This soil germination method is a low risk, easy method that that take up to 3-10 days. Read our guide to learn how to germinate seeds in soil. Seedling is growing upside down, taproot is above the soil! Is your cannabis seedling growing upside down? Has the tap root come above the soil? If your root is growing straight up like in the Cannabis seed germination is the first step of cultivation, and if we make a mistake in this first phase, any subsequent effort will be in vain. There are several germ…
Soil Germination Method in 8 steps
Amongst the best ways to germinate cannabis seeds, this soil germination method is a low risk, easy method that explains how to germinate your seeds in soil. Germination can take 3-10 days, depending on environmental conditions and variety
Never use soil from your backyard! It can contain pests and moulds that will damage or destroy your seeds, seedlings or plants.
How to germinate seeds in soil
Read here which 8 steps you have to take for this soil germination method.
Step 1: Prepare your soil
Prepare your pots with clean fresh soil. It is often easy to use small pots for this, and transport them to a larger container later.
Step 2: Watering the soil
Make sure your soil is wet, but do not soak it. It needs to be damp but not soaked, otherwise you risk your seeds to rot. In most countries, normal tap water is clean enough to use. Do not add any additives to the water.
Step 3: Placing the seed inside the soil
Make a small dimple in the soil and place the seed 3-5mm deep inside the soil. Don’t bury your seed too deep! When you put your seed too deep inside the soil, it will struggle to reach the surface, and have a high risk of dying before it does.
Step 4: Cover the seed and press gently
Cover the seed with soil and press the soil gently.
Step 5: Cover the pots with kitchen foil
Cover your pot(s) with kitchen foil or microwave foil (with the small holes). The foil will act like a small greenhouse, keeping the inside of your pot warm and moist. Perfect for germination.
Step 6: Poke some holes
When you use normal kitchen foil, poke some holes through the foil. This will avoid the risk of overheating and let air flow true.
Place your setup in a room with stable temperature. 20-25 degrees is ideal. We often advice your living room
Step 7: Wait for germination
All you have to do now is wait. In our experience it often takes about 4-5 days for your seedlings to show. But to calculate for differences in conditions and seeds, we say 3-10 days is a safe estimate. As soon as your seedling has sprouted (first leaves reach the surface) you can remove the foil.
Step 8: Take care of your seedlings
All 5 seeds germinated in 4 days within 24 hours of each other. You can now place them under a grow light, behind your window or outside (during spring / summer of course).
WARNING! Do not place this germination setup outside in direct sunlight, especially during summer. Day and night temperatures vary too much and sunlight will cause the temperature inside your soil to rise to a point where your seed will be damaged or killed by the heat.
17 Comments . Leave new
buongiorno dutch passion ho seguito il vostro tutorial e dopo 4 giorni la germinazione è avvenuta.una domanda vorrei fare,devo aspettare che si aprono i cotiledoni prima di rimuovere la pellicola o posso mettere il vas gia al sole anche se non sono aperti i cotiledoni. grazie e buona domenica
tutto ok germinazione perfeta.
When a seedling is in its first days its best to not place it in direct sunlight. This can be too much for a little seedling. When the seedling starts growing a little bit you can place it in direct sunlight
ok perfect I do this because I saw that it is the best method.I had put it in direct sunlight and it was dying, I managed to save it in time.I have one in germination and I will apply your advice.thank you very much Joe
Once the stem has come through the soil how long till you put it on a larger pot and up the tempreture
It depends a little bit on the pot size you started with.
Additionally, if you grow an autoflower its best to germinate them in the pot they will also flower in. They don’t like to be transplanted a lot.
If you grow feminised seeds than you can put them in a larger pot after 3/4 weeks.
Sweet thank you ,
Hi, Joe answering?? I did an error putting seeds in soil not enough wet and under lamp … I choose Orange punch feminized and autoflowering…Is a good choice for me ad a beginner or could you give me best options? (Medium-high THC and quantity of final result) I also need some good ideas about the soil to use and the power of led lamps (I’ve buyed 2x100watt multiple ranges led lamp for plant grown for about 60cm x 40cm for 4/6 seeds). I have to do another order and I’m trying to do all well. Waiting hopefully for your answer, my best regards, thanks. Heathcliff
Critical Orange Punch is a good strain to start your growing career. Please try to follow the germination steps from this blog and you should be fine Don’t start your light if the seeds have not germinated yet. For your soil I advice you to have a type of soil that has minimum nutrients because seedlings cannot handle too much nutrients, these should be added later :).
Seedling is growing upside down, taproot is above the soil!
Is your cannabis seedling growing upside down? Has the tap root come above the soil?
If your root is growing straight up like in the picture below, it’s not good. This is most common in seedling plugs. The tender white root tip has a good chance of drying out or being exposed to too much light. You want to strongly consider doing some “plant surgery” to turn this little seedling around to the right direction
The first thing to do is get a new Rapid Rooter. Since your seed already has a relatively long root, cut the plug open lengthwise so you can gently place the seedling inside in the right position without having to “push” down on the seed.
