5 common mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds
Although the germination of cannabis seeds is a relatively quick and easy process, it is crucial to take into account a series of important factors in order to obtain as high a germination rate as possible. In addition, it’s in our interest that the seeds germinate as quickly as possible, and especially if we want to avoid problems like fungal infection or a low germination rate.
In our article on how to germinate cannabis seeds we explain step by step what you must do to achieve successful germination. Today we will take a look at the main mistakes made during this process, some simple errors that, as we will see, can easily be solved. Let’s see where many growers fail to germinate their seeds, it’s a great way to learn what not to do if we want to make the most of our seeds.
A germinating cannabis seed
Letting the germination medium dry out
By placing the seed in a moist culture medium, it begins a series of reactions that will lead to germination in a few hours or days. Whichever substrate we choose for germination, we must ensure that it never completely dries out, because as the seed stops absorbing moisture, it’s likely that the seed will cease its activity and never germinate. Cialis for Erectile Dysfunction http://valleyofthesunpharmacy.com/cialis/
For this reason, it is advisable to check every day to make sure the germination medium remains moist, especially if a heat source is used to achieve a higher temperature and therefore a better germination rate; the heat will cause the substrate to dry more quickly, something that must be kept in mind to avoid nasty surprises. In case of hydroponic cultivation it is always better to germinate in rock wool cubes, which of course must always remain moist.
The paper towel should never dry out once germination begins
Leaving seeds to germinate for too long
Another common mistake, in this case when germinating in kitchen paper or similar, is to let the seed germinate until the cotyledons appear. If we do this, then the subsequent transplant is very difficult, and it is very likely that we’ll damage the root in the attempt. Additionally, the longer the root is exposed to air and light, the more damage will result, so it is preferable to transplant it before this occurs.
To avoid problems, it is best to plant the seeds when the tap-root measures approximately 1cm, or 2cm at the most. This will make it much easier to transplant and we won’t harm the development of the roots, which can be expand into the new growing medium without setbacks. Phentemrine diet pills http://kendallpharmacy.com/phentermine.html
Direct germination in soil
This is a common mistake that usually results in non-germination, especially if the substrate hasn’t been previously watered before sowing the seed but is watered afterwards. By planting the seed directly in the substrate, we run the risk of it being buried too deep, made worse when we irrigate the growing medium post-sowing.
To obtain much better results, first germinate seeds in kitchen paper, jiffy pellets or peat plugs used for rooting cuttings and then transplant them to the soil or to a pot once the small seedlings have been born. Another benefit of this method is that we can germinate a large number of seeds in a very small space, such as a small greenhouse, which will make it much easier to provide the correct temperature and humidity.
Temperature and humidity for germination
Cannabis seeds germinate correctly with relatively high temperature and humidity values. It will be necessary, especially during some seasons of the year, to use some source of heat to get a temperature of about 26-28ºC. For this purpose there are many options on the market, such as thermal cables or heated greenhouses. The latter are particularly interesting because they also provide the perfect high humidity environment for seed germination.
The ideal is to maintain the germination medium at about 26-28ºC and at 70% relative humidity. Lower values will result in a slower and less successful germination, while higher values can bring fungal or rot problems.
A heated greenhouse is perfect for germinating seeds
Planting the seed incorrectly
If you look closely at a cannabis seed, you will notice that it has a slightly oval shape, ending in a point at one end and forming a small “crater” at the other end, which is called the crown. When planting your seed (whether it’s a seed that you want to germinate, for example, in a jiffy, or a seed already germinated on kitchen paper that you want to transplant) you must keep in mind that this crown should always be facing upwards.
So, you should plant the seed with the tip down and the crown uppermost and facing you. Once the seed germinates the crown will serve as a hinge, so that the seed will open at the tip and let out the root. In case of placing the seed incorrectly, the tap root will grow upward and the seedling downwards, which should be avoided at all costs because it is likely that the seedling will not be born.
