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marijuana seeds won t germinate

1st time grower – My seeds won't germinate

I am by no means an expert, I haven't even attempted to grow marijuana (I just like to lurk and dream), but I have grown flowers from seeds before. When you germinate, you really just need DAMP substrate. Not soaking. In fact, you could even use a dish towel. Wet it, ring it out, and fold the seed inside (keeping the towel damp) until it cracks. That's when you put it into your substrate. And I'm pretty sure whenever you water your plant, no matter the stage, it should never be completely soaking wet. Roots need oxygen.

My Cannabis Seeds Won’t Germinate | Our Tips And Tricks

There’s a special feeling that comes with receiving your very first package of marijuana seeds from our brand – The Seed Fair. Hearing the arrival of the mailman, you rush towards the door, you see your discreetly and quickly delivered order waiting. Then you unveil the outer packaging which is unbranded to reveal the seeds. The seeds are contained inside a medical-grade vial to ensure freshness. A handy informative insert is provided to give you some information about the cannabis strain you ordered. The information can include genetics, effects, and yield. Our guide will go over the why your Cannabis Seeds Won’t Germinate.

Then, you follow the instructions for the germination method by soaking the seeds then placing them onto wet paper towels. You put your plate in some warm, dark area, at least two or three of the seeds sprout, you know you’ve had a good germination period when you see the tiny white taproots. You proceed to plant the seeds while you wait a little bit more for the rest of the seeds to crack. When they do, you plant them too, gradually but surely you are on the right track to getting your very own premium natural medicine solely grown in your home.

But, let’s assume that the rest of the marijuana seeds fail to germinate, what happens then?

Why Did Your Marijuana Seed Fail To Sprout?

There are several reasons why your marijuana seed was unable to crack open like the rest and start growing the healthy taproot that indicates germination. However, we will start by looking at external issues outside of the very seed itself, which could have resulted in the failure to germinate.

Insufficient Soaking Time

A potent reason your seed may not be germinating is the possibility that it didn’t soak long enough in the glass water. Shell hardness and density can vary between seeds, while one seed may need up to 18 hours of soak time, others may need just 14.

Did all the seeds in the glass sink down to the very bottom before you moved them onto your paper towel? Seeds that remain floating could be a result of insufficient penetration of water into the shell.

Scuffing your seeds a little before soaking can help make the seeds much more absorbent. To do this, roll a small sandpaper strip with its rough side facing inward, then shake the cannabis seeds within your sandpaper tube.


Have you ever forgotten about the seeds for an entire day or more, only to find the paper towel seriously dried out? This singular reason is why some seeds may not germinate with the rest of the seeds in the pack, because the paper towel’s moisture may have been pretty much absorbed or evaporated at varying rates across your plate. Keeping the towel damp at all times is super important – not so that the seeds float, but enough to allow the tiny seed shapes to be seen through the damp paper towel.

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Also, water quality can be an issue. It is possible for the seeds to become poisoned against germinating if your water contains too much addictive-like, like way too much copper or chlorine. Although all the cannabis seeds are likely to be affected by this issue, a single seed may be the only one that is susceptible to the effects more than the rest.


There is a possibility that the room where the seeds were placed became or was too cold or too warm. The recommended temperature for the room where the seeds are kept during germination is between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius, or 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything cooler than this can make the seeds take much longer to germinate. On the other hand, a warmer or higher temperature can result in the alteration of your seed’s chemistry, this will corrupt or interrupt the whole process.


Generally, plant roots are always left in darkness – buried into the soil and guarded against the light by the surrounding pot. It isn’t a surprise that for successful germination to occur, darkness almost in its totality is needed. However, wavelengths can certainly inhibit germination rather than light generally. In many cases, a red wavelength is capable of promoting germination, on the other hand, blue wavelengths are known to terminate or interrupt germination.

Old Seeds

If seeds were kept for a long time before germination, they may not sprout. Although newly bought seeds are very unlikely to have this issue, it is very possible for seeds that have been kept for over six months. When stored correctly, marijuana seeds can last for up to three years, however, viability cannot be guaranteed if kept for more than two months after purchase, because we do not know in what condition they’ve been kept in during such time.


Although this is unlikely to happen, it is a worthy possibility. Handling your cannabis seeds with bare hands when they’re being prepared for germination may lead to the seeds being affected or damaged by oils or some other contaminants. To avoid this, only touch your cannabis seeds with sanitary gloves or tweezers. Alternatively, you can use non-toxic soap to wash your bare hands before starting.

What You Can Do If Your Marijuana Seeds Are Not Germinating?

Leaving the seed longer in the towel is the initial step to take if any of your marijuana seeds fail to germinate after seven days of being inside the paper towel. Ensure that the room remains dark, warm, and damp, and keep checking on the seeds daily. If there is no change in the result after ten days, then you can try another thing.

