How Long Does it Take For Marijuana Seeds to Break Through Soil?

holding a cannabis plant in soil

Once you have your hands on your marijuana seeds, you’ll likely want to start the germination process with them right away. But, how long does it take for marijuana seeds to break soil once you have planted them? How long can you expect to wait for this exciting next step?

Below, we’re taking a closer look into cannabis seed germination, the seedling stage, and how long it may take before you start to see your sprouts poke out through the soil. But first, let’s cover the basics by addressing the question of “What is germination?”

Cannabis plant growing in small pot with soil on white surface
Learn everything there is to know about the germination of cannabis seeds with Growers Choice Seeds.
Source: Nick Harsell unsplash

What is Germination?

When you buy marijuana seeds from Growers Choice Seeds, they are going to come ungerminated. This means they haven’t yet begun to sprout and produce marijuana seedlings, which are the beginning marks of the plant’s growth cycle.

The germination process starts when the seed’s outer shell is exposed to the right conditions of moisture, warmth, and sometimes light, activating the seed’s growth mechanisms. During germination, the seed absorbs water, which triggers internal activity and the seed’s expansion. This leads to the actual cracking of the seed shell.

From this crack, a small root emerges first, anchoring the plant in the soil. After that, the seed’s shoot begins to grow upwards towards the light source, eventually developing into the stem and first true leaves of the marijuana plant. Simply put, without germination, you’re never going to grow the cannabis plants that you’re hoping for.

Types of Cannabis Seeds

If you want to germinate cannabis seeds at home, you’ll have to first determine what kind of cannabis seeds you want to grow in the first place. At Growers Choice Seeds, you have two main options to choose from: feminized photoperiod seeds and autoflowering feminized seeds.

Feminized photoperiod seeds have been modified to be female, producing flower-growing female marijuana plants once they mature. They are considered “photoperiods” because they enter this flowering stage when triggered by the hours of light they are exposed to, just like plants growing under the mercy of Mother Nature. Feminized seeds like OG Kush can be great for experienced outdoor growers who understand the light cycle needs of marijuana.

Autoflowering feminized seeds, on the other hand, will also only produce female cannabis plants; however, they do not flower based on hours of light. Instead, these plant seeds leave the vegetative stage automatically! After a certain period of time, autoflowering seeds will enter the flowering stage independently, regardless of their light/dark hours. Autoflowering strains like Cotton Candy Kush and Gorilla Glue are fantastic options for beginner growers or anyone looking to have a slightly less challenging cultivation experience.

What to Look for in a Seed Before Germinating

Now that you know what kind of seeds Growers Choice has to offer, it’s time to talk about what you should look for in a seed before starting the germination process. Thankfully, when you shop from Growers Choice Seeds, you know you’re getting high-quality cannabis seeds every time. Plus, all of our seeds come with a germination guarantee that states at least 90% of your seeds will germinate when the time comes.

Still, here are some things you should look for in your weed seeds:

  • Appearance and Color: Healthy seeds usually have a smooth, uncracked surface and are brown, tan, or black in color, with a noticeable shine. Some dark seeds may even boast noticeable tiger stripes. Look out for seeds that are pale, white, or green, as these are often immature and less likely to germinate.
  • Size and Shape: You’ll want cannabis seeds that are full and round. Larger seeds tend to have more stored energy, which can contribute to their germination and early seedling growth.
  • Hardness and Durability: The shell or seed coat should be hard and not easily crushed or bent. You can gently squeeze the seed between your fingers to test its hardness. A hard seed coat protects the embryo inside and is a good indicator of seed health!
  • Age: Cannabis seeds are best when fresh but can remain viable for several years if stored correctly (in a cool, dark, and dry place). However, the germination rate decreases as seeds age, so fresher seeds are preferable.

Critical Factors When Germinating Weed Seeds

Now that you know what to look for in your seeds before germinating them, it’s time to actually start the germination process. So, what are some important factors you need to consider when germinating your marijuana seeds to ensure they grow into healthy plants?

First, adequate moisture is crucial for germination. The seeds need to be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged, as too much water can drown the seeds or lead to fungal diseases, while too little can cause them to dry out and fail to germinate. Cannabis seedlings also germinate best at temperatures between 68°F to 77°F; so, maintaining this temperature range can provide the perfect environment for the seed sprouts. Once seeds have sprouted, they require light to grow, so make sure you’re providing adequate light to guarantee the seedlings grow strong and healthy.

Another factor to consider with your seeds is oxygen, this is critical to germination. Ensure that the growing medium is loose and well-aerated, as overly compacted soil or a too-dense germination medium can restrict airflow and hinder the seed’s ability to take in oxygen, which can negatively affect germination rates. Even the choice of medium can impact germination! The medium should be clean, sterile, and designed to retain moisture while allowing excess water to drain away; nutrient-rich soils are going to be ideal.

Person holding a young plant sprouting from small pile of soil 
What happens after germination? Find out in Growers Choice Seeds post. 
Source: Akil Mazumder pexels

How Long Does it Take for Weed Seeds to Germinate?

Now, let’s answer your most burning question: how long does it take for pot seeds to germinate? In other words, how patient do you have to be during this stage?