Planting at the incorrect depth
Too often the seed is buried too deep (a problem that we have already seen in case of watering after planting the seed), so the seedling may never emerge. In the other case, if we sow too close to the surface, we can find that the seed germinates well but the stem grows weak, bending and not allowing the seedling to develop correctly.
To avoid these problems it is be best to sow the seed at about 2cm depth. In addition, we can cover the lower stem as the seedling grows, so that it gains stability and produces new roots along the length of stem we have buried. In this way we can accelerate the growth of the plants.
We should plant the seed with the root downwards
Planting several seeds in the same pot
Although it may be tempting, germinating several seeds in the same container is not usually successful. In addition to the difficulty of correctly planting several seeds in the same pot, once they are born they will compete for the little space available for their roots. Having restricted root growth does not suit cannabis plants, which will grow more weakly and with greater internodal distance.
In addition, the scarce space between the plants will also mean they will compete for available light, something not recommended if we want to get the most out of each plant. The plants will produce very little lateral branching, and will center their growth on a weak main stem, with too long an internodal distance, factors that usually affects negatively on the final yield of buds.
We hope that this article will help you avoid problems when germinating your seeds, it can be very frustrating to start a grow with all the enthusiasm and excitement, only to run into problems straight away! Do not hesitate to leave us any doubts, comments or your own tips and tricks, we’ll be happy to answer you.
Comments in “5 common mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds” (47)
I quit reading long back when the initial 100 seed results were reasoned. I’ll likely be missing many points observed. Simple opinion, for better than 25 million years of natural survival this plant has recreated itself for man to adapt to its uses in a very short 10,000 or how ever many years there’s been somebody crapping In a watermelon patch Surely it knows its way around a 2cm [email protected]&?ing hole surrounded by its predecessors environment. I would think genetically it knows what the !(@& to do. Especially if you are using a “Feminized seed”. Now, surely many observations have been made justifiable or not the laws of average are easily debatable, but I believe that the laws of average have established the standards many moons ago friends. Maybe I’ll fill up a kiddie pool 4ft Dia. @6 inches deep perlite and drop a 100 seeds through a pine bow from 6 feet high and then document the seeds position when it’s at rest in the perlite.. . I’m Extremely new to cuktuvating cannabis, my 2nd year. My first year turned out peesonally satisfiable at best simply because I planted shark cookies. I germinated in a paper towel, from there I rested the seed however it rested in a tub of perlite with an aquarium bubbler, also a circulator moving a solution of compost tea through the roots for 2 weeks, then put them in a small crawl area with a fan and a few lights for another 45 days, and then moved them to a bucket and put outside for the next 3 months and then brought back inside for another 2 weeks. So any opinions that we all have are open for discussion, but the only resolution for judgement is our own environmental abilities to nurture the development of variable genetics. Happy gardening friends..
Hi and thanks for your comment. We’re happy that your first year of cultivation was a reasonable success, we hope that this year will be even more so! Germinating seeds may seem like the most natural and easy thing in the world, and that’s how it should be, but it’s amazing just how many people fall at this first hurdle, and when the seeds are not particularly cheap, as in the case of cannabis, it becomes even more nerve-wracking, especially for beginner growers and those who have no basic experience of growing other plants like vegetables, flowers, etc. There’s no real substitute for experience in this game, and the more seeds we pop, the more confidence we get. Thanks again for your comment, best wishes to you!
Hello Good day I have some that looks like stale might be more than years old seeds. It was a given to me by a friend and I doubt it was preserved properly in proper containers. Will it still germinate?
Hi, thanks for your comment and question. The older the seeds are, the less chance they will germinate, and if they weren’t stored in good conditions (dry, cool, stable, e.g. in the fridge) then the chances of non-germination become even greater. You can try a few things to help improve germination rates, for example, the application of fulvic acid and/or gibberellic acid will give older seeds a better chance of germinating. Try germinating a few of the seeds in the normal way and then if you don’t get success I’d look at using one or both of the compounds I mentioned. I hope that helps, all the best!
