Soaking Weed Seeds For Germination

Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go. Should you germinate cannabis seeds in moist or soaked conditions? Watch our new test video and find out which method delivers the best germination rates. 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?

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis, better known as marijuana, is getting more popular across the United States as more medical reports deem it highly useful for better health and more states legalize its sale and use. There’s no question of how potent and beneficial marijuana is for health and recreation, so it is no surprise that more individuals are more getting interested in growing the herb in their homes.

Like any other plant, cannabis goes through the germination process before full growth. Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go.

Below here, we breakdown the main aspects of cannabis seed germination you need to know.

The Ideal Germination Conditions for Cannabis

For maximum cannabis seed germination, you need to provide the following conditions:

Moisture

Marijuana seeds need adequate moisture in the soil to develop properly. You can maintain moisture by using well-watered soil or a naturally-moist medium such as compost. Alternatively, you can use mulch on the ground to lock the moisture in.

Stability

Your seeds need a stable setup during planting to guarantee proper germination. You can achieve this by placing the seeds about 1.3cm to 2.5 cm into the medium, not any further or closer to the medium surface.

Temperature

Marijuana seeds require a proper balance between hot and cold temperatures for proper germination. Keep the temperature around the germinating area adequately warm, because colder temperatures tend to delay the germination process.

Direction

Marijuana seeds need direction when being germinated. When placing the germinated seed into the growing medium, ensure that the white root is looking downwards into the medium and the seed body is looking upwards. Positioning it otherwise means the root will have to reorganize itself, which can slow germination.

Seed Germination Methods

There are more than a few options to choose from when picking a method for your seed germination process. We list and explain the best of them below:

Use Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs

This is the most recommended cannabis seed germination method on this list because of its ease. Starter cubes and seedling plugs are specially designed for the purpose of seed germination, so they come filled with the right kind of planting mix and a hole drilled adequately in the middle for placing your seed. All you have to do is place your seed carefully into the hole and close it with a simple pinch of the nearby planting mix.

The Pros
  • They have high germination rates thanks to adequately pre-set conditions
  • They are easy to use; you open them up and start planting
  • They give less room for error
  • Some of them are designed to allow hydroponic growing (water-based planting)
  • They aren’t too expensive
The Cons
  • Are usually sold in packages of 50 plugs or more at once, no less.
  • Some plugs dry out too quickly after opening.
  • Some plugs must be soaked for a while first before use.

Plant your marijuana seeds directly in the final growing medium

Another good method for germinating your cannabis seeds is by planting them within your final growing medium from the very beginning, whether it is soil or compost or water.

The Pros
  • The seeds don’t get transplant shock during transplanting
  • The seeds get accustomed to the medium early on, which fosters growth
The Cons
  • Some final mediums are not adequately nutrient-rich to support cannabis seed germination in its earliest stages

Use a germination station

For best seed germination results, you can alternatively employ a germination station before transferring to a final growing medium. Germination stations are pre-designed to offer optimum conditions for germination.

The Pros
  • Germination stations are cheap to purchase
  • You can create your own DIY germination station at home using a plastic dome fitted over a plate that’s placed on a heating pad.
The Cons
  • Germination seeds are only appropriate for the early stages of growth, unlike, say, the final medium.

Soak Your Marijuana Seeds in Water Overnight

Alternatively, you can germinate your cannabis seeds using water alone. Place the seeds in a glassful of mildly warm water overnight and wait for the white root to break through the seed shell. Then you can transfer to a final growing medium.

The Pros
  • It works well for seeds with extra hard seed coats
  • Cuts out all the extra preparation required in soil-based germination
See also  How To Grow Butterfly Weed From Seed
The Cons
  • Some seeds, especially the older ones, cannot germinate in water because they require a longer time
  • There is always the risk of over soaking the seeds and killing them

Try the Paper Towel Method

The most DIY cannabis seed germination method on this list is the paper towel method, which involves wrapping your seeds in thin paper towels, making them wet and leaving the setup a warm place. Soon enough, the white roots start showing and the seeds can then be transplanted.

The Pros
  • It is so cheap; the thinnest (and cheapest) paper towels work best
  • It is so easy to do.
The Cons
  • Thicker paper towels can be hard to separate new seedlings from after they’ve sprouted
  • There is a high possibility for errors during transplanting, such as root breakage when seed roots are found to have grown into the paper towel, not on its surface.
  • Paper towels can dry if unattended, thereby killing the new seedlings.

Planting Germinated Seeds

Once the cannabis seeds have germinated, they need to be planted in order to grow into proper cannabis plants. The recommended method for planting cannabis seeds includes the steps below:

Step One : Set and prepare your planting medium. You can use either a rooting cube or a planting mix for planting, depending on your preference. Rooting cubes have no major preparation requirements –have one ready from Oasis, Jiffy or another good brand. If you’re using a planting mix, procure sterile soil for the process. Random soil doesn’t cut it here.

Step Two : Next, add water to the sterile soil or rooting cube to saturate it. Then use a needle or chopstick to drill small planting holes within the soil or rooting cube. Please do not use your finger for this task.

Step Three : Get your tweezers and sterilize them with alcohol or spirit first. Then use the tweezers to pick the seeds, paying good attention to the fragile white roots.

Step Four : Place each germinated seed into a hole of its own, ever so tenderly, such that the root faces downward. Don’t place the seeds too deep into the ground either, because it slows growth. Move quickly because the roots are easily damaged by exposure to the atmosphere.

Step Five : Next, cover each of the holes with adequate soil or rooting cube. Make sure the planting mix or root cube is moist and not too cold.

