Weed Seed Won’t Germinate

I'm a first time grower having trouble with germinating my seeds. The seeds crack and start showing the tap root then stop growing after that point. How… If your Marijuana seeds won't germinate and you are wondering why, it's probably due to one of these 4 reasons, here is how to fix it and some useful tips. Did your cannabis seeds fail at the first hurdle? Don't worry, our germination guide will keep you right moving forward!

seeds won’t germinate properly

I’m a first time grower having trouble with germinating my seeds.
The seeds crack and start showing the tap root then stop growing after that point.

How i germinate.

soak seeds in water for 24 hours
then transfer to a damp paper towel, cover it between two plates leaving room for air to get in.
I place the seeds in a warm drawer around 80F to 85 F. i live in a warm climate year around but can’t put them outside .

after two days the seeds crack and start showing tap roots from this point on the roots never grow any further no mater how long i wait. i would check on them every day at least once to make sure the paper towel is still damp and i try not to touch the seeds at all or move them around.

any ideas why my seeds are not going past this stage? any advice will be appreciated.

Lordhooha
Well-Known Member

I’m a first time grower having trouble with germinating my seeds.
The seeds crack and start showing the tap root then stop growing after that point.

How i germinate.

soak seeds in water for 24 hours
then transfer to a damp paper towel, cover it between two plates leaving room for air to get in.
I place the seeds in a warm drawer around 80F to 85 F. i live in a warm climate year around but can’t put them outside .

after two days the seeds crack and start showing tap roots from this point on the roots never grow any further no mater how long i wait. i would check on them every day at least once to make sure the paper towel is still damp and i try not to touch the seeds at all or move them around.

any ideas why my seeds are not going past this stage? any advice will be appreciated.

Burpee 36 cell self watering seed starter it’s all I use whether I’m doing hydro or dirt I just change my medium depending on which room I’m starting up. I stay away from all the other unnessary methods.

markyboy45
Member

Burpee 36 cell self watering seed starter it’s all I use whether I’m doing hydro or dirt I just change my medium depending on which room I’m starting up. I stay away from all the other unnessary methods.

whitebb2727
Well-Known Member

Quit screwing around with extra steps. Get a small pot or solo cup and poke holes in the bottom. Fill with soil. Put seed in soil and lightly water and leave it alone until it sprouts.

markyboy45
Member

Quit screwing around with extra steps. Get a small pot or solo cup and poke holes in the bottom. Fill with soil. Put seed in soil and lightly water and leave it alone until it sprouts.

raggyb
Well-Known Member

Once tap root shows you can put tap root down in soil with top slightly covered and water. You don’t have to wait. it’s a weed so it’s going to grow, cant let it dry out but don’t over water. But the seed starter is even better.

Budzbuddha
Well-Known Member

@whitebb2727 is on target . Although there is 1000 ways to pop a seed , basics are easier than multiple steps.

It’s a seed for gods sake . Planting in a cup of soil ( 1/8″ down ) – light mix if possible .
There ARE bagged mixes that are a bit harsh on young seedlings. So a ” starter mix ” or something similar would work. I mist the soil ONLY to dampen , not soak . Solo or styrofoam cups will get you started , I use styro because it makes it easy to RELEASE the plug without too much stress before I transplant.

I do use a seedling mat for warmth ( because of low 60° weather lately ) but if ambient temps are a comfortable 70°ish or so inside the house , you are ok.

An ” Alternative ” is that I soak seed or seeds in a lukewarm shot glass of water for about
6 hours to hydrate seed . I do not let seed stay long in the water , just to hydrate , then plant in soil. You can also plant directly into a container ( 3 gallon or whatever you are using ) of soil. Young baby plants love warmth so that’s all you should be concerned with.

Once they get their ” legs ” I move the girls to the bigger lights. Seriously you could toss a handful in the yard and they would pretty much take.

markyboy45
Member

@whitebb2727 is on target . Although there is 1000 ways to pop a seed , basics are easier than multiple steps.

It’s a seed for gods sake . Planting in a cup of soil ( 1/8″ down ) – light mix if possible .
There ARE bagged mixes that are a bit harsh on young seedlings. So a ” starter mix ” or something similar would work. I mist the soil ONLY to dampen , not soak . Solo or styrofoam cups will get you started , I use styro because it makes it easy to RELEASE the plug without too much stress before I transplant.

