If you germinate your seeds in a paper towel, there is the risk of hurting the tap root (the little white root that grows out of your seeds) when moving the sprouted seeds so make sure you are careful when you’re checking to see if the seeds sprouted.
Sprouted seeds planted in Hydrofarm pellets and placed on soil
Poke holes in the bottom of your cup so water can drain out easily!
Once the compressed Jiffy pellets have expanded in warm water, gently squeeze excess water from each pellet and you’re ready to go. Treat them the same as Rapid Rooters.
These are round on bottom instead of being a cube, which means they cannot stand up on their own. These are best suited to a hydroponic setup where the Rapid Rooter will be placed directly in the final destination. In our hydroponic setups, we’ve had near 100% germination rates with Rapid Rooters, better than any other seedling cube we’ve tried.
If you’re planting in soil, start with a balanced potting soil that doesn’t contain extra nutrients. I recommend Happy Frog potting soil mix for young cannabis seedlings, but any plain potting mix from your local garden store will do. Never use Miracle-Gro soil or any soil that has “time-released” nutrients already mixed in. After your plants have grown a few sets of leaves, you can transfer them to a stronger potting mix that contains higher levels of nutrients like Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil, or you can start supplementing with cannabis soil nutrients. Don’t want to use nutrients? Learn how to mix up your own super soil so it has all the nutrients your cannabis plants will need!
As a grower, you can also plant your seeds directly in your final growing medium. This works in all growing mediums, though some can be tougher than others.
The main signal that tells a marijuana seed to start sprouting is the presence of moisture and heat. The combination of warm and wet (aka spring conditions) “tells” the seed to start burrowing their main root (called a taproot) through their shell.
- Moisture – Keep things moist but not soaking (you can soak hard seeds for up to 24-32 hours, but do not leave seeds soaking in water for longer than that).
- Peace – Seeds need to be left alone while you’re waiting for the taproot to show up.
- Warmth – Keep things warm to get the best germination rates, but not too hot! Think springtime. Seeds can definitely germinate in cooler temps, but germination tends to take longer when it’s cool.
- Gentle – Be careful when checking seeds, and treat them gently when you have to move them. Avoid touching their white root if possible; the taproot is very fragile and easily snaps off!
- Plant Root Down – When planting germinated seeds, point the white root downwards into the growing medium to prevent the seedling from having to reorient itself.
- Plant Knuckle Deep – When planting germinated seeds, they don’t have to be placed too far under in the growing medium, about a half inch to an inch (1.3 cm – 2.5 cm) down from the surface of the medium should be enough.
How do I germinate marijuana seeds? Table of Contents Introduction: Cannabis Seed Germination Cannabis germination is the process of getting your seeds to sprout, and you know
I soak seeds for a few hours in a glass of RO water. The Rapid Rooter is soaked overnight in a glass of RO water.
I use a clean pen cap as a tool to scoop the seed from the cup of water, and place it into the rooter. I used to do the “paper towel” method of “pre-germinating” seeds, but it is better to plant them directly in the rapid rooter (or whatever medium you use). You will have better success, and quicker development if you skip the whole paper towel thing, in my experience. When putting it into the rooter plug, I put it in pointy end up (hinged end down). Positioning it this way will allow the taproot to make the turn it needs to, and will put the seed in a better position to succeed and remove it’s “helmet”.
Making sure my hands are clean and sterile, I shake the excess moisture out of the rapid rooter, or give it a gentle squeeze. Basically, you want them to be “moist” but not soaked/saturated.
My seed germination technique
I take a sterile tweezers, squeeze it together, and I stick it into the hole of the rapid rooter while I gently twist it around some. I’ve had better luck if I deepen the hole slightly, and loosen it up a little inside the rooter plug. You could also use a pen, etc. Basically, just loosen it up and make it about a 1/4″ deeper than they come from the factory.
- Pre-soak seeds in glass for a few hours
- Pre-soak rooter plug 12-24 hours (probably doesn’t need to be that long)
- Use RO water from store – do not PH balance it
- Shake/squeeze out excess moisture in the rooter
- Use a tweezers or pen to loosen up the hole, and make it slightly deeper.
- Position seed in the rooter plug, pointy end up
- Cover the hole on the rapid rooter plug by tearing a small piece of the plug, and loosely covering the hole.
- Place rapid rooter, with seed in it, inside humidity dome, under flourescent lights (I use T5’s).
- Rooter plugs should be moistened with plain RO water periodically, but only moistened
- Heat mat is not needed – and it can dry the rooter plug too fast. Humidity only needs to be around 50%. I just mist the humidity dome periodically.
- No nutrients are needed with seedlings until the 3rd set of true leaves.
- I transplant when roots are showing through the bottom and sides of rooter plugs
Here’s my process:
I really like Rapid Rooter plugs. I’ve been germinating seeds in them since I started growing, and now use them for cloning, too. They’re great as they can be used to germinate for soil or hydro, and easy to use. They contain important micronutrients and beneficial organisms to stimulate rapid root development. They have a really nice balance between moisture retention and airiness.
I place the plug in a humidity dome, under t5’s. I don’t use a seedling heat mat (only for clones and not directly under). I mist the dome periodically, but high RH isn’t needed to germ seeds. The rooters shoudn’t be allowed to fully dry, and should be moistened periodically with plain RO water.
My seed germination technique I really like Rapid Rooter plugs. I've been germinating seeds in them since I started growing, and now use them for cloning…