeds then I wanted in the event some didn’t sprout or died in the early stages. I planted 1 seed per jiffy and cannabis seeds can be expensive.
Step 2: Add water to the jiffy pellet
You need to let the jiffy pellet absorb water so it expands. I added 35 mL of water to the pellet using a plastic syringe. Once it had absorbed all the water I peeled back the mesh and dug a small hole in the center. The hole was about half an inch deep.
Step 3: Place cannabis seeds inside the jiffy pellet
I then carefully placed the cannabis seeds inside the hole with a small pair of tweezers. This ensures no harm is done with my fingers. After placing in the dirt, I covered up the hole carefully. I did this for all six pellets.
Step 4: Wait for cannabis seeds to sprout
Once planted you need to leave them inside the container at room temperature for up to eight days. The germination process takes anywhere from 2 – 8 days to get the seedlings to sprout. After the first 24 hours, the pellets seemed very dry. I then proceeded to add a little water to each to keep them moist.
Cannabis seeds sprouting from the jiffy pellets after two days.
After waiting a gruelling 56 hours (Just over two days) I was going to sleep and noticed the first seedlings erecting from the jiffy pellets. It worked! Over the next 24 hours, the others sprouted one by one. This happened until all six plants were standing strong. The jiffy pellets had a 100% success rate. This was amazing for my grow. After they sprout they are ready to be placed under your grow lights (or in the sun if your doing it that way)
The other three sprouted one day after this.
Step 5: Transplant the pellets into your pots
Day 3, I moved the cover off the jiffy pellet structure. I had my grow pots already in place and filled with them with soil. The jiffy pellets have a fabric string cover that holds all the dirt together. It says you can leave it on but I didn’t want to damage the roots and I wanted them to be able to grow freely. I carefully cut each mesh with a sharp knife.
Unfortunately, each pellet was left a little to long and the roots had started growing through the mesh. When trying to remove the mesh from around the pellets, the roots were stuck and the endings of all of them ripped off ☹ But the plants are doing GREAT!
Furthermore, I cut around the mesh so it was just the jiffy pellet by itself. I dug a small hold in the middle of my Vivosun 3 gallon fabric woven pots These pots allow oxygen to flow through the walls and allow the plant to grow to the maximum potential. I then transported the pellets into the holes I dug in the middle of the pots.
Step 6: Water the plants and start the grow!
After they were transported I watered them generously. Each day the leaves started growing bigger and bigger until I could see the ridged edge leaves start appearing.
Now the grow actually starts !
After one week under the LED grow lights the plants are looking bigger than ever !
My results from the germination process
In conclusion, for the first time ever growing indoors, I couldn’t have thought of a more easy process.
- The seeds are already growing in soil when they sprout.
- There is no transplant risk associated because the roots have already secured the structure.
- All you do is place the seed inside the wet pellet.
- Then all you have to do is wait for them to sprout.
- Transplant to your pot and you’re all done!
If I had to rate this process compared to others it absolutely blows them out of the park. To germinate cannabis seeds for beginners this is the best method. There is no secondary care needed. Just place the seed inside and wait. I was so excited to write this blog as I knew I had to share this process with every other beginner grower trying to germinate seeds for the first time.
This germination method is the best I have seen and the success rate backs that claim up. I have a 6/6 , 100% germination success rate. That’s pretty good for the first time.
Let me know if this article helped you out ! Good luck growing !
Jake Randall is a journalist, author, and student with expertise in all things cannabis (especially edibles), along with knowledge in economics, the environment, and everything in between. Originally from Canada, Jake has taken on the role of a senior cannabis correspondent at The Cannabis School.
Germinating Cannabis Marijuana Seeds
Much controversy surrounds the raising of cannabis seed. Many first time growers are bombarded with advice, often conflicting, on how exactly this should be done; however, it need not be such a complicated task. Cannabis seed is simple to grow, and if fresh, 90-100% germination rates are not unusual.
The ‘Kiwiland Method’ for raising seed, has been developed from professional horticultural practices used the world over. We use it because it works, and it’s simple.
Table of contents
The list below is standard equipment recommended by Kiwiseeds and assumes you already have the necessary grow space and lighting set up. If you haven’t already got your equipment you can buy that online at https://www.kiwiland.com/
1. Propagator with bottom heat or
2. Heat pad + seed-tray
3. Thermostat controller
4. Soil thermometer
6. Large jiffy pots + seed-raising mix or
7. Rockwool starter blocks
8. Fine sprayer
9. Identification labels
Wet thoroughly enough perlite to cover the bottom
of the propagator approximately 2cm deep. Plug the propagator, or heat pad, into the thermostat controller, plug the controller into the power and set for 23 C. Place the heat-sensing probe into the wet perlite just beneath where the seedlings roots will be. If using a heating pad lay it out beneath the propagator tray.