I do use a seedling mat for warmth ( because of low 60° weather lately ) but if ambient temps are a comfortable 70°ish or so inside the house , you are ok.

An ” Alternative ” is that I soak seed or seeds in a lukewarm shot glass of water for about
6 hours to hydrate seed . I do not let seed stay long in the water , just to hydrate , then plant in soil. You can also plant directly into a container ( 3 gallon or whatever you are using ) of soil. Young baby plants love warmth so that’s all you should be concerned with.

Once they get their ” legs ” I move the girls to the bigger lights. Seriously you could toss a handful in the yard and they would pretty much take.

Why Won’t My Marijuana Seeds Germinate

So, you have tried germinating your marijuana seeds, unsuccessfully. You might have tried using water, soil, peat, paper towel, or one of several other methods out there, but your seeds still did germinate and grow into a huge kush plant as you hoped. What the heck is going on here? (we recommend ILGM for quality seeds)

Well, there are various reasons why your marijuana seed won’t germinate. Marijuana seeds need pretty specific care and conditions to germinate properly. There could be a problem with too little or too much moisture, the wrong temperature, the weed seed could just be a dud, or there might be another problem too.

Let’s take a closer look at this issue of your weed seeds not germinating. Why won’t my marijuana seeds germinate?

Why Seed Germination Is Essential

Remember guys, all seeds need to be germinated, not just weed seeds. Of course, in nature, this often happens on its own, but if you want to grow your own marijuana plants, you will to germinate them manually. Seed germination is the act of bringing the seed to life.

See also  How To Tell What Kind Of Weed Seed You Have

By supplying it with some moisture and the right conditions, you are causing the interior of the seed to eat through its food, use up that glucose, crack through the shell, and become a little plant sprout.

Just think of it like the sprout being the yolk of the egg, which will grow into a chick, when it eats the egg white or food, which in the case of a weed seed, is the glucose stored inside of it.

A weed seed is not all that much different from a chicken egg waiting to hatch.

Why Won’t My Weed Seeds Germinate? (Using Paper Towel, Peat, or Water As The Medium)

There are in fact several reasons why your weed seeds might not be germinating. Some of these issues are caused by the people doing the germinating, and some simply cannot be helped.

Why are my weed seeds not germinating when I am using paper towel, peat, or water as the germination medium?

1. The Seeds Are Dead Ducks

The first reason why your weed seeds may not be germinating is simply because they are bad seeds. When you get weed with seeds in it, or you purchase seeds, they should look a certain way.

Generally speaking, a healthy marijuana seed is going to be a moderate to dark green in color, and should be fairly round.

If you have a weed seed that is really flat and/or light green or super pale in color, it probably won’t ever germinate. Sometimes seeds are just no good. It happens and there is nothing you can do about this.

However, on the other hand, your seeds might have been good at one point, but were then improperly stored.

Weed seeds need to be kept in a cool and dark environment until it is time for germination. If the weed seeds are not properly stored, they will degrade, die, and they will not germinate

2. Not Enough or Too Much Moisture

Another reason why your marijuana seeds might not be germinating is due to issues with moisture. For one, a lot of people end up drowning their weed seeds outright.

Yes, some people germinate their weed seeds in nothing else but water, but this tends to not have the best success rate, and it is because the seeds end up drowning.

This can also happen if you use soil, paper towel, or peat for germination. It’s not too difficult to drown them, so spritz them with enough water to be moist, but there should not be any dripping going on. Too much water can actually rot your seed outright.

On the other hand, if the weed seeds are too dry, and your germination medium is too dry, the seeds just won’t get enough water to germinate.

Water is an essential part of marijuana seed germination, and without it, nothing is going to happen.

3. Too Much Light

Now, this is not always the case, but generally speaking, germination needs to happen in a dark environment.

If your weed seeds are getting way too much light, there is a chance that they will not germinate. Like we said, this is not always the case, but it can definitely be a contributing factor.

However, what is interesting is that as soon as the seeds pop open, they can do fine with some light, but just not too much.

There is a really fine line here and it can be hard to gauge. It does somewhat depend on the quality of the seed in question.

4. Temperature & Humidity Issues

Your marijuana seeds need a specific level of temperature and humidity in order to germinate properly, or to germinate at all.

