How to Germinate Weed Seeds

Germination is the sprouting of seeds into seedlings or sprouts. Mother nature takes care of this in the wild but when we do it, we have a lot more control over it to ensure a higher rate of success to make sure that the seedlings grow into strong healthy plants that will produce it’s max potential of potent bud. If you are buying expensive high quality marijuana seeds, don’t be nervous, just prepare properly and you’ll have plants under your grow lights in no time.

To sprout the seeds, only a few things are needed.

1 – Preparation
2 – Moisture
3 – Warmth

Preparing to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Seeds can be germinated in a few different ways, but they all require the same things. Your seeds need to be moist and warm, and when they are ready, a place for them to go. You will need to have your grow room set up in preparation for your newly sprouted weed seeds whether it is hydroponic or soil set up.

Germinate Using the Paper Towel Method (cheapest)

Things needed:
– 2 Plates
– Paper Towel
– Warm Place or Heat Source (Seedling Heat Mat)
– Spray Bottle (optional)

The Starter Cubes / Seedling Plugs Method (fool-proof)

Things needed:
– Rapid Rooter Plugs
– Seedling Plug Tray and Humidity Dome

– Heat Source (Seedling Heat Mat or Lamp)

Jiffy Pellets (can be used with the paper towel method)

Things needed:
– Jiffy Pellets
– Seedling Tray and Dome
– Heat Source (Seedling Heat Mat or Lamp)

***NOTE A seedling heat mat IS NOT the same as a heating pad. A heating pad gets way too hot and will burn your seeds.

***NOTE After your seeds are germinated, using a seedling tray plus desk lamp is easier and buys you time while you finish prepareing your grow room.

Alright Let’s Dive In!


Some people think that if you squeeze your seeds between your fingers and they don’t crush it is a sign that the seeds are viable. Not true. Cannabis seeds that are mature may be slightly soft. As long as they aren’t white or green then they are mature and have the potential to sprout.

Soak Your Seeds: Preparation for seed germination

Soaking your seeds isn’t absolutely necessary, but for seeds that are harder, it will help to soften them up so they will crack open easier for the taproot to form. Soaking will also help to jump start the germination process by getting moisture to the inner seed faster to ‘wake’ it up quicker.

Drop your weed seeds into a clean glass of water overnight for 12 but not more than 24 hrs. Yep, that’s all there is to it. This simulates a nice spring rain in nature that initially gets the seeds wet. Don’t leave them in the water. After 12-24 hrs they need to be transferred to your preferred germination method.

Paper Towel Method for seed germination (Budget)

You will need 2 plates, a paper towel, a heat source, and water. One plate is for the paper towel to lay on, another to trap heat and to hold in the moisture. The heat can be a location in your home that is warm (I’ve successfully used the paper towel method by putting the plate on top of a wireless router, I have also placed the plates on a book with a lamp directly over the top plate were the bulb was almost touching it), or by buying a seedling heat mat.

1. Find a good location for your seedlings that will be undisturbed.
2. Wet a paper towel and ring it out. The paper towel should be damp, NOT dripping wet.
3. Place the seeds on top of the paper towel then fold it over.
4. Check on them a couple of times a day to ensure the paper towel is still moist.
5. Transfer the germinated weed seeds to either Jiffy Pellets or to the growing medium as soon as a the taproot starts growing out.

– Let the paper towel dry out. The seeds will dry out and die if a tap root is showing
– Completely soak the paper towel. This is were a spray bottle comes in handy. Soaking the paper towel will rot the seeds.
– Let the tap root grow into the paper towel. Don’t be lazy, transfer the seeds.

The Starter Cubes / Seedling Plugs Method (fool-proof)

Buying the Rapid Rooter plugs, seedling starter tray & humidity dome, and seedling heat mat can be purchased as a kit to save you some money. Next you need lighting such as a lamp with a CFL blub in it and you are good to go.

Okay, This is Super easy. Each cube or plug will have a hole on the top. Simply drop 1 seed in hole, pinch the top of the hole closed with your fingers then place the cube in your tray, and water. That’s it!
Turn your heat pad on and add water when necessary. It will take anywhere from 4 to over a week before you start to see the seedling emerge. Once you do, turn your lamp on and wait.

My Weed Seeds are outgrowing my humidity tray, now what?

Once your seeds germinate and sprout, the seedlings will spend about a week under the dome before they outgrow it. Now it’s time to transfer them to the grow room and put them under the grow lights.

My seeds are sprouting, now what?

If you used the paper towel method you have an extra step. Which is planting your newly sprouted cannabis seed. Once the tap root pops through, plant the seed with the root pointing down into either a Jiffy Puck and place under a dome or in a pot with your growing medium under a CFL lamp.