Now gently extract the seed from its original home with a pair of tweezers making sure to touch only the shell and not the root (the root is the most sensitive part)! Now lay the seedling in the middle of your newly split open Rapid Rooter and gently close the plug around it again.
Most seedling plugs will go back into place easily, and you’ll barely be able to tell it’s been opened
Since your seedling has already sprouted and has been in placed into the right growing position, it’ll probably pop its head out within just 12-24 hours! Sometimes you see just the leaves, but occasionally you actually see the seedling push the shell above ground.
When this happens the shell usually falls off on its own as the seedling grows!
When Should I NOT Do Surgery?
Sometimes you can see the young taproot of a cannabis seedling but the situation isn’t as dire. If the root is already pointed in the right direction, it’s probably going to be just fine! But if you’re worried, you can cover up the root until the leaves actually make it to the surface.
For example you could tear a tiny piece off the edge of this Rapid Rooter and gently lay it on top. Or if you were in soil you could sprinkle a tiny bit of soil over the seedling. The seedling will push it off as it grows upward.
This case isn’t so bad because the root is already facing down, in the correct direction. Note: This seedling was just watered, but typically the Rapid Rooter should never look this wet. It should be moist but not shiny.
If you leave it alone, the seed will start to rise up, and open to reveal the seedling’s cotyledons (first, round leaves)
The cotyledons unfurl and then the regular cannabis leaves between to grow. Here’s another view of that same seedling from above only a few hours later. Even though it may have looked a bit weird at first, this seedling is completely normal and will grow just fine from now on!
Most of the Time Seedlings Take Care of Themselves!
When you see your seedling looks like this, where the part of the root exposed to the surface already looks green like a stem, you don’t need to do anything.
After germination, the tip goes down and stays white, and the other side that’s contained in the shell tries to work its way up, and that part of the stem turns green. Sometimes it looks like the root is going upside down because it appears that it’s not strong enough to be able to push the seed up.
As long as the tip of the root stays wet the seedling will be fine! The “root” is the same as what is going to become the stem. If it appears green it means that part of the root is already in “stem” mode and isn’t sensitive to the light.
If you just wait a little everything will have righted itself Here’s that seedling 12 hours later…
12 hours after that, the leaves have completely emerged!
If you hadn’t been watching you wouldn’t even have known anything happened!
The most common mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds
Germinating the seed is the first step in any cannabis grow. It is the process during which the seed begins to develop, and the radicle emerges. There are several methods of germination and there are a number of common mistakes made in each of them, which can be easily avoided.
Here we explain what not to do during germination in each case, and we tell you that the method recommended by Dinafem Seeds is germination in Jiffy, as it is the simplest and has the lowest error rate.
Mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds in Jiffy
Jiffies are dehydrated peat discs, pressed into a biodegradable mesh which, when moistened, become tiny sacks of earth. Water is usually applied so that the wet discs swell and become mini containers of substrate where you can plant the cannabis seed so that it germinates inside the peat. What could go wrong with this method so that we don’t get to see the seedling emerging from the Jiffy?
- Adding too much water to the Jiffy: the disc must be moistened so that it swells, but it should not be drowned. The goal is to keep the soil in the Jiffy moist during the germination process, but never drowned. Some growers water the Jiffy too much, and more often than necessary, and end up drowning the seed because excessive moisture prevents the ventilation of the seed, stopping its germination.
- Covering the Jiffy so that it is too hermetically sealed: the Jiffy has to be protected, but some people shut it away in a germination greenhouse or Tupperware container with holes, increasing the moisture excessively, which leads to the growth of fungi.
- Burying the seed too deep: The seed should be about one centimetre from the surface. Although it is true that the depth of a Jiffy is not more than 10 centimetres, pushing the seed to the bottom of the Jiffy will make it difficult for the radicle to find its way out into the light. Just insert the seed with your finger, near the surface, and cover the tiny hole made when you insert it.
- Not providing it with the right light intensity: in the first germination stage, when the radicle begins to rise up, it is better to provide too much light rather than not enough, because light does not bother cannabis. Of course, in the case of the Jiffy, we must keep in mind that the light, whether from the sun or a spotlight, is linked to the possibility of drying out. So, even if it is good that the Jiffy has plenty of light, we have to make sure that this is not drying the soil too much.
- Subjecting the Jiffy to changing temperatures: changing the temperature for example from 25 degrees (indoors) to 5 degrees (on a terrace) will make germination impossible.
- Putting several seeds in the same Jiffy: these peat pellets are not big enough for several seeds. We should use one for each seed we want to germinate.
- Keeping the seed in the Jiffy for too long. As soon as the seedling has a pair of cotyledons, it must be transferred to the substrate. The Jiffy is small and can only be used for so long before space must be given to the roots to grow in the pot or in the soil.
Mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds in damp cotton wool or paper
The method of germination in damp cotton wool or paper consists of moistening these materials and wrapping the seeds in them. In this case, it is advisable to put these wet fabrics in a germination greenhouse or Tupperware container with holes for ventilation, so that the temperature remains the same throughout the process. So where could we go wrong in this case?
- Letting the radicle grow too much: if the root becomes too long, it will probably end up getting caught up in the cotton wool or paper and will then break when detached from them before being transferred to the substrate. To avoid this, we need to do two things. First, don’t let the root get too long. As can be seen in the photos, the radicle grows very fast, so we have to put it in the soil when we see that it has grown in a certain direction (we can see that it either grows in a straight line or it adopts a more curved shape). Second, do not use pure cotton wool or kitchen paper, but rather cotton fabrics such as rags or pieces of old T-shirts.
- Exposing the seeds to changing temperatures: if we keep exposing them to different temperatures, seeds will not germinate. We must ensure that the place where we put them is warm, between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius, and that this temperature is kept stable until we transplant them to the substrate.
- Leaving the root in contact with the air for too long: left in contact with the air the root will oxidise, which will in turn kill the plant. When the root begins to grow, it is best to transfer it to the substrate immediately. Or, failing that, keep it well covered with the wet fabric.
Mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds in substrate (in a pot or in the ground)
Planting the seed directly into the pot or the ground where we plan to grow is another option for germinating the seed. Let’s have a look at what is usually done wrong in this case, leading to the cannabis seeds failing to germinate.
- Burying the seed too deep: the seed should be one centimetre below the surface and not any deeper. As a general rule for seed germination and cultivation, it is recommended to plant the seed at a depth equal to twice the size of its diameter. It is enough to cover the cannabis seeds, which are small in diameter, with just a little soil.
- Over-fertilising the substrate: the soil where the seed will germinate should be porous and light in nutrients. The substrate used for a flowering plant is not the best choice to germinate a seed, because a marijuana ‘baby’ cannot assimilate the same amount of food as an adult marijuana plant. So, let’s be sparing with the diet in the soil where we have placed the seed to be ‘born’.
- Using a soil with an unknown composition: the soil from the park near our house, or from the vegetable garden of the house in the village are not the best options for germination. It is important to know the composition of the substrate where we are going to plant the seed. And when we take soil from somewhere else, it may contain many minerals, or many nutrients, or a lot of fertiliser, and if we have not bought it in a bag where its ingredients are listed, we will not know its composition. So, it is important to use a substrate whose composition we know, especially for this first step in growing.
- Watering too much: a substrate that is too wet, especially in the case of autoflowering seeds, can be lethal for germination, and for the seedling’s first few weeks of life.
- Putting several seeds in the same pot: unless it is a very large pot, let’s give each seed its individual space so that the roots have enough room to develop. If we put several seeds in a 14-litre pot, for instance, some seeds may end up hindering the development of the others.
- Planting the seed directly in the ground where the climate is not appropriate: if the weather is too cold, too hot, too dry, or too wet it will be difficult for the seed to germinate. Since we do not control the environmental conditions in an outdoor substrate, changing weather conditions can easily hinder the germination of the cannabis seed.
Mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds in water
This method consists of putting the seed in a container with warm water and waiting for it to germinate in the days following immersion.
- Leaving the seed in the water for too long: as soon as it has germinated, and we see that the radicle has emerged, the seed must be transferred to the substrate. Water can be used to germinate it, but never to grow it. So, as soon as we have achieved the goal of placing it in the liquid, we have to take it out of there and provide it with the substrate it needs to survive.
- Overdoing the dosage of hydrogen peroxide in the water: if you want to include hydrogen peroxide to prevent fungi or bacteria during germination, you have to pay attention to the concentration. Overdoing the amount can prevent germination.
Common mistakes of any germination method
- Breaking the radicle while trying to separate the shell from the bulb. Being very invasive in the germination process can be lethal to the seed. Once it has germinated, the seedling will generally eject the seed shell itself, so we should leave the seed to do its job. We recommend intervening only if it is really necessary, and we see that the plant is growing upwards and that the shell is still attached to some of its parts.
- Handling the seeds, radicles or seedlings with dirty hands. We don’t know what type of dirt we might be carrying on our hands without realising it, so we should always wash our hands before carrying out any of the germination processes. This hygiene also applies to each of the tools that are in contact with the seed during the germination period.
- Using dirty water. It is important to use clean tap water at all times.
If you have made other mistakes not described in this post, please share these in the comments section. The growing experiences of some are usually useful to others.
And please, don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you have about cannabis seed germination.
Jásminka Hi, I’m Jásminka, from Dinafem Seeds, and I spend the whole day surrounded by Dinafem Girls. I’m an eager journalist, who lives with the phone glued to my hand, always trying to keep up with the frantic pace of the cannabis world. When something grabs my attention: I ask, listen, write and tell you all I find out on this blog.
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