How Long Does It Take For A Marijuana Seed To Sprout?

by Liam | Last Updated: July 9, 2020

Wondering how long it takes for a marijuana seed to sprout? You’re in the right place.

In this article I discuss:

  • 3 different ways to germinate seeds
  • How long does each germination method take for the seed to sprout?
  • Germination tips and tricks
  • Which methods are the most successful?
  • Overview of seed germination

Deciding which process works for you will take some time, and a few different methods, to figure out.

How long does it take for a seed to sprout

There are a variety of ways to germinate cannabis seeds, and in this article I will talk through which have been most successful for me. Additionally, I’ll break down how long does process takes.

Let’s take a look at the various germination methods.

How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds?

Paper Towel method

The most common, and an old-school germination process, seems to be taking a plate, some cannabis seeds and a moist paper towel. Placing the seeds on a damp paper towel, covering the seed(s) and placing on a plate.

One would need to make sure the paper towel remains damp throughout the process until the seed sprouts.

But there are times when this method fails to work. While the simple process seems to “stump” growers; the issue may lie within the paper towel itself.

Newer paper products are now produced with unwanted chemicals, such as chlorine, that may hinder sprouting. 

While some cannabis seeds germinate in as little as 72-hours, there are some strains that can take a week, or more, to show signs of sprouting.

Patience is key here. If you attempt to germinate the seeds in paper towel and have no signs of sprouts in a week to ten days, don’t give up hope. Try another method.

Water method

Some people place the seed(s) in a cup of water (make sure this is filtered water with all traces of chlorine removed or absent).

Peat Pod method

How long does it take for a marijuana seed to sprout

Others use Jiffy peat pods (used by gardeners for years) or even just place the seed(s) in a plastic cup of moistened soil.

While there is no “fool proof” method every time you attempt to germinate seeds, finding one that works for you is a trial and error process.

One time a certain technique will be successful, but the next time it may not. So have an open mind and try a new strategy if your first attempt stalls out.

How Long Does each method Take to Sprout?

Paper Towel: Generally you should allow approximately 3-7 days for a marijuana seed to sprout in paper towel.

Peat Pods: Rule of thumb here from experience is about the same as the paper towel; 3-7 days.

Water: usually within 24-48 hours the seeds should sprout in water. But do not leave seeds in the water longer than one week.

Direct Sow In Soil: For whatever reason directly sowing a marijuana seed in soil seems to take the longest. I’m sure it depends on how much soil is actually covering the seed. Sprouts usually can be seen in about 7-10 days.

Cannabis Seed Germination Tips and Information

One key item I have learned from germinating cannabis seeds is that the soil, paper towel or peat pod should be moist, but not wet.

Meaning an over-saturated growing environment will likely halt the germination process. Or worse, possibly ruin any chance for the seed to develop and grow.

Keeping the growing medium “moist” versus too wet is crucial to aid in the mission.

Generally I use the peat pods and have approximately a 90-percent success rate. However, there have been times when I’ve had to carefully dig the seeds out of the pod and use the paper towel method to get the seeds to germinate. 

Other critical factors for having success when learning how long it takes for marijuana seeds to sprout are temperature and humidity levels at which the seeds have been stored; as well as lighting.

Cannabis seeds seem to do best when stored at a temperature around 70-73 degrees Fahrenheit; and humidity levels between 70-90 percent.

The high humidity levels are assist in keeping the seeds’ shell intact and without fear of cracking open; potentially ruining the seeds’ chances of germinating.

When germinating regular garden seeds, it’s recommended to keep the seeds in a dark and warm area, but cannabis seeds appear to do better germinating when fluorescent lighting is involved. 

Overview Of Germinating Cannabis Seeds

The main lesson you should take away when learning how long it takes for a marijuana seed to sprout is to remain persistent.

When one method of sowing and germinating seeds fails, try another one. If after three failed attempts, you can presume the seed(s) may not be good; “a dud.”

This does happen from time to time; and not knowing the age of the seeds or how they were stored before you received them, you should move on to another seed.

It may not have anything to do with the germination technique you used. It just “is what it is.”

However, that doesn’t make the loss of a potential cannabis plant any easier, but it does expand my knowledge and attempts at a new method.

If you still have questions, please contact us!