3 Best Ways to Germinate Cannabis Seeds for Hydroponics

how to germinate seeds

The germination stage is an important process to trigger the growth and prepare the seed as it enters the different life stages of a cannabis plant.  There are three ways on how to germinate seeds if you are to use the hydroponics method is growing, these are the paper towel method, Rockwool method, and the water method of germination.

During the germination process, the use of water is one of the most important factors because when the seeds take up water, the activating enzymes will begin the growth process. The embryo will start to swell and lengthen while breaking through the seed’s covering, at this moment the embryonic roots will activate and push through. When the cotyledons or the embryonic leaves have broken out then it is as a sign that your seeds have germinated successfully.


  • Paper Towel Germination Method


Germination method through the use of a paper towel is the traditional type of germinating seeds effectively that is in a cheap and convenient way. You can easily observe your seeds through this method and you can easily check if the moisture level is still optimum.  This method tends to have a high germination rate

Steps In Germinating Seeds Through Paper Towel Method

Step 1: The first step is to prepare the needed materials such as the preferred seeds, paper towel or good quality tissue, light-proof container, heating mat or a warm, dark place.

Step 2: Dampen 2 pieces of paper towel but not dripping wet. Place the seeds in the first sheet of wet paper towel, at a good distance and place the other paper towel on top of it.

Step 3: Carefully place the seeds covered in a wet paper towel inside the light-proof container and place it on top of a heating mat or in a dark warm area. The temperature should be between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.  It is not necessary to have a source of heat, if there is no way for you to expose the seeds with heat, it will still germinate but it will take longer than exposing the seeds with heat.

Step 4: Always make sure that the paper towel will not lose its moisture. You may need to sprinkle it with water from time to time. An indication that the seeds have been successfully germinated if the seeds sprouted.

Step 5: It is normal that not all seeds will sprout, any seed that has not sprouted and those seeds that look unhealthy should be discarded.

  1. Rockwool Seed Germination Method

Rockwool is the most widely used substrate for germination in the hydroponic method. It has the ability to balance the moisture and oxygen level to increase the possibility of higher germination rates. It does not contain any nutrition that is why the natural components of this material will not interfere with the natural compounds of cannabis.

Steps in Seed Germination Using a Rockwool 

Step 1: The first step is to prepare the needed materials such as the cannabis seeds that you will be using, a growing tray or pot intended for hydroponic set-up and a starter cube such as rock wool because it serves as a base for your cannabis plant to absorb nutrients.

Step 2: You need to soak your starter cube in fresh water for about an hour. After soaking it, you may need to put several seeds in the cube to have higher chances of germination rates. You can place the tray with the starter cube in your window or in a room where it can’t be touched.

Step 3: After 2-3 days, inspect your seeds.  If all the seeds that had sprouted, choose the seeds that look like unhealthy because if you would continue to plant them there is a possibility that it will die or it will grow unhealthy.

Step 4: Transplant into the final destination. After 2-3 weeks after germination, set it up for the hydroponics set-up. Don’t wait too long before planting it because when it starts to show roots it means that you should feed it with necessary nutrients.

  1. Water Germination Method

Not all kinds of crop seeds are suitable for the water germination method but all types of cannabis strains can be germinated using this method. This is considered to be 90% accurate. In germination, maintaining the proper moisture of the cannabis plant is important. When this method is used, you don’t have to worry because soaking the seeds in water for how many days will ensure that the seeds are always moisturized.

Steps in Water Germination Method

Step 1: Be sure to use tap water with the right room temperature between 18-65% degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Drop two or three cannabis seeds and wait for changes within 24-72 hours. To ensure that the water is still fresh refill the container with water every day while monitoring that the temperature will not fluctuate or exceed the expected temperature.

Step 3: For this method to be successful, the secret is not to let the seed stay in the water for so long. If you see that the cotyledon come out, remove the seeds immediately in the water and plant it with your preferred growing medium.

Reasons Why Seeds Don’t Germinate

  • The seed is drying out

The seeds need to be in a warm environment, if it dries out during the germination the seeds may die or it may no longer sprout. That is why is it important to check for the proper moisture of seeds during the germination period.

  • Too wet

If your paper towel or rockwool cube is dripping wet, it may cause the seeds to rot instead to sprout. Not only that the seeds will rot but it is susceptible to molds and fungus infection.

  • Retain high humidity

Not only that moisture is important but you also need to check for the humidity level. The optimum humidity level is essential for the seeds to retain proper moisture.

Final Thoughts

Germinating the seeds in the right way will let you produce not only healthy cannabis plant but it will give you successful high yields. There are different ways on how to germinate your seeds depending on your comfort and preference.

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