Cannabis Seeds Are Not Germinating | Why Does This Happen and How to Prevent it?

by Morgan

April 13, 2022

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It's always frustrating when your cannabis seed doesn't germinate. It can be stressful, and it's easy to assume that you've done something wrong. Unfortunately, this is a common problem and has been for centuries. You have two options when this happens: find a way to fix the cannabis seed or try and find another more fruitful seed.

However, the best you can try is to try and diagnose the problem before you start trying to fix the cannabis seed germination problem. We will explore some of the many reasons your marijuana seed might not be germinating and what you can do to prevent it or fix it if the problem does occur.

Why Are My Cannabis Seeds Not Germinating?

The number one reason cannabis seeds don't germinate is old. Marijuana seeds have a shelf life of about two years. So, sprouting seeds you have had longer than that, likely, some of them won't grow. However, there are other reasons your cannabis seed might not germinate, including the following:

  • You bought bad seeds- This is probably the most common reason for cannabis seeds not germinating. When you procure seeds from a reputable source, this shouldn't be a problem, but if you get them from somewhere like Craigslist, there's a good chance they're not going to work.

  • Damaged seed- If the seed is damaged, likely, it won't germinate. Damage could be from being crushed, too wet, or frozen.

  • The seed was not planted correctly- If it isn't planted correctly, it will not germinate. Ensure to read up on how to grow your cannabis seeds before trying and do it yourself.

  • The soil is not right- The soil you plant your cannabis seeds in needs to be damp but not wet. If it's too wet, the kernel will rot. If it's too dry, the kernel will die.

  • The environment is not right- Cannabis seeds need a warm environment to germinate properly. If you're trying to grow them in a cold environment, they're not going to work.

  • The seed is not viable- Not all cannabis seeds will germinate, and this is just a fact of life. However, if you've tried everything and your seeds still won't germinate, it's possible the seed is not viable.

  • You didn't use enough water- One of the most important things for germinating cannabis seeds is water. If you don't use enough water, the seed won't germinate.

  • You used too much water- On the other hand, the seed will drown if you use too much water. Ensure to use the correct recommended amount of water so your cannabis seed can germinate properly.

  • The soil is too compact- The soil needs to be loose for the cannabis seed to germinate. If it's too compact, the seed will have difficulty getting out.

plants in the ground

How To Germinate Cannabis Seed: 

Before we get into the details of germinating the seeds, there are a few things you need to prepare in advance:

  • Get the right cannabis seed- Make sure you are getting your cannabis seeds from a reputable source. We have a lot of scammers out there when it comes to cannabis seeds, so make sure you're buying from a reputable dealer.
  • Pick the right method- Not all cannabis seeds germinate the same way. Some people like to pre-soak their cannabis seeds before planting them, while others plant them directly into the soil.
  • Make sure you have the right tools- You'll need a water container, some soil, and a place to keep your cannabis plants warm.

Methods of Seed Germination

Soaking the seeds in water is one of the most common germinating cannabis seeds. You have to soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting them.

Planting the seeds directly into the soil is another common method of germinating cannabis seeds. Just plant the seed in the soil and cover it with a thin layer of soil.

Placing the weed seeds in a wet paper towel is a popular method for germinating cannabis seeds, especially if you're using a windowsill to grow them. Just place the cannabis seeds in a damp paper towel, then place it in a Ziploc or a plastic bag, and put it in a warm place.

Using a seedling tray- If you're using this method, you'll need to purchase a seedling tray and some soil. Fill your germination tray with soil, plant the seeds, and cover them with a thin layer of soil.

Starting the seeds in Rockwool is a popular method for growing cannabis seeds indoors. You'll need to purchase a Rockwool seed starter cube and some soil. Soak the Rockwool in clean water for at least 24 hours before planting the seeds.

seeds on the white background

So now that you have all of the necessary supplies, let's get started with germinating your cannabis seeds:

Soaking the Weed Seeds in Water Method

  1. Fill a water container with lukewarm water and soak- If you choose to pre-soak your cannabis seeds, place them in a water container and let them soak for about 12 hours. Soaking in lukewarm water helps soften the seed's shell and makes it easier to germinate.

