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Each cannabis seed is different. Some plants will finish their germination stage quickly, and others will take some time to sprout. On average, you can expect germination to last two to four days. Some growers end up waiting 48 to 72 hours. In some cases, a seed may take seven days to germinate. You usually do not need to wait longer than 10 days.
Soaking cannabis seeds in water is more advantageous for the ones with a harder shell. Older seeds can benefit from the method as well. The water helps wake them up, in a sense. Another benefit is that it is not as costly. All you need is a clean glass cup and some distilled water.
Do Cannabis Seeds Need a Light or Dark Environment for germination?
There is more than one way to germinate weed seeds. Each one comes with its benefits and disadvantages for growers. Common methods are:
Other than drying out over time, one disadvantage of the paper towel method is that there is a chance of hurting the taproot. Be careful when checking on the seeds, and do not move them too much.
Place the seed inside the hole and cover it up. Then, you can add some water. The packaging should have instructions on how much water to add. The weed seeds can take anywhere from two to five days to finish germinating.
Probably one of the most common methods of germination. The kitchen towel method comes in several iterations. Some growers use cotton wool pads or absorbent pieces of paper. For this guide, we will be using kitchen towel as it is readily available and holds moisture relatively well.
Before you can be met with bountiful hauls of dank buds, there are several stages of cannabis growing that take precedence. Unless you can successfully germinate cannabis seeds, you won’t have a plant to harvest. Give your seeds the best possible start in life by reading our definitive guide to germination.
Timescales can vary, as it all depends on how ideal your germination environment is (see the golden rules above). Even the worst grower could make a seed germinate, but it may take a few weeks and, of course, increases the risk of a weaker plant.
CHOOSING YOUR GERMINATION METHOD
There is, of course, a far simpler way to germinate seeds. Ideal for beginners, the feminized starter kit by Royal Queen Seeds has everything you need to kick-start your next cannabis project.
Maintaining the ideal temperature (between 22–25°C/71–77°F) and moisture for germination is tricky. Leaving seeds out in the open environment or on a windowsill is far from ideal; a DIY climate-controlled cupboard would do a much better service. A warming mat is perfect for maintaining a constant temperature, but it doesn’t tackle the issue of moisture.
Two or three weeks after germination, your young seedlings should be ready for their new home. At this point you have two options; transplanting them into soil pots, or taking on the challenge of hydroponics. You’ll know when the seedlings are ready to be moved because the root system should start to poke out of the bottom of the wool blocks. As long as the roots haven’t begun to engulf the bottom half of the wool block, they will seek out water and nutrients in their new surroundings and continue to grow downwards.
To avoid disappointment, seeds that have a darker colouration stand a better chance of germinating, while pale green or white seeds are likely to fail. Even if dark seeds look slightly damaged, they should be planted anyway. There is a good chance they will still germinate, even if the outer shell is somewhat crushed.