This article was last updated by on

How To Start Marijuana Seeds [Easy Methods]

Whether it is Cannabis Sativa or other, choose feminized Marijuana seeds to get more buds and yields. If you already have the seeds, wait for spring until the temperature gets warm. 

To start the Marijuana seeds, use the paper towel method or directly plant the seed in potting mix or ground. Besides, soaking and hydroponic methods also help germinate the Marijuana seeds. The viable seeds may sprout within 1-2 weeks. 

However, several external factors, like choosing the right seeds for optimal growing conditions, determine the successful germination of Cannabis seeds.

What Do Marijuana Seeds Look Like?

Marijuana is an annual herb belonging to the Cannabis family, which inhibits delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major compound to produce the psychoactive effect.

Marijuana seeds poured in a paper from a plastic bottle.
Cannabis family seeds look similar.

Normally Cannabis seeds are as big as peppercorn, but some varieties can equal a pea size. Here is the total overview of MArijuana seeds. 

Indicator Details
Color Whitish-brown color with black freckles
ShapeNot completely round but oval with bulged centers and slimmer ends
Harvesting Time6-8 weeks for Indica Marijuana
10-12 weeks for Sativa Marijuana

If you are still confused, learn about the difference between Hemp and Marijuana

How do you Start Marijuana Seeds with Multiple Methods? 

First, it’s important to know that germinating and growing Marijuana is illegal in your area, so we recommend you identify your state and follow the local laws.

If everything is okay, check the viability of the seeds and proceed to sow. 

Cannabis are annuals that grow throughout spring and summer and flower in autumn. So start planting the seeds in the early spring with preferable methods.

1. Paper Towel Method

Among all the other methods of starting Marijuana seeds, the paper towel method is the most successful, for paper towels can retain the moisture required for sprouting.

  • Lay some paper towels in a container and spread Marijuana seeds 5 cm apart. 
  • Cover the seed with a paper towel, spray some warm water to dampen them, and close the lid. You may also use two plates instead of a container.
  • Place the container near a window to receive indirect sunlight to ensure the temperature is around 77°F.
  • Use a heating mat to maintain warmth in colder zones.
  • Now, take a spray bottle and moisten the seeds every 2-3 hours until the seeds start sprouting.
  • You may be able to witness the roots in 24 hrs to 3 days.

Once both the roots and shoots appear distinctly, gently plant the seedlings in a pot with a suitable potting mix.

Notably, the transplanted pot should have enough drain holes to facilitate excess drainage. If it lacks any, drill a few

2. Soaking Method

You can simply take a glass of water, add some Marijuana seeds and level it in a dark place to germinate. 

As simple as it sounds, viable seeds will readily absorb the water and eventually germinate at a temperature between 68°F to 77°F.

This method is apt for seeds with hard shells or older seeds. 

Soak the seeds in lukewarm water overnight, not leaving them for more than 24-32 hours.

The viable seeds will float first and sink to the bottom of the container after a few hours. 

Upon satisfying the requirement, the seeds will initiate roots and shoot, which can be transplanted to your desired medium after it grows 2-3 mm long.

You can identify the germinating seeds through the white tap root hatching the shell. 

3. Direct Soil Method

First, take a germination tray and pour some seed starting mix

  • Use your finger to create a hole, add Marijuana pre-soaked seeds individually in each tray slot, and cover them with more soil.
  • Gently press around the seed to keep the seed from going deep.
  • Moisture is key during germination, so lightly water the tray such that the substrate is soaked by not soggy.
  • Cover the tray with plastic to lock in the humidity and prevent moisture loss.
  • Keep the tray under bright indirect sunlight from 70°F to 90°F and avoid moving them to promote stable temperature. You may also use artificial grow light for low-light days.
  • Remove the plastic cover once the shoots become visible in about 4-6 days. 
Marijuana seedlings in a black germination tray.
After the shoot attains a considerable size and spread, transplant them.

Alternatively, you may use jiff pellets to initiate rooting in Cannabis seeds. This sterilized medium prevents seed rot and holds more water compared to the paper towel method.

For that, you’ll need to soak the jiffy pellets made out of peat for about 10 minutes until it expands 5-8 times their volume.

Now using a pointed object, make small holes 0.5 inches deep, add a seed, and cover it up. 

Root initiation may start in 2-7 days with good quality seeds and consistent moisture.

Moreover, you can directly transplant the seedling along with the jiffy pellets saving the seedling from external disturbance or breakage.

4. Hydroponic Method

Unlike other methods, a hydroponic system offers a controlled and efficient environment for your seeds to sprout and grow into healthy plants indoors.

You’ll have full control over the water, nutrients, humidity, temperature, and light provided to the plant resulting in quicker growth and better yield.

DWC does best in growing Marijuana, especially the ‘bubbleponics’ version, where plants’ roots are constantly submerged in water, and an air pump constantly operates to supply oxygen to the submerged roots.

DIY Deep Water Culture Hydroponics System
The setup for Deep Water Culture is easy to assemble with very few elements.

Let’s look at the steps to start Marijuana seeds.

  • Soak the Rockwool cubes in acidic water to lower their pH to 5.5 but do not squeeze the excess out.
  • Rockwool cube has a pre-made hole. Insert only two Marijuana seeds in the hole and lightly pinch to close.
  • Put the cube back onto a mesh container at the top of the water reservoir. Add some LECA balls to hold the cubes in the center, then turn on the water and air pump.
  • Ensure the grow lights are set to provide continuous warmth to the germinating seeds.
  • Avoid using chunky fertilizers or organic stuff that may clog the pumps.
  • Once you notice the seedling in about 4-7 days, add general hydroponic flora nutrients for better growth.

Pro Tip: Change the nutrient medium every 1-3 weeks to avoid pathogen growth.

Tips to Care for the Marijuana After Germination

You can grow Marijuana both indoors and outdoors after the seedlings have a few leaves. To Get to this, harden off the plants and offer the best growing conditions. 

  • Do not put the potted seeds near the AC, cooler, or heater to avoid temperature extremes leading to dead plants.
  • Avoid drenching and overwatering the soil, which may lead to growth issues and root rot.
  • Bottom watering is a great alternative to provide perfect moisture to your plant.
  • Minimize the root zone disturbance while moving the plant to a different location.
  • While transplanting, gently take the seedling out, keeping the root ball intact. 
  • Add root booster feeds to encourage root development and establishment of seedlings.
  • Whenever root-bound, transplant the Marijuana in a pot 3-5 times bigger.
  • Use neem oil and natural insecticides to protect the plant from pest invasion.

More importantly, even if your plants appear droopy immediately after transplant, it should be good once they adjust to the new environment.

From Editorial Team


Despite the complexity of Marijuana legalization, it is still one of the easy-to-grow herbs.

However, you might have to reconsider growing Marijuana if you have dogs or cats.

Or, keep your pets away from the plant either by maintaining distance or fencing around the plant to avoid any unnecessary interaction leading to its intoxicating effect.