  2. Plant the seeds in the soil- Once they have been pre-soaked, it's time to plant them. If you're using a seedling tray, fill the tray with soil and place the seeds in the soil. If you choose to plant them directly into the soil, make a small hole using your finger and put the seed in the hole. Ensure the seed is facing down and cover it with a thin layer of soil.

  3. Keep the soil moist- Now, it's time to water your seeds. Ensure the soil is moist and not completely wet. Instead, you can use a spray bottle to water the seeds or pour water on the soil. Be careful not to drown the seeds.

  4. Place the seeds in a warm place- The last step is to keep the seeds warm. Cannabis seeds need warmth to germinate, so place them in a warm place such as an airing cupboard or near a radiator.

 Planting the Seeds Directly into The Soil Method

  1. Fill a container with soil and place the seeds in it- If you're planting your cannabis seeds directly into the soil, fill a container with soil and place the seeds in i. Please make sure the seeds face down and cover them with a thin layer of soil.

  2. Keep the soil moist- Now, it's time to water your seeds. Ensure the soil is moist and not entirely wet. You may also use a spray bottle to water the seeds or pour water on the soil. Be careful not to drown the seeds.

  3. Keep the seeds warm in the container- The final step is to keep the seeds warm in the container. To germinate cannabis seeds, place the container in a warm location, such as an airing cupboard or near a radiator.

seeds in containers

 Wet Paper Towel Method

  1. Soak the paper towel in warm water and wring it out. The first step is soaking a paper towel in water and wring it out. Ensure the paper towel is wet but not dripping wet.
  2. Arrange the seeds on the dampened paper towel- Arrange the weed seeds on the wet towel, making sure they don't touch.
  3. Fold the towel over the seeds and completely cover them
  4. Place the paper towel in a plastic bag and seal it
  5. Store the plastic bag in a warm location- The final step is to store the plastic bag with seeds in a warm location. To germinate cannabis seeds, place the bag in a warm location, such as an airing cupboard or near a radiator.

Using a Seedling Tray Method

  1. Fill a seedling tray with soil- If using a seedling tray, fill it with soil and then place the seeds in it.
  2. Keep the seeds warm- The final step is to keep the seeds warm. To germinate seeds, place the tray in a warm location, such as an airing cupboard or near a radiator.

Germinating the Seeds in The Rockwool Method

  1. The first step to germinate seeds using this method is to fill a container with water and place the Rockwool in it.
  2. Soak the Rockwool in water for 24 hours- Soak the Rockwool in water for 24 hours before planting the seeds.
  3. Plant the seeds in the Rockwool- Once the Rockwool has been soaked, it's time to plant it. Make a tiny hole in the Rockwool and place the seed.
  4. Keep the Rockwool moist- Now it's time to water your seeds. Make sure the Rockwool is damp but not wet. Use a spray bottle or a drip to water the seeds or pour water on the Rockwool.
  5. Place the Rockwool in a warm place- The last step is to keep the seeds warm. Cannabis seeds need warmth to germinate, so place the Rockwool in a warm place such as an airing cupboard or near a radiator.

Depending on the methods, you will see the seeds sprout between five and seven days. The seeds will roughly take between 7 and 10 days to germinate, so be patient and watch them. Once the seeds germinate, it's time to transplant them into larger pots and start the weed growing process. Ensure the pots and containers you choose are large enough to support the growth of mature cannabis plants.

How do you Germinate Stubborn Seeds?

There are various things you can carry out to help your stubborn cannabis seed germinate, as listed below:

Soak the Seeds with Enhanced Water

This ensures the seeds have enough oxygen and moisture to germinate. The seeds will start to crack, and a small root should begin to form after 3-5 days.

