Transplanting cannabis seeds from paper towel

Easy Steps to Germinating and Transplanting Cannabis Plants – Bonza Blog

Germinating seeds is not at all a complicated process. Even transplanting the seedlings is doable. Like other things, it is only difficult in the beginning. However, with enough practice, then it becomes a piece of cake.

After having a better understanding of the process, it becomes apparent the methods or procedures involved are simple. Even so, these are still critical aspects of nurturing cannabis plants to its full potential. For example, an improperly germinated seed may result in less flavorful or potent flowers.

Germinating Seeds

Germination is the process in which plants develop from seed. Among growers, many have taken to calling it ‘popping seeds.’ Although simple, it is apparent that growers should be careful during this phase (and all stages for that matter) to bring out the best of the plant.

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There are factors to consider when germinating cannabis seeds.

1. Moisture. Be sure not to over-water. With just the right amount of moisture, the seed should split, and roots start to grow.

2. Temperature. Seeds should not be exposed to low or cold temperature. It should be warm where the rate of germination becomes optimal.

Prior to germinating cannabis seeds, prepare the following:

  • 4 sheets of paper towels
  • distilled water
  • 2 plates
  • 2-inch pots (as many as needed depending on number of seeds)

Step 1. Soak four pieces of paper towels in distilled water then place two sheets on a plate. Place cannabis seeds over it making sure each is one inch apart from the others. Next, use the two remaining paper towers to cover the seeds.

Step 2. To create a suitable environment for the cannabis seeds to germinate, place the other plate on top. Although light is needed in almost all stages of cultivating plants, it is not the case during germination.

Step 3. Keep the room temperature between 21 to 32 degrees Celsius. Although it is possible to increase the temperature and raise the rate of germination, that would also entail buying equipment such as seedling heat mat. Once done, then it is time to wait for the cannabis seeds to sprout. From time to time, check and make sure that the paper towels are damp.

Things to Remember

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Adding water once or twice a day is good enough. Be sure that it is adequate and not excessive. Otherwise, the seeds could end up drowning. On the flip side, if it is not enough, then the seeds may not sprout at all.
Once the seeds start sprouting, remember that it is very fragile. As such, be careful in its handling.

Transplanting the Seedlings

Soon, roots start to form after the seed splits open. Once that happens, then it is time to place the seeds in small pots. To do that, prepare the following items:

  • small 2-inch pots
  • potting soil
  • spray bottle
  • tweezers
  • pen or pencil

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Step 1. Put some soil in the small pot. At the center, make a half-inch hole using a pen or pencil.

Step 2. Use a pair of tweezers to transfer the seed to the pot. Be gentle as it is fragile. Carefully, place it in the center of the hole. After, top it and make sure the seed is only a few millimeters deep.

Step 3. Spray water and let it settle.

Let the seedling sprout until it has two or more internodes. Until then, keep it moist, and it should grow nicely. Transplant the plants into bigger pots once they are ready. This time, instead of using tweezers to pick up individual seeds, it is only a matter of removing the whole plant including a clump of potting soil and placing it in its new environment.

Things to Remember

Transplanting from a small pot to a bigger one allows the plant to continue growing. Otherwise, it becomes too crowded, and it stops rooting.

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Spraying water once or twice a day is good enough. The key here is knowing how much is enough or lacking. If the leaves are signs of being droopy in which entire leaf curls down or having a yellowish color, it may be a sign of over-watering. If it looks wilted, then it may be due to under-watering.

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Once seedlings appear, lighting becomes vital to its survival and growth. Regardless if eventually placed outdoors or using grow light inside the house, it should not be too hot. It is achieved by placing it in an area where there is ample shading or adjusting the height of lighting fixture.

Soon after the first internode appears, it is time to add some nutrients. Some growers prefer the root-stimulating foliar nutrients. But, be cautious of the dose since the roots are young. Keep the concentrations low.

