Soaking Cannabis Seeds

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Best way to germinate cannabis seeds!… thought i might try soaking for germination instead of paper towels. how long do you guys going this route let them soak before the soil? Figuring out how to germinate weed seeds isn't that hard, but choosing the right method can determine exactly how high your success rate is.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

For many growers, purchasing cannabis seeds is no less than children getting candies. The excitement is palpable, and you’re ready to try every trick in the book to make sure that everything works according to plan. However, Mother Nature is unpredictable and the seeds you sowed with care may not germinate at all. If that has frustrated you and you want to learn how to germinate cannabis seeds, here are a few pointers that can steer you in the right direction.

Best way to germinate cannabis seeds

There are many ways to germinate cannabis seeds, but we will get straight to the best method. This technique has worked almost every single time for us. Of course, no matter how hard you try, you cannot expect 100% germination at all times because some seeds may be old or just not viable. However, you can rest assured that this one’s better than the others.

Step 1 – Choose the best seeds

Take a look at all the seeds in your stash. While some will be super hard, some might be soft and disintegrate as soon as you press them. This is another reason why you must purchase seeds only from reputed companies. At Fastbuds , all seeds are checked rigorously and then sent across different locations. Once you inspect the seeds, choose strong ones that are hard to the touch.

Step 2 – Get rubbing!

This is a step that will help the seeds germinate so fast you’ll find it unbelievable. Generally, most cannabis seeds require at least 4-5 days to sprout, but by doing this you’ll make sure that the process speeds up by at least 2 days.

So, all you need is a hard and scratchy surface like, say, sand paper. You can also opt for a nail file. Then, pick your seeds one by one and rub the tips once or twice on the sand paper. Remember that it has to be light and swift because if you press too much you might destroy the seeds way before you even soak them in water!

Step 3 – Soak seeds in water

After a quick rub, immerse the seeds in a glass of clean water. They won’t sink immediately, but after 10-12 hours a light touch will send them down. Let the seeds remain in the water for at least 24 hours. Do not soak them for more than 48 hours or you risk ruining them completely.

Step 4 – Get paper towels

After 24 hours have passed, you’ll see that the seeds have split a bit. It’s not going to be easily visible, but if you look closely you will see a slight crack and the white interior of the seed inside. At this point, get a few paper towels, and place the seeds in them. Wrap the seeds lightly and sprinkle some water on the towels.

Note that you cannot overdo this step. Meaning the towels have to be moist – neither too wet nor too dry. Place the towels in a ziplock bag or anything that’s airtight. This is important since placing the towels in an open area will make them dry out faster and the seeds will not be viable anymore. Next, place the airtight container in a dry area. Now, you’ve done everything you can, and it all depends on time and the seeds after this stage.

Step 5 – Check the seeds

Generally, it’s best to wait for at least 4-5 days for the seeds to sprout, but since the seeds were rubbed on a hard surface earlier, they may sprout in just 2-3 days. After a couple days have passed, you can check on the seeds. If they haven’t sprouted, place them back in the bag. Sometimes, you’ll see half of the seeds sprouting while the remaining look dull. Simply select the sprouted ones and leave the remaining in the bag.

Step 6 – Get the container ready

This is something you need to do before taking the seeds out because you cannot let them dry out. Grab a container of your choice and fill it with a good potting mix. Use containers that have ample holes at the bottom or use fabric pots that let the water drain out completely. A mix of coco coir + gardening soil + perlite in a 40-40-20 proportion seems to work well for cannabis plants.

Also, if you’re growing photoperiod plants, you may shift the seeds to small cups with soil and then transplant them later. But, if you’re using autoflowering seeds, it’s best to plant them in their final containers so you don’t have the headache of transplanting them later.

If the seeds have sprouted with the taproot clearly visible, plant them immediately in the soil. To do this, poke a small hole about an inch deep with your finger and place the seed in it. Do not sow more than one seed per hole. Remember not to push the seeds too deep into the soil or they will have issues breaking out.

