how to start marijuana seeds in paper towel

Close tweezers so they are as narrow as possible and put inside the crack. Then slowly allow tweezers to open, which will gently pry the shell apart.

Cannabis seeds are natural things and you can’t expect 100% germination every time. Unfortunately, that’s just not how nature works. Many factors can affect germination including genetics (some strains germinate easier than others), the age of seeds, and how well they were stored. But I’ve been lucky and gotten 100% germination ever since I started using this method.

With a single sheet on top, you can still mostly see the seeds.

Helpful Tool: Pointy tweezers (though most tweezers will work in a pinch)

Otherwise, add the seedling, root down, with the shell close to the surface.

9.) You Have Seedlings!

Once seeds have germinated, gently pull off the top paper towel to reveal the seedlings underneath.

If growing more than one strain at a time, label the paper towels so you’ll know which seed is which.

Carefully and slowly remove top paper towel sheet.

Create happy little seedlings in less than a week!

At this point, you can plant the whole Rapid Rooter. Don’t forget to label the strains!

The seedlings are ready to go in plant containers once they’ve spread out their first set of serrated leaves (to about the width of the Rapid Rooter)

If leaves are stuck inside the shell membrane for more than a day or two, do this: Wet the membrane, wait a few minutes, then use tweezers to gently pry it away from leaves.

I used to use my fingers to remove shells but it can be hard not to disturb the seedling. Then I learned that a pair of pointy tweezers can be inserted into the crack and allowed to gently open to pry the seed apart. Don’t tug or use any force whatsoever. Just gently and slowly release the leaves. The leaves may be stuck to the shell at first and it can take several seconds of gentle tugging for the leaves to slowly loosen and pull away from the shell. If you’re having trouble, add some water to the stuck part and wait a few minutes to help soften it up.

I recommend cutting your Rapid Rooters in half to make it easier to place germinated seeds. Even a seed with a long wiggly root will usually easily fit into the “crack” of the Rapid Rooter. This prevents you from bending the roots.

Pros.

How to Germinate via the Paper Towel Method.

If there’s a short root or seedling hasn’t germinated yet, put the paper towel back and gave the seedling one more day. Seedlings grow faster if they have a bit more root before being planted.

At this point, you may see some seedling leaves have already broken free of their shells. That’s awesome. These seedlings often grow the fastest.

If you don’t see any progress and leaves still seem trapped after a day or two, you may need to remove the shell to release the leaves contained inside. If leaves can’t break free and see the light, the seedling may die.

If the seedling has already lost the shell, place the leaves close to the top. These seedlings often grow the fastest.

Seeds typically sprout in 1-3 days. Certain strains and older seeds may take a few extra days.

One downside to this method is sometimes a seed shell will get stuck on the seedling. Here’s how to deal with that.

Put a single sheet of paper towel on top. With just one sheet you will be able to see whether the seeds have germinated without having to disturb them. You may need to add a little extra water so that the top sheet is moist all the way through.

2.) Label the Strains.

You don’t want to load your plate up with tons of paper towels, but it’s nice to have several sheets so they can hold plenty of water. If necessary, fold or cut the paper towels to size so everything fits completely inside the plate. If a paper towel is sticking outside the plates, everything will dry out quickly.

Add some water on top of the paper towels so they’re soaked through, then place seeds down. I add water first to avoid accidentally moving seeds. It’s also a good idea to keep the plate flat so seeds don’t roll around.

Seeds typically germinate in 1-3 days!

Gently close around the seedling.

Cheap paper towels (don’t use the expensive cloth-like ones!)

At this point, the seedlings are ready to be put under a gentle light. A sunny window works well, though your regular vegetative grow light should be fine as long as you keep it twice the normal distance away. Avoid touching the seedlings if possible. This is when they’re most vulnerable.

Ensure paper towels don’t dry out. You may have to add more water occasionally to keep them wet. You can usually tell when the seeds have germinated without looking under the top sheet. This means you can check on your seeds regularly without disturbing them by picking up the top plate.

Plug in your seedling heat mat. It should warm up quickly. I’ve put the plates directly on the mat before, which worked well, but sometimes I worry my little weed seedlings may get too hot with the plate directly on the mat. Since I already have a Rapid Rooter tray for later, I place it between the mat and the plate. Feel free to use something else like a book or towel. The basic idea is to put some space between the heating mat and the plate so the plate still gets warm but the extra air space keeps the heat nice and even.

Seeds About to Germinate by the Paper Towel Method.

Check out our beginner grower’s guide to learn how to germinate seeds with the paper towel method . Every cannabis plant starts off as a tiny seed with the potential to grow huge yields and bountiful buds. If you want to start your garden on the right foot, the germination phase is critical to its future growth.

Using the paper towel method is easy and affordable for beginner growers. However, there are some disadvantages to using this method. In some cases, the seed shell will get stuck on the seed leaf. Using tweezers can help remove the shell from the stuck-on leaves. This should be a last-ditch method if after a few days the seed shell is still stuck on the leaves. Here’s how to remove the seed:

What Is Germination?

