Germination itself is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. The seed germination process is the foundation of every marijuana plant, and steps can be taken to boost successful popping. For example, some cultivators improve germination attempts by soaking seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea for 12 hours beforehand to kill any dangerous pests.
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.
Preparing to germinate cannabis seeds
To germinate seeds indoors, use any of the methods described above. Within a few days, you’ll have popped seeds ready to transfer to a growing medium.
Germination is the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Whether you’re planning an indoor cultivation or outdoor grow, it’s best to germinate your seeds indoors. It’s easier to maintain proper temperature, light exposure, and moisture inside, and you can protect your seeds from the elements. Indoor germination, whether using soil or paper towels, will ensure your cannabis seeds have the best chance for survival.
However, potency in autoflowering varieties has increased significantly since their initial introduction, with some breeders crossbreeding the low-THC ruderalis with other more potent varieties.
Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.
Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.
As mentioned above, you can skip the processing of sexing weed plants by growing with feminized seeds or clones.
You might also find a mature seed that has been physically damaged through poor handling, like rough trimming. In those cases, it probably isn’t worth the effort to try and germinate the seed.