Germinating marijuana seeds is an easy process that requires very little materials and the most basic techniques. Any gardener regardless of experience should be able to master the germination of marijuana seeds following this simple and reliable method.

Here is what you’ll need

  • Cannabis seeds
  • Paper towels
  • Two kitchen plates or kitchen trays
  • Distilled or filtered water
  • Seedling Heat Mat (Recommended)

1. Dampen two clean paper towels with filtered or distilled water. The towels should be well soaked but without extra water dripping off. Place the two wet towels overlapping on top of the clean plates.

2. Place the seeds on top of the wet paper towels and make sure to space them at least one inch (2.5cm) apart from each other on the towel.

3. Cover the seeds with two more paper towels that you have soaked just as you did the first layer of towels. Place the second plate overturned on top of the first plate. This should create a dome between the two plates. Make sure that the top plate is not directly pressing down on the seeds.

4. Put the plates in a clean and warm place between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit (21-32 degrees Celsius). On top of the refrigerator is often an ideal spot for this. A Seedling Heat Mat  designed for specifically for keeping new seedlings warm is an even better option.

5. Now it’s time to wait. Some of the more vigorous seeds will pop open in less than 24 hours while others may take several days to open. Check the seeds daily and make sure that the paper towels remain damp. A spray bottle works well to re-wet the towels if needed.

cannabis seedling taproot

The seed has germinated once it splits open and a small taproot becomes visible growing from the seed. This sprouted taproot is the initial root system of the cannabis plant. Take care, not to over handle or contaminate the sprouting seed at this stage.

Now it’s time to transfer each of the germinated seeds to their own growing mediums. Make sure that your soil is not too densely packed and poke a small hole in the surface of the soil with a pencil or your finger. The hole should be about one-quarter inch (.75cm) deep. Carefully place the germinated seed, with the sprouted root pointing down, into the hole then gently cover it with soil. Dampen the soil with a spray bottle but take care not to drown it. The seed needs water to grow but, too much water will suffocate it.

cannabis seedling cotyledonReturn the potted seed to a warm environment and wait. Within a few days, the young plant should break through the surface of the soil and the first set of leaves should appear, these new leaves are called cotyledons.

Now the plant is ready to be placed under light and begin vegetative growth. Fluorescent T5 bulbs are a good option for this stage, as it will not stress or over heat the young plant.