How to germinate marijuana seeds?

Cannabis seed germination an introduction

Cannabis seed germination an introduction

What is the best way to germinate cannabis seeds? This is a regularly asked question from our customers who have just started growing cannabis. We are here to help you create a beautiful cannabis plant!

There is no difference in germinating feminized, regular, or other plant seeds.

Hatching the seedlings is the first step of your cannabis cultivation. In about 12 to 16 weeks, you will monitor the plant's growth, see it flourish to become an excellent marijuana plant, and reward your hard work with gorgeous, tasty, sticky buds! Before germinating weed seeds, you ought to ensure that your country legalizes pot cultivation; otherwise, the germinated seeds will put you on the wrong side of the law.

Elements of life

This page will introduce you to several ways to germinate seeds. We'll talk about the growing medium, share some tips and tricks, and give you our recommendations on ensuring that your seeds will become healthy cannabis plants. We will introduce a total of 9 methods to you. The first five are the most common and relatively simple to do. First, we walk you through our preferred and most recommended method: paper towels. Further, we will explain the remaining 4 more methods, our so-called alternative methods.

Germinating marijuana Seeds The requirements

Just like a fire that needs three elements to combust, so does the seed to germinate. We need to create the right circumstances with the following elements;

  • Water, the creator of all life! Taker of life, if your seeds are soaking wet, be gentle.
  • Air, a closed seed, does not require much, merely a trace amount, but it's needed nevertheless
  • Warmth or Heat, It's mostly needed to create the right humidity.

Other items you need are common in any household, kitchen, or garden.

The 5 most common cannabis seed germination methods

We have made a list of the most common methods we use, which we believe anyone can use. All are fairly simple and with a few items needed for the process.

  • The paper towels method
  • Direct germination
  • Overnight soaking
  • Using a germination station
  • Seedling plugs
Little cannabis plant

1. The paper towels method

We consider this the best germination method because of the ease and the number of successes our customers have had using the paper towels method. We will elaborate on this step by step as we advise these often.

What you need;

  • Two plates
  • Neutral water
  • Paper towels (duh..)
  • For the transplantation (step 5), you will need
  • A mixture of 40% sand and 60% soil
  • Pots for the plants
  • A fluorescent tube

Place the seed between some dampened pieces of paper towel. If the tap water in your country is not "tasty drinkable," we highly recommend using distilled water to germinate seeds. What is good for us is good for the seeds! We will return to this analogy more often as there are many similarities.


Afterward, place the marijuana seeds (in the towels) between 2 plates and put them somewhere warm. The best temperature to germinate cannabis seeds is between 21 and 25 degrees Celcius or 70 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.


Open the plates only once a day to have a look. Take note of a tiny white root tip starting to emerge from the marijuana seed. Some cannabis seeds will sprout in a day, while others need up to a week before they crack open.


Ensure that the towel does not dry out. Put a little bit of water over it every couple of days. Just feel how moist it is when you have a look to see the progress.


Once the cannabis roots start sprouting and popping out of the shell, you must put the cannabis seeds in potting soil where the roots grow further. If you are a beginner grower, go directly to your one-gallon pot, where the cannabis plant will stay to harvest. You can skip step 9.


Make a little hole in the soil. Holes half an inch or about one cm. deep will suffice. Plant the marijuana seed with its tiny roots facing the hole. Cover the hole with some soil and give it some water. Make sure the marijuana seeds are still covered with soil after you water them.


Place the pots with the marijuana seeds under a fluorescent lamp and give them a little bit of water every day.


Turn the lights on for about a few hours daily. After 3 to 7 days, you will see the first few signs of the marijuana plant. The lamp should be at a safe distance above the topmost portion of the young cannabis plant to avoid burning its leaves.


After 3 to 4 weeks, the marijuana plant should be about 4 inches high and thus big enough to be transferred to a bigger pot. You can put them outside or in your indoor growing room if the temperature allows.

2. Direct germination

The direct germination of cannabis seeds is as easy as it sounds. But first, you must determine if this method suits you best. For growers who grow in pots or outdoors, it's more common to directly put the seed in the final growing medium, as there is no problem with the space. One of the benefits is that the germinated seed does not have to be moved, so there is less stress for the seedling.

