How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds: 4 Methods Plus Expert Tips

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Viable cannabis seeds - How to germinate marijuana seeds

Every gardener knows that you must plant a seed to grow a garden.  But you say “Mitch, what about clones?  They’re not seeds.”  This is true, but at some point in a young clone’s life there was a seed planted to produce its mother.  So, it all starts with the seed.  Learn how to germinate marijuana seeds in this comprehensive tutorial.

This article from Grow Weed Easy covers everything you need to know, and quite possibly things you don’t, to insure those expensive, hard to come by, not to mention expensive, marijuana seeds, are put to good use.   So, without further ado:

Introduction: Cannabis Seed Germination

Marijuana seeds that have just sprouted - How to germinate marijuana seeds

Cannabis germination is the process of getting your seeds to sprout.  You know sprouting has occurred when a little white tendril pops out of the seed.

The little white tendril that emerges from a cannabis seed during germination is your plant’s first root, known as a “taproot.” All other roots made by your cannabis plant in its lifetime will sprout from the taproot.

A marijuana seedling with cotyledons just starting to grow out of the cannabis seed shell - How to germinate marijuana seedsThe taproot – and maybe a few tiny early offshoots of the taproot – will get longer and longer, pushing the seed up, and after the shell breaks through the surface of your growing medium, the first leaves (these first round leaves are known as “cotyledons”) will emerge from inside the cannabis seed.

The cotyledons were already created as part of the plant embryo in the seed itself, so the cannabis seedling doesn’t have to grow them. In fact, the emerging first leaves are what break apart the shell after it’s cracked open by the taproot, as pictured here.

Cannabis seedling opening its first real leaves - How to germinate marijuana seedsThe next set of leaves after the cotyledons are your plants first “true” leaves and will have jagged edges.  They are the first leaves that your seedling cannabis plant has grown all on its own.

Next: How do I know if I have good seeds?

About the author 

Mitch Mandell

Mitch Mandell is the publisher of Senior Stoner, a partner in Z-Dog Media, and a long time cannabis enthusiast and cultivator. Prior to entering the world of publishing, he had a long career in advertising, working for some of the country's top agencies.

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  1. In the past I've soaked a photo period seed for 24 hours, embedded in a moist rockwool cube, placed on a heat mat in the dark, and waited the few days to see the popped seed and then put the cube under light. When root would emerge from the bottom, the cube would go into a soil filled solo cup, and then finally the transplant to her forever home, namely a 3 gallon cloth pot.
    Your article has put me on team Rapid Rooter, and big thank you for that! Would love your thoughts if I should soak my seed before embedding into the Rapid Rooter or not. I am going the Autoflower route, and would love to skip the solo cup transplant. Would rather put my Rapid Rooter directly into the soil filled cloth pot. My question is if I would treat the rapid rooter similarly….Seeded Rapid Rooter into a dark place on heat mat. When seeing sprout, then put into 3 gallon pot, into the light. Your writing voice is so clear for my receptors :), so your answers will be followed to a "T". Thank you Mitch, sincerely.

    1. Hi Chef Jeff, Thanks for the kind words. I try to write in a way that I would understand if I was reading. So to answer your questions, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In other words if a process you’ve used in the past worked for you, repeat that process. In my experience, seeds want to pop so I say yes, soak the seed and put it in the rapid rooter the same as you would rockwool. If you have several seeds to plant, I’d also try without soaking and see if that works for you. If it does, you’ll save a step. Keep us posted to your progress. Grow your own!

      1. Awesome response, and thank you sincerely. When my Auto seed pops in Rapid Rooter, perhaps this time as soon as seeing green above surface level, I could transfer to soil filled cloth pot before waiting to see the taproot coming out of the bottom? As you can see, I tend to stress…better me, than my plant :). Or would you like to see the taproot coming from the bottom of the Rapid Rooter before heading for her forever home?
        Thank you for the opportunity to piggy back on your informative article.

        1. I would wait till you see the roots and the little green serrated leaves to be sure it’s going to take root in your pot. Don’t stress, pot grows like a weed and it want’s to be your friend. Many people love their plants to death. It’s best not to fuss over it too much, let it do its thing. Keep it watered and you will be well rewarded.

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