So you just tried growing your first cannabis seeds. Sadly they didn’t germinate like you had hoped they would. You may have received your seeds from friends, in a trade, or unfortunately paid for your cannabis seeds.
If this is the case we will help you learn from this unfortunate event and help you to successfully germinate your next crop of seeds. Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t have to be rocket science, it can however be harder for the first time trying to get your new seeds out of the ground for the very first time growing them.
What percentage of Cannabis Seeds Germinate Normally?
Normally cannabis seeds will germinate 99% of the time if there are no issues and the seeds are either fresh or stored correctly. Most seed companies will offer a 70% to 80% germination guarantee on their cannabis seeds that they sell to customers. This percentage can go down dramatically if the seeds were not fresh or stored correctly. This is why it is so important to store your seeds well if you do not intend on using them fresh.
How long should I wait for Seeds to Germinate?
This is mostly dependent on how you germinate your cannabis seeds. It can take much longer for cannabis seeds to germinate when planted directly into the ground or growing medium. If you are using a method to germinate your seeds like the floating and sinking method or the paper towel method it will be much shorter.
If you plant the seeds directly into the ground they will need to grow a tap root then push themselves out of the growing medium. This can take from 2 to 5 days typical. If you are sprouting them first in something before planting this will normally take about 24 hours before you will see a tap root emerge from the seed shell.
Reasons why your cannabis seeds don’t germinate:
- You have old Cannabis Seeds
- Cannabis Seeds were Stored incorrectly
- Seeds were attacked by Fungus or Bacteria while germinating
- Your Seeds were too hot or too cold when germinating
- Seeds Dried out while they were starting to germinate
These are the main reasons why cannabis seeds fail to germinate for most growers. There can be other reasons however these are the main reasons why this happens.
Your Have old Cannabis Seeds
While having old cannabis seeds in and of itself does not mean they will not germinate this could mean that they are older and have not been stored well over the years. As seeds get older they will become less viable over the years and will be much harder to germinate this is a very important reason why you cannabis seeds didn’t germinate.
If you are aware that the seeds are very old then you can use other methods to germinate old cannabis seeds. This is a very good article that we recommend if you are starting seeds that are more than two years old. There is really no good way to tell how old the seeds are when getting them from someone else.
Cannabis Seeds were Stored Incorrectly
Even more than having old seeds is having seeds that have been stored improperly. This can cause the seeds to become un-germinatable very quickly if the seeds are not stored well and in conditions that will prolong the life of the seeds. Reasons why cannabis seeds didn’t germinate when they were stored could include, heat, cold, humility, very hot, then very cold, oxygen, oils from fingers. These things can quickly have a negative effect on cannabis seed germination.
Storing your cannabis seeds well will help to keep them fresh and able to germinate at 99% for years to come. So if you have your own seeds then we recommend that you store them where they will not come into contact with anything that will keep them from germinating.
Seeds were attacked by Fungus or Bacteria while Germinating
Another issue that can keep cannabis seeds from germinating is fungus that can attack the seeds after they have been planted. This fungus can be living in the soil that you are using or even dormate on the seed shells themselves. If this happens it can attack and kill the seed before it is able to penetrate the ground. This will weaken the seeds as they try to move and grow upwards. Once the seeds cracks open, the bacteria or fungus will get inside the seeds and kill them quickly.
If the grower removes the seeds that did not germinate many times they will seem rotten and mushy. This is a good sign that the seeds were attacked by these things. If the seed shell was cracked open then this is even a better sign that this happened to your seeds and is the reason why the cannabis seeds didn’t germinate.
Your Seeds were too hot or too cold when Germinating
When germinating cannabis seeds no matter how good they are, if they are too hot or too cold they will not germinate like they should. Seeds need spring-like temperatures in order to germinate and grow well. Any temperatures out of this range can have a negative effect on cannabis seeds germination. To have good germination it is best to have temperatures in the range of 68F to 86F. When you have temperatures out of this range it can delay germination or even kill the seeds outright depending on how extreme the temperatures are.
Seeds Dried out while they were starting to Germinate
Something that throws many new growers off and is a reason why your cannabis seeds didn’t germinate is that they started to grow and do what they should. Then in the middle of this process the seeds became too dry in the middle of the germination process. If this happens the seed will dry out and any progress made will be stopped mid germination.
Cannabis seeds should never be allowed to dry out after they have started the germination, it is of the utmost importance that the seeds have consistent humidity throughout the process to have a successful germination.
There are many reasons that your cannabis seeds didn’t germinate and this is just a small list of the most common reasons why this could happen to your seeds. If you have issues with germination you can refer back to this list and see if there were any of the signs here that prevented you seeds from germinating as they should. While it’s hard to know how your new seeds were treated if you received them from someone else, looking at the list above can help to figure out if the seeds were no good or if it was something to do with your germination processes.