For outdoor growing, direct germination with autoflowering cannabis seeds is the uttermost simple way. You plant them mid-summer, ensuring they have direct sunlight in the corner of your outdoor garden, and let nature do its thing. This is the most natural method.


Direct germination for indoor growing is just as easy. You use your growing medium for germination and complete the growth till harvest. This can easily be 12 to 16 weeks for most cannabis plants. This will influence and lower the number of crops you can do in a year. Indoor growers might want a more frequent harvest than 4 times a year, or if you want to save on costs, a small container for germination is way cheaper in power usage than your growing chamber. In this scenario, we advise you to use a different method that works for you and ideally only requires one transplantation.

3. Overnight soaking

This process involves the usage of a clear glass cup and warm water. Here goes the same regarding the tap water you use; if it is drinkable for you, it is okay for the young seedlings.

Fill the glass halfway (a regular drinking glass will do) with warm water. My preferred temperature is the same as the bath temperature for our baby boy. Dip your elbow in once that feels "neutral". And if it does, that's perfect! The seeds will start floating in the slightly warm water but sink with time.


When using this method, check in regularly when a seed has germinated. You don't want it in the excess water for too long. Some say 30 hours max. But for me, this is too long. Once sprouted overnight is the max. Like the name says, Overnight Soaking. You know you have successful germination when you see the first white tap root! The next step is to put the seeds in the medium you will use for the growth. This method is simple, as every kitchen has what you need.

4. Using a germination station

A germination station is excellent for beginner growers and a proven technique for germinating cannabis seeds. So, what is this station? It is a mini-greenhouse, mostly made like a plastic container that fits more seeds in nice rows. It's made to create optimal conditions for germination. So, it is a seed starter kit.

A germination station is affordable, fairly common, and thus easy to get. Not always for our type of plant, but it works just the same. For the DIY growers among us, you can make one yourself too. This way, you can decide the dimensions and determine at which stage you want to use the station.

Build your own Germination Station

What you would need:

  • A plastic or glass dome that can cover your tray
  • A tray with air holes in the bottom for heath to go through
  • A small container per seed! Let's say you want to germinate 10 seeds; then 10 containers must fit. Use a special plant container as you will transplant the young plants sometime, and the container will carry the roots.
  • A heating pad for under the tray

And you are done!

When you do the transplant, you need to place the cube as it is on in your soil; the new medium should be moist, not soaked, as your young plants do not require a lot of water yet. This will change when vegetative growth starts.

5. Seedling plugs

The last of our most common way of cannabis germination, and more frequently used by the more experienced grower, is seedling plugs. Many growers state that this is one of the fastest ways for cannabis germination. You need a room with the right circumstances for temperature, humidity, and lights.

  • The plugs are soaked in water for about 24 hours. (Please read the manual of your plugs as this varies per brand)
  • Place the plugs in grow trays
  • Place the seed in the Plug
  • Wait for the young seedling to show and move it to your final soil, at its max, just before the vegetative state.

How to transplant your germinated cannabis seedlings


In the before-mentioned germination methods, we have spoken about transplantation several times. What is this, and how should you do it?

Transplantation is the action you take once your germinated seeds or young seedling has reached the right stage of growth to be placed in its final growing medium—the medium where it will grow till harvest time. Before the transplant, you have to make the new home ready, like when we would move to a new place, we want a move-in growing medium. So whatever soil method you have, make sure it's not too wet, has the correct Ph value, and has enough space for the roots to ground.

Until the vegetative stage, you don't have to use much water; for proper hands-on nourishment, you can use a spray bottle to water your seedling. Ensure that the seedling gets ample moisture, and if needed, use a pH meter for accuracy. Be careful not to pour loads of water on the seedling, as it can drown.

The seedlings should be above the ground within a week, and the chances are that if it doesn't within 9 days, your seed may have gotten spoilt. Also, heath is needed, and grow lights may be used to up the chances of your seedling sprouting.

Happy cannabis cultivation to you!

