Learn the most fail-safe way of germinating cannabis seeds in a paper towel by following our simple step-by-step instructions There are many ways to germinate seeds at home, but at YRG, when it's really important for us to have a high rate of germination, we always seem to come back to the same method over and over again. Germinating cannabis seeds with paper towel is easy and fast. Use this step by step guide so that you don't make any silly mistakes.
How to germinate cannabis seeds in paper towels
Cannabis seeds are surprisingly hardy little things, and there are dozens of ways to successfully wake them up and make them grow. However, if you’re now nervously fiddling with the first pack of beans you’ve ever bought, you want the simplest and most reliable method, right? This is to germinate cannabis seeds using paper towels.
Germinating cannabis seeds in paper towels is as easy as wetting the towel, squeezing out the excess water, and placing one or several seeds between two layers. After that, you should only make sure that the towels don’t dry out and stay in a dark warm place until the taproot appears.
Step 1. Buy Good-Quality Cannabis Seeds
Trying to make old seeds germinate can be a nightmare for a first-time grower, so buy fresh, viable seeds from a reputable seed shop such as Herbies.
Step 2 (Optional). Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Water is the only thing you really need for sprouting weed seeds in wet paper towels, and if you’re a novice, you probably should stick to the basics. After all, the more complicated the process, the more room for mistakes. On the other hand, using a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in place of plain water will kill any infection that may lurk on the surface of seed shells.
Pharmacies sell a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide, and you’ll need about 0.5-1%. So, water the solution down by mixing one part hydrogen peroxide with five parts water. If you’re confident you can mix a solution of the required strength, go ahead. As an added bonus, according to research. using H2O2 increases the speed of germination in the first 24 hours.
Step 3. Wet the Paper Towel
Use water of drinking quality. If your tap water is chlorinated, it’s not the best option for starting marijuana seeds in a paper towel. Let it sit overnight so that chlorine evaporates.
Wet your paper towel and then squeeze out the excess water. The towel should never be dripping wet, just thoroughly moist.
Step 4. Place Your Seed(s) Between Layers of the Paper Towel
The secret to the success of paper towel germination is that layers of paper surround the seed from all sides, creating the perfect environment for sprouting. It provides enough moisture to seep in through the shell and ‘turn on’ the embryo inside, and there’s enough oxygen for the seed not to suffocate.
Hint: If you grow seeds of different varieties, label the strains from the start.
Step 5. Place Everything Between Plates
Don’t let the moisture evaporate before the germination takes place. The easiest way to ensure this is to place the paper towel between plates and put them in a dark warm place, such as a kitchen drawer. Darkness and warmth are essential because this emulates the seeds’ natural environment – the moist soil in late spring.
Step 6. Check Your Pot Seeds Every 12 Hours
When germinating cannabis seeds in paper towels, you want to plant them as soon as they show taproot. Some growers prefer that it reaches about a half-inch (1cm), but it usually needs just a few hours after cracking to grow this long. You may want to do the first check after 24 hours and then every 12 hours after. Good viable seeds usually take no more than 48 hours, with a germination rate of above 90%.
What to Do After Seeds Germinate in Paper Towels
When you germinate pot seeds using the paper towel method, you have the advantage of knowing within the first day or two that your seeds are not duds but very alive and healthy. Then you can breathe out and put your germinated beans in the medium of your choice.
Place the seed half a centimeter (a quarter of an inch) deep into the medium (soil, coco, jiffy plug, rock wool, etc.) and cover it with more medium. Make sure it’s moist but not soaked with water. At this point, you may start to monitor the pH. It should be around 6.0-6.5 for soil and 5.5-6.0 for soilless mediums. The correct pH levels will help your seedling with absorbing the nutrients.
As soon as the seedling shows above the surface, it needs to receive light. You may also want to help it shed the shell by wetting and gently removing it with tweezers or your fingers.
How long does it take to germinate cannabis seeds using paper towels?
Depending on the quality of the seeds and whether they’re fresh or old, it usually takes about 12-48 hours for most seeds to germinate. In extreme cases, it could take up to 7 days, but then there’s no point waiting. In this situation, learn about the tricks of making old seeds germinate.
When to transplant seeds from paper towels?
You can transplant germinated seeds as soon as they crack and their taproot is visible, but you might want to wait for several hours more so that the taproot grows to something like 1cm (half an inch). After that, there’s no point in delaying the transplant.
