Posted on

Germinate cannabis seeds with distilled water

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Germination relates to the process of a new plant growing from a seed. It is the first step when adding to your cannabis garden. You can purchase the requisite seeds from a variety of sources. On the downside, it means that cannabis seeds vary enormously in quality. We recommend looking at reputable online seed banks to get your supply. However, please note that there are legal issues to contend with if you buy seeds. This is especially the case if you decide to buy them from a source outside the United States.

When buying seeds, opt for mature options with a dark brown appearance and a firm feel. Once you have them in your possession, make plenty of space for them to grow and thrive. Learning how to germinate weed seeds correctly is crucial to enjoying years of healthy plants and fruitful harvests. In this guide, we outline the ideal germination conditions and show you five different methods.

Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Seed Germination

In theory, germinating cannabis seeds is a simple affair. They only need three things: Air, water, and heat. The famed ‘paper towel’ method is incredibly easy as long as you follow the steps outlined below. Here is a quick overview of the best germination practices before we show you the various methods.


Be careful not to over-soak your seeds. Hard seeds should be soaked for a maximum of 32 hours, although 24 hours is usually enough. Soaking too long can damage them. Marijuana seeds begin to sprout when they receive the twin signals of water and heat.

Once the right conditions occur, the taproot starts burrowing through the shell of the seed.

If the root breaks through the shell and there is no water, the seedling will die. Keep the roots moist once the seed sprouts, and make sure there is ample moisture at all times.

This is arguably the trickiest aspect of germination. You have to strike a balance between ‘warm’ and ‘hot.’ Spring temperatures are ideal in a ‘normal’ year. While cannabis seeds can germinate in colder weather, the process takes longer. Seedlings also germinate faster when there is plenty of humidity in the air. If you are concerned about low temperatures, invest in incandescent bulbs, and place them over the seed area.

First and foremost, seeds perform at their best when they are left alone! When you check them for the taproot, handle with care! Try to avoid touching the white taproot because it can easily break off.


You don’t have to plant germinated seeds too deep in the soil, or whatever growing medium you choose. 0.5” – 1” below the surface is plenty. Point the white root downwards into the earth to ensure the seedling is ideally oriented.

Are Your Seeds Good or Bad?

Always opt for dark cannabis seeds as they are the most likely to germinate when kept in the right conditions. White or pale-green seeds have little or no chance of growing.

You may have heard the age-old advice on checking for viable seeds. Apparently, if you can crush seeds between your fingers, they are ‘bad.’ First of all, they won’t be good seeds because you have destroyed them! Secondly, experienced growers know that even flimsy seeds can germinate when exposed to the right conditions.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds – 5 Methods

1 – The Paper Towel Method

This is the easiest method and requires cannabis seeds, paper towels, and two clean plates. A word of advice: Choose cheap paper towels because they are non-porous. As a result, you can lay seeds and roots on the surface and not worry about them getting stuck. If you use high-quality paper towels, the roots will grow into them!

It is a simple method, but also a risky one. You could damage the taproot while moving the sprouted seeds, or else the paper could dry out and kill the seeds. In any case, here is the process:

  1. Use up to four sheets of paper towel and soak them in distilled water. While you must soak the sheet, make sure there is no water dripping off.
  2. Place two of the paper sheets on one of the plates. Lay the seeds down at least 1” away from one another. Cover with the other two layers of paper towel.
  3. Cover the seeds with the second plate to lock in moisture. You have created a low-cost dome! Make sure you check the seeds often to see if they have sprouted.
  4. Keep the seeds in a room where the temperature is between 70- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Now you must wait! Seeds typically sprout within 1-4 days, although older seeds often take up to a week.
  6. When checking the seeds, make sure the sheets are saturated. If they are drying out, add more water.

You will know that germination has occurred because the seed will split, and a little root appears. Make sure you don’t touch the taproot when it sprouts or during the transplantation process.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

2 – Direct Planting

In nature, a marijuana seed will germinate in the soil and emerge with its taproot growing into the earth. Therefore, you can plant cannabis seeds straight into your growing medium of choice. The main benefit here is that you don’t have to worry about ‘shocking’ the seedling while transporting it.

See also  Medicinal cannabis seeds for sale uk

Your seedling should instantly adjust to the new environment and grow. When using this method, dig a hole 0.5” – 1” deep in soil that is moist but not saturated. Keep things warm with a heating pad or lighting.