Carefully go over your germination method to ensure that no step was misinterpreted or skipped. If all the processes were done correctly, then we recommend this “last-ditch” option :

Final Attempt on Weed Seed Germination

Put your seed(s) back into a glass of pure water. Leave the weed seeds there until they crack open. Immediately they open, return them into a paper towel. This is important because leaving your seed inside the water will only cause the taproot to die or rot instead of growing since the search for water that is not readily available is partly what causes the root growth.

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My Cannabis Seeds Won’t Germinate — Nothing Worked

After trying all these steps and your weed seed(s) fail to germinate, it is most likely a nonviable seed. It is not possible to know whether a seed will germinate or not by simply looking at the seed, this is why we cannot guarantee 100% germination, sadly.

However, so far as the number of cannabis seeds that didn’t germinate comes below the guaranteed 90% mark (that’s only one dud in a 5 or 3 pack, two or more for a 10 or 25 pack), we will replace them! You can reach us by phone or email, and let us know the issue. You will probably be asked few questions just to be sure that you complied with our instructions, if you did, we are more than delighted to deliver the replacement to you. We have great regard for customer satisfaction and quality, and we will do whatever we can do to make things right always.

We hope your questions on why your Cannabis Seeds Won’t Germinate have been answered. Please reach out to us anytime with any more questions you may have!

How To Be A Hero And Rescue Old Marijuana Seeds For Germination

As they say, not all heroes wear capes, and absolutely zero of them toss old seeds. Germinating old seeds can be difficult, if not impossible, if it’s not done exactly right.

That being said, it is possible. So before you toss those marijuana seeds that you’ve been keeping at the bottom of an old baggie, be sure and give this a read. But, let’s just start with how to store seeds the right way, so you won’t have to bust out those superpowers next time.

You might find yourself asking “How long do marijuana seeds last?” This is a great question, and the answer almost solely depends on the methods of preservation. Depending on how you’ve stored your seeds, they can essentially last indefinitely.

Storing Marijuana Seeds

In order to store seeds correctly, you’ll have to provide them with a cool, dry environment. The idea here is to prevent the seeds from trying to germinate before you’re ready to stick them in the ground.

Light, water, and heat are all things that help seeds sprout, so it should come as no surprise that you’d need an almost total absence of these things in order to store seeds for long periods of time.

One of the best, and most readily available, places to store seeds long term is to stick them in a refrigerator. Ideally, you don;t want to freeze the seeds, as any moisture that may be contained inside can crystallize and harm the future seedling.

So, keeping them at a cool 6-8 degrees Celsius (42-46º F) is far better than a deep freeze. That will pretty much obliterate the heat element. To discourage any light from getting in, place the seeds in an opaque container.

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While it’s unlikely that the seeds will enjoy much sunlight in your crisper drawer, placing the seeds in a small container means that you can more readily control their immediate environment.

On top of shutting out light and excess moisture, place small bags of silica gel in with the seeds. This will help prevent any excess moisture build up, effectively keeping your seeds viable for extended periods of time.

Bring Out Your Dead

Okay, so maybe you didn’t have that information on hand when you scored your last round of seeds. Not to worry, there are quite a few clever, science backed tricks that you can employ to revive your little glory bombs.

The problem with most old seeds, whether stored properly or not, is that as the seeds ages, it’s shell hardens. This makes it extremely difficult for water to get inside the seed to help your little seedlings grow and emerge.

The best ways to reinvigorate old seeds is to find clever ways of penetrating their heavy duty shells.

Soil Method

Tried and true, Mother Nature seems to know what she’s doing. This method is pretty much how it’s done with just about any type of plant, not just marijuana seeds. Essentially- you plant the seed. Water. Wait. Pretty straightforward.

Wet Paper Towels

This is a pretty common practice used to germinate almost any seed. Take a few moist paper towels and place the seeds you’d like to germinate on top. Place a few more moist towels on top of the seeds and seal in a container.

Keep the container somewhere it will be warm and get a bit of light. Seeds should germinate in about 72 hours.

Water & Hydrogen Peroxide

For stubborn seeds, place them in a glass of water with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide for about 24 hours. The hydrogen peroxide will help break down the outer shell and get water into the sprout where it’s needed.

Once the seeds are done soaking, take them out of the mixture and rinse, then follow up with the soil or paper towel method.

Water & Fulvic Acid

Another way to coax the shell to break down a bit is to add some fulvic acid to your original water source. A concentration of about 10ml/L is suggested. Fulvic acid is a natural component of healthy soil.

It’s an organic polymer that is extracted from humus. It helps further facilitate the breakdown of the marijuana seeds outer shell and also encourages healthy plant growth.


When all else fails, you may need to score (scratch or cut) the outer surface of the seed by mechanical means. This can be achieved in two ways: With sandpaper, or a steady hand and a sharp knife.

If you’re going the sandpaper route, line a small container, like a matchbox, with fine grain sandpaper. Pop your seeds, around 30-60 at a time, and shake the container for a good three minutes. For the knife method- use an extremely fine blade, such as found on Exacto knives or scalp to create a shallow cut in one side of the seed.

When you’ve finished scoring your seeds, follow up with the soil or paper towel method, and be the marijuana seed hero we’ve always needed.