How to Germinate Seeds

The first step in growing cannabis is to germinate your seeds. This is arguably the most important step because you cant start growing without a successful germination. Seeds can be expensive so its essential that you germinate them correctly to save time and money. This guide will show you many different methods of germinating your seeds so you can choose whats best for you.

Selecting the Best Seeds

The first thing you will need to do is decide exactly which seed you want to grow. Although many seeds are similar, they are not all the same. Each seed has its our DNA and genetic make up. There are many things to consider when buying seeds and we will look at each of those things now.

  • Indica vs Sativa
  • Kush, Haze, etc…
  • Indoor/Outdoor strains
  • Tastee/Smell
  • Trainability

I have a full guide on selecting the best seeds, I recommend you check that out first before purchasing your seeds!

Germinate Paper Towel Method

This is the most basic and probably most common method of germinating seeds. I personally love using this method as it is cheap and easy and you probably have all the materials at home already. I will go through this method step by step to show you exactly how I germinate my seeds.

Step 1: Get a butter dish with a lid and a couple pieces of paper towel

Step 2: Wet the paper towel with warm water, make sure its completely wet but not entirely drenched.

Step 3: Using a pair of tweezers gently grab the seeds and place them on the wet paper towel. Make sure you leave some space in between each seed.

Cannabis seeds germinated using the paper towel method

Step 4: Fold over the paper towel to cover the seeds, and add a little bit of extra water if needed.

Step 5: Put the lid on top ensure the seeds are in darkness. Make sure the paper towel is moist and it is left in a warm area.

Now you simply have to wait 24-48 hours for your seeds to “pop” Its a good idea to occasionally check on them to make sure they dont dry out. Just try not to expose your seeds to light when checking on them. Once your taproots are approx 1cm long you are ready to plant your seeds!

Taproots sprouting after germinating marijuana seeds.
The seeds has “popped” and the taproots are visible and this seed is ready to be planted.

Seed beginning to sprout.
After a couple days the seed breaks through the surface.
Cannabis seed continues to sprout and grow leaves.
The leaves start to form
Leaves continue to grow and a new node has sprouted
Leaves continue to grow bigger as new nodes begin to form

Seeds LOVE humidity!

Its important to start off your seeds in a high humidity environment. One way to help achieve this is by putting a plastic cover on top of the cup to lock in the humidity. I made sure to poke holes in the cups to allow for fresh air.

Two CFL bulbs shine down on marijuana seedlings.

What’s the best light to use for seedlings?

The truth is, you can use almost any type of light to start your seedlings but not all lights are made equally. Its common practice to use either CFL or Flourescent. Many people have used Metal-Halide (MH) to start there seedlings which is fine, but you have to be careful. Metal-Halide bulbs are high intensity and can sometimes be too much for young plants. MH bulbs are the best for vegging, but whats the best light to use for seedlings? I suggest starting off with CFL for the first week or two to allow your seedling to expand its roots and grow bigger. After a couple weeks you can switch over to Metal-Halide for the rest of your vegging stage.

My current light set up for seedlings is 4 CFL Bulbs. I have two that hang above the plants, and one on each side. CFL bulbs are low intensity, meaning you must place them very close to your plants in order to be effective, however too close and you can burn the leaves. With how quickly seedlings can grow in a single day, its crucial that you monitor them regularly and don’t let them grow into the lights! I reccomend keeping the lights approx 6 inches away from the plants. Any closer you risk burning them, any further you are losing out on precious light.

Personally what I have been using are 23W CFLs, with a light spectrum of 6500k. I rigged up an adjustable light fixture for my lights and used a ratcheting light hanger to allow for easy adjustments. Check out the picture below.

CFL light fixture for growing seedlings

I hope this answers your question on how to germinate a seedling and begin your journey as a grower! For any questions please dont hesitate to head over to the Contact Page and send me an email! I respond to every single email!

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