Step 7 – Water

Once you’ve covered the seeds with some light soil, sprinkle water on the seeds. Remember not to pour the water too quickly or the seeds will dislodge themselves. If you don’t have a sprinkler, grab a coke bottle and poke holes on the cap to use it in a pinch. This works nicely as a sprinkler and isn’t too hard on the seeds.

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If you see any of the seeds poking out after watering them, simply cover them with soil again. It’s important for the seeds to NOT be exposed to sunlight. At the same time, you must ensure that the soil isn’t bone dry or dripping wet. It must be moist – just like you did this with the paper towels.

Maintaining enough moisture in the soil is critical. In some locations, the soil may dry out faster due to the climate. In such cases, watch the pots every 5-6 hours and pour water if they are too dry. If you’ve poured too much water, a good container will help drain out all the excess.

Step 8 – Seeds sprout

If you’ve done everything right, you will see the seeds break out of the surface of the soil. AT first, you’ll only see the cotyledons. At times, the seeds cannot break out of the hull and remain stuck in there. Although they break out of the hull by themselves in a couple of days, you can help them by sprinkling some water on the hull gently. Remove the hull as slowly as you can.

Step 9 – Maintain the seedlings

After the seeds sprout and you see the cotyledon, let the seedlings remain in dull light for a day until they adjust to the light around. For indoor growers, using CFLs will help. If you’re growing outdoors, you can cut the top of a coke plastic bottle and place it on top of the seedlings to prevent harsh sunlight. Make sure you do this only for a day or two and the seedlings will adjust to the environment.

It’s important to water the seedlings regularly during the first week. Again, remember that the soil cannot be too wet or dry. Maintain the perfect amount of moisture and your seedlings will reward you with big buds later!

How long to soak seeds?

thought i might try soaking for germination instead of paper towels. how long do you guys going this route let them soak before the soil?

greenquartz
Well-Known Member
Jerry Garcia
Well-Known Member

thought i might try soaking for germination instead of paper towels. how long do you guys going this route let them soak before the soil?

Unless they are older seeds you don’t need to soak them in anything.

I just put mine in a moist cup of soil and let it do it’s thing. don’t make it harder than it is with paper towels and soaking!

Well-Known Member

well im new and just did mine but i let them soak till they craked then planted. I took water that set out for a couple days droped in seeds 2nd morning after they cracked

dukeofbaja
New Member

I used to do paper towels but tried soaking and like it. I usually just soak them for 24 hours in a warm dark place. After 24 hours, I check them. I tap them softly to see if they sink. If they do, I plant it in soil and it usually sprouts in a day or two. If the seeds don’t sink after 24 hours, I check again at 36 and 48 hours and do the same. If they have not sunk after 48 hours, I usually plant them anyway, but rarely do they grow.

BKCSG
Active Member

out of 200 quality seeds i’ve never had one that hasn’t germinated and i’ve always put them directly into the soil. I never even touch the seeds, i just tip the bag it came in and let it fall into the little hole in the soil i made. I’ve never understood why people soak or use the paper towel method. In my opinion, the more you handle the seed, the greater the chance of wrecking the seed. Plus, you risk hurting the tap root when you transplant. Just do it in the soil. its how she likes it ; )

dukeofbaja
New Member

So true BKCSG. I just stick seeds for my veggies into the soil and they seem to do well, I have never kept track of it though.

2beanklm
Active Member
BKCSG
Active Member

I put them right into the soil and they sprout 2 1/2 to 3 days later. From what some of you are saying is you soak the seed for 24 hours and then plant it and 2 days later it sprouts? what am I losing by going directly into soil exept the chance of fucking it up? The paper towel method and soaking are neat little tricks, but why chance it and for what? to me its not worth it even if it speeds the process by a day. Its an f’ing seed.. it needs moist soil and warmth, thats it.

siccmade420
Active Member

sorry but im gonna throw a question out there. you can stick a pot of soil with seeds planted in it and leave it in a warm dark place until they sprout?

Someguy15
Well-Known Member

I like soaking them til they sink (12-24 hrs) and then strait into root riot (rapid rooter, ect) cubes. I put them under the light so it’s slightly warm and they pop in 2 or less days.