Whatever germination medium you are using, whether water, peat, or paper towel, the temperature needs to be a steady 26 to 28 degrees.

Any hotter or colder than that, and the seeds probably won’t germinate. On that same note, a 70% humidity level is what you are aiming for.

If you are off by too much with either of these factors, the seeds aren’t going to pop open and come to life.

Why Won’t My Pot Seeds Germinate? (Using Soil As A Germination Medium)

Now, although we do not recommend using soil as your germination medium, many people go this way.

Of course, using soil as the medium has the benefit that your seed pops and sprouts in the same place you want it to grow, therefore eliminating the need to transfer the seed from the germination medium into the soil.

However, there are some problems that can arise when using soil for weed seed germination. Keep in mind that some people do plant their seeds directly in the dirt without first germinating them, but this is not a great idea and often results in failure.

Germinating a marijuana seed right in the soil is actually pretty hard and is not recommended. Why won’t my weed seeds germinate when using soil as the medium?

1. You Planted Them Too Deep

One reason why your weed seed might not have germinated in soil is because you planted it way too deep. What is interesting about planting your seed directly in soil for germination, is that it will need a bit of sunlight.

This is because when germinating directly in soil, the seed needs to both germinate and then be able to sprout and grow up past the dirt.

The issue here is that yes, a weed seed needs to have relative dark to germinate, but then needs light in order to grow through the dirt and sprout of the top.

If you bury the seed too deep, once it does open up, the sunlight won’t be able to reach it, and the sprout will therefore quickly die.

So, without just a bit of light, even if the seed does germinate in soil, it still won’t grow up past the dirt.

2. The Soil Has Mold, Fungus, or Insects

Ok, so mold, fungus, and insects of all sorts can easily kill a weed plant in just a couple of weeks. This is a big problem which many growers face, especially indoor growers.

Simply put, if the soil you are using for seed germination has any trace of mold, fungus, or burrowing insects, your seed will most likely die.

It probably won’t ever open up and sprout. However, on the off chance that it does still somehow germinate, it probably won’t live long enough to grow and sprout up past the surface of the soil.

3. The Soil Loaded With Too Much Fertilizer

Perhaps the biggest and most common issue that arises when attempting to germinate your weed seeds in soil is that the soil has too much fertilizer.

See also  Can I Plant Two Weed Seeds Together

Yes, your weed plants will need some fertilizer and nutrients as they grow, but the young sprouts and seeds are extremely delicate.

Generally speaking, even small amounts of fertilizer can burn, destroy, and kill both the seed and the sprout.

4. Other Issues

  1. Moisture & Temperature – Once again, you might have drowned the weed seed in too much water. On the other hand, if you have not supplied enough moisture, just add some into the soil, and the seed may still germinate.
  2. Seed Quality – Whether you are using soil or any other medium, the seed may still just be defective on its own.
  3. Packing Down Too Hard – Now, packing the soil down on top of the seed should be done very lightly. Once the seed goes to germinate, if the soil is packed too tightly, it can prevent the seed from opening up, and if it does open up, the sprout might not be able to force its way up through the tightly packed soil.

Weed Seed Germination – A Quick Guide & Tips

Let’s just very quickly give you a couple marijuana seed germination tips for a fast step by step process.

    you want to grow and get some seeds, ensuring that they are fairly round and a good, dark green in color.
  • Choose your germination medium, which can be paper towel, water, soil, peat pellets, or similar things to peat pellets.
  • Insert the soil into the medium, ensuring that the temperate is steadily around 27 degrees, with a humidity level of 70%, and place this in the dark. for the seed to germinate. Do not wait for longer than a day after the seed has cracked and the first sprout has started to come out to plant it.(if you have not used soil as the germination medium). Waiting too long to plant a germinated seed in soil can cause it to die.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of factors which can affect weed seed germination, with there being a good few issues that can cause them to not germinate. It should be a fairly easy process, but there are some things that can get in the way. We would recommend using peat pellets or the paper towel method for this, as both soil and water as germination mediums usually don’t work too well.

Fabian

My passion for the sticky icky started nearly a decade ago, and it all began when I first laid my eyes on the beauty that is the marijuana plant.

I cover all aspects of growing from equipment recommendations to plant health/care tips to help both new and experienced growers.