Conclusion

Germinating and growing cannabis seeds requires a bit of work, but when done right, the end results are worth every minute spent. Like any other plant, cannabis seeds have to go through germination and then plant growth. Making sure each of these stages is done right will guarantee you a super bouncy harvest every time.

Moist vs Soaked cannabis seed germination test

What’s the best way to germinate cannabis seeds? Let’s pursue our germination test series with another critical matter: should the seeds be placed in moist conditions, or is it better to completely soak the seeds to ensure the highest germination rates and the fastest germination speed? The answer may surprise you!

Moist vs Soaked cannabis seed germination video

To assess moist vs soaked germination conditions, Dutch Passion made a side-by-side germination test. 15 cannabis seeds were attempted to be germinated in soaked conditions and 15 seeds germinated in moist conditions. Does adding too much water to your cannabis seed germination help improve germination rates, or does it have a dramatically negative effect? The video, below, shows exactly what happened.

As shown by the video, perfect germination occurred when the cannabis seeds were germinated between lightly sprayed (i.e. moist) cotton pads. All 15 seeds germinated perfectly. However, of the 15 seeds that were placed between soaked (saturated) cotton pads, only 3 seeds were able to survive. The others showed brown coloration on the embryonic root, this is a sign that the root had started to rot in the waterlogged conditions.

How much water should you use to germinate cannabis seeds?

In the Dutch Passion ‘moist vs soaked’ cannabis seed germination experiment, some simple cotton pads were used. This is usually a reliable way to germinate seeds, whether you are using feminised seeds, regular seeds or autoflower seeds. Note that for the successfully germinated seeds in moist conditions, a minimum amount of water was used and delivered the best results. Just 3 light water mist sprays were given to each cotton pad.

The advantages and logic of germinating cannabis seeds in moist conditions

For the 15 cannabis seeds that successfully germinated in moist conditions, we ensured that the cotton pads were lightly sprayed (3 times for the lower cotton pad, 3 times for the upper pad).

See also  Og Weed Seeds

The key principle is that cannabis seeds need only a small amount of moisture to soften the shell casing and allow a root to emerge into a moist, oxygenated environment. Once the root has emerged, access to oxygen is just as important as access to moisture. The root needs very little moisture at this stage.

Related:
Cannabis roots, healthy cannabis roots ensure a healthy cannabis plant

The disadvantages and problems caused by trying to germinate cannabis seeds in soaked conditions

Of the 15 cannabis seeds that attempted to germinate in soaked cotton pads, only 3 survived. That’s because the waterlogged conditions simply didn’t provide enough oxygen for the root to grow.

Both the upper and lower cotton pads were soaked in water and the seeds were placed in-between. The soaked conditions allowed the shell casing to soften and open. However, as soon as the roots started to emerge, most of them simply started to rot and die. The easiest way to spot this is via the brown discolouration the root tip.

This is usually a sign of root damage, and for freshly germinated seeds this is often fatal. Even if the seedling survives, with root damage the plant may be permanently stunted only allowing a small, poor yielding plant to grow.

Soaking cannabis seeds during germination causes them to stagnate.

Dutch Passion advice on cannabis seed germination

There are many different ways to germinate cannabis seeds. We should also remember that cannabis seeds have found ways to germinate for thousands of years without human intervention.

But since cannabis home growing became so widely adopted, many growers want to aim for the very highest germination rates that they can achieve. If you are buying the best cannabis seeds at premium prices, you may want to get your seed germination rates as high as you can possibly get them.

For that reason, the Dutch Passion team recommend the cotton pad seed germination method. Remember to lightly spray the upper and lower cotton pads only 3 times each to create moist conditions. Adding more water, and soaking the cotton pads will only decrease your germination rates.

Related:
How to germinate cannabis seeds in cotton pads?
How to germinate cannabis seeds in soil?
How to germinate cannabis seeds in RootIt Cubes?

If you are serious about giving your cannabis seeds and seedlings the best possible start in life then the following blog is essential reading. It explains how to avoid the top-10 mistakes made by growers with seeds and seedlings.

Germinating cannabis seeds in moist cotton pads results

In the Dutch Passion cotton pad seed germination video 5 cannabis seeds were placed in-between 2 cotton pads. Each cotton pad had been lightly sprayed with 3 squirts from a simple water mist spray bottle. To evaluate the seed germination test properly, a total of 15 seeds were germinated with 100% germination rates.

Note that the moist cotton pads were placed on a dinner plate and the plate was sealed with transparent kitchen film. This ensured that the moist cotton pads didn’t dry out. If this happened, the germinated seeds would eventually die. The experiment took 4 days, though many home growers would perhaps inspect after the germination after a couple of days and re-plant the germinated seedlings into a grow container.

Germinating cannabis seeds in soaked cotton pads results

Experienced cannabis growers know the dangers presented by soaked/saturated seed germination conditions. That’s why many of them avoid using e.g. toilet tissue, which can hold a lot of water and not drain well. In the Dutch Passion moist vs soaked seed germination video, only 3 of the seeds just about survived the waterlogged conditions. All the rest were ruined by the soaked/saturated germination conditions.

Once the root emerges from the seed, it needs a certain level of aeration in order to survive. Leaving cannabis roots in waterlogged conditions inevitably results in root rot. That’s why so many growers find that they achieve superior results when using grow containers (e.g. air pots or felt sacks) that offer superior root aeration levels. Experienced growers know that overwatering plants or seedlings can stunt growth, and in worst cases kill the plant.

The main message for growers is that it is very easy to get low germination rates even from perfectly viable cannabis seed simply by using germination conditions that are too wet/soaked. To get the best germination rates, use moist conditions. Never use soaking wet conditions for cannabis seed germination. If the root emerges and spends too long in these saturated conditions the seed/seedling will die.

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?

See also  Seeded Weed
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?

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.