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!
Why Won’t My Marijuana Seeds Germinate
So, you have tried germinating your marijuana seeds, unsuccessfully. You might have tried using water, soil, peat, paper towel, or one of several other methods out there, but your seeds still did germinate and grow into a huge kush plant as you hoped. What the heck is going on here? (we recommend ILGM for quality seeds)
Well, there are various reasons why your marijuana seed won’t germinate. Marijuana seeds need pretty specific care and conditions to germinate properly. There could be a problem with too little or too much moisture, the wrong temperature, the weed seed could just be a dud, or there might be another problem too.
Let’s take a closer look at this issue of your weed seeds not germinating. Why won’t my marijuana seeds germinate?
Why Seed Germination Is Essential
Remember guys, all seeds need to be germinated, not just weed seeds. Of course, in nature, this often happens on its own, but if you want to grow your own marijuana plants, you will to germinate them manually. Seed germination is the act of bringing the seed to life.
By supplying it with some moisture and the right conditions, you are causing the interior of the seed to eat through its food, use up that glucose, crack through the shell, and become a little plant sprout.
Just think of it like the sprout being the yolk of the egg, which will grow into a chick, when it eats the egg white or food, which in the case of a weed seed, is the glucose stored inside of it.
A weed seed is not all that much different from a chicken egg waiting to hatch.
Why Won’t My Weed Seeds Germinate? (Using Paper Towel, Peat, or Water As The Medium)
There are in fact several reasons why your weed seeds might not be germinating. Some of these issues are caused by the people doing the germinating, and some simply cannot be helped.
Why are my weed seeds not germinating when I am using paper towel, peat, or water as the germination medium?
1. The Seeds Are Dead Ducks
The first reason why your weed seeds may not be germinating is simply because they are bad seeds. When you get weed with seeds in it, or you purchase seeds, they should look a certain way.
Generally speaking, a healthy marijuana seed is going to be a moderate to dark green in color, and should be fairly round.
If you have a weed seed that is really flat and/or light green or super pale in color, it probably won’t ever germinate. Sometimes seeds are just no good. It happens and there is nothing you can do about this.
However, on the other hand, your seeds might have been good at one point, but were then improperly stored.
Weed seeds need to be kept in a cool and dark environment until it is time for germination. If the weed seeds are not properly stored, they will degrade, die, and they will not germinate
2. Not Enough or Too Much Moisture
Another reason why your marijuana seeds might not be germinating is due to issues with moisture. For one, a lot of people end up drowning their weed seeds outright.
Yes, some people germinate their weed seeds in nothing else but water, but this tends to not have the best success rate, and it is because the seeds end up drowning.
This can also happen if you use soil, paper towel, or peat for germination. It’s not too difficult to drown them, so spritz them with enough water to be moist, but there should not be any dripping going on. Too much water can actually rot your seed outright.
On the other hand, if the weed seeds are too dry, and your germination medium is too dry, the seeds just won’t get enough water to germinate.
Water is an essential part of marijuana seed germination, and without it, nothing is going to happen.
3. Too Much Light
Now, this is not always the case, but generally speaking, germination needs to happen in a dark environment.
If your weed seeds are getting way too much light, there is a chance that they will not germinate. Like we said, this is not always the case, but it can definitely be a contributing factor.
However, what is interesting is that as soon as the seeds pop open, they can do fine with some light, but just not too much.
There is a really fine line here and it can be hard to gauge. It does somewhat depend on the quality of the seed in question.
4. Temperature & Humidity Issues
Your marijuana seeds need a specific level of temperature and humidity in order to germinate properly, or to germinate at all.
Whatever germination medium you are using, whether water, peat, or paper towel, the temperature needs to be a steady 26 to 28 degrees.
Any hotter or colder than that, and the seeds probably won’t germinate. On that same note, a 70% humidity level is what you are aiming for.
If you are off by too much with either of these factors, the seeds aren’t going to pop open and come to life.
