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The Best Way Germinating Marijuana Seeds?
We asked 8 Experts + 143 MSB Growers!

By Stan | October 27th, 2020

Finally, your seeds have arrived! It’s Germination Time!

Do you think there is 1 way to make your ladies sprout? Think again!

We asked 8 Experts & 143 MSB Growers:

What is your Preferred Germination Method?

We were blown away by the number of variations we received!

Perhaps your new best way of Germinating Marijuana Seeds is amongst them!

Study on Best Way Germinating Marijuana