I have germinated five seeds of different stains, all paper towel method. All sprouted.. All healthy.. All put in good seedling raising mix but the problem is they just sit dormant just not growing. I grow under lights. Last year.. No problems this year no growth. Seeds r less than a year old. HELP.
Hi and thanks for your comment. To work out the problem, we need to eliminate a few possibilities. First, check that the temperature and humidity levels within your grow area are suitable for vegetative growth: ideally from 20 to 28ºC with 40-60% RH. Then verify whether your lamps need changing – old bulbs put out significantly less light than new ones, which could be leading to poor growth. If all those factors are as they should be then the most likely culprit is the soil mix itself – the quality can vary from season to season, even with the best brands, so it’s always possible that there could be pests or pathogens in the soil which are preventing the seedlings from making progress. I would recommend trying with a different brand of soil to see if that makes a difference. I hope that helps. Best wishes and good luck!
I germinated in paper towel until tap root was as long as seed it curled around the seed anyway my question is if I planted in jiffy pod should I put it under light or wait till it pops up to put it in the light .
Hi and thanks for your comment & question. The newly germinated seed doesn’t really need a light source while it’s below the soil surface but as soon as it pops out it will need light to prevent it from becoming stretchy, lanky and unhealthy. For this reason, it’s probably best to keep it under a light with a photoperiod of 18 hours light and 6 hours darkness for the day or two that it takes to break the surface. I hope that helps, best wishes!
You’re incorrect, seeds should be planted pointy end up crown down.
Hi Master, thanks for your comment. I honestly don’t believe there’s a correct or incorrect way. In our time, we’ve tried germinating seeds point down, point up and also laying them on their side in the soil, and we’ve come to the conclusion that it makes no difference at all – we certainly didn’t see any real difference in the results of one method compared to another. In nature, cannabis seed dispersal doesn’t rely on the seed landing in the soil in any particular position and it’s managed to spread pretty well! That said, if you like to sow your seeds pointy end down, then that’s great, keep doing it your way if it works for you! Best wishes!
I had my seeds in the paper towel for 3 days. The tap-roots appeared(not out just showing a bit) and I planted them in the soil. 3 days have past and I haven’t seen any progress. Is there a reason why this is happening?
Hi Sean, thanks for your comment. As long as the soil is neither too wet nor too dry, there shouldn’t be a problem with the seeds. They can take a few days to pop their heads up above the surface once they’re planted, the root needs to work its way downwards and find a solid hold to be able to push the seed head out of the soil. Speaking from personal experience, don’t be tempted to dig around looking for them as you’ll probably do more damage than good. The only times that seeds didn’t come up for me were the times I overwatered them, it’s crucial that they get enough air at this moment and too much water can lead to them rotting quickly. Of course, if they totally dry out then they’re not going to survive either. At this stage, I’d just recommend patience, good luck! Best wishes!
This article has a lot of nonsense in it. From Mandala Seeds: A #1 seed killer is a closed humidity dome/mini-greenhouse. Humidity domes are only required for rooting cuttings. Many growers make the mistake of thinking that they need a high ambient humidity for germination or seedlings. This is an unfortunate myth of cannabis cultivation. The high humidity and lack of fresh ventilation quickly causes fungus in the soil or growing medium and the seeds can rot! Cannabis is not an orchid or swamp plant! The seeds need a well aerated growing medium to germinate well. Seedlings also cannot tolerate high humidity and can easily be attacked by fungus such as fusarium and pythium. Only the soil or growing medium should be moist for optimal germination and seedling growth. Ambient humidity is best at or below 50%. Btw, seed should be planted with the pointed end UP, not down. Tap root ALWAYS goes up no matter how you place the seed. It’s by the nature, goes against the gravity to create a support for itself so it can push the seed out. It you put it with the pointed end down it will have to make double turn loosing the precious energy stored in the seed.
