How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

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Until you get your hands on the beautiful, fragrant buds, there are several stages in cannabis cultivation that precede that moment. You need to germinate the cannabis seed before you have a plant to harvest. Give your seeds the best possible start by reading our definitive guide to germination.


It is very easy to assume that the step vegetative and the stage of flowering are the most critical in the life cycle of a plant. However, germination, if poorly planned, can end the cultivation before it even begins. Giving your cannabis seeds the best possible start is a sure way to encourage a robust, healthy plant.

Small, fragile and in need of help, there are several ways to germinate your cannabis seeds. All methods have varying levels of success, with advantages and disadvantages. It's important to know that even with growing experience and top-notch equipment, it's still possible to lose some seeds . This is a natural part of dealing with a living organism. At Royal Queen Seeds, we supply a wide range of regular and feminized cannabis seeds high-quality. We clearly label our genetics, so you don't have to worry about any unpleasant surprises.


Regardless of origin of your seeds, it's best to do a light (and delicate) inspection before planting. Most of the time all the seeds will germinate; however, low quality seeds will produce a weaker plant. Unfortunately, this is something you will only discover during the vegetation and flowering phases.

To avoid disappointment, know that darker colored seeds have a better chance of germinating, unlike light green or white ones. Even damaged dark seeds can be planted . There is a good chance they will germinate even if the skin is crushed.


Before we go directly to the different methods, there are some golden rules of germination. For best results, we recommend following these directions regardless of how you will germinate. That being said, of all the factors to consider, temperature is one of the most important. Seeds will always look for moisture, but they use temperature as a signal to know when to act.

  • The ideal temperature is between 22° and 25°C (71–77°F)
  • The environment must be humid, but never soaking wet.
  • Relative humidity must be between 70% and 90%
  • Seeds prefer fluorescent lighting (Cold Light code 33)
  • Touch the seeds as little as possible
  • In hydroponic/rock wool cultivation, the ideal PH is 5.8–6.2


Three fundamental principles will encourage the emergence of the first root: heat, humidity and darkness. With moisture, a small root will form before slowly becoming the plant we all love. Under ideal conditions, seeds will begin to develop 12-36 hours after being exposed to moisture.

The exact time varies as it depends on the environment (see rules above). Even the worst grower can germinate a seed, but it may take a few weeks and of course increases the risk of a weaker plant.



This is perhaps one of the least effective methods, but still viable. It's an incredibly simple method to make life easier for beginner growers, who choose to place their seeds in a glass of water. Half a glass of water at a temperature of approximately 22°C (71°F).

After 3-5 days, the seeds will start to open, and you should see a small white thread appear. As soon as this root reaches 2-3mm in length, transfer it with extreme care from the water to previously prepared pots of soil.

Make a small hole in the soil (between 10-15mm deep) to place the newly germinated seed. Once the seeds are secure, place a fluorescent light at a distance of 13-15cm (5-6 inches) to encourage growth. Finally, don't take chances with excess water at this stage of the plants' life. Use a spray bottle to water them enough to be moist but not soaking wet.


It is probably one of the most common germination methods and has several versions. Some use cotton, others use absorbent paper. For this guide, we will use absorbent kitchen towel as it is widely available and retains moisture relatively well.

Place a sheet of kitchen paper on a flat surface. Separate the seeds with a few centimeters between them and place the second layer of paper on top. Make sure both sheets are damp, but not soaked . Again, as soon as the white root reaches 2-3 mm , transfer the seeds (carefully) to your pots. Use the same method as above for planting.


By planting directly in the ground, it will not be necessary to transplant your seeds at the most fragile moment of their lives. That first white root is full of microscopic filaments that can be easily damaged. Given that a glass of water and wet papers are more subject to temperature fluctuations, planting in the ground is a much safer option.

Start by filling the pots with quality soil that has been immersed in water. Many growers add a root stimulant to the water. Make a hole with 10-15mm deep. This will be your seed's new home. Remove the seeds from their packets and place them in the holes made. Lightly cover the top, being careful not to compress the soil on top of the seed . If you do, the root will struggle to penetrate the solid earth, slowing the plant's growth. Spray water on the place where you planted the seed so the substrate remains moist.

If you don't like the idea of ​​soaking the soil in water, you can use a spray to moisten the holes before planting each seed. With enough moisture around the seeds, root growth will be encouraged.

Pots should be placed in a humid climate, within the ideal temperature mentioned in our golden rules. After 4-10 days, you should see the plant sprout as the roots begin to develop underground. The entire plant, along with the soil, can be transferred to a larger pot, starting the normal cultivation routine.


It can be difficult to maintain the ideal temperature (between 22–25°C/71–77°F) and moisture for germination. It is not a good idea to leave seeds outdoors. A heated blanket is perfect for maintaining a constant temperature, but it doesn't solve the humidity problem.

You will need to invest in some specific equipment, however, by using rockwool blocks you can create the perfect condition for germinating seeds. Soak the rockwool blocks in water the same way you would with earth. The wool will retain moisture and avoid the need for watering during early germination. Then, place the blocks in a plastic container with a lid. Large cake storage containers are ideal.

The plastic container will create a tropical climate for your seeds. If you then place the components in a temperature-controlled cabinet, you will have created a self-sufficient supply of moisture and will not need to touch the seeds again until they are ready for transplanting. With this method, your seeds should germinate within two days.