Finally, do not stress out the plants. Transplanting itself is already strenuous. During its care after, limit movement and avoid touching.

Proper Germination for Strong Cannabis Plants

As one can see, germinating and transplanting seedlings is not a complicated process. The most important thing to remember is that growers must be as careful as possible.

It appears to be inanimate objects, but plants are a life-form. Like people, it also experiences stress. Consequently, it may lead to poor-quality plant or in worse cases, death.

On the bright side, keeping it as safe as possible is also very much like a person having a happy childhood. Often, these people develop into well-rounded adults. In the same manner, proper germination and transplanting also leads to optimal growth and maximizing the potential of the plant.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Germination relates to the process of a new plant growing from a seed. It is the first step when adding to your cannabis garden. You can purchase the requisite seeds from a variety of sources. On the downside, it means that cannabis seeds vary enormously in quality. We recommend looking at reputable online seed banks to get your supply. However, please note that there are legal issues to contend with if you buy seeds. This is especially the case if you decide to buy them from a source outside the United States.

When buying seeds, opt for mature options with a dark brown appearance and a firm feel. Once you have them in your possession, make plenty of space for them to grow and thrive. Learning how to germinate weed seeds correctly is crucial to enjoying years of healthy plants and fruitful harvests. In this guide, we outline the ideal germination conditions and show you five different methods.

Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Seed Germination

In theory, germinating cannabis seeds is a simple affair. They only need three things: Air, water, and heat. The famed ‘paper towel’ method is incredibly easy as long as you follow the steps outlined below. Here is a quick overview of the best germination practices before we show you the various methods.


Be careful not to over-soak your seeds. Hard seeds should be soaked for a maximum of 32 hours, although 24 hours is usually enough. Soaking too long can damage them. Marijuana seeds begin to sprout when they receive the twin signals of water and heat.

Once the right conditions occur, the taproot starts burrowing through the shell of the seed.

If the root breaks through the shell and there is no water, the seedling will die. Keep the roots moist once the seed sprouts, and make sure there is ample moisture at all times.

This is arguably the trickiest aspect of germination. You have to strike a balance between ‘warm’ and ‘hot.’ Spring temperatures are ideal in a ‘normal’ year. While cannabis seeds can germinate in colder weather, the process takes longer. Seedlings also germinate faster when there is plenty of humidity in the air. If you are concerned about low temperatures, invest in incandescent bulbs, and place them over the seed area.

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First and foremost, seeds perform at their best when they are left alone! When you check them for the taproot, handle with care! Try to avoid touching the white taproot because it can easily break off.


You don’t have to plant germinated seeds too deep in the soil, or whatever growing medium you choose. 0.5” – 1” below the surface is plenty. Point the white root downwards into the earth to ensure the seedling is ideally oriented.

Are Your Seeds Good or Bad?

Always opt for dark cannabis seeds as they are the most likely to germinate when kept in the right conditions. White or pale-green seeds have little or no chance of growing.

You may have heard the age-old advice on checking for viable seeds. Apparently, if you can crush seeds between your fingers, they are ‘bad.’ First of all, they won’t be good seeds because you have destroyed them! Secondly, experienced growers know that even flimsy seeds can germinate when exposed to the right conditions.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds – 5 Methods

1 – The Paper Towel Method

This is the easiest method and requires cannabis seeds, paper towels, and two clean plates. A word of advice: Choose cheap paper towels because they are non-porous. As a result, you can lay seeds and roots on the surface and not worry about them getting stuck. If you use high-quality paper towels, the roots will grow into them!

It is a simple method, but also a risky one. You could damage the taproot while moving the sprouted seeds, or else the paper could dry out and kill the seeds. In any case, here is the process:

  1. Use up to four sheets of paper towel and soak them in distilled water. While you must soak the sheet, make sure there is no water dripping off.
  2. Place two of the paper sheets on one of the plates. Lay the seeds down at least 1” away from one another. Cover with the other two layers of paper towel.
  3. Cover the seeds with the second plate to lock in moisture. You have created a low-cost dome! Make sure you check the seeds often to see if they have sprouted.
  4. Keep the seeds in a room where the temperature is between 70- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Now you must wait! Seeds typically sprout within 1-4 days, although older seeds often take up to a week.
  6. When checking the seeds, make sure the sheets are saturated. If they are drying out, add more water.