Hi, thanks for your contribution. Mandala Seeds give some helpful advice but they don’t have a monopoly on germination methods! In my 20 years germinating seeds I’ve tried all different methods and I’ve found good and bad in all of them. except for the methods using moist paper towels, I refuse to use it these days – I found that’s a great way to get mold problems and a really bad start to the plant’s life! That definitely is far too much humidity. as for ambient humidity, we don’t specify anything in this post. What we do say is that the medium in which the seeds are germinating should be at about 70% humidity for the best results. There’s nothing wrong with using a humidity dome or mini greenhouse, as long as you know when to start ventilating. of course if it’s kept sealed all the time then problems are bound to arise! These days I start all mine in a glass of water with a few drops of H202 and then once the seeds open (usually 24 hours) they get transferred to the substrate. As for the point down/point up debate, I think I’ll need to do a side-by-side comparison to settle this in my own mind. I’ve always planted them point downwards or on their side and I’ve yet to see any weird stuff like roots popping out of the surface, or doing a loop-the-loop before the seedling breaks the surface. But it’s clear that the debate needs to be settled so I’ll do an experiment and I’ll be happy to be proved wrong! EDIT: I’ve since germinated over 100 seeds as a test, 1/3 of them went in the soil with the point downwards, 1/3 sideways, and 1/3 with the point upwards. Most of the seedlings broke the surface at around the same time but it’s clear to see that the ones that I’m still waiting for are mostly those that went in with the point upwards. The next step has to be a test in a terrarium so I can actually see what’s going on but I’m almost ready to call complete BS on this “point upwards” theory, FWIW. Thanks again for your comment, all the best!
Pls how can i get seeds to Nigeria
Fail-Proof Cannabis Germination Method in Soil or Coco
We have a cannabis seedling germination page that includes everything you need to know about all the different germination methods, but this tutorial is different. In this tutorial, I’m going to share exactly how I do my seeds from beginning to end. Just follow these instructions and you’ll end up with healthy, fast-growing plants that germinate in just a few days. It’s basically fail-proof.
Turn your cannabis seeds…
This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to germinate seeds and provide basic seedling care
Soon you’ll have healthy cannabis plants to admire
1.) Get Cannabis Seeds
There are a few different ways to get cannabis seeds, with the most common being ordering seeds online and growing seeds you find in weed that you buy. Learn how to research and find the right strain.
Here’s a picture showing several healthy and viable cannabis seeds
2.) Prepare Your Soil or Coco Containers
Before you start germinating your seeds, set up your soil or coco. It will still be a few days until your seedlings arrive, but you want to have everything ready before the seedlings need to be planted.
Get your containers ready before you start germinating
When it comes to new growers, it seems like the most fool-proof method (at least for me, and many of the new growers who write in) is the Paper Towel Method! It’s so simple, but there’s something about wet paper towels that a young seedling loves Learn About Other Ways to Germinate Seeds.
Paper Towel Method – Place your seeds inside a folded wet paper towel (Important: use cheap brand!)
This method is hard to mess up if you follow the instructions. Place your seeds inside a folded wet paper towel, and put that between two plates. The purpose of the plates is to prevent the seeds from drying out. Don’t let any part of a paper towel hang out the edges or it will wick away all the moisture and dry out. Keep everything totally contained between the plates.
Surprisingly, the really cheap paper towels work the best because the seeds and roots lay on top without getting stuck to anything. This is important. The more expensive “cloth-like” paper towels (like Viva brand) aren’t good for germination because the roots actually grow into them instead of laying on top.
Wet a paper towel (use the cheapest brand you can find). If growing multiple strains, you may want to label the paper towel so you know which is which. Place each seed on the wet paper towel next to their label.
Cover with another wet paper towel
Add another plate on top to keep the paper towels from drying out. Make sure now paper towel is sticking out the sides.
- Check on your seeds every 24 hours but try not to disturb them. When they’ve germinated, you’ll see the seeds have cracked and there are little white roots coming out.
- They should germinate in 1-4 days, though some seeds can take 7 days or longer (especially older and smaller seeds).