Why Won’t My Cannabis Seeds Germinate?

If you’re growing cannabis from seed, life begins at germination. But what happens if your seeds won’t germinate? Are you just doing it wrong?

It’s possible, but other factors contribute to the successful germination of seeds. Let’s look at what to do right, what can go wrong, and how to minimise the risk of germination failure.

Table of contents

What is Cannabis Seed Germination?

Germination is when the outer shell of a seed cracks open, and the first sprout pops its tired head out to see daylight for the first time. From there, your seed is awake, alive, and ready to grow into the superb cannabis plant it dreamed of becoming. The first initial sprout to break the surface of the seed is known as the taproot. That’s the root from which all other roots made by your plant will sprout. Once the shell breaks open and the taproot emerges, you can plant it in soil. With time and the right conditions, you’re well on your way to growing a healthy marijuana plant. If you’re wondering why your cannabis seeds won’t germinate, there are some important things to know.

Cannabis seeds need three things to germinate:

Each is a vital cog in the germination process, and if just one is missing – or inadequate – you’re looking at a bust. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to germinate your seeds correctly.

Three Ways to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

As sure as there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to germinate a weed seed. Which way is your choice, and how you choose is entirely up to you. Some methods are more straightforward, and some are slightly more scientific. The main thing, however, is simply knowing what’s involved in your preferred seed germination method and following the instructions to the letter. Doing this allows you to rule individual errors out of the equation if things go wrong. Here’s a quick and easy guide to three popular methods of germinating cannabis seeds.

The Wet Paper Towel Method

Without a doubt, the simplest method, and probably the most common method among home growers, the paper towel method, has been around forever.

All you need is four paper towels or kitchen paper, two plates, and some distilled water. Begin by dampening the paper towels with distilled water. Place two of your damp paper towels on a plate, then grab a utensil like a set of tweezers or tongs, and use them to place the seeds on the paper towels. Carefully place the other two damp towels on top of your seeds, and cover with the other plate.

Cannabis for Beginners

Keep your newly-crafted ensemble in a spot where the temperature is between 20 and 30°C, checking on them daily. After just a couple of days, if you see the taproots have emerged, congratulations! Your seeds have popped and are ready for the next stage.

The Glass of Water Method

It’s said that this method is less effective than the wet paper towel trick, but some people prefer to drop their seeds in a glass of room-temperature water and wait 3-5 days until the seeds pop and the taproots emerge. It’s probably even more straightforward than the paper towel method. Whatever floats your….seeds….

The problem with this method is that it seems directly counter-intuitive to the philosophy of seed germination 101 – too much water will drown your seed. Yet somehow, people have success with it.

The Soil Method

You want to limit the handling of your seeds as much as possible, so what better way than to drop them straight into the soil and let them germinate there? Put some soil in a small pot and water it, then make a small hole about 15mm deep in the centre, and carefully place the seed (one seed per pot) in the hole. Cover with a light dusting of soil, then mist with water. This method takes longer, so you’re waiting between four and ten days for the seed to germinate. The beauty of this method is that the taproot emerges into the soil, meaning no further handling, and the roots can get to work developing in the substrate.

My Cannabis Seeds Won’t Germinate

It’s not uncommon, but as long you’ve followed our germination guidelines correctly, you know at least it wasn’t your fault. So what went wrong?

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Here’s a list of common reasons why your seeds may not have sprouted:

Poor Quality Seeds

Where did you acquire your seeds? There are plenty of disreputable sources for cannabis seeds out there, be they online retailers, back-alley head shops – or even just a jiffy bag of random undefined seeds from a friend. The genetics aren’t assured, quality control is non-existent, and as for after-sales care? Forget about it.

To give yourself the best chance of success, only buy your cannabis seeds from a quality seed bank like Seedsman.com. The variety and quality of cannabis seeds are second to none, and they come with the peace of mind of knowing your seeds will have a much higher germination success rate. Better yet, you get the added value of knowing those seeds will grow into cannabis plants of the highest quality, with bountiful yields. You don’t have to break the bank to purchase top-grade marijuana seeds. From competitive prices on the latest strains to regular special offers, Seedsman.com offers premium cannabis seeds to suit any budget.

