When we first started to grow cannabis, we often start from seeds. If the seeds we bought don’t sprout, we might lose a bit of money but it can also be demoralizing. However, there are a few ways we can improve cannabis germination rates. One of the key techniques to improve cannabis germination rates is by using a heat mat. Let’s take a look at how you should store your seeds before you use them.
Conditions for Storing Your Cannabis Seed Germination
Moisture – You can germinate a seed by putting it into a cup of water—we cover this in another article—but once you have gotten your seed wet don’t let your seed dry out. That said, before you plant your seeds you should store them in a dry place.
Temperature – The perfect temperature for your seedling is 80°F (26°C)
A Good temperature is about 85°F (24-30°C)
Darkness – Before you start germination, make sure your seeds are stored in the dark otherwise it will encourage germination.
No Touching – Do not touch or move your seeds before you plant them
Clean – Wash your hands before touching your seeds—any bacteria and microscopic fungi on your hand will slow or stop germination later on.
What Factors will Affect Cannabis Seed Germination Rates? (Improve Cannabis Germination Rates)
Hard seeds – Seeds with extra-hard shells will not germinate easily. I recommend soaking the seeds in water for at least 24 hours, softening the shell, or pushing the seedling embryo out, then using a regular germination method.
Pale or Flimsy Seeds – Some seeds that appear pale and easy to crush—they are probably not mature enough for germination.
Old Seeds – The best quality for seeds have just been harvested. When the seeds get older, there be less likely they can germinate, and the process of germination might takes longer.
Seeds That Have Been Stored Improperly – A good storage place for seeds should be a cool, dry, dark place with no temperature changes. If seeds are exposed to heat, light, high humidity, or water, they might be unable to germinate.
What’s the best way to provide a perfect environment for seedlings? One of the key factors is warmth. Warm, not hot; a moist and warm environment. To achieve the perfect condition temperature of 80°F / 26°C use a heat mat.
Starting with picking feminized seeds. This almost guarantees all your plants will be female and that they all will make buds. If you get seeds directly from a plant about 51% will be female so you’ll have to throw out about half. We recommend just going for feminized seeds, it will make your life easier. Let’s look at how to germinate your seedlings.
- Set up Paper Towels and Plates
Prepare seeds and label them and put them on a moist paper towel and then on top of a plate or seedling tray.
- Set Up Your Heating Mat
Place down the heat mat. Use a third plate and place it upside down. Put your germinating seeds on their plate on top of the upside-down plate. So you will have 3 plates in total. One to attach the probe to, another two to cover your seeds. Plug in the heat mat, set the temperature, and put the probe onto the upside-down plate.
- Make sure your seeds are labeled!
Make sure you do not mix up the name and seeds and not to let them roll around.
- Add Water and Cover
Gently add some water, dampen the paper towel, put a paper towel cover on top of the seeds. Don’t run water over the seeds, just make sure the paper towel is moist.
- Set the Heat Mat around 80-85°F / 26-30°C
Any temperature around the range of 80-85°F will work great. After an hour, come back and check the temperature—if it feels cold, increase the temperature. I know it is hard for everyone to check each hour, so just check it as often as possible.
- Seedlings Usually Sprout in 1-3 Days
After the first day, let the seeds rest and don’t disturb them too much. Make sure the paper towel is moist and make sure the temperature is comfortable but if you disturb the seedlings with light too much you’ll potentially interrupt the germination process.
- Put Germinated Seeds in a container
Gently move germinated seeds directly into soil or whatever media you plan to use, with their new taproot faced down.
There are a lot of great resources online for seedling germination and this is just one way of many. If you would like to improve cannabis germination rates, just make sure you take care of your seeds and don’t disturb them when you are germinating them. There is always a percentage of seedlings that never germinate so don’t get discouraged.
Subscribe to VIVOSUN newsletter for growing tips, grower stories, special offers and get 12% off your first order!
We love the new VIVOSUN Smart Grow System and we are certain that you too will love it once you try it.
And join our Facebook farmer’s community for even more exclusive contests and prizes!
Download VIVOSUN App and explore more!