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How To Properly Germinate Cannabis Seeds

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How To Properly Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Seeds must germinate before they grow into a healthy plant.

How To Properly Germinate Cannabis SeedsBut many aspiring growers don’t even know exactly what germination is.

Germination, as a whole, is the entire process of providing the right environment so a seed can begin to grow into a seedling or the beginning of a new plant.


Some seeds require a breaking through of their outer shell in order to encourage growth. Others need water and light. In either case, if you want to grow the plant quickly and don’t want to wait for nature to take its course, you’ll need to provide the seed with everything it needs to get started, or germinate the seed.


Cannabis seeds, like all seeds, require a certain amount of care and patience. Those beginning this process for the first time should be sure to double check their steps. Regardless of the outcome, learn from any and all mistakes. Cannabis seeds need to imbibe or introduced to water before they can to germinate. Imbibing is the process by which the seedling soaks up the water that surrounds it.


You have two choices when it comes to imbibing the seedling. First, you can soak paper towels and wrap the seedling in the paper towel.

cannabis seeds on paper towelWhile paper towels might not seem like they carry a lot of water for a tiny seedling, they absorb enough to spurn the plant to begin growing and producing cotyledons.




The cotyledon is the first leafy production from a seedling which will be replaced once the plant gets a foothold in your final potting area. Once you have wrapped your seedlings in the paper towel (use room temperature water), you now have to wait.

How To Properly Germinate Cannabis Seeds

When the time comes, you must be careful removing the seeds. You could place the seeds on top of one sheet of wet paper towel placed on a dish, and cover that dish with another wet paper towel. Then, leave the seeds in the paper towels for at least two days.

Make sure to place them someplace dark so you can cover the seeds you have in paper towels with a bowl or a dish. Some seeds will germinate faster than others, so check up on them periodically. You are looking for the growth of a root called a tap root. When you do see this root, it’s time to take the seed out of the paper towel and plant it.


There is another method that many growers have found works just as well. You have probably seen someone soak beans before cooking them. Since the seeds need to imbibe water you can place the seeds in a jar or mug filled with water. Again choose room temperature water, or slightly warmer.

The seeds need a warm and dark place so make sure the water is not cold, and place them away from the light during the soaking process. When you place the seeds in a jar or a mug you will see the seeds float to the surface. This floating to the surface is absolutely normal, so there’s no need to try and force them down. The advantage of soaking the seeds in a jar is that you can easily spot the ones that have grown the tap root, and remove and pot those seeds.


Proper seed germination requires the correct balance of oxygen, water and temperature. A couple of degrees over room temperature will work fine. It is crucial that the water temperature is not below room temperature, or the seeds may never germinate. Many growers falsely believe that light is also important to the seed.

In nature, these seeds will probably be located in an area that does not get much light, or any light for that matter. Seeds only store just enough food for the seed to produce a tap root and cotyledons.


Once you see a tap root, take your seed out and pot it up. Germinating a seed is not a difficult process. With care and preparation in advance, even a novice can have a bunch of cannabis seeds with tap roots ready to be planted.


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  1. Heath,
    I’ve developed a machine incorporating wicking and autopot tech together that I would like to get a banner ad for on this sight maybe sell a couple units!

  2. Also note that the tap root ALWAYS comes out of the pointed end. Under normal conditions, the tap ALWAYS then curves/bends back in the direction of the flat end. Then as the root grows, it will lift the shell toward the surface & through the medium, in my case soil. After a bit the shell will be pushed apart & off of the two baby leaves.

    In short, the pointed end of a cannabis seed should always be planted pointed end up. If you disagree, fine. You are free to plant your beans any way ya want. But I have learned the hard way that, yep, pointed end always up. Planting the seed sideways is 2nd best.

    If the flat end is up, the root tip will grow toward the surface & if you are fortunate, will to correct itself & head back down. That costs time & seed energy. This is a searchable topic & some sites have pics/illustrations. If not sure if I am correct, look around a bit.

    Over the years I have had to dig up quite a few that I didn’t get the PE up. I have had root tips come up instead of the shell & had to dig them up & put them in right. Not often, but it happens.

    Most of the time the root & shell will move around in the soil & come out OK. But, the same as in having to dig up & replant, that costs time & seed energy.

    Hope every gets their scissors stuck together. 😉


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