Two or three weeks after germination, the young plants should be ready for their new homes. At this stage, you have two options: transplant into pots of soil or accept the challenge of hydroponic cultivation. You will know when the seeds are ready for transplanting because the root systems should start to emerge and be visible beneath the rockwool. As long as the roots have not begun to curl up deep within the rockwool, they will begin to seek out water and nutrients in their new environment and continue to grow downwards.

  • RQS Pre-Cultivated Seedlings

To the RQS Pre-Cultivated Seedlings They are another great option when it comes to germinating seeds. They are easy to use and contain a carefully crafted formula with ingredients designed to help seedlings grow. Composed of high quality peat and coconut fiber, they offer an incredible balance of aeration and water retention . This ensures that the seeds do not dry out, preventing fungal diseases that cause the seedling to die.

RQS Pre-Cultivated Seedlings contain important micronutrients that seedlings require for proper growth and development. The addition of active bioorganisms also helps establish the microbiome with beneficial pathogen-fighting organisms that aid in nutrient absorption and organic breakdown. What's more, the balanced pH of these seedlings means that the cannabis roots can easily absorb nutrients without the risk of lockout.

They are super easy to handle and take the hassle out of transplanting. Once roots begin to appear, you can transplant the seedlings directly into soil or a hydroponic system.

To use RQS Pre-Grown Seedlings, place a seed of your choice in each seedling. Place your cuttings in a propagation tray and moisten with water – just to keep them moist. Use a clear plastic lid to maintain moisture, and aim for the temperature and humidity discussed above. Use a small hygrometer to keep track of these important numbers.

1. Gently remove the foil from the back of the seed packet and place them in a dry container.

2. You will need a shallow container large enough to accommodate the seed tray. Fill the container with a liter of warm water (22-25°C/71–77°F) . Add the Bacto enzyme, dissolving before dipping the tray of seeds into the container. The seed tray only needs to be immersed for 5-10 seconds.

3. After removing the seed tray from the shallow container, use your fingers or a utensil to make a hole in each pot, preferably with 10-15 mm deep . Gently transfer the seeds from the container to each hole. Remember, one seed per pot only.

4. Using the spreader provided, add a layer of 15mm thick pearlite at the bottom of the reservoir.

5. Place your seed tray in the propagator, adjust the walls and position the lid. The lid comes with a switch to turn on and off the included lights.

6. Check the humidity level in your water tank once a day. Try to maintain a uniform level. After 1-7 days, the seeds should have germinated, with visible leaves appearing. Once the plant is 3 cm tall, transplant it into a new pot.


Regardless of which method you choose, always think about the conditions you would naturally have in the spring. In their natural environment, cannabis seeds would begin to sprout at the transition from winter to spring. Humidity is still high and temperatures would naturally be rising. Always ask the following question: "does my germination method replicate spring conditions?" If so, there is a good chance of successful germination.


In most cases, germination will happen without a hitch. There are, however, some problems that we can help with.


The first problem is lighting. At least in the beginning, your seeds and small plants will only need fluorescent lights or CFL . Although they need light to grow, too much light can cause serious problems in the first few weeks.

Position the light at 15 cm away from the seeds. Once they have their first pair of real leaves, you can move the bulbs up to 5 cm apart. If you are worried about damaging your plant, place your hand between the plant and the light. If you cannot hold your hand in the light for less than 10 seconds without getting too hot, place the plant 2 cm further away. Repeat until the temperature is comfortable.

Due to the rapid growth of the seeds, you should adjust the distance of the bulbs frequently to obtain the best results. After two weeks under fluorescent lighting, you can switch to an HPS or MH lamp.


Don't panic, whenever possible the roots will grow downwards. It will not be necessary to reposition the seeds. Disturbing them at this point will only cause more damage. In most scenarios, it is not a root that is coming out of the top of the seeds, but the stem of the plant.

If you are unsure, wait a few days until the first leaves appear. (cotyledons) appear. As long as your requirements are met, the seeds will germinate. The best thing is not to panic; Follow the golden rules and soon the little plant will be ready for a bigger pot.



This will depend on the substrate you are growing in, but in most cases it will not be necessary to fertilize during the first few 2-3 weeks . There will be a lot of nutrients available in the soil and even if you opt for coconut, the nutrients will only have to be added after a week. If you choose coconut or hydroponics, the nutrients should be added at 1/4 of their strength. As soon as the first pair of leaves appears, increase 1/4 for each new pair of leaves. For beginners, we always recommend using soil. It allows you to learn how to grow cannabis, and may be the least error-prone substrate.

An easy way to tell which more nutrients are needed is to look at the leaves. The serration of the leaves will begin to turn pale green as nutrient reserves are used up. After a while, the leaves will eventually turn yellow. This is a definite sign that your plant needs more nutrients. It won't die because of a few yellow leaves, but it is a good reminder to feed your young plant.

Nitrogen is the nutrient most required during periods of intense growth. Once the seeds are fed, the color of the leaves will return to normal. Depending on how long it took to act, improvement could take hours or a whole day.


The first few weeks of a plant's development require little interference. The nutrients, as mentioned, will need small adjustments, as will the lighting. However, now that the seed has germinated, you will have a few weeks of peace of mind. Relax, and enjoy your growth.

Once the initial weeks have passed, you can treat your plant as if it were in a vegetative state, and adopt strict lighting and intensity routines. During germination, always remember the golden rules, and, when in doubt, see if you have created "spring conditions". If you think everything is correct, all that's left is to enjoy creating your own cannabis plant.

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