In cannabis cultivation, the biggest obstacle for beginners often comes from the seed germination process. If your seeds can not sprout, this article maybe give you a hand!

What is stopping your seeds from sprouting?

Poor storage


Cannabis seeds should always be stored by seed banks under standard conditions, so storage issues typically arise from user negligence. If you sow the seeds immediately after purchase, you can skip this section. However, if you delay sowing, improper storage conditions may be the reason for non-germination.

In the short term (under 1 year), store seeds in a light-sealed, airtight box, in a place with stable temperature, avoiding environmental factors (e.g., drawer in a cabinet). In the medium term (under 5 years), place the seed box deep in the fridge to maintain low temperature (4-8℃) and prevent temperature fluctuations when opening and closing the fridge, which could affect the seed box. In the long term (5-10 years), store the seed box in the freezer compartment, placing it deep to avoid temperature fluctuations as in medium-term storage.

Inappropriate Humidity

Seeds need just the right amount of water to germinate; too much will lead to damping-off, while too little will halt germination and kill the seeds. Determining the right amount of water requires experience, but even novice cultivators can follow Guide on Planting Cannabis Seeds to Achieve the Highest Germination Rate, providing instructions on maintaining proper humidity during the germination stage.

Inappropriate Temperature

Similar to humidity, the environmental temperature plays a role in seed germination. When seeds are adequately moistened and the temperature falls within the suitable range, germination occurs naturally. The optimal germination temperature is around 22-25℃ and can be extended from 20-28℃ (room temperature). However, temperatures outside this range are unlikely to stimulate seed germination.

Damaged Root

If you germinate seeds using the moist paper towel method, you must be extremely careful when transferring seeds from the paper towel to the soil after the tap root have sprouted. Handle with care! Tap root is susceptible to damage and limited recovery abilities. Even a small mistake can lead to the death of the seed. If you have never done this step before, we recommend using tweezers to pick up the seed instead of handling it directly with your hands.

Burying seeds too deep

Regardless of the germination method used, the principle you must always adhere to is not to bury the seeds too deep. Burying seeds too deep will prevent sufficient oxygen access, leading to dampness and seed rot. The appropriate depth is 3- 4cm; you should mark this depth on the handle of a spoon and use it to dig the seed hole. This method ensures the correct depth for the dug hole. Additionally, after burying the seed, you should gently tamp down the soil around the hole, not compacting it tightly. Just cover the seed, ensuring that oxygen can penetrate the soil and reach the seed.

Inappropriate soil mixture

Germinating seeds and young plants often cannot absorb large amounts of nutrients like mature plants. Therefore, some ingredients in your soil mix may not be suitable for the seed germination stage. When using a basic organic soil mix, you won't have to worry about this issue. However, many novice cultivators tend to add nutrient-rich additives early on, causing nutrient burn. Remember that young plants do not need nutrients in the first few weeks.

Low quality seeds

If your seeds are purchased from reputable seed banks, you can skip this section because these banks have strict processes and stable genetic sources, ensuring nearly absolute germination rates if the germination process is carried out well. Low-quality seeds are often found in flower buds or, worse, in the F1 and F2 generations produced by amateur growers. This is not how reputable seed banks produce seeds, so the quality and genetic source cannot be guaranteed.

Common Misconceptions About Cannabis Seeds

Can you determine seed quality based on appearance?


There is a lot of information on the internet about determining germination rates, gender, or even harvest quality based on the appearance of seeds (size, color, pattern, etc.). However, these are experiences passed down from early cultivators and are not applicable to modern seeds with much more diverse and stable genetics. Seeds from different strains can have extremely different appearances, so seed size, color, pattern, etc., cannot accurately indicate seed quality as they did in the past.

Are seeds found in buds a reasonable choice for growing?

hermaphrodite cannabis

As mentioned, seeds found in cannabis flower buds are of lower quality compared to those from reputable seed banks. These seeds have a very low germination rate and often come from hermaphroditic plants, making them unsuitable for novice cultivators. The best choice for everyone is to buy seeds from reputable sources to ensure consistent quality. This way, we can easily identify and address any issues encountered during the cultivation process.

Cannabis cultivation is a learning journey, so don't get discouraged when facing challenges. You will always find solutions if you make an effort. We hope that after reading this article, germination will not be a problem for you and progress to the next milestones in your cultivation journey.

Happy growing!

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