The time it takes for your seeds to germinate is going to vary from person to person as it’s based on factors like the strain of the seed, its age, the conditions under which it’s being germinated, and the cannabis germination method being used. But, in general, cannabis seedlings can start to germinate in as little as 24 to 48 hours under optimal conditions; however, it’s not uncommon for some seeds to take up to a week or even longer to sprout.

Most seeds will show signs of germination, such as the cracking of the seed shell and the emergence of the first, primary root, within 3 to 7 days when provided with the right moisture, warmth, and other conditions. However, older seeds or those that have not been stored properly may take longer to germinate—if they germinate at all. (But don’t forget about Growers Choice Seeds germination guarantee!)

Different Cannabis Germination Methods

If you don’t know how to germinate cannabis, don’t worry! You have a few different methods to choose from. But, two of the most popular—and the easiest—options include the paper towel method and the glass of water method.

We’ll break down both of these germination methods for you, starting with the paper towel process.

Paper Towel Method

To germinate your cannabis seeds using the paper towel method, you’re going to need your weed seeds, some paper towels, two plates, and a little bit of tap water.

You’ll start by moistening one or two paper towels with a bit of water, ensuring the wet paper towels are damp but not dripping. Then, place the damp paper towel on one of the plates and spread your cannabis seeds on the paper towel, leaving some space between each seed. Cover the seeds with another moist paper towel.

After this, you’ll take the second plate and use it to cover the seeds, creating a dark, moist environment to mimic natural conditions. Keep your plates stored in warm temperatures and check daily to ensure the paper towels remain moist. Then, your seeds will likely begin to sprout within 2-7 days! As soon as the tap root appears and reaches a few millimeters in length, carefully transfer the seeds to your chosen growing medium and you’re all set.

Glass of Water Method

If you don’t want to go the paper towel route, you can germinate your weed seeds using the glass of water method, instead. For this simple process, you’re going to need a glass, some room-temperature water, and your cannabis seeds.

Begin by filling a glass or jar with lukewarm water. Then, drop your cannabis seeds in water directly. (Initially, seeds may float on the surface.) Leave the cup of water in a warm, dark place for about 24-48 hours; during this time, the seeds should sink to the bottom as they absorb water.

Check your cannabis seedlings after 24 hours. Seeds that have sunk to the bottom are likely viable and should begin to crack open and sprout a tap root shortly! After 48 hours, any seeds that have sprouted can be carefully removed from the water and planted in your chosen growing medium like potting soil or. hydroponic setups. (Seeds that haven’t sprouted within this time may still germinate, but it’s less likely.)

Dozens of plant seeds in a pile on white surface
Buy high-quality seeds online with Growers Choice seed bank.
Source: Derrick Brown pexels

Get the Best Seeds to Germinate from Growers Choice Seeds

When you shop with us at Growers Choice Seeds, you gain access to a huge selection of premium marijuana seeds at low prices. Plus, all of our seeds come with our germination guarantee, so you know at least 90% of your seeds will sprout.

You can shop from our huge selection of indicas, sativas, and hybrid strains depending on what you want to germinate. Whether you’re looking for classic strains like Bruce Banner or Tangerine Dream, or something newer like Sunset Sherbet or Gelato, we’ve got plenty of favorites to choose from.

So, no matter how you choose to germinate your weed seeds, or what kind of seeds you want to grow, Growers Choice Seeds is here to help you every step of the way. Fill your cart with our premium weed seeds today and start your germination journey effortlessly.


What are the critical factors when germinating weed seeds?

The critical factors for a successful germination include moisture, temperature, oxygen levels, humidity levels, and light. Seeds need to be kept moist but not waterlogged and in a warm, moist environment with access to oxygen. Light exposure becomes more crucial after germination for the seed’s optimal growth, particularly within the vegetative stage. Nutrient-rich soils are also crucial. 

How long does it take for weed seeds to germinate?

Weed seeds typically start to germinate within 24 to 48 hours under optimal conditions, and most will sprout within 3-10 days. Only a couple of days total!

However, some seeds, depending on their viability and the conditions they are germinated under, may take a bit longer—up to two weeks. Non-viable seeds simply will not germinate.

What are the types of cannabis seeds that can be germinated?

There are three main types of cannabis seeds that can be germinated: regular cannabis seeds, feminized photoperiod, and autoflowering feminized seeds.

Regular seeds produce both male and female plants (which Growers Choice does not offer), feminized cannabis seeds are bred to produce only female plants, and autoflower feminized seeds are designed to flower automatically without the need to change light cycles.

What should I look for in a seed before germinating?

Before germinating, look for plant seeds that are mature and healthy appearing. This includes dark seeds that are brown, hard, and of adequate size.

Make sure to avoid pale, soft, or very small seeds as they may not germinate well. The dark seed’s appearance can be a good indicator of its potential to successfully sprout.

What are the different methods for germinating cannabis?

Popular methods for germinating cannabis seedlings include the paper towel method, directly planting seeds in soil, using starter plugs or rock wool cubes, and the glass of water method.

Each method has its advantages, with the paper towel and glass of water methods allowing for close observation of the germination process, while direct planting and starter plugs make it simpler to transition to growth stages.

Buy Cannabis Seeds Now

Leave a Reply

World Wide Shipping

We ship and deliver world wide via USPS and various couriers.

Payment Options

We offer a wide range of secure and anonymous online payment options.

Customer Support

We care about you, our customer. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Loyalty Program

Find out more about the benefits of being a loyal and regular customer.