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Germinating seeds

How to germinate your cannabis seeds!

We cannot express how important it is to germinate your cannabis seeds properly. Without a good start your plant will always be trying to catch up.

President Seeds has loads of experience in germinating seeds.

So here are some key tips to follow.

Inspecting the seeds

While we take the utmost care inspecting seeds you will always need to do due diligence. No matter which seed bank you order from there’s always one of two “effy” seeds that sneak through the cracks.

When looking for signs that your seed is going to germinate properly, it needs to have darker colouration. If it is a pale green or white it’s more likely to fail as it hasn’t developed properly. A darker seed will be good to plant even if it is physically damaged.

As a rule of thumb, your seeds need to be darker. Now that we’ve covered what your seed needs to look like to ensure it germinates properly what conditions make for the best results?

Best conditions to germinate in

There are a number of methods to ensure your cannabis seeds germinate properly, but there are rules to abide by. For the best results from your method of germination make sure you stay within the following guidelines. Also, remember your seed will always seek out moisture.

This being said here are the golden rules:

  • Best temperature is between 22° and 25°C;
  • Growing medium should be damp or moist, but never wet;
  • Humidity should be high at around 70% and 90%;
  • Don’t use a grow light, rather opt for a fluorescent lighting (cool white light);
  • Best to handle the seed as little as possible;
  • And finally, if you are doing the germination via hydroponics or rockwool, make sure the pH value is 5.8-6.2.

If you follow these rules your seed should be triggered into releasing its first taproot. Make sure to keep conditions at an optimum level. Your seed should begin to develop within 12-36 hours.

This being said, timeframes can vary, but the longer it takes the weaker your plant will be.

Now let’s investigate methods to germinate your marijuana seeds.

Methods of germination

The skill set of methods varies widely, so select according to your skill set.

Glass of water

This method amongst growers is considered the least effective. But sometimes it’s worth trying something different. Often a method utilised by beginner growers it’s a simple method that only requires that you watch the seed.

Make sure that you pop your seed into a glass of water that is round 22°C.

Around 3-5 days later you should see the seed to start opening up. The taproot will making itself visible. Once the roots are around 2-3mm long it’s time to transplant the seed.

When transplanting the seed, make sure to handle with care and that the soil is ready.

The soil should have a small hole that is 10-15mm deep for the germinated seed. Make sure that the seed is secure and cover it. Then for lighting, make sure to place a fluorescent light above it at 13-15mm away from the top soil.

And to ensure the soil is damp it’s best to mist the soil.

The next method is a bit of trip down memory lane.

Kitchen towel

One of the most common methods to germinate your cannabis seed is using a damp kitchen towel. There are a number of different iterations of the said “towel” as it can be cotton wool pads, absorbent pieces of paper, and anything in between.

Whatever material you use you will want to place the damp sheet on a flat surface. Make sure your seeds are a few centimetres apart before covering them with a top sheet. These sheets need to be damp and not wet.

As before, once there are taproots appearing you will want to move them into the pot.

But if these aren’t for you, you can germinate your seeds in the soil directly.

Germinate in soil

As we mentioned above, using these method requires you to transplant the seed. Moving the seed in this fragile state and result in the roots getting damaged. And these previous methods do require temperature control. So, why not follow mother nature’s example and plant directly into the soil.

When preparing your soil for the seed make sure to use quality soil and that it is well soaked. If you want to improve your chances of success you can use root hormone to stimulate growth. Once again make sure to create a hole that is 10-15mm deep.

Cover the seed loosely, and make sure not to compress the soil too much as this will hamper the seed’s growth. And if you’ve missed out on pre-soaking the soil you can always mist the soil.

In 4-10 days you should see a sprout appearing out of the soil. Once it’s outgrown it’s pot you can transfer to a larger one, or plant into the ground directly.

If you are keen to try something a little more controlled you can use rockwool.


When it comes to growing the best cannabis controlling the environment is key to success. This is true for the germination process as well! If you can create a germination spot in a cupboard, invest in a warming mat, you can ensure the temperature is a constant.

One piece of equipment that make the entire process easier is to invest in a rockwool germination station. Normally these stations come with a plastic lid which helps maintain a lovely tropical environment and the substrate can be soaked more effectively when compared to soil.

With rockwool there’s no need to remove the sapling, and you’ll know it’s time to move it to pot or a hydroponic setup when the roots pop out the bottom.

This should take place around two – three weeks after germination.

If you are ever worried about the conditions, make sure to think of springtime conditions.

Also, if roots develop in the wrong direction, there’s no need to panic, as nature will take its course and correct itself.

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