Jiffy pots preparation
Pre-soak the jiffy pots in warm water then fill them to the top with seed-raising mix making sure to take out any bigger pieces that may obstruct the young shoot as it emerges.
(This can also be done with the help of a coarse sieve if you like.)
Completely saturate the jiffy-pots and their contents, but allow them to drain well. Do this carefully so as not to wash the fine soil away. Top them up and repeat if the mix has sunken too much. It’s important to have them as full as possible to give the young roots plenty of room to grow for the week or two until they are potted on, and, because having a greater volume of the mix in the pots means they take longer to dry out under the warm lamp.
With a thin pointed object such as a pencil, make a small hole in the center of each jiffy-pot about twice the depth that the seed is long (This varies with strain, but 5-8mm deep should be sufficient. Often the mistake is made of planting seeds too deeply, and they rot before they see the light of day. To ensure this doesn’t happen, never sow seeds deeper than 1cm). If sowing more than one variety remember to prepare identification labels in advance and label them as you go to prevent mix-ups.
Put the cannabis seeds in Jiffy pots
Sow seeds directly into the holes, and cover with a little of the moist seed-raising mix from around it with the help of the pencil. Use a little more fine mix if needed. Some growers have the patience to sow seeds a certain way up, and this can be beneficial, especially with big seeds. If this is done place the seed, point up, ensuring the root can travel downwards with ease.
Watering the seeds
Using the mister bottle, spray the freshly covered seeds until the mix is damp. Don’t pour water onto the pots as this can wash away the mix and expose seeds.
Transfer jiffy-pots into pre-warmed propagator tray, and settle them in making sure the wet perlite surrounds the pots, getting right up between them. This ensures the pots stay moist until well after the seeds germinate, protecting the young roots from drying out.
Lighting, temperature & humidity
Set the tray under either fluorescent lighting or a low-wattage H.P.S. to keep the newly planted seeds warm. At this stage no light is necessary but warmth is important, and low light provides this without drying the pots out. An air temp of 20-22C is ideal, a degree or two lower than the soil temp (around 23C). Humidity if regulated can be set for around 60%.
Growing the cannabis seedlings
As soon as the seedlings have germinated they need light. The food store supplied by the seed itself has all but been used up, and the plant needs light to photosynthesize and grow.
When growing marijuana in the vegetative stage you may choose how long you wish to keep the lights on, as long as it’s 18 hours or more. The advantages are that plants will grow faster with 24 hours light, and a constant temperature is easier to maintain this way, something hugely beneficial to young seedlings. Disadvantages are that you’ll need to water more, of course, your lamps and ballasts don’t get a break, and the electricity bill increases.
Some people advise keeping young seedlings under fluorescent lighting for a while but this doesn’t provide them with the correct spectrum for photosynthesis. It is best in our opinion to place seedlings directly under low wattage H.P.S lamps, 150/250/ or 400 watts, at a good distance away.
Once the plants are a few days growing they need to be moved closer to the lamps in order to prevent stretching. Move them as close to the lamp as the tops of many plants would be comfortable. (30-60cm depending on the lamp size.)
Make sure a breeze (oscillating fan) is blowing over the young plants, primarily so they don’t overheat, but furthermore to help strengthen delicate stems by stimulating cellulose production. Spindly stems cannot support heavy flowering growth. The importance of your internal air circulation cannot be stressed enough. It will exercise your plants and make them grow stronger while reducing many hazards that could ruin your crop.
Now that the plants have strong light they require more water and nutrients as well. A light organic feed or nutrient solution starting with an E.C of no more than .8 (with the water already at .5) can be sprayed directly on the plant and watered into the soil. The seed-raising mix contains no nutrients so within a few days the plants will be hungry.
Young seedlings love humidity, and a constant 60-70% is ideal at this stage. Use a cheap mister bottle, and spray regularly freshwater (ph- 6.5-7.5) over the leaves. This increases humidity, and washes dirt and dust off the leaf surface, unclogging stomata and enabling the plant to breathe properly. In natural conditions, the rain would do this for us.
Problems raising seedlings
Problems can occur during germination. Here is a list of some of the more common reasons why your seeds may not be doing so well.
