Germination is the first stage of the cannabis growth cycle : the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. After all, seeds in a bag don’t spontaneously start developing roots. Also known as “popping” seeds, seed germination begins when a seed receives environmental cues letting it know the setting is perfect to start growth.
You can also germinate your seeds by placing them in water. It’s slightly faster than the soil method, but you need to adjust your environmental factors accordingly. Remember, successfully germinating seeds requires a perfect balance of ideal growing conditions. When germinating in water, seeds need only 24-48 hours to pop their stems, though cultivators can keep them soaking for up to a week as needed. Water germination is faster because the seed gets all the moisture it needs immediately, and the shell softens and cracks more easily after soaking.
What is germination?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
So now you know how long cannabis seeds germinate, what will happen after?
You could also find our FAQ Submission Where To Find Cannabis Seeds? useful.
Arguably one of the least effective methods, but it is still viable. Incredibly simple to facilitate, beginner growers may opt to germinate their seeds in a glass of water. Half-fill a glass or bowl with water that is approximately 22°C (71°F).
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.
WHAT IS AN EXPECTED GERMINATION TIME?
The dome of the plastic container will create your seeds’ own mini tropical climate. If you then place all the components in a temperature-controlled cupboard, you will have created a self-perpetuating supply of moisture—no need to touch the seeds again until they are ready to be transferred to your final growing medium as a young seedling. Using the stone wool block method, your seeds should germinate in one to two days.
Maintaining the ideal temperature (between 22–25°C/71–77°F) and moisture for germination is tricky. Leaving seeds out in the open environment or on a windowsill is far from ideal; a DIY climate-controlled cupboard would do a much better service. A warming mat is perfect for maintaining a constant temperature, but it doesn’t tackle the issue of moisture.
Timescales can vary, as it all depends on how ideal your germination environment is (see the golden rules above). Even the worst grower could make a seed germinate, but it may take a few weeks and, of course, increases the risk of a weaker plant.