Alternative methods of germination

How to germinate cannabis Seeds In coco

  • Take two pieces of cotton wool for each pack of 5 cannabis seeds
  • Place the seeds on one piece of wool
  • Apply some moisture to the cotton wool and spray the seeds with water
  • Cover the cotton wool containing the seeds with the other
  • Place the cotton wools in a dish and use a small-holed microwave foil to cover the dish
  • tightly
  • After a few days, the roots will develop.

How to germinate cannabis seeds with hydrogen peroxide

  • Get a 3% Hydrogen peroxide (H202) solution
  • Using a ratio of 1 part H202 to 5 parts of distilled water, mix the two
  • Add a rooting solution to the mixture
  • Soak weed seeds in the Hydrogen Peroxide, water, and rooting solution for 12 hours
  • Place the seeds between a paper towel and place them in a clear container
  • Root emergence shows germination has occurred.

How to scuff seeds

Gently chip the seeds since they have a hard coating. Afterward, get a stemless glass, soak the seeds, and cover them for 48 hours. After a white root emerges, transplant them into flower pots. Our master grower Mr. Sour has also made a video showing how to do it.

Also, him being him, he uses the "overnight soaking method" in a closed cup, while we advise a transparent glass. Mr. Sour is one of those growers we have mentioned before who has developed a sixth sense for the plant, so we can rest assured that no seeds were harmed in making this video.


You have now been introduced to the 5 most common ways for germinating cannabis seeds and 4 alternative ways to germinate seeds. See which fits best with your experience, goals, and growing medium. For the new generation of growers, we understand that all this information can be a lot to take in, so we will give you some advice.


About the seeds, mature and ready-for-germination seeds are mostly dark seeds, deep brown, and with a firm feel. Although not all plant seed germinates at the same rate, there are always a few seeds that are not in a hurry. So, keep a close eye and check in regularly.

When growing indoors, we recommend feminized cannabis seeds, as these are indeed not to sprout any male plants. Instead, as the name suggests, Feminized seeds will grow only female cannabis plants. Germinate via the Paper towel method, then transplant the young seedling carefully, and you should be enjoying some flourishing cannabis plants soon.

For the novice outdoor grower, we recommend autoflowering cannabis seeds with the direct germination method. These also produce only female plants. You only have to choose the right time to plant the seed and give them some extra water if it's a dry summer. Then, you can sit back, relax and let nature take its course!

Now our final advice is to buy high-quality cannabis seeds that will sprout quickly and grow strong plants with nice and firm buds. You can get those from a reputable seed bank like us. We have been around for 25+ years and are known to deliver Grade-AMSeeds! As a bonus, we have a great Grow Guide , which can help you every step of the way, and a friendly customer service team standing by for additional advice and moral support!

You can check some of the grows our customers have done here in AMS Grow Diaries, thanks for following along, and as always, happy growings to you!

Frequently asked questions

From Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds, of course! We have provided quality seeds for decades; our roots go back to 1996! We offer top-notch genetics, free discrete shipping, and exceptional customer service.

This depends on the local legislation, there are 195 countries in the world, and they all have their laws. So it is hard to say if it is illegal in your country of origin. We can tell you that these are the three most common issues;

  • If Marijuana is illegal to grow or not.
  • The severity of Environmental Protection of domestic plants and biology. If foreign plants are seen as a threat to native biodiversity, there will be strict import regulations.
  • There is the issue of how the local legislation interprets a seed, as the seed itself is sometimes illegal, but sometimes it is not, then it can be that the "flowers" it produces are deemed illegal.

The short answer is that it's hard to be sure without doing thorough research on your local legislation.

Creating new strains is time-consuming and a big investment. A single strain can take years to develop since it must be tested repeatedly before we can guarantee the high quality we stand for.

Seeds can go bad if they are not stored correctly or become too old. How fast they age depends on the conditions of the storage. So keep them dry, dark, and cold!

A Marijuana seed is ready to be planted when the taproot is 1-2cm long.

The average time is between 8 to 12 weeks. The exact time depends on the strain and other factors such as seed type, environmental factors, and soil potency.

For Sure! Start small and read our grow Guide. It will help you every step of the way! If you get stuck or lost for a moment, you can contact our customer service, and we will help you through it.
It can be indoors, outdoors, it's seasonal.