Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.
The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
To employ water germination, fill a glass with tap water and let it sit until it reaches room temperature or around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Add two to three plant seeds per cup and allow them to sit, watching for any changes. Change the water to fresh tap water every two days, making sure it stays at room temperature.
The paper towel method also has its risk, as the fragile seedlings can be damaged during the potting process. The tiny roots can also get tangled in the paper towels, so make sure to move the seeds to potting soil before roots grow too long. Use your hands or tweezers to gently remove each seed from the paper towels and place them in a prepared growing medium.
While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.
To germinate seeds this way, lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel.
The best germination method depends on the cultivator’s choice. Here are some of the most common ways to pop your cannabis seeds.
Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.
However, a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis, which developed in extreme northern conditions without much sunlight, will begin flowering once the plant reaches a certain age—they automatically start flowering regardless of the amount of light they receive, hence the name “autoflower.”
Additionally, every long-time grower will tell you that clones degrade over time.
Time to germinate
Germination is the process in which a seed sprouts and begins to grow into a new plant. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your weed grow.
If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear.
For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.
Also, buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank will give you a sense of what a particular strain will look and smell like, how it will grow, and how much it will yield at harvest.
Three fundamental principles will trigger that first small taproot to appear: warmth, moisture, and darkness. With the promise of moisture, a single root will take shape before slowly developing into the cannabis plant we know and love. In the right conditions, seeds will begin to develop within 12–36 hours of moisture being introduced to them.
WHAT IS AN EXPECTED GERMINATION TIME?
The soil pots will need small holes (roughly 10–15mm deep) for the newly germinated seeds to be placed into. Once the seeds are secure, you will want to place a fluorescent light 13–15cm (5–6 inches) away to encourage growth. Finally, don’t risk overwatering your seeds at this early stage. Use a plant mister to make sure they stay damp but not soaking wet.
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.