- Keep them warm if possible. Seeds germinate a little faster is to keep them in a warm place (75-80°F). Some people use a seedling heat mat but in most cases that’s unnecessary. I leave mine near a sunny window. I usually put a thermometer in the same place to make sure it’s not too hot or cold (or just check the plate with your hands)
Here are those seedlings about 2 days later. Be extra careful when removing the paper towels. Don’t let the seeds roll around or you won’t know which is which. This is when you’ll be glad you used cheap paper towels, as they are much easier to peel off without disturbing your seedlings.
You can see some of the seeds sprouted, but some of them haven’t yet. That’s totally normal! Each seed is different. If this happens to you, you have two choices. You could plant the ones that have already sprouted and let the other ones stay in the paper towels until they germinate. Or you could just put all the seeds in Rapid Rooters now, and hope for the best as far as the slow-sprouting ones. It’s up to you. Letting the unsprouted seeds stay in the paper towels longer improves the germination rate in my experience, but it’s simpler (easier) to move them all at once.
Seeds often germinate at different rates even if they get the exact same conditions
4.) Place Germinated Seed in a Rapid Rooter
Now it’s time to get your Rapid Rooters! Alternatively, you could place your sprouted seeds directly in the final growing medium (coco or soil). I think these help them get started, but I’ve grown many successful plants by just putting the germinated seed directly in its final home.
Rapid Rooters are nice, but not necessary
The Rapid Rooter should be cut open lengthwise. I use big scissors but you could also use a knife.
Gently place the germinated seed inside, root down. Place the seed close to the surface so it doesn’t have far to go.
If you have a root that is curved or bent, don’t try to straighten it out. Open the Rapid Rooter and lay the germinated seed down gently. It will naturally lay on its flattest side. When you slowly close the Rapid Rooter, the bent parts of the root will end up in the “crack” of the Rapid Rooter that you cut to split it open from the side.
Most seedling plugs will go back into place easily, and you’ll barely be able to tell it’s been opened. I love Rapid Rooters because their texture causes most seeds to stay in place and not “fall down” further into the hole once you’ve got the Rapid Rooter closed.
5.) Water the seedling in the Rapid Rooter until you see a root come out bottom, 1-2 days.
Make sure to always keep the Rapid Rooter moist but not soaking wet and give plain water.
Since your seed has already sprouted and been in placed into the right growing position, it’ll often pop its head out within just 12-24 hours! Sometimes you see just the leaves, but often you actually see the seedling push the shell above ground.
Don’t touch the shell if possible because a tiny tug in the wrong direction can pull the seedling out of the plug and break off the taproot.
Try to let the seedlings break free if possible. But if you have a seedling that’s stuck in a shell after a day or two, and doesn’t seem to be getting any better, you need to go in and help.
I’ve found that pointy tweezers are perfect to pry open a shell that’s stuck. Just close the tweezer, stick it inside between the shell halves, and let it slowly open to pull the shell apart without you ever touching the seedling.
Sometimes a “film” from inside the shell gets stuck on the leaves. If that happens, try putting a drop of water on the film a few times a day to soften it. If the seedling doesn’t push it off on its own, hold the stem between your fingers (so it doesn’t pull at the root) and use tweezers to gently tug at the membrane and release the leaves.
Don’t use a dome on seedlings unless it’s very dry where you live. If you do use a dome, consider keeping a vent open and watching the humidity. A young seedling doesn’t require as high humidity as clones (which are what the domes are designed for), and seedlings tend to get “wet feet” and stop growing as fast in constantly wet conditions.
Water your seeding in the Rapid Rooters until you see a root coming out the bottom. Keep Rapid Rooters moist but not wet. During this time, give seedlings bright filtered light. A CFL or LED light bulb kept several inches away works well. I’ve left mine on the kitchen table next to a sunny window, and that’s also worked fine for me as long as it doesn’t get too hot.
You should see a root come out the bottom in just a day or two!
After you see your first root, it’s time to…
6.) Put Seedling in its New Home
You are about to water your seedlings for the first time, so prepare your water now.
- Coco – Prepare water with seedling-strength nutrients, and make sure to pH your water to 5.5-6.5 right before giving it to plants. Unlike soil, coco does not naturally contain any nutrients so you must provide nutrients in the water from the first watering.
