Marijuana seeds are unpredictable and you can’t expect it to fully germinate every time. That is why there are various methods to successfully germinate these seeds. One of them is using a paper towel. It may sound unusual; however, this is one of the best ways to germinate marijuana seeds.
So, how to germinate marijuana seeds in paper towels? Many factors can directly affect the germination of your marijuana seeds including its genes, the seed’s age, and its storage condition. However, the paper towel method always saves the day.
The paper towel method is the way to germinate seeds by placing the seeds in between two wet paper towels. The seeds start to germinate by locking in the moisture coming from the paper towels after several days. This method is also used highly in other seeds aside from marijuana.
Many use this because they notice that there is a higher germination rate for the majority of the seeds they used. It is also very fast which only takes three to seven days maximum. You can also track the progress easily since it does not need space, equipment, and resources; all you need are two wet paper towels and two plates. It is also very exciting to see your marijuana seeds start to sprout.
However, even though it may sound easy and fun, it also has its drawbacks since you need to follow several steps since committing a simple mistake using this method could just result in ruining the condition of the seed. Also, some seedlings are called bucket heads that are very hard to germinate.
What’s the difference between germinating seeds in soil and paper towels?
Germinating seeds in soil need a lot of attention unless you are maintaining a hydroponic setup. The soil that is used needs to be perfect for germination so that the seeds can sprout and grow into a seedling. The soil has to be sterilized first and it should be loam and light so that it can easily lock in moisture and can let air move freely. Since seeds are very prone to diseases and pests, there are a lot of considerations in germinating seeds in soil compared to the paper towel method.
Also, it is more difficult for seeds to sprout and grow against the soil above them. This may cause stress that can affect the seed’s ability to sprout and thrive.
So, which one is better? It is pretty hard to tell because there are rare cases that marijuana seeds won’t sprout in a soiled setting, however, using the paper towel method is easier and more effective.
What is the step-by-step process of germinating marijuana seeds using the paper towel method?
If you are planning to put up a nursery with the hopes of growing your marijuana plants, the most ideal way to germinate the seeds is to use the paper towel method. In this post, you will learn the step-by-step process that will help you successfully germinate seeds with ease.
First, you need to gather supplies, so check the complete list of supplies needed below:
- Paper towels- No need to buy an expensive roll of paper towel, just go for the cheapest one. There’s a reason behind it also since expensive paper towels that have the same texture and durability of cloth makes it difficult for seeds to sprout and grow.
- Two pieces of plates- You need two plates so that you can lock the moisture of the wet paper towel to speed up the germination process of the marijuana seeds.
- Marijuana seeds- You should purchase the seeds of your preferred strains. There’s nothing to worry about the supply of seeds since these are always available online or at your preferred dispensary. If it is preferable to purchase seeds online so that you can make sure your preferred strain is available.
- Rapid rooters- When using the rapid rooters, make sure it comes with its tray so that you can easily place the seeds individually once it has fully germinated.
- Heating mat- This will make sure the seeds are kept warm to speed up its germination period. If you don’t have a heating mat, you can improvise and use other devices to heat the surface of the plate for up to 30-degree Celsius.
For the fun part, let us proceed to the step-by-step process of setting up the paper towel method of germinating marijuana seeds.
Step 1: Apply paper towels on the plate
You need four sheets of paper towels that will be put on the plate. It is not necessary to apply many sheets since this will just hinder the seed’s ability to sprout and cut through the paper towel. It is also needed to cut the paper towel according to the plate’s shape so that it will perfectly fit on the plate. This is also to prevent the paper towel from drying up quickly.
Step 2: Put a label on the seeds according to their strain name.
Now, this is needed if you are germinating strains at the same time. You have to label the paper towels before you soak them with water so that you can determine what strains are on this site and on that side of the plate. If you are just germinating one strain, there is no need for you to label it, unless you like to.
Step 3: Add the seeds and the water.
Add an appropriate amount of water on the paper towels until they are thoroughly soaked. After the paper towels are soaked up, add the seeds on its surface. Soaking the paper towels with water before placing the seeds prevents the latter from rolling around the plate.
Step 4: Cover the seeds with a single sheet of paper towel
After you are done soaking the paper towel sheets with water and placing the seeds on it, you have to proceed in covering the seeds with a paper towel. Just a single sheet will do so that when the seeds start to germinate, it can easily sprout and cut through the paper towel. You should also soak the paper towel with water but not too much. Just make sure it is moist and soft enough. The purpose of covering the seeds with a paper towel is to lock in moisture and also to serve as a protection for the seeds.