Jerry Garcia
Well-Known Member

This plant is going to take months to grow. why do you need a head start?

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out of 200 quality seeds i’ve never had one that hasn’t germinated and i’ve always put them directly into the soil. I never even touch the seeds, i just tip the bag it came in and let it fall into the little hole in the soil i made. I’ve never understood why people soak or use the paper towel method. In my opinion, the more you handle the seed, the greater the chance of wrecking the seed. Plus, you risk hurting the tap root when you transplant. Just do it in the soil. its how she likes it ; )

The only time soaking is really beneficial is when you’re using OLD, DRIED seeds. But even then, if you plant them directly in soil and water them in, they will probably absorb the same amount of water.

If you bought seeds from a reputable seedbank then you can assume they are fresh enough and will germinate fine. If you found some 8 year old seeds in your sock drawer then maybe soaking them for 24 hours wouldn’t be the worst idea.

But really, if you let the taproot grow directly into the soil without handling it, you will VIRTUALLY ELIMINATE ALL stress and produce a healthier seedling.

Plus, IT’S MORE WORK!

Just put the seed 1/4 inch below the surface of the soil. 1/4 inch is pretty shallow. DON’T PLANT TOO DEEP. Just poke a hole, drop the seed and cover it up. Orientation doesn’t matter. gravity will tell the root which way to grow. Then fully saturate your medium and place by a light source. In a few days your seedling will sprout.

How to Germinate Weed Seeds – Tips and Methods

Germinating cannabis seeds isn’t a complicated process, although it does require a few specific parameters in order to happen successfully. If you’re reading up on how to germinate weed seeds, you’re in the right place; it’s a relatively easy process, you just need to have some patience on hand. The first thing to keep in mind is that your seeds are going to need water, heat and air in order to germinate.

How to Germinate Weed Seeds – Basic Parameters

Water (moisture)

Moisture is one of the three elements required to successfully germinate cannabis seeds; it essentially helps the seeds to expand and therefore break their shell. Over-watering at this stage can be fatal for your seeds, although harder-shelled and older seeds can take longer to soak through, so some patience is required.

Heat

This can be the hardest thing to work with, because temperatures that are either too cold or too hot will mess with your seeds and they won’t germinate. Springtime temperatures are generally what you should be aiming for – seeds can still germinate in colder temperatures, although they can take longer.

How to Germinate Weed Seeds – Germination Methods

There are many different germination methods that growers tend to use, all of which involve water and heat, although they’re not all as effective as others. Some people prefer germinating by planting straight in the ground, using starter cubes or by letting them soak overnight, although our preferred and recommended method is the paper towel method using either plates or an opaque kitchen container. We’re going to give you a brief rundown of the other methods, alongside their pros and cons.

Starter Cubes

This method is more reliable than others, and they make germinating quite easy. All you have to do is place your seed carefully in your seed plug and follow the instructions when watering; different brands and models have different watering instructions.

Some cubes are made out of peat and soil, and you can move them straight into your flowerpot once they’ve popped. However, hydroponic growers can use rockwool cubes which can hold quite a lot of moisture.

One of the downsides to using starter cubes is that they’re not very handy if you only want to germinate one or two seeds, because they’re usually sold in packs of 50 or more, and once they’ve been opened most cubes tend to dry out within a couple of weeks. Another downside to Rockwool specific cubes is that they’re bad for the environment, can be bad for your health when inhaled, and they’re not the best method for new growers.

Direct Planting

Other growers prefer to get rid of the middle man and plant their seed straight into their first flowerpot – it’s essentially how it would be done in nature, so why not follow the natural order? One of the pros when it comes to planting straight in your growing medium is that you don’t have to stress out your little seedling when transplanting, although it can be a bit harder to get the humidity right and you need to bury it just the right amount so that it can sprout.

Overnight Soaking

We highly advise against using this method, as it’s incredibly easy to accidentally drown your seeds. This method involves soaking your seeds in a glass of lukewarm water – it can be any type of cup, although people usually use a normal glass. This method can be effective for much older seeds or for seeds that have abnormally thick shells.