Seeds need to be damp, not wet for germination. Excess water prevents oxygen from getting to the seed. Poorly drained soils may also cause soil fungus diseases. The condition of wet soils may be improved by adding perlite, which will aerate your soil. Make sure any trays or pots you use have holes in the bottom to let the excess water drain.
A certain amount of water is essential for germination, so maintaining constant soil moisture during the germination period is vital. Spray the soil surface with a fine mist, or cover containers with glass or a damp cloth to prevent your soil drying out. Make sure you remove the cloth once the shoot emerges.
High temperatures result in excessive soil desiccation and injury to seeds and seedlings. We recommend a constant temp of 20-25 degrees.
Cold temperatures can kill seedlings and prevent germination. Cool temperatures can result in slow, uneven germination, and attack by soil diseases. If growing outside, you may want to start your seeds indoors, before outdoor planting. Make sure planting is not done too early when there is still a chance of frost.
If you sow your seeds too shallowly the seeds can dry out. A depth of between .5 to 1cm is about right.
Soil too firm
Making your soil mix too firm can prevent oxygen from getting to your seeds and drainage can be affected. Pat freshly covered seeds lightly with your fingers.
Soil too loose
Soil that’s too loose results in too much air surrounding the seed. Seeds planted in this manner will not absorb moisture properly, and it’s likely they’ll dry out. Cover freshly sown seeds with fine mix and pat down lightly with your fingers.
Seeds may rot, or the young seedlings may fall over. Overwatering, poor drainage and lack of aeration will increase the likelihood of this occurring. Plant seeds in sterilized potting mix, and make sure your containers are clean.
If your seeds have not been stored correctly they can deteriorate. Look for darker seeds that are a little bigger, without cracks or chips. Any seeds that look shriveled or wrinkled should be discarded, as this means the seed has dehydrated and is dead.
Germinating Cannabis Seeds: Top 4 Techniques
There are many reliable techniques you can use for germinating cannabis seeds. They all work equally well so pick the method that works best for you!
Seed germination occurs when a seed is exposed to water, darkness and the correct temperature. You should aim for a humid environment between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 32 degrees Celsius). When a seed germinates, it splits apart and a tiny root emerges from the seed. This marks the transition into the seedling stage of plant growth. Read this article to learn more about the science of seed germination.
How long does germinating cannabis seeds take?
It will generally take around 2 to 5 days to germinate weed seeds but some strains of weed can take up to 2 weeks to germinate.
How to germinate weed seeds
1. Germinating weed seeds in water
- Place your seeds in a jar or cup filled with distilled water at around 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 32 degrees Celsius).
- Store the container somewhere dark, warm and fairly humid and place a plate or jar lid on top to retain the heat. Change the water every 2 days.
- Distilled water must be used because it doesn’t contain any chlorine. You can purchase distilled water here .
2. Germinating weed seeds using wet tissue paper
- Place your seeds on a plate between layers tissue paper moistened with distilled water.
- Cover the plate and store it in a somewhere dark, warm and fairly humid
- Re-moisten the tissue paper when required.
3. Germinating weed seeds using peat pellets (jiffy pellets)
Peat pellets are great because you can control the germination indoors but also directly plant the pellet in the growth medium so there no risk of damaging your seeds when you transport them.
- Pour water over each pellet until it expands to its full size
- Make a hole in the pellet and add seed to each hole
- Store in a dark, warm and fairly humid place until germination
When germinating cannabis seeds using peat pellets, a humidity dome can be very useful for keeping your plants at the right temperature as your seeds germinate.
A heat mat can also help keep your seeds warm if you live in a cooler climate.
Dan Thomas has a nice video that shows the process of germinating seeds in peat pellets.
4. Germinate weed seeds by planting directly in the growth medium
In addition to germinating in jiffy peat pellets, you can germinate weed seeds directly in any type of growth medium. Make a small hole in the growth medium where you want to plant (about 0.5” deep) and place the seed in the hole with the pointy side facing up. The orientation of your seed is not critical because seeds have the natural ability to orientate themselves in the correct way. It can also help to soak the seeds in distilled water for 24 hours before planting to soften up the shell and encourage germination. The technique is the same whether you’re planting in potting mix, soil, coco coir or any hydroponic growth medium.
There are lots of different growth mediums you can choose to germinate and grow your seeds in:
How to plant germinated seeds
If you germinate weed seeds before planting you need to be very careful when moving and planting the seeds. The germinated seed is extremely fragile and susceptible to damage. Plant your seeds the same way you would an un-germinated seed by making a 0.5” hole in the growth medium and dropping in the seed.