Starting off with a high-quality seed is critical. Avoid seeds that feel fresh and soft and look green. Mature seeds have a hard outer shell. However, they can get too old and mishandled and won’t sprout as effectively. Before you get to the germination phase, it’s important to store your seeds in a dark, dry, and cool space.

Are you ready to germinate your seeds? Here’s exactly what you’ll need:

A seed requires plenty of moisture to absorb, increase in size, and gradually break out of the shell. You know you’ve done the germination process right when a seedling emerges from the hard seed shell. This growth will be the basis of the roots and the part of the seedling that absorbs nutrients from the growing medium.

Germination refers to the process in which the plant begins to grow from a seed. As the first stage of the growth cycle, germinating a seed requires a grower to create the perfect environment to get those seeds to break open and pop with a fresh and vigorous growth.

When your seedlings have sprouted long enough roots, you can gently use your hands or tweezers to remove the seeds from the paper towels and place them in your preferred growing medium. Some users place them inside Rapid Rooters to stimulate germination. Here’s a guide on how to do so:

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to germinate your seeds using this method:

What Is the Paper Towel Method?

So, what is needed to get these seeds popping?

For seed germination, the paper towel method is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get your cannabis seeds to pop. Essentially, you’re germinating seeds between two damp paper towels and a couple of plates, which are used to create a contained and dark environment for a few days. During this time, the seeds will begin to sprout, if done correctly.

Now that you know how to germinate your seeds using a paper towel method, you’re ready to move forward with your plant’s growth stages. If you want to know how the pros do it, enroll in Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis college. Learn all the tricks of the trade to get your plant thriving during its vegetative and flowering periods. Our curriculum caters to growers of all skill levels.

Troubleshooting Common Problems.

Monitor your soil every day and keep it moist. Within four to seven days, you should see tiny stems sprouting from the soil.

Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.

When a seed enters an environment with enough moisture, it will increase in size and slowly break out of its shell. A seedling or germ forms from which roots will emerge, helping the baby plant absorb nutrients from the soil. Seeds naturally develop roots facing down and stems stretching upward, allowing the young cannabis plant to simultaneously feed off light and earth.

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The paper towel method also has its risk, as the fragile seedlings can be damaged during the potting process. The tiny roots can also get tangled in the paper towels, so make sure to move the seeds to potting soil before roots grow too long. Use your hands or tweezers to gently remove each seed from the paper towels and place them in a prepared growing medium.

Lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps.

Place the soil in a small pot and use your finger or a pencil to push a small hole in the dirt, a bit more than half an inch deep. Insert the seed into the hole and bury it with soil. From this point on, don’t touch your seed. The young plant is fragile and knows how to position itself in the soil bed.

The best germination method depends on the cultivator’s choice. Here are some of the most common ways to pop your cannabis seeds.

While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.

Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps.

Germination is the first stage of the cannabis growth cycle : the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. After all, seeds in a bag don’t spontaneously start developing roots. Also known as “popping” seeds, seed germination begins when a seed receives environmental cues letting it know the setting is perfect to start growth.

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Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds because the soil protects the fragile roots from any interference. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps.

The seeds should start sprouting in about two days, though older seeds can take up to a week to sprout. You can remove them from the water and place them in the soil at any point once they’ve sprouted. Once the roots are about five millimeters long, they need to be planted.

The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

To germinate seeds indoors, use any of the methods described above. Within a few days, you’ll have popped seeds ready to transfer to a growing medium.

Whether you’re planning an indoor cultivation or outdoor grow, it’s best to germinate your seeds indoors. It’s easier to maintain proper temperature, light exposure, and moisture inside, and you can protect your seeds from the elements. Indoor germination, whether using soil or paper towels, will ensure your cannabis seeds have the best chance for survival.

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The downside of water germination is that once they’ve popped, you’ll need to maneuver them into their growing medium manually. This is a delicate process, as germinating seeds are extra fragile, and any harm risks the development of your plants. Make sure to place the seed roots down in the soil when you transfer to a pot.

It’s essential to acquire high-quality cannabis seeds for germination, as these will go on to become high-quality cannabis plants. Seeds that are fresh-feeling or too green indicate that they haven’t reached full maturity, while pale-green, white, or very dark cannabis seeds may have trouble sprouting. However, it’s tricky to know the outcome of a popped seed, so trying may be worthwhile. If you’re not ready to pop your seeds yet, store them in a dark, cool place until it’s time for germination.

Germination is the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps.

The paper towel method is also a common way cultivators pop their seeds. Some even use this method with cotton pads instead of paper towels, but the necessary steps are the same.

When the seedling stems reach two to four inches in height, it’s time to transplant your cannabis into larger pots with more room for roots to spread down and out. After you’ve done this, you’ve successfully germinated your cannabis seeds into proper, young plants.

So, you’ve decided to grow your own cannabis plants. You purchased a pack of seeds, assembled cultivation materials, cleared a space in your garden, and are ready to grow your first cannabis crop . With everything in hand, it’s time to begin the very first step of cannabis cultivation : germinating seeds.