There are a few myths surrounding germinating in water overnight – some people say that if your seeds sink, they won’t germinate, however the truth is that most seeds start off by floating and then as they soak, they sink to the bottom of the glass. This has nothing to do with germination indication.

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How to Germinate Weed Seeds – Paper Towel Method

This method is the method we recommend all readers and customers use, as it’s the one that has proven to give us the highest germination rate. We’re going to give an in-depth step by step guide on how to use this method. Keep in mind that you can skip the rooting hormone part if you prefer all natural results, although X-Seed does provide impressive results to start with.

Material Needed to Successfully Germinate seeds

  • Kitchen paper
  • Opaque plastic Tupperware or two plates
  • Viable cannabis seeds

We’re going to go through the X-Seed method – if you want to skip this, you can simply skip the steps involving X-Seed and place your seeds straight into your paper towel as stated in step 4. Before you start, make sure you have everything you need at hand, so that you don’t have to waste any time looking for stuff. Find the best strains at our Cannabis seeds – Buy Marijuana Seeds section.

Step 1: Soak the seeds

Submerge your seeds in your B.A.C. X-Seed liquid for an hour. Give it a stir every now and then so that the seeds are thoroughly soaked.

Step 2: Germination

While your seeds are soaking, you’ll need to prepare your paper towel and plates (or opaque Tupperware). Make a makeshift “bed” on the bottom plate with damp kitchen paper, but make sure it isn’t soaking. We tend to use 3 layers of kitchen paper; wet the paper and let it dry without wrinkling it, hanging it out kind of like a t-shirt so that all of the excess water can easily drain out. No need to worry about drying it, as you want the kitchen paper to be damp.

Step 3: Separation

After your seeds have been in the B.A.C. X-Seed liquid for an hour, by using a spoon you can carefully extract the seeds from the liquid and spread them evenly across the bottom of your plate or container. An even spread is important, so as the roots of each seed do not get tangled – about an inch apart is good.

Step 4: Cover the seeds

Once you have all of your seeds nicely placed on your plate or in your container, cover the seeds with another layer of damp kitchen paper, similar to the first layer that you put on the bottom. At this point, your seeds should be completely covered.

Step 5: Take care

Once you’ve finished covering your seeds with paper towel, cover them with another plate or put the lid on your container; if doing this in a container, the paper shouldn’t dry out as fast. A mistake made by many growers is that they add too much water to their paper towels if they’ve dried up, but by using a spray bottle you can moisten it some more without overdoing it. If your container is transparent, all you have to do is line the inside so that absolutely no light can get in.

Step 6: Temperature adjustments

Once you’ve isolated your seeds from light, you should leave it somewhere with a nice, neutral temperature. During winter it’s often harder to find a good spot, so you should try and find a heat source that isn’t excessive. You can use a computer modem, or even a softly powered electric blanket. Items like play-stations can get too hot and could end up cooking your seeds, so take care where you put them.

Step 7: After care

Once your seeds open up, they’ll shoot out a small, white root. This means you need to be extremely careful when handling them. Don’t leave them for long because once they’re open they should be moved to soil.

Step 8: Moving to soil

Now that your seeds have officially germinated. Now you need to move them to the medium in which they will remain for the rest of the growing process. Germinated seeds usually grown in soil, but rockwool for hydroponics is also a good option growing. Or even a coco jiffy if you want to cultivate in coco coir. In this article we’ll be dealing with the most common method: planting seeds in soil.

How to Germinate Weed Seeds

Start by filling a small pot with soil, no more than half a liter. Water it before even thinking about planting your seed. Once the soil is damp enough to weigh down the plant pot, use the tip of your finger to create a small 0.5-0.1 cm hole in the middle of the soil, and deposit the seed in the hole with the root facing downwards. Then, cover the seed with a little soil so that it’s just under the surface. The last step in this process is to put your plant pot in the sun or under your lamps (wherever you’re planning on growing it). Within a couple of days you should see that first sprout, that will keep on growing right until the end. In some cases, it may even take a matter of hours.

Keep an eye out on our follow up article on soil preparation for growing cannabis.

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