How long does it take for a cannabis seed to root? This is one of the first questions asked by new growers. Over the last few decades, there have been many methods developed to germinate marijuana seeds. Some are more complicated than others and not all methods are worth wasting your time on because they need too much maintenance or often fail. There are three different ways that I find work very well for germinating cannabis seeds, but today’s post will concentrate solely on two of them which are hands down the most effective.
As always before you start any kind of project requiring planting, be sure you have sterilized everything beforehand so as not to infect your plants with diseases or other nasties lurking around soil or containers etc. I can’t stress this enough!
Wet Paper Towel Method:
Once you have your paper towel and seeds, fold it in half once and then unfold both sides of the paper so that they extend out. Now wet both of the paper towel halves with a spray bottle or cup filled with water. I find that using a spray bottle is more effective because it spends less time wetting the paper than if you were to use a cup method. The amount of time you leave it on there depends on how quickly the towel has absorbed the water which will depend on what brand of paper towels you are using as well as their thickness. I usually place mine down again after about 30 seconds but no longer than 60. Once placed, fold up the paper towel edges and this should create a nice little envelope for the seeds to sit inside.
Finally, place your cannabis seed into the small pocket you have created and then seal it up by rolling down the sides of the paper until they reach the bottom. The next step is to put your wrapped up seeds somewhere where they will have some humidity but not be allowed to get wet because we don’t want any water getting into our little envelopes! I like to place the envelope into some kind of plastic bag. Not only does this stop light from getting through which prevents algae growth, but it also traps humidity inside, creating an ideal environment for germination. I have used garbage bags as well as smaller sandwich bags for this purpose before with great results! Just don’t forget about them because if left unattended they are sure to get mouldy very quickly!
Now that your cannabis seeds are in there, make sure the top is sealed up tight and then place it somewhere where you can check on them regularly. I like to place them somewhere dark and warm like an airing cupboard to help speed things up. The key here is to check on them at least once per day but daily would be preferred just so that you can see when the taproot first breaks through the seed casing. Of course every strain germinates at different speeds so just keep an eye out for when their little root pops through! When it does, you are good to go!
At this point you can transfer the seeds that have popped into a larger pot with soil which will allow them to continue growing. The next step is to simply leave them alone for a few days! They should be ready to transplant into their final destination after around 4-5 days but it’s important not to rush this process because the more you handle your seedlings, especially when they are still so small, the more likely it is that they will suffer some kind of damage resulting in having to start again from scratch which nobody wants!
Cup Of Water Method: The last method I use is the ever popular cup of water method which just needs to be placed in a warm area with some light and then left alone. It works in much the same way that the paper towel method does but obviously there are no paper towels involved! Once you have your cup, fill it up with room temperature (not hot) tap water until it’s around halfway full. Again make sure everything is clean beforehand so as not to infect any plants or kill off beneficial bacteria etc. You can do this by boiling your tools for ten minutes or placing them in the microwave for about thirty seconds which will sanitize them without damaging them (be careful when handling afterwards!)
After rinsing out your cup, place it somewhere warm and then leave the seeds alone to do their thing. I like to cover mine up with a dark towel which helps maintain humidity while also stopping any light getting in. The biggest difference between using this method and all of the other ones is that you shouldn’t touch them for at least 5 days after placing your seed inside! After this time period has passed, check on your seed daily by opening up the cup slightly or poking through the towel (be careful!) With some luck, roots will already be growing out of them at this point but if they aren’t yet visible, don’t give up just yet because it’s still early days!
As always, check on them every day after that until they are ready to transfer! At this point the seed should be put into a pot with soil and watered until it’s wet all the way through which will trigger them to start growing again. Hopefully you can use one of these techniques no matter what kind of seeds you have! Happy growing and good luck!