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How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds in 3 Ways: Tips & Tricks

By Last updated on May 9, 2024Last updated on May 9, 2024No Comments

Have you finally decided to grow your own marijuana at home? You might have even bought the seeds. But what now?

Do you just leave them in the soil? How often do you water them? Will they germinate or not? You must have got all these questions in your head.

Lucky for you, we’ve got the answers. Keep reading to learn how to germinate marijuana seeds.

What Is Germination?

First, let’s make it clear what germination means. It’s the process by which seeds sprout.

When the marijuana seed germinates, it starts embryo formation. That’s when the seed starts turning into a seedling – a seed with a primary root.

Now, you have a baby plant that goes under quick cell division. After a while, the plant becomes self-independent for nutrition. You’re all set to plant it in the soil now.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Using the Paper Towel Method?

There are a few different ways to germinate cannabis seeds. You can choose any of them based on the available materials and personal preference. 

The paper towel method is one of the simplest ways to germinate marijuana seeds. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Put the Seed on the Paper Towel

Keep a paper towel inside a container and put your cannabis seed/s on it. Make sure the container stays in a humid, warm, and dark place.

Spray the paper towel with warm water, and keep the container covered with a plate or a lid.

Step 2: Spray the Seed

Open the container with the seed every few hours to spray the paper towel with more water. The idea is to keep the paper towel wet, as it will help the seed sprout. Do note that the paper towel should be moist, not soaking wet.

Step 3: Plant the Seed In a Cup

The seed will open in 3 to 10 days and reveal a tap root. It is the small white root that comes out of the seed.

Once it appears, your cannabis seed is ready to be planted in a cup or a jiffy. Fill the cup with a growing medium, such as peat or soil, and put the open seed in it.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds in Soil?

Besides the paper towel method, you can also germinate marijuana seeds in the soil. The downside to this method is that you cannot control the temperature and humidity as well as you can indoors.

Step 1: Prepare the Soil

Take a small container or pot and fill it with soil. Make sure you choose well-draining soil. You can make this by mixing coarse sand with native clay. Do not use fine sand for germinating marijuana seeds because it becomes compact when you water it.

Step 2: Place the Seed in the Soil

Water the soil and put your marijuana seed on top of it. Then, cover the seed with soil. Press it gently into the soil.

Step 3: Cover the Soil

Cover the pot with clear plastic with small holes in it for airflow. Check the soil every few hours to ensure it’s moist.

Step 4: Provide the Right Temperature

A stable temperature of 70°F–90°F (21°C–32°C) is ideal for marijuana seed germination. Wait for a few days to see the tap root. Once the seedlings appear, remove the plastic slowly, allowing more airflow.

Plant the seedlings into the growing medium where you want them to grow into full-fledged plants.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds in Water?

Water is a good germination medium for marijuana seeds as it facilitates cell division. If a glass of water is all you’ve got, here’s how to use it for marijuana seed germination.

  • Put a few seeds in a glass of water.
  • Keep the glass in a dark area with a stable temperature of 68 °F to 77.0°F.
  • Watch the glass daily and wait for the seed to grow roots.
  • Remove the seedling from the glass when the roots are about 3mm long.
  • Plant it in a container where you want it to grow indefinitely.

How Soon Do Marijuana Seeds Germinate?

The germination period depends on three factors:

  • Darkness
  • Moisture
  • Warmth

If the conditions are right, a marijuana seed will germinate in as little as 12 to 36 hours of moisture exposure. But they may take longer to sprout if the temperature or moisture level isn’t optimal.

Tips for Germinating Marijuana Seeds

Tips for Germinating Marijuana Seeds

Here’s the bitter truth about growing marijuana: regardless of how closely you follow the rules or which method you use, some seeds will die.

But that’s okay.

Here are some tips to maximize the number of seeds that germinate.

  • Set Reminders: If using the paper towel method, set reminders on your phone to spray the napkin. A dry paper towel will kill the plant before it starts its initial growth.
  • Store the Seeds: Keep your marijuana seeds in a sealed plastic bag and store this bag in the fridge. Only take the bag out when you want to plant the seeds. The temperature change will mimic the natural change marijuana seeds go through from winter to spring.
  • Track Germination Dates: Once the marijuana seeds have germinated, do not forget about them. If they remain in the container for too long, they might die. You must pot them into the final growing medium when they grow tap roots.
  • Get a Germination Station: Seed starters or germination stations are mini greenhouses you can use to germinate marijuana seeds. They have a soil-filled tray with a heating pad underneath it. The head pad provides the required warmth to the seeds for germination. A germination station also has a plastic cover on the top for heat retention.


You can germinate marijuana seeds using the paper towel method, soil, or water. Whichever method you choose, you must be ready to accept that not all your seeds will germinate.

But the ones that do will most likely grow into healthy plants. Make sure you plant them in an ideal growth medium when the tap root develops.

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.