Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 3, 2023

Springtime is when cannabis growers plant seeds to get female plants and resinous buds in the autumn. To produce the flowers and resinous buds, the marijuana flower needs to go through the 4 growth stages:

  • Germination stage;
  • Seedling stage;
  • Vegetative stage;
  • Flowering stage.

Germination, or sprouting, is the first growth stage during which the cannabis seeds develop sprouts or taproots. The sprouting success rate mostly depends on the quality of the seeds, therefore some marijuana seeds will germinate, while others won’t. But there are other things you can do to increase the germination rate of your cannabis seeds, which you can read in our guide on germinating weed seeds.

After a successful germination, it’s time to plant the germinated weed seeds, and that’s exactly the subject of this article. If you’re a cannabis grower or a marijuana aficionado interested in planting germinated weed seeds, read on.

Tips and Tricks Before You Start Germinating Cannabis Seeds

Before you start germinating seeds, you need to prepare the room where you intend to plant them:

  • Purchase high-quality seeds from a seed bank, jiffy pellets or starter plugs, and grow lights for the growing stages (choose between LED, CFL, HPS, or HID grow lights);
  • Marijuana seeds should be kept at a temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22°C);
  • Marijuana seeds should be kept away from direct sunlight.

Cannabis Seed Germination

This is the first growth stage when cultivating cannabis. Growers should pick high-quality seeds and follow our tips below for successful germination.

How Long Does Cannabis Seed Germination Take?

Each seed can take a different amount of time to germinate. To accelerate cannabis seed germination, keep the seeds in a warm, humid, and dark place. Under the right conditions, the seed will germinate between 12 to 36 hours after soaking. 

Choose a Germination Method

You can germinate your seeds by using one of the following methods:

  • The paper towel method;
  • The glass of water method;
  • Planting directly into soil.

The Paper Towel Method

The paper towel method is one of the easiest ways to germinate cannabis seeds, and to do it you’ll need paper towels soaked in tap water, and the cannabis seeds placed between the sheets. The temperature should be between 70-90°F (21-32°C), and the seeds should be moist throughout the process (remove excess water from the paper towels). You’ll know your seed has started germinating once a white root (taproot) appears.

Glass of Water Method

This germination method requires cannabis seeds and a glass of water at room temperature (around 18°C or 65°F). The glass should be refilled with fresh water every other day, and you can see the first seeds sprouting between 3-5 days. After the roots are 2-3 mm long, you can transplant them into a growing medium (you can use tweezers).

Planting Weed Seeds Directly Into Soil

This germinating technique is recommended only for experienced growers since you need to be informed about the appropriate pH in soil, proper nutrients, and humidity levels of the growing medium. On the other hand, this method of germinating cannabis seeds prevents moving them when they initially grow taproots (since it’s their most fragile state).

Things to Avoid in the Germination Stage

If you want to have a successful germination and grow healthy cannabis plants, try not to do the following mistakes:

  • Letting the germination medium dry out (use rock wool cubes as opposed to hydro while germinating since they help retain the moisture);
  • Avoid overwatering (excess water won’t promote the growth of plants with a small taproot);
  • Avoid leaving seeds to germinate longer than they should (transplant before the cotyledons appear which is when the taproot should be between 1-2 cm in length);
  • Don’t germinate directly in soil (only experienced growers should start germinating directly in soil);
  • Maintain the appropriate temperature and humidity for germination (the germination medium should have a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 22°C, and 70% relative humidity);
  • Plant the seeds in the correct pot (a bigger pot or a bigger container will mean that your plants won’t grow as fast in the first few days or weeks, so starting in a smaller pot is better since the plants will have enough oxygen).

How to Transplant Germinated Marijuana Seeds?

To successfully plant your germinated seeds into a growing medium, you need to wait for the taproot to appear. That’s a sign that your germinated seeds are ready to be transplanted into potting soil. Follow our steps below to plant your weed seeds in their first 2-inch pots successfully.

  1. Fill the Pot With Potting Soil

Fill the pots of your choice with loose, airy potting soil mix, about 1 cm below the edge of the pot. Don’t add nutrients in the beginning since seedlings have enough nutrients from the soil. Too much nutrients can cause a negative effect.

  1. Make a Small Hole

To make room for the cannabis seeds, poke a small hole in the middle of the pot about a quarter-inch deep. Use a pen, pencil, or your finger.

  1. Place the Cannabis Seed in the Hole

Since the taproot is fragile, use tweezers to gently pick up the germinated weed seed, and place your young seedling in the hole with the taproot facing down. If a part of paper towel is stuck to the root, don’t pull it loose (spray it with water so you won’t damage the root). Make sure the seed is at least 0.5 cm below the surface, and move onto the next step.

  1. Cover the Seed With a Thin Layer of Soil and Add Water

Cover the seed with a thin layer of soil and don’t press down on the soil. Spray the surface with a spray bottle to keep it moist, and place the pot on the windowsill. Don’t overwater the plant since excess water can suffocate the delicate sprout. Keep the temperature and moisture level optimal and you’ll notice the plant starting to grow leaves in the following weeks. And after a few months, you’ll have your budding marijuana plant.

Final Thoughts on Transplanting Germinated Cannabis Seeds

Once the taproot appears on your germinated seed, planting it isn’t that difficult. You need to purchase pots, potting soil or a growing medium of your preference, and grow lights – and you’re ready to cultivate your marijuana plants. You can plant in potting soil mix, hydroponic, or coco coir, depending on which one you prefer. 

Young plants are rather delicate, especially the taproot, so you should be very careful when transferring it into the pot. It’s a good idea to use tweezers when planting to make sure the white root is intact. Place the seed in the hole, cover it with airy soil, and lightly water it with a spray bottle. Keep the humidity and water levels optimal to prevent bud rot and cultivate a healthy marijuana plant. Happy planting!

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


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