- Soil – Prepare plain water at 6-7 pH. You don’t need to add nutrients for the first 3 weeks or so because your plants will live off what’s in the soil. Adding extra nutrients at this point might overload and burn the seedlings.
Now that your water is ready, dig a hole that’s a little smaller than the Rapid Rooter, and place your seedling plug inside. The idea is to let the Rapid Rooter stick up above the soil a little to help the roots get more oxygen. It’s okay if the plug goes in flat with the soil, but don’t bury the stem as that can cause stem rot in some cases. Even if you’ve got a tall seedling, you usually won’t notice the extra length once the plant is bigger.
Gently pack the nearby soil/coco to hold the Rapid Rooter in place so the seedling is stable.
Your seedlings get a little extra oxygen if you let the Rapid Rooter stick up into the air slightly as opposed to burying it.
Example of cannabis seedlings growing in coco coir, about to get seedling-strength nutrient water. If they were in soil, I would give plain water for the first few weeks.
Water immediately in a small circle around your seedling. For most grow mediums and containers above 1 gallon, you can give 2 cups (500 ml) of water immediately without overloading your seedling. If the grow medium feels moist (for example coco that was recently re-hydrated), give 1 cup (250ml) of water this first watering.
Give 2 cups (500 ml) water in a circle around the seedling. If the grow medium is already wet, give just 1 cup (250 ml)
How to Water Seedlings in the Beginning
Two Main Goals
- Seedling roots never dry out (most important)
- Seedling roots aren’t staying soaking wet (roots need oxygen)
Seedlings “drown” and die due to lack of oxygen if they get too much water too often. To avoid this, try to provide an amount of water that lets you water seedlings every few days. Avoid giving so much water that the seedling roots are in a super wet grow medium for days as this causes “damping off” and root problems. Some grow styles like high-frequency fertigation call for watering more frequently. Just remember that the more often you water your plants, the less water you should give at a time. Also, keep in mind that a smaller container tends to dry out fast while a bigger container holds onto the water for longer
Try to maintain a schedule that lets you water your plants every few days without them looking droopy
- Water in a small circle around the base of the plant at first
- If the growing medium feels dry within 1 day, give more water next time. Otherwise, give the same amount again next time you water
- Repeat, until you can give enough water to get at least a little runoff, and have it dry in a few days
If the medium is drying in less than 2 days, it means you need to give more water to the plant at a time, or possibly transplant to a bigger container if the plant has outgrown its current one.
If your growing medium takes longer than 3 days for the top inch to dry, it means the soil is staying wet too long, and plant roots aren’t getting enough oxygen. It also puts your plants at risk of getting fungus gnats . Try giving less water at a time until the plant is drinking more. It’s possible you may have a problem with drainage in your medium ( what is good soil? ) or there are no drainage holes so extra water can’t come out the bottom of the container. Always remove any runoff water instead of letting the plant sit in it.
More seedling resources
Some growers like to put seedlings in solo cups and then into their final container. When done right this can increase the rate of growth by providing more oxygen to the plant’s roots. If you go that route, I recommend paper cups as they’re not as bad for the environment.
Autopsy: Why Aren’t My Marijuana Seeds Sprouting?
If your seeds still aren’t sprouting and growing properly, consider the following factors.
If there’s no germination at all…
- Temperature may be too hot or cold – aim for 75-80°F
- Too wet – seeds and seedling roots should always be moist, but should not be soaking wet
- Too dry – if a root dries out the seedling can die
- Bad seeds – It might not be you, it could be the seeds themselves. Even if you purchase from a good breeder, sometimes you still get duds. How can I tell if seeds are viable?
If seeds sprout, but then stop growing…
- Temperature is too hot or cold – aim for 75-80°F
- Too wet – new seedlings don’t like “wet feet” so make sure your Rapid Rooter or growing medium never looks shiny or muddy, as that means there’s too much water! For this reason, it’s also usually recommended to avoid using a humidity dome with seedlings unless your air is dry. Although clones love humidity domes (they need water from the air because they don’t have any roots to get water), seedlings like it a little drier or roots tend to get mushy.
