My Cannabis Seeds Aren't Germinating | Growers Choice Seeds

My Cannabis Seeds Aren’t Germinating

My Cannabis Seeds Aren't Germinating

There’s nothing like getting your first package of cannabis seeds from Growers Choice. You hear the mailman and rush to the door, where your order has been delivered quickly and discreetly. You open the unbranded outer packaging and pull our your seeds. They’re enclosed in a medical-grade glass vial that ensures freshness, surrounded by an informative insert that gives you a bit of information on the strain you’ve ordered – things like yield, genetics, and effects.

You soak your seeds and place them on their wet paper towel, just like the germination method instructs. Then you place the plate in a dark, warm area and wait eagerly for a few days. After two days in the dark, maybe two of your seeds sprout, developing little white taproots that indicate a successful germination period. You plant these seeds and wait a few more days for your third seed to crack. When it does, you plant that one, too, and you’re well on your way to premium, all-natural medicine, grown right in the comfort of your own home.

But what if that third cannabis seed doesn’t germinate?

Why Didn’t My Cannabis Seed Sprout?

There are a number of reasons that last cannabis seed didn’t crack open and begin growing a healthy taproot. First, let’s look at potential issues outside the seed itself, that could result in a lack of germination.

  1. Temperature

    It’s possible the room in which you placed your seeds was – or became – too warm or too cold. Ideally, the space in which you place your cannabis seeds during germination should be between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21-32 degrees Celsius. If it’s cooler than that, your seeds may take longer to sprout. If it’s warmer, the higher temps can alter the chemistry of the seed and interrupt or corrupt the process.

  2. Moisture

    Did you forget about your seeds for a day or two, and return to a largely dried-out paper towel? This is one reason a single seed out of a whole pack could fail to germinate, since the moisture on the towel might have been absorbed and evaporated at different rates across the plate. It’s important to make sure you keep the paper towel damp the entire time – not so the seeds are floating, but definitely so their little shapes can be seen under the wet paper towel.

    The quality of the water could also be suspect; if the water had too many additives – too much chlorine or copper, for example – the seed could be poisoned against germination. This issue is more likely to affect all the seeds, of course, but it’s possible one seed was more susceptible than the others.

  3. Darkness

    Since the roots of any plant are almost always kept in the dark – buried in the soil and protected from light by the pot around them – it shouldn’t be surprising to know that almost total darkness is important to successful germination. That said, it is certain wavelengths that can inhibit germination, not light in general. In most cases, red wavelengths promote germination, while blue wavelengths can interrupt or terminate it.

  4. Insufficient soaking time

    There’s a possibility that your non-germinating seed didn’t soak in the water glass for long enough. The density and hardness of the shell can vary from seed to seed, so one seed could need 18 hours while the others require only 14.

    Did all your seeds sink to the bottom of the glass before you transferred them to the paper towel? If one remained floating, it could be because too little water penetrated the shell.

    One way to make your seeds more absorbent once they’re in the water is to scuff them a little bit before soaking. You can do this by rolling a strip of sandpaper with the rough side inward, and shaking the seeds within the tube.

  5. Old seeds

    It could be that your seeds were left too long before they were germinated. Though this is highly unlikely if you just purchased your cannabis seeds, if you’ve been saving them for more than 6 months, it’s possible. Stored correctly, cannabis seeds could last up to 3 years, but we can’t guarantee their viability beyond 2 months from purchase, since we don’t know the conditions in which they were kept during that time.

  6. Contamination

    This is quite an unlikely possibility, but it’s worth mentioning. If you handled your seeds with your bare hands while you prepared them for germination, it’s possible they were damaged or affected by the oils or other contaminates. To be safe, try to touch your seeds only with tweezers or sanitary gloves, or wash your hands with a non-toxic soap before you begin.

What To Do If Your Cannabis Seeds Don’t Germinate?

The first thing to do if one or more of your cannabis seeds has failed to sprout after 7 days in the paper towel is leave them a little longer. Make sure the environment remains damp, dark, and warm, and continue to check them daily. If after 10 days you still don’t see results, it’s time to try something else.

Take another look at the germination method, and make sure you didn’t skip or misinterpret any of the steps. If all looks good on that end, there is a “last ditch” option we recommend:

Cannabis Seed Germination Final Attempt

Return your seed(s) to a water glass with pure water. Leave the seeds in the water glass until they have cracked open. As soon as they have, you’ll want to put them back in the paper towel. Your taproot won’t grow – it will just rot or die – if you leave the seed in water after this time, because part of what encourages the root to grow is the search for water not immediately available.

My Cannabis Seeds Didn’t Germinate – And Nothing Worked

If you’ve pulled out all the stops and still your cannabis seed(s) haven’t germinated, it’s possible that seed just isn’t viable. There’s no way to tell whether or not a seed will sprout just by looking at it, unfortunately, and that’s why we don’t have a 100% germination guarantee.

But, as long as the number of seeds that failed to germinate fall below the 90% mark (that’s 1 dud in a 3- or 5-pack, 2 or more in a 10- or 25-pack), we’ll replace them! Get in touch with us through email or by phone, and fill us in on the issue. We’ll probably ask you a few questions to make sure you followed our instructions, but as long as you did, we’re more than happy to ship replacement seeds to you. We hold quality and customer satisfaction in high regard, and will always do what we can to make it right.

We hope this has answered your questions regarding why your cannabis seeds aren’t germinating. Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!


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