3 – Starter Cubes and Seedling Plugs

This has been championed as the easiest germination method. It is effectively a foolproof method. All you have to do is place the seed into the cube/plug and add water. Assuming you put the seeds in a room with the right temperature, germination should occur automatically within a few days. There is a pre-made hole for the seeds, so it is a ‘set it and forget it’ method.

The main downside with this germination method is that such plugs are generally available in packs of 50. Waste is inevitable if you only plan on planting a few cannabis seeds. The plugs dry out in a week or so and become unusable.

You can also use Rockwool cubes as they are cheap and easy to find. However, they are a terrible burden on the environment and bad for your health. Rockwool also has a high pH (which means you must rinse the cubes first) and offers a low cloning and germination success rate.

4 – Overnight Soaking

This is as simple as option #3. It involves nothing more than placing the seeds in a glass of lukewarm water overnight. It is a good idea if you’re using old and hard seeds. The soaking process can breathe new life into them. When you place the seeds in water, they float for a few hours before sinking to the bottom.

The soaking process can breathe new life into old seeds.

If you use a transparent container such as glass, you get to see the white taproot break out! You shouldn’t leave seeds soaking in water for more than 32 hours. Otherwise, seeds that haven’t sprouted yet will drown. If the seeds haven’t germinated by the 32-hour mark, put them in a warm and moist place to complete the process. You should probably use the paper towel method at this point.

5 – A Germination Station

You can purchase a readymade version online. Alternatively, attempt a DIY station by placing a plastic dome over a plate that you then add to a heating pad. Professionally made stations are relatively inexpensive and work rather well. You can buy one for under $40, and their plastic tops ensure better humidity control. With top brands, all you have to do is choose your growing media and plugs to start growing.

Transplanting Germinated Cannabis Seeds

There is no room for a delay once your cannabis seeds have begun to sprout. Now is the time to transfer the seed to its growing medium. Most growers prefer to use small pots, to begin with. Make sure you fill enough pots with loose potting soil and use a pencil to poke a hole around 0.25” deep. Remember, you could break the taproot very easily. Transfer it using tweezers and drop the seed into the hole with the root facing down. Finally, cover it with a thin layer of soil.

For the first few days, use a spray bottle to water the seeds, because adding too much water can drown them. It is worth investing in a pH meter to test the soil regularly and make sure it has enough moisture. If all goes well, the seed should sprout from the earth within a week. If it hasn’t sprouted within ten days, it will probably die.

Turn on your grow light once you have planted the seeds. The heat improves germination rates and speeds up the process of the seedlings opening their first set of leaves. These leaves will remain yellow until exposed to a sufficient level of light in any case. When you plant multiple seeds, you will find that they grow at different rates.

Inevitably, some will fail, while others will flourish. You will have seeds that pop fast and proliferate. Don’t be disappointed if you have a few failures because that’s part and parcel of the growing process. Even when you get everything right, you will inevitably lose a few seeds, and it won’t be your fault!

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

How To Germinate Weed Seeds: 8 Pro Tips

If you’re new to the whole ganja-growing game, you’re probably wondering how to germinate weed seeds to produce a healthy crop.

Have we got a treat for you! The experts at Honest Marijuana have been germinating weed seeds for a loooong time.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the basic science of germination (no boring textbook stuff here) and give you some pro tips for starting your seeds off right.

What Is Germination?

The technical definition of germination is:

The development of a plant from a seed after a period of dormancy.

After they’re fully formed, seeds go dormant — meaning there’s no biological activity — and wait for the right conditions to start growing again. When stored properly, seeds can last up to a year and still produce a viable plant.

But once they’re dormant, how do you activate them again so they’ll produce a pot plant? Yell at them? Pet them like a cat? No and no.

Dormant seeds react to heat and moisture — the two things a plant needs most to grow.

“Now wait a minute,” you say, “if heat and moisture are all a plant needs, I could turn my thermostat up to 90 and grow my ganja in a dark closet as long as I watered it enough.”

See also  Cannabis seed banks that ship to usa

To that we say, “Very astute of you, dear reader.” And if that were the way biology worked, you’d be right.

But when we say “heat,” what we really mean is the thing that creates heat: sunlight (or just light for short).

Seeds don’t know the difference between heat and sunlight. When the ambient gets warm enough, they “assume” there’s plenty of the light they need to sustain a fully grown plant. Then they start “looking” for moisture.