You will know that germination has occurred because the seed will split, and a little root appears. Make sure you don’t touch the taproot when it sprouts or during the transplantation process.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

2 – Direct Planting

In nature, a marijuana seed will germinate in the soil and emerge with its taproot growing into the earth. Therefore, you can plant cannabis seeds straight into your growing medium of choice. The main benefit here is that you don’t have to worry about ‘shocking’ the seedling while transporting it.

Your seedling should instantly adjust to the new environment and grow. When using this method, dig a hole 0.5” – 1” deep in soil that is moist but not saturated. Keep things warm with a heating pad or lighting.

3 – Starter Cubes and Seedling Plugs

This has been championed as the easiest germination method. It is effectively a foolproof method. All you have to do is place the seed into the cube/plug and add water. Assuming you put the seeds in a room with the right temperature, germination should occur automatically within a few days. There is a pre-made hole for the seeds, so it is a ‘set it and forget it’ method.

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The main downside with this germination method is that such plugs are generally available in packs of 50. Waste is inevitable if you only plan on planting a few cannabis seeds. The plugs dry out in a week or so and become unusable.

You can also use Rockwool cubes as they are cheap and easy to find. However, they are a terrible burden on the environment and bad for your health. Rockwool also has a high pH (which means you must rinse the cubes first) and offers a low cloning and germination success rate.

4 – Overnight Soaking

This is as simple as option #3. It involves nothing more than placing the seeds in a glass of lukewarm water overnight. It is a good idea if you’re using old and hard seeds. The soaking process can breathe new life into them. When you place the seeds in water, they float for a few hours before sinking to the bottom.

The soaking process can breathe new life into old seeds.

If you use a transparent container such as glass, you get to see the white taproot break out! You shouldn’t leave seeds soaking in water for more than 32 hours. Otherwise, seeds that haven’t sprouted yet will drown. If the seeds haven’t germinated by the 32-hour mark, put them in a warm and moist place to complete the process. You should probably use the paper towel method at this point.

5 – A Germination Station

You can purchase a readymade version online. Alternatively, attempt a DIY station by placing a plastic dome over a plate that you then add to a heating pad. Professionally made stations are relatively inexpensive and work rather well. You can buy one for under $40, and their plastic tops ensure better humidity control. With top brands, all you have to do is choose your growing media and plugs to start growing.

Transplanting Germinated Cannabis Seeds

There is no room for a delay once your cannabis seeds have begun to sprout. Now is the time to transfer the seed to its growing medium. Most growers prefer to use small pots, to begin with. Make sure you fill enough pots with loose potting soil and use a pencil to poke a hole around 0.25” deep. Remember, you could break the taproot very easily. Transfer it using tweezers and drop the seed into the hole with the root facing down. Finally, cover it with a thin layer of soil.

For the first few days, use a spray bottle to water the seeds, because adding too much water can drown them. It is worth investing in a pH meter to test the soil regularly and make sure it has enough moisture. If all goes well, the seed should sprout from the earth within a week. If it hasn’t sprouted within ten days, it will probably die.

Turn on your grow light once you have planted the seeds. The heat improves germination rates and speeds up the process of the seedlings opening their first set of leaves. These leaves will remain yellow until exposed to a sufficient level of light in any case. When you plant multiple seeds, you will find that they grow at different rates.

Inevitably, some will fail, while others will flourish. You will have seeds that pop fast and proliferate. Don’t be disappointed if you have a few failures because that’s part and parcel of the growing process. Even when you get everything right, you will inevitably lose a few seeds, and it won’t be your fault!

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.