Step 5: Cover it with the second plate on top
To fully lock in all of the moisture, you should put the second plate on top so that it will cover everything. This is also to prevent any pests from disturbing the germination process of your seeds.
Step 6: Use the heating mat
If you have a heating mat, you should plug it in to warm it up quickly. It is best to put it under the plates that will directly provide enough heat for the seeds to start germinating. Be careful though because there are instances that the temperature gets too high and it cooks the seed instead of letting it germinate. So, make sure you maintain the temperature, not above 30-degree Celsius. If you’re not too confident of placing the plate directly on the heating mat, you can use a towel or a piece of cloth that is thick enough to prevent the plate from overheating.
Step 7: Check your seeds daily
The process does not end there, you have to make sure your paper towels are not running dry because of the heating mat. You should regularly add water carefully to keep it moist. There is no need for you to lift the paper towel covering the seeds. All you need is to lift the plate that serves as the cover of the seeds.
Step 8: Transfer the germinated seeds in the rapid rooters
It only takes 3 to 7 days to fully germinate your marijuana seeds. Once these little guys have sprouted, you should transfer them gently from the paper towel to the rapid rooters. Be careful though because you might pull the sprout harshly, so make sure to cut the paper towel large enough to pull the germinated seeds without any obstacles.
Step 9: Congratulations! You now have marijuana seedlings!
After the germination process, the leaves should be grown at this point and should cut through the paper towel. You just successfully finished the germination process of your marijuana seeds! These should be transferred to the rapid rooters where you have to follow another set of steps for it to grow.
How to tell that your seeds have already germinated?
Usually, the first two leaves are already formed inside the seed’s shell, so, this means that the seeds are ready to sprout it. The seeds only need the germination process to release the leaves. If you notice that the leaves are yellowish, there is no need to worry about this since it is normal and it will start turning green a few days after it sprouted.
If you notice that there a few seeds that did not germinate, just leave it on the plate for a few days, but make sure to add moisture to the paper towel and repeat the heating and watering process mentioned above to germinate these stubborn seeds.
What are the benefits of the paper towel method?
- Controlled growing environment- The best thing about this method is that you can establish a controlled environment for your seed’s germination process. This is free from any pests or diseases since the paper towel you are using has been sterilized when it was manufactured.
- Enough moisture and warmth- Also, you can make sure that the moisture and warmth are locked within the two plates that served as the cover of the seeds. This will also, allow you to add water once the moisture has dried out and you can also modify the temperature of the germinating environment that is preferable for your seed’s growth.
- Easy to monitor- Since you can monitor the seed’s growth from the beginning of the leaves starting to sprout to seeing the roots starts to emerge, you can see the progress that enables you to fix something if it is wrong with it.
- Better than using soil-Unlike growing it on a pot with soil, using this method only requires a small amount of space. This also has a higher chance that your seeds will germinate compared to putting it in soil.
Are there any drawbacks to using the paper towel method?
If there are advantages, of course, there are drawbacks of using the paper towel method, however, the good things of using this method always outweigh its downside. Here are some of its most notable drawbacks that you have to remember.
∙ Too many processes to follow- The paper towel method follows a lot of steps that take time.
- Needs supplies- You need to have plates, towels, heating mats, and the rapid rooter the tray which can cost you money.
- Bucket head seedlings- There are stubborn seeds just like mentioned in the first part of this post that needs a lot of time for it to germinate while some do not sprout at all. These are bucket head seeds.
- Needs extra attention- Since seeds are very sensitive especially when they are starting to generate, you have to put your attention to it all the time to make sure they are germinating the proper way. You have to maintain the right temperature and the right moisture to prevent yourself from messing up with the entire process.
Is the paper towel method ideal for me?
What makes this method great is that any cannabis cultivators regardless of experience can follow this without any restrictions. Just make sure to carefully follow the steps so that you will become successful in germinating your marijuana seeds.
Using this method on how to germinate marijuana seeds in a paper towel is one of the most convenient germination methods you can follow when you plant your marijuana seeds. It may take attention, time, and some few resources, but it is worth it especially when you notice the leaves and roots start to sprout from the seeds.