If there’s enough of both, they’ll germinate (or wake up and start growing).

It’s only once they’ve sprouted into a seedling (the end of the germination stage) that they need actual light to continue growing.

We’ll tell you how to germinate weed seeds the right way for best growth in our pro tips section. But first, let’s identify where germination falls in the life cycle of your plant.

Germination In The Life Cycle Of Your Cannabis Plant

As we hinted at above, germination is the very beginning of your cannabis plant’s life cycle. Technically, it’s also the very end as it’s the last thing that remains after harvesting.

There’s a “Which came first?” joke in there somewhere, but we’re too baked to make it work.

Anyway, after germination, your cannabis plant follows the same general course. Here are the seven stages of the marijuana plant life cycle:

  1. Seed
  2. Germination
  3. Seedling
  4. Vegetative
  5. Pre-flowering
  6. Flowering
  7. Harvesting

Once you’ve harvested the buds and separated the seeds from the plant, you can start over on a new batch of cannabis plants.

So now that you know a little bit about how to germinate weeds seeds — they need heat and moisture — we’ll get into the specifics of how to nurture those darling little seeds into mega-marijuana monsters.

Pro Tips On How To Germinate Weed Seeds

1) Keep It Simple

Germination is really very simple: soak your weed seeds in a glass of water for 24 hours or until the seed sprouts a taproot.

If, for some reason, you don’t have access to a glass, cup, pot, or other container, place the cannabis seeds in-between layers of damp paper towels.

2) Don’t Soak Seeds For More Than 32 Hours

Seeds, like humans, can drown if they get too much water, so don’t soak them for more than 32 hours.

Keep a close eye on your seeds and remove them from the water when they start sprouting a taproot. If you don’t see a taproot after 24 hours, the seed may not be viable.

3) Tap Water Is Fine, But Distilled Water Is Better

Tap water contains chemicals like calcium, sodium, fluoride, and chlorine. In large enough quantities, those chemicals can harm your tiny seeds and actually prevent germination.

So if you want the cleanest, most organic marijuana possible, soak your seeds in distilled water.

As this tip says, tap water is fine (the seeds are only going to be soaking for 24 hours anyway), but distilled water is better. The choice is yours.

4) pH-Balanced Water Is Best

pH (or Potential of Hydrogen) is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid.

It’s vital to check the pH of the water you give to your cannabis plants when they sprout because they need a slightly acidic medium to digest and break down all of the organic nutrients that you’ll be feeding them.

You can kick-start this process by soaking your weed seeds in pH-balanced water instead of the tap water mentioned in the previous tip.

Checking and adjusting the pH level of your water is a simple process. If you’re using distilled water, you can skip to step two.

  1. Leave tap water in an open container for 24 hours to dechlorinate it.
  2. Use pH tester drops or a pH tester pen to determine the pH of your water. Distilled water is already neutral (pH of 7.0), but it can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and become slightly acidic (pH of 5.8).
  3. Add pH up and/or pH down to your water to keep it within an optimal pH range of 6.0 to 7.0.

5) Label Your Seeds

If you’re only growing one strain of marijuana, you don’t have to label your seeds. But if you’re growing different strains, it’s essential to keep track of which seeds are which.

The easiest way to do this is to write the strain on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the glass in which you’re soaking your seeds. If you’re soaking in a plastic cup, you can write directly on the cup itself with a marker or heavy pen.

Be sure to label the container with the strain name when you transfer the germinated seed to its growing medium.

6) Don’t Germinate Male Seeds

Only the female plant produces the trichome-rich cola buds that you can harvest to smoke, vape, dab, and ingest.

The male plant produces none of that. In fact, the male marijuana plant can actually be a detriment to your cannabis harvest if grown with female plants.

This is because the male plant’s sole purpose is to pollinate the female plants. And while that doesn’t sound like a bad thing, it actually is.

When female marijuana plants are pollinated, they start using their energy to produce seeds and stop using their energy to feed the buds that we all know and love.

Allowing a male plant to grow alongside a female plant is a recipe for reduced bud harvest and can ruin the euphoric properties of the female cannabis plant’s high-inducing “fruit.”

See also  Can you buy cannabis seeds in las vegas

Be sure you separate all male and female plants right away.

7) Don’t Touch The Taproot

The taproot of a germinated weed seed is very fragile. Do your best not to touch it.

