How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds With Paper Towels

The planters, the soil, the lights, check-check-check. You have everything you need to start growing your first plants but now you have to get the seeds to sprout. What is the best method of germinating your cannabis seeds, where should you keep your seeds while you are waiting for them to germinate? We go in depth below and explain in detail the best way to germinate your cannabis seeds and have them ready for the next stage of growth.

It all starts with finding the right seeds


The easiest place to find seeds would probably be in that Frisbee under your car seat, in the bottom of your bag, the bar you were at last night, or in the ashtray next to your couch. Sadly, this probably won’t be very good seed stock because… well, lets face it, good weed doesn’t come with seeds in it.

Most of the cannabis purchased with a high seed count is imported from Mexico, the islands, or some other southern country. This means that the plant grown from these seeds will take a long time to complete their growth stages. If you grow outdoors, in most of North America, your plants will not finish before the dreaded first frost. Meaning you will get nothing for all your hard effort.

There are several ways to obtain good seeds.

The safest and preferred way is to get them from someone you know. If you don’t have a friend to get seeds from, there are a lot of seed banks in Europe and Canada that will ship to the U.S. Receiving seeds through the mail falls into a legal gray area, but in most parts of the U.S. it is against the law. Note: Most larger seed banks will not ship to the U.S., but if you ask they might be able refer you to a distributor who will.

I have never received seeds from a seed bank via mail, so I cannot give any references. Just remember to use your head and don’t get ripped off. I don’t think you’ll be writing any letters to the Better Business Bureau if you fail to receive your order.

So now you have the best seed stock you can find, and you’re ready to germinate – let’s get to work.

Germinating your cannabis seeds with paper towels

germinating cannabis seeds with paper towelGerminating seeds is very easy; all you need is a few paper towels, a plate or bowl and some Saran Wrap.

First, place a few paper towels at the bottom of your dish. Put your seeds near the middle of the paper towel, leave a centimeter or so between each seed. Lay another 2 or 3 paper towels on top of the seeds. Dampen the paper towels with bottled water. Do not use too much water as the goal is to keep the paper towels moist, but not soaked.

how-to-germinate-cannabis-seeds-with-paper-towelDo not let the paper towels dry out completely.

Cover the dish with Saran Wrap, this will keep most of the moisture from evaporating. Put the dish in a dark place at room temperature. It does not matter if you germinate in light or darkness but light will provide needed heat. Check your seeds every few days – it can take from 2 to 16 days for germination.

paper towel germinating weed seedsWhen they sprout, a little white shoot will emerge. Carefully plant shoot side down into whatever grow medium you are using and place it under a light (a fluorescent light will do.) Now sit back and watch your new buddies grow.

Tips for germinating cannabis seeds

germinating-marijuana-seeds paper towel

  • Don’t “check” to see if the seeds are doing anything! Touching the germinating seeds will surely kill them at this stage!
  • Seeds can take 2-16 days to germinate. Sometimes longer! Don’t let the paper towel to dry during germination. Also seeds from the same cannabis plant may germinate at different times! Wait at least 2-3 weeks. Many assume that no more seeds will germinate after a few days. Only to find them germinating in the garbage!
  • Spray the seedlings with water only if the paper towels are starting to dry.
  • Germinate a handful of seeds at the same time, some may not germinate right away.
  • Germination will take much longer and the rate will decrease if the seeds are left to germinate at cool room temperatures (approx. 65-70 degrees) This happens more noticeably with tropical strains of cannabis.
  • Use distilled water. If you can’t find distilled water let your tap water sit for 24 hours to evaporate chlorine.
  • Be patient, follow these tips, and you and your buds will soon start your fantastic growing journey!