- Too dry – less common unless you live in a very dry area, but sometimes your medium dries out too fast if you’ve got a heavy-drinking, fast-growing seedling!
- Too much light – if the seedlings get blasted with high levels of light right away, it can shock them. They may need some time to adjust to higher light levels. Simply starting your grow light a little further away than normal is usually enough. Think sunny window at first, and start ramping up after a week of healthy growth.
- Not enough light – if seedlings are growing long and stretchy without growing new sets of leaves, it means it wants more light.
- No light for more than a day – if the sprouted seed doesn’t get light within 24 hours after sprouting, it may die. Once seeds are sprouted, get them in a Rapid Rooter and under at least some amount of light as soon as possible!
- Roots damaged – If somehow your roots got damaged, it can sometimes stop the seedling from growing
Unfortunately, sometimes you will never know why certain seeds just don’t thrive. It’s all part of nature. But if you follow this tutorial you will get the best results possible.
Why Didn’t my Seeds Germinate?
Why didn’t my seeds germinate? This is a question often asked by novice and experienced growers alike. Some people think that it’s because they bought old seeds or badly made seeds, but it’s generally because the germination process isn’t done properly. Cannabis seeds have a 99% germination chance, even after being in a box for up to 5 years.
Cannabis seeds are life matter, and if germination isn’t done correctly then the seeds are worthless. Cannabis plants are generally quite sturdy and they grow quite fast, but they’re extremely fragile before they begin their growth spurt. You need to germinate in humid places with a decent temperature, and make sure that the seeds have enough humidity for the 2-10 days it can take for them to germinate. Just because it hasn’t shown any roots in four days doesn’t mean that the seed isn’t going to open, you just have to wait and have some patience.
One of the most common errors is just leaving them in some damp kitchen paper on a plate, as they’ll dry up before they can root. You need to make sure that the paper isn’t dry, if it’s dry you’ll need to give them a bit more water, some people give them too much water in case they dry out etc. These practices are what cause seeds to dry out or to drown in too much water; it’s not the seed’s fault, but generally the grower’s.
Another big mistake is germinating in a glass of water. The issue with this method is many people don’t take into account the water temperature. If the water’s too cold then the seeds will sit there for days until they eventually rot due to the low temperature in the water. This method’s okay for warm summer months when there’s a decent temperature and the water doesn’t get too cold. This still isn’t the seed’s fault.
One of the biggest mistakes is germinating straight in a jiffy or soil. The issue here is that the seeds will most likely take much more than 48h to germinate, and by then the upper layers of soil will have dried out, and if it doesn’t die off due to that then it will probably die if you try and water it to keep humidity up; in these cases, the seed tends to come to the surface or they can sink even further into the soil. Once again, this is the grower’s fault.
The only way to be sure that your plants are going to get a chance to grow is to germinate them before putting them in the desired medium. The only way to make sure that they germinate is to make sure that the temperature never goes below 20º and that the paper doesn’t dry. How? By using a simple plastic kitchen container. If you germinate your seeds in a plastic container with some damp kitchen paper and you keep it closed, the water from the paper won’t evaporate and dry out. Even if it takes 10 days it will still germinate. Once the seeds have opened, you’ll need to place them in a properly watered pot because you won’t be able to water again until the seedling pops through the surface, although this should only take one day indoors and maybe 2 outdoors. With this system you can germinate hundreds of seeds in a small Tupperware container. If it’s summer and it’s warm, you can just stick them anywhere out of direct light. If it’s the winter and it’s colder you can place the container on top of your TV or internet box to give it that extra bit of heat. If it’s going to be somewhere where light can get to it, cover the box in tin foil.
So, now you know the best way to germinate your seeds. You might have been doing it one of the “wrong” ways and you’ve been lucky so far, but the only way you can germinate and blame the seeds if it doesn’t work is if you use the correct method we mentioned last. Happy growing!