Germination Stage Overview

Germination Stage Overview

Knowing the developmental stages of cannabis is crucial for adjusting environmental conditions and care. Research shows that each stage has specific light, temperature, and humidity requirements for the plants to grow healthy and strong. This article focuses on the first stage called germination, which involves a complex biological process affected by many factors such as the presence of vitamins, macronutrients, micronutrients, temperature, light, etc. You will learn what happens during this stage, how long it lasts, and how to care for the seed to facilitate its growth.

What Is Germination Stage?

So, you finally selected cannabis type and bought seeds. What’s next? You plant them in a growing medium and water them regularly to wake them up from dormancy. Your goal is to ensure that the seeds sprout after exposure to water and favorable environmental conditions, such as:

  • Access to oxygen
  • Temperature around 78° F (25° C)
  • High humidity

Moisture, darkness, and warmth trigger metabolic processes like activating hormones responsible for growth. If everything’s done correctly (see this article for more detail), the seed’s shell will become soft by the moisture, allowing the seedling to emerge. This is what growers call the germination stage. Scholars point out that weed seed germination is one of the most important physiological stages of marijuana growth, so be sure to take care of the seeds properly.

Luckily, this stage is relatively easier than the following ones because seeds do not require nutrients or light to germinate. Although you may place them in a pot and use a LED light, it’s also possible to germinate seeds in a warm, dark place. The latter option is great for growers who want to save time and money.

You may wonder how germination of marijuana seeds can occur without nutrients. Every seed has an endosperm containing all essential nutrients serving as food for the plant. Cattaneo and colleagues explained that these include polyunsaturated fatty acids, storage proteins, heat shock proteins, etc. The latter participate in the development and protect against temperature fluctuations, making cannabis surprisingly resilient. The seed coat securely protects all these components and breaks as the plant germinates. Notably, experts point out that the germination stage does not involve the production of cannabinoids, so the seeds have no medical or recreational value.

How Long Does It Last?

Cannabis normally germinates for two to ten days. The duration of this period depends on the type of seed and environmental conditions you create at home. You may notice the first changes in 12 hours after you planted or seeds or wait for up to two weeks.

cannabis seed germination

Some novice and impatient growers try to reduce the cannabis seed germination time. Keep in mind that the following actions will not help or may even kill the delicate seeds:

  • Overwatering
  • Changing environmental conditions (from dark to light)
  • Trying to use force to break the seed shell

In other words, all you can do is be patient and create a favorable environment stimulating growth. One of the most important things to do is keep track of the cannabis germination temp. A recent study conducted by Kumar and colleagues showed that the percentage of seed germination, germination energy, and seedling vigor reach their maximum if growers maintain a constant temperature of 25˚C. It means that leaving your seeds outdoors or in a cold garage is a bad decision. If you manage to keep your seeds in this stable environment, and you’ll notice the results very soon.

Sometimes, seeds will not germinate at all. This may happen if you use old seeds or when bacterial and fungal contamination compromises the growth process. However, if you purchase seeds from a reliable seed bank, you will likely avoid these problems.

How to Know When the Next Stage is Coming?

It’s easy to determine the seedling stage of growing weed. When the seed wakes up, it sprouts a single embryonic root (radicle), and then two leaves called cotyledons. This is when you know that the plant has moved to the seedling stage of its life cycle. Don’t miss this transition, as this is when you need to step in and move the seedling to the growing medium.

seedling stage time

An important thing to understand about growing cannabis is that you don’t necessarily have to go through seed germination. Canadian researchers explain that cannabis plants can be propagated either through seeds or clonally through cuttings. The latter is a faster option, but you may enjoy using seeds if you like to start from scratch and observe the full life cycle.


The germination stage is the first stage of the cannabis plant life cycle. Although it is the easiest stage in plant care, you need to be attentive and check the seeds regularly to notice the emergence of the root and leaves. So, all you need to do is create good conditions for seeds and exercise some patience.