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Dan Vinkovetsky

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Proper planting early on results in stronger plants throughout every growth stage and higher yields at harvest time.

Knowing how to germinate Cannabis seeds properly results in healthier plants and more successful harvests. Here’s a simple and effective technique for ensuring that your seedlings will thrive early on and grow into bigger and stronger bud bushes.

Some growers recommend placing your seeds between two moistened paper towels until they open up before gently placing them – root end down – into their growing medium. I don’t use this technique because it’s too easy to mishandle the exposed and vulnerable emerging root, which can shock the plant early in life. If you do use the “moist paper towel” method, be sure to plant as soon as the taproot peeks out from the seed and don’t wait until the root gets any longer than a half-inch to avoid complications.

I recommend planting seeds directly into the growing medium you’ve chosen. First, moisten the medium with room-temperature water. If necessary, adjust the pH to between 6 and 7 for soilless mixes such as Pro-Mix or Bio365 and 5.5-6.5 for hydroponic mediums such as rockwool, perlite or coco coir. When the medium is moist throughout but not dripping wet, poke a hole about a quarter to half-inch deep and drop your seed in.

Cover the seed and gently push in some more mix and keep it moist and warm. You can put a seedling heating mat under your tray or put clear plastic wrap or a clear plastic lid on top to maintain high humidity as well. Within a few days, you will see a small green shoot emerging from your medium.

From that moment on, the seedling will need an ample amount of light for at least 16 hours per day to thrive and keep from stretching. I recommend LED (Light-Emitting Diode) or Fluorescent lighting for germinating and lighting young seedlings, as they are easier to put close to canopy level and less likely to burn your tops than HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lighting such as CMH (Ceramic Metal Halide or HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) fixtures that put out more heat (and use more electricity).

If you follow these instructions and keep everything clean, you’ll quickly master how to germinate Cannabis seeds and your pot plants will be off to a healthy, strong start – leading to a higher yields of connoisseur-quality buds.

About Dan Vinkovetsky @dannydankoht

Dan Vinkovetsky (formerly Danny Danko of High Times) is a Cannabis writer and editor at Northeast Leaf Magazine since July 2020. Previously, He was the Senior Cultivation Editor at High Times Magazine since 2002. Danny is the author of "The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains" (2011) and "Cannabis: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Marijuana" (2018). Danny hosted the podcast "Free Weed from Danny Danko” from 2011-2018 and currently hosts the podcast "Grow Bud Yourself!".