Why Won’t My Pot Seeds Germinate? (Using Soil As A Germination Medium)
Now, although we do not recommend using soil as your germination medium, many people go this way.
Of course, using soil as the medium has the benefit that your seed pops and sprouts in the same place you want it to grow, therefore eliminating the need to transfer the seed from the germination medium into the soil.
However, there are some problems that can arise when using soil for weed seed germination. Keep in mind that some people do plant their seeds directly in the dirt without first germinating them, but this is not a great idea and often results in failure.
Germinating a marijuana seed right in the soil is actually pretty hard and is not recommended. Why won’t my weed seeds germinate when using soil as the medium?
1. You Planted Them Too Deep
One reason why your weed seed might not have germinated in soil is because you planted it way too deep. What is interesting about planting your seed directly in soil for germination, is that it will need a bit of sunlight.
This is because when germinating directly in soil, the seed needs to both germinate and then be able to sprout and grow up past the dirt.
The issue here is that yes, a weed seed needs to have relative dark to germinate, but then needs light in order to grow through the dirt and sprout of the top.
If you bury the seed too deep, once it does open up, the sunlight won’t be able to reach it, and the sprout will therefore quickly die.
So, without just a bit of light, even if the seed does germinate in soil, it still won’t grow up past the dirt.
2. The Soil Has Mold, Fungus, or Insects
Ok, so mold, fungus, and insects of all sorts can easily kill a weed plant in just a couple of weeks. This is a big problem which many growers face, especially indoor growers.
Simply put, if the soil you are using for seed germination has any trace of mold, fungus, or burrowing insects, your seed will most likely die.
It probably won’t ever open up and sprout. However, on the off chance that it does still somehow germinate, it probably won’t live long enough to grow and sprout up past the surface of the soil.
3. The Soil Loaded With Too Much Fertilizer
Perhaps the biggest and most common issue that arises when attempting to germinate your weed seeds in soil is that the soil has too much fertilizer.
Yes, your weed plants will need some fertilizer and nutrients as they grow, but the young sprouts and seeds are extremely delicate.
Generally speaking, even small amounts of fertilizer can burn, destroy, and kill both the seed and the sprout.
4. Other Issues
- Moisture & Temperature – Once again, you might have drowned the weed seed in too much water. On the other hand, if you have not supplied enough moisture, just add some into the soil, and the seed may still germinate.
- Seed Quality – Whether you are using soil or any other medium, the seed may still just be defective on its own.
- Packing Down Too Hard – Now, packing the soil down on top of the seed should be done very lightly. Once the seed goes to germinate, if the soil is packed too tightly, it can prevent the seed from opening up, and if it does open up, the sprout might not be able to force its way up through the tightly packed soil.
Weed Seed Germination – A Quick Guide & Tips
Let’s just very quickly give you a couple marijuana seed germination tips for a fast step by step process.
you want to grow and get some seeds, ensuring that they are fairly round and a good, dark green in color.
- Choose your germination medium, which can be paper towel, water, soil, peat pellets, or similar things to peat pellets.
- Insert the soil into the medium, ensuring that the temperate is steadily around 27 degrees, with a humidity level of 70%, and place this in the dark. for the seed to germinate. Do not wait for longer than a day after the seed has cracked and the first sprout has started to come out to plant it.(if you have not used soil as the germination medium). Waiting too long to plant a germinated seed in soil can cause it to die.
As you can see, there are a number of factors which can affect weed seed germination, with there being a good few issues that can cause them to not germinate. It should be a fairly easy process, but there are some things that can get in the way. We would recommend using peat pellets or the paper towel method for this, as both soil and water as germination mediums usually don’t work too well.
My passion for the sticky icky started nearly a decade ago, and it all began when I first laid my eyes on the beauty that is the marijuana plant.
I cover all aspects of growing from equipment recommendations to plant health/care tips to help both new and experienced growers.