Lots of people struggle with getting their seeds to germinate and sprout properly. It can be because seeds are too old or no longer viable, but more commonly the cause is improper germination techniques.

Here is a solution for you that should lead to successful germinating. (As long as your seeds are viable.)

This method is better than the wet paper towel method everyone else suggests because with the paper towels, it’s possible for the little white root to attach itself to paper towels. If it does, you will likely break it when removing the seed from the paper towels, killing the seed. Because the little white root and the paper towel are both white, it can be hard to see, so you won’t realize you broke it.

Many people who have seeds that never sprouted assumed they “didn’t germinate” because they left the little white root attached to the paper towels they were germinating in.

Use this method to germinate seeds quickly, safely and easily.

  1. Put seeds in a cup of lukewarm (not cold or hot) water and set it in a dark place, like inside a cabinet, for 12 hours.
  2. After 3-4 hours, you can check to see if any seeds are floating. If they are, gently touch them to make them sink in the water.
  3. After 12 hours, drain the water off into a strainer and plant the seeds.

It’s easy to do overnight. If you get up at 6:00 AM daily, you can put the seeds in a clean coffee cup, half-filled with water at 6:00 PM, check for floaters at 9 PM or 10 PM, before you go to bed. Then drain and plant the seeds within a couple of hours of getting up and you’re good to go.

WARNING: Don’t soak seeds in cup for more than 16 hours, or you’ll ruin them. 14 hours is okay. 12 hours is ideal.

To plant your seed, use a small pot or styrofoam coffee cup. One seed per pot or cup!

  1. Fill it to within an inch of the rim with good, organic potting soil.
  2. Compact the soil a bit.
  3. Use your finger or a pencil to make an indent about half an inch deep in the center of the soil in little pot.
  4. Place your seed in the indent and GENTLY cover it with soil.
  5. Add water. (Don’t soak it, but make the soil nice and moist.)
  6. Place the pot with the seed under a grow light in a warm place. You can use CFLs or Fluorescent tube lights at this point.
  7. Give it at least 18 hours of light per day.
  8. Check it every day to see if it needs more water. Keep the soil moist.
  9. After a few days, you should see a little sprout coming up from the soil.

Check back next Saturday at 4:20 PM Mountain Time for my article on how to take a clone.

Victoria Young has co-authored six books on growing marijuana and has several more in progress. She is co-owner of Doctor Grow, LLC a business that teaches growing through books and classes. Their mission is teaching people to grow weed safer, cheaper and better than some of the methods that have been taught for years. Her Bachelor's Degree is from Metropolitan State College in Denver and her Master's Degree is from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ, where she also edited the school paper. Victoria has spent more than 30 years as a writer and designer. Victoria grew up in Littleton, CO and lived in Boulder for over 15 years. She also lived on Kauai, HI, and in Ventura, CA for many years. Now, she resides in nearby Firestone, CO.