The paper towel method is also a common way cultivators pop their seeds. Some even use this method with cotton pads instead of paper towels, but the necessary steps are the same.
The best germination method depends on the cultivator’s choice. Here are some of the most common ways to pop your cannabis seeds.
So, you’ve decided to grow your own cannabis plants. You purchased a pack of seeds, assembled cultivation materials, cleared a space in your garden, and are ready to grow your first cannabis crop . With everything in hand, it’s time to begin the very first step of cannabis cultivation : germinating seeds.
How to germinate seeds using paper towels
First, make sure you use the correct type of soil, either gently fertilized potting soil or a seed starter with a pH level of approximately six (6). The soil contains the right acidity and enough nutrients to strengthen your young cannabis plants for the first two weeks. Be careful not to add more nutrients, or you risk overfeeding and killing your seeds.
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.
Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds because the soil protects the fragile roots from any interference. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
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.
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.
Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.
This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones or for breeding if you want to create a seed bank of your own.
Was the seed found in good weed?
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.
If growing male and female cannabis seeds, they’ll start to show their sex organs, or “pre-flowers,” after 8-10 weeks from germination.
A couple big drawbacks, though: Autoflower strains are known for being less potent. Also, because they are small in stature, they usually don’t produce big yields.
Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.
After another two days, they should have a pair of leaves then continue growing for another two weeks until they begin the vegetation period. If you are concerned that the seed cover is still on the leaf or concerned about how long the cannabis seed germination will still take, just remember the more warmth and moisture (not dampness) will accelerate the process for the Cannabis seeds to germinate and within 24 to 48 hours it should be completely out of its shell.
If you’re one of those people that have to have control over everything you might find yourself wondering how long cannabis seeds germinate. The long and short of it is that it usually takes 24 to 48 hours for the cannabis seeds to germinate. If they are placed somewhere moist, warm and dark, like a cupboard or in a propagator. These are ideal places for the Cannabis seeds to germinate and they will crack out of their protective shells.
You could also find our FAQ Submission Where To Find Cannabis Seeds? useful.