What to do if seeds are not germinating in paper towels?
If you have trouble germinating seeds, check the conditions. Paper towels should be moist, the seeds should be kept in darkness, and the temperature should be reasonably warm – around 25°C (77°F). Of course, weed seeds can germinate well outside this range, let’s say 18-28°C (65-82°F), but the speed and success rate won’t be as good with temperatures too warm or too cold. If the conditions are fine but the beans still fail to sprout, maybe the shell is too hard for moisture to seep in. This happens a lot with old seeds that have dried out too much. Use sandpaper to scarify your seeds or very gently crack them along the seam. Then repeat the whole germination process.
How To: Paper Towel Germination
There are many ways to germinate seeds at home, but at YRG, when it’s really important for us to have a high rate of germination, we always seem to come back to the same method over and over again – moist paper towels.
Paper towels make an excellent medium for germinating seeds because they are pathogen-free and make it easy to control moisture content. This method also takes the guesswork out of knowing if your seeds have germinated since you can easily observe them.
The initial setup doesn’t require any fancy equipment, just a paper towel, two 10″ x 20″ trays, some tap water and your seeds. If you have a seedling heat mat, you can use that to speed up the process, but it’s not required.
Take a paper towel from the roll and wet it with warm water. If you have smaller paper towel segments like the Bounty Select-a-size, use two or three folded over each-other. You want to have just enough moisture so you don’t drown your seeds. The rule of thumb is to lightly squeeze out the excess water until the paper towel isn’t dripping anymore.
Lay your wet paper towel flat on top of the tray, then place your seeds on one half of the paper towel with even spacing.
Fold the other half of the paper towel over the seeds and gently press around each seed.
Place the second tray on top of the paper towel to maintain a dark, moist environment for your seeds. Keep your trays in a location with temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a where a seedling heat mat can come in handy in order to maintain a warmer temperature than you might typically have in your home or grow space. After 48 hours, you should see taproots coming out of your seeds. If you find some seeds that haven’t popped yet, leave them in there a little longer and keep checking each day. If the temperatures in your space reach above 85 degrees or if you have direct sunlight on your trays, you might choose not to use the heat mat so you don’t cook your seeds.
Once you’ve got your seeds popped, you’ll need to put them into a starter cell tray or small pot where they will be able to develop into seedlings over the following week or two. At this point in the plant’s life, all the energy it needs to develop from a seed to seedling is stored within the seed itself. Therefore, you do not need a nutrient-rich soil or grow medium until the plant has built a solid root structure and developed a few true leaves and small branches.
Germinating Cannabis Seeds with Paper Towel
One of the best ways to germinate your precious new cannabis seeds is to use the paper towel method. Use this step by step tutorial for germinating cannabis seeds with paper towel as a reference when sprouting your seeds.
Step 1 (Optional)
Soak your seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours and store in a dark location. It is very important that your seeds do not sit in the water for more than 24 hours because you run the risk of drowning them. Set a timer and don’t forget! I generally skip this step and go right to the wet paper towel.
Step 2 (Germinating Cannabis Seeds with Paper Towel)
Whether or not you soak your seeds in water (see step 1), will have no impact on how you will approach this step. The key to being successful begins with your set up. For this step, you will need a plate, a paper towel, a zip lock bag and some clean water.
Begin by wetting your paper towel on your plate. The paper towel should be completely wet, but not drenched. Drain the excess water.
You are now ready to place your seeds. Fold the wet paper towel in a way so that your seeds are sandwiched between.
Finally its time for the zip lock bag. Place your plate inside the zip lock bag and seal it. The zip lock bag will seal in the moisture and eliminate the risk of your paper towel drying out.
Place your seeds in a dark spot and don’t touch them for at least 2 days. Room temperature will play a big role in how fast they germinate. Ultimately, you want your room temperature around 70 to 75 degrees. This will create a environment where your seeds should flourish. Check on your seeds after 2 to 3 days and see how they are doing. As soon as they sprout, you should plant them right into your favorite organic soil.
Hopefully this quick rundown gives you a better understanding for germinating cannabis seeds. Its pretty easy and straightforward. You shouldn’t have any trouble, the biggest mistake is forgetting about them! Just be sure to check on them regularly. If you need seeds, there are plenty of reputable seeds retailers around. Seeds can be bought all over the world and some of the best seed growers are located in Europe and Canada.