Improperly Stored Seeds

Not everyone realises that seeds have to be stored correctly to remain viable. If you’ve unfortunately got your hands on some old seeds, there’s a high chance they might not have been stored properly. If your seeds have been sitting in a bag on a window ledge, chances are the heat has sucked any chance of germination out of them completely. Treat your seeds like you would treat food. Whether you store in a cool, dry place or in a refrigerator in the correct container, you need to preserve them correctly to ensure they don’t spoil.

Over-Handling or Incorrect Handling

Treat your seeds with the utmost care at every step. If you over-handle them, use bare or dirty hands or use the incorrect tools to lift and lay your seeds, there’s a good chance you’ll damage their viability. Bare hands are harbours of all manner of bacteria, so it’s a good idea to use medical-grade gloves if you’re picking them up. Failing that, always wash your hands before and after handling cannabis seeds – but be careful what you use as soap!

The less you handle cannabis seeds, the lower the risk of damage. Sure, cannabis seeds seem hardy enough with that tough outer shell, but it would surprise you how easily they can be damaged. The same rule applies if using tools to lift and place seeds – tweezers and so on should be cleaned before and after use. Resist temptation to apply too much of a squeeze, as that can damage the seed shell.

Incorrect Planting Techniques

If you’re planting your seeds straight into the soil, place the seed carefully and gently into that 15mm hole mentioned earlier. Cover lightly with soil, and do not be tempted to push the seed further down into the soil. Don’t compress a large amount of soil over the top of the seed, either. This will do more harm than good because your seed won’t have the oxygen it needs. Likewise, excess moisture can scupper the chance of germination.

Unsterilised Equipment

Everything from handling tools to pots and soil has to be spotlessly clean and sterile. Otherwise, you limit your seed’s chances of making its big breakthrough. Ensure you sterilise your pots; otherwise, there’s a good chance there will be residual mould and pathogens. Likewise, only ever use clean, new soil to accept your seeds.

Incorrect Water/Moisture Levels

Too much moisture in your soil and your seeds will suffer from a lack of oxygen. If that’s not bad enough, excess water will encourage fungal growth.

Too little moisture is just as bad – remember, moisture is one of the three critical components in the seed germination process. If using the paper towel method, ensure those towels are damp and not soaked. When potting in soil, make sure to mist the soil with a spray bottle. Don’t pour copious amounts into the soil, thinking the more, the merrier. If you’re overwatering the soil at this stage, neither you nor your seeds will be particularly merry.

You Germinated for Too Long

It can happen – if you take your eye off the ball, your seeds will have germinated, and that taproot has been exposed to air and light for too long before being planted in a safe growing medium. Don’t keep them out in the open beyond 2cm. If you do, handling and transporting the sprouted seed increases the risk of damage. Get them in soil or your preferred substrate as soon as possible.

Temperature Problems

Seeds germinate best when the temperature is between 20 and 25C. High temperatures increase the risk of drying out the soil. Any lower exposes the seed to conditions that could effectively stunt development or halt germination altogether. For this reason, we recommend carrying out germination indoors, where you can control the temperature.

After successful germination, allow your cannabis seedlings to develop indoors in pots. Wait until the outdoor temperature is high enough that your young plant will thrive (if you’re planning to grow your plants outdoors, of course).

Too Much Light

Cannabis plants love light – well, photoperiod ones, certainly. But seeds? Not so much. Light is not essential to seed germination; in fact, it’s not conducive to seed germination. Keep your seeds away from light as much as possible if you want them to have a chance at popping. Carry out germination away from windows and any other light sources, or you’ll hinder the likelihood of success.

The ‘Wrong’ Water

Avoid using tap water in the germination process. Tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and other additives that can harm seeds and potentially stop them from sprouting. Instead, use distilled water. Bottled water is fine.

They Can’t all be Winners

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why your seeds may not germinate successfully, and it’s a lot to consider. Keep this guide handy if you’re new to growing cannabis from seed, and follow the steps outlined above until you’re experienced enough to go it alone.

Always remember that, even if you do everything by the book, some seeds just won’t germinate. Frustrating though that is, sometimes it’s just bad luck. But by taking control of all the factors mentioned above, you significantly increase your chances of successfully germinating your cannabis seeds every time. Over many grows, an 100% germination success rate is unheard of. By obtaining good quality cannabis seeds from a reputable source like Seedsman.com, and following the guidelines, you can get pretty close. Good luck!

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.