Treat the seeds gently when you transfer them from the soaking container to the growing medium (i.e., the dirt).

You can also invest in a small pair of tweezers to help you get a grip on the little suckers without coming into contact with the taproot.

8) Keep A Grow Journal

While this isn’t specifically related to how to germinate weed seeds, it’s a valuable habit to start.

Writing down everything you do during the grow process can help you perfect your system to yield the best results (huge buds with lots of THC or CBD).

For example, say you soaked your seeds in tap water the first time around. How many germinated? How healthy were the plants over the course of their lifecycle?

The next time around, you decide to soak your seeds in distilled water. How many of those germinated? How healthy were the plants over the course of their lifecycle?

It’s easy to forget what you did at the beginning over the course of a year. But with a grow journal, you can always look back, tweak your procedure, and change the way you do things to produce a monster crop of cannabis.

Growing Your Weed Organically

Why grow your weed organically? Because organic marijuana is tastier, healthier, and more potent for both medical and recreational purposes.

According to MMJ Business Daily, the majority of cannabis consumers in Colorado, California, and Washington State prefer organic marijuana compared to hydroponically grown weed.

In fact, those same respondents preferred organically grown schwag (a.k.a. regs) over hydroponically grown schwag. When you think about it, that’s saying a lot!

Hydroponically grown schwag is usually dry, brittle, brown, and loaded with seeds and stems. That same schwag tastes horrible when you smoke it because it was fed with lab-made fertilizers as opposed to the kind of “food” that pot plants prefer to eat.

That’s the beauty of organically grown weed — be it the highest grade or the lowest schwag — it tastes better than anything else out there.

For even more advice on how to germinate weed seeds and grow successful cannabis plants on your own, check out these Honest Marijuana resources:

  • Organic Marijuana: The Definitive Guide
  • How To Grow Marijuana: The Ultimate Organic Guide
  • The Definitive Guide To The Best Soils For Cannabis

If you live in Colorado, find some Honest Marijuana and discover what the purest marijuana experience on the planet feels like. You won’t be sorry.

For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit today.

Can I germinate seeds in purified water?

Any water would work for germinating as long as soil or what ever is moist, high humidity and ambient temps seeds will pop.

And darkness forgot to add that one

Well-Known Member
Well-Known Member

Which MG soil do you have? The Organic Choice appears to be ok, but I would add about 40% perlite. (I don’t recommend MG soils. But, if you have it already it should be ok. It’s the drainage, airyness which is important, IMO.

Richard Drysift
Well-Known Member

Doesn’t matter as long as it is 2 parts hydrogen & 1 part oxygen it should work. I use tap water for clones & seedlings but once they get into my organic soil they get only RO, distilled, or rain water as my system has high levels of chloramine & other stuff like fluoride that will kill the microbial life.
For seedlings or clones you don’t even have to leave the water out because chlorine doesn’t affect the plants it affects the little critters living in your soil. This is why many are forced to use nutrients because city tap water containing chlorine & other compounds AND even synthetic nutrients themselves can kill off microbes living in the soil.

Richard Drysift
Well-Known Member

I think I have the wrong soil I have miracle grow should I get sum thing organic? I can’t find fox farm at any stores I go to

Yes they don’t sell FF at Home Depot. Almost all of the soils sold at HD or lowes has those shitty time released pellets that suck for growing MJ. If you’ve got plant in it already just let them go for now until transplant but yes go get a big bag of good organic soil like FFOF, happy frog, roots organic, sunshine mix #4 etc etc all better choices than MG soil. Find a grow store or go online.

Well-Known Member
Well-Known Member

I mix tap and RO water to get 150ppm. I then mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water to get 1% peroxide. I shake my seeds in a matchbox lined with fine sandpaper (for 30 seconds) and soak in this dilute peroxide.

I’m no longer a fan of soaking until they crack. I intend to soak 4-8 hours and then place in Rapid Rooter plugs (upside down, not the stem hole already present, but poke my own seed-size hole in the other end) and bury this flush in the soil.

I like peroxide because it disinfects, and precipitates oxygen bubbles which adhere to the seed, keep it floating to the surface (less risk of drowning). I like the idea of soaking to get the process going. But, I’m thinking that waiting 24 hours is too long, serves no purpose, etc.

I like to go into RR plugs instead of the soil itself because they have a more uniform texture, drainage.