Seed Shell Rubbing (Scarification)

This process helps the seed absorb more water and break the seed's hard exterior. The seeds should be placed between two pieces of sandpaper and rubbed vigorously for a minute. After that, you will want to put them in a glass of water and wait 24 hours. The seeds that sink have germinated and can be planted.

Stratification

This process exposes the seeds to cold and wet conditions for some time. The seeds must be placed in a container and covered with moist soil or sand. The container should then be placed in the fridge for 2-4 weeks. After that, the seeds should be removed and put in a warm place to germinate.

Use of A Growth Hormone

There are various types of growth hormones available on the market that can be used to help germinate cannabis seeds. The weed kernels should be placed in the container with water, and the growth hormone should be added. After 24 hours, the seeds will start to germinate.

Cut the Joint That Closes the Seed

By cutting the joint that closes the seed, you allow oxygen and water to enter the kernel. The seeds should be put in moist soil or sand containers and left to germinate.

Selecting Quality Seeds for Easier Germination method

When selecting quality cannabis seeds, you increase your chances of germinating weed seeds. Look for high-quality seeds from a reputable source. The seeds should be dark in color and have a hard exterior. Avoid buying seeds from unauthorized sources as they may not be viable. Below are some of the basic qualities of viable seeds:

Physical Qualities:

  • The seeds should be dark in color
  • The seeds should have a hard exterior
  • The seeds should be free of blemishes
  • The seeds should be free of mold

Genetic Qualities:

  • The seeds should come from a reputable source who diligently laboratory tests their seeds. They should also have germination guaranteed and ensure the seeds sold are fresh.

Physiological Quality:

  • The seeds should have a high moisture content with a high germination rate and be free of pathogens.

Seed Health

  • This is the overall health of the seed and is determined by the seed's physical, genetic, and physiological qualities. By selecting quality seeds, you increase your chances of having healthy germination.

Strains Currently Available in the Market That Germinate Fast

Below are some cannabis strains that are known to germinate quickly.

  • Sour Diesel
  • White Widow
  • OG Kush
  • Blue Dream
  • Girl Scout Cookies

When looking for quality cannabis seeds, always ensure that the supplier you are buying from has a good reputation. Look for a company that laboratory tests their seeds and has a germination guarantee. Avoid purchasing seeds from unauthorized sources as they may not be viable.

Which Seed Bank Sells the Best Genetics With a Higher Germination Rate?

When looking for a reputable seed bank, always do your research. Some of the more reputable seed banks include:

  • Seed Junky
  • Crop King Seeds
  • Buddha Seeds
  • Dutch Passion

When selecting a seed bank, ensure high-quality genetics and high germination rates. Also, ensure the seed bank you select is reputable and has a good reputation.

closeup of the germinated seed

FAQs

What Kind of Lighting Is Best Used to Grow My Cannabis?

Cannabis needs a lot of light to grow properly. You can use a grow light or place the plants in a sunny spot outdoors.

Can I Plant Cannabis Seeds Without Germinating?

Definitely Yes! However, the germination process is the best way to ensure that your seeds grow into a healthy cannabis plant.

Can One Use A Heating Pad for Germinating Cannabis Seeds?

Heating pads can germinate cannabis seeds, but they need to be set on low heat to prevent the seeds from burning.

Final Thought

It's a scary experience when cannabis seeds don't germinate. On the other hand, this article will assist you in increasing your chances of germination success by germinating cannabis seeds properly. When you choose high-quality seeds, you ensure the health of your plants. To avoid any issues, always buy from a reputable source. On their website, 420 Green Thumb, you can learn more about the best cannabis strains for germination and other cannabis-related topics.

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About the author 

Morgan

I discovered the benefits of Cannabis at a young age in 2002, with years of trial and error, my knowledge grew just like my plants. As my love for cannabis unfolded I began to teach and learn, trying to gain as much information and practical growing experience.

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