What is Cannabis Seed Germination?

Cannabis seed germination is the process by which your seeds sprout, and you can identify that sprouting has occurred once a tiny white tendril protrudes from the seed’s shell.

The small white tendril that emerges during cannabis seed germination is your plant’s first root, also known as a “taproot”. All the additional roots of your cannabis plant will sprout from this first taproot throughout its lifetime.

The taproot, and possibly a few other early offshoots of the taproot, will get longer over time, pushing the seed up. After the shell breaks through the surface of the growing medium, the first leaves (known as “cotyledons”) will emerge from the germinated cannabis seed.

The cotyledons are actually created as part of the plant embryo within the seed itself, so the cannabis seedling does not have to grow them. In fact, the first few leaves are what break apart the shell after it is cracked open by the taproot.

The following set of leaves after the cotyledons are your plants first “true” leaves and will have jagged edges (serrations). These are the first leaves that your seedling cannabis plant has grown all on its own, unlike the cotyledons which were already formed inside the seed before germination had completed.

How Do Marijuana Seeds Germinate?

Marijuana seeds require the following for the best germination success:

Moisture – Your seeds need to be moist but not saturated (you can soak hard seeds for up to 24-32 hours, but do not leave seeds soaking in water for any longer than that).

Solitude – Seeds need to be peace & quiet while waiting for the taproot to sprout.

Warmth – Keeping your seeds “warm” will see the best germination success, but make sure they’re not hot. Think spring weather. Seeds can definitely germinate in cooler temps, but germination tends to take longer than when it’s warm.

Tenderness – Be careful when inspecting your seeds, and treat them gently when you have to move them. Avoid touching the new white roots if at all possible; the taproot is very fragile and can easily snap off.

Plant them roots facing down – When planting your newly germinated seeds, point the white taproots downwards into the growing medium to prevent the seedling from having to reorient itself.

Plant them “knuckle” deep – When planting your germinated seeds, they don’t need to be buried very far into the growing medium, about a half inch to an inch (1.3cm – 2.5 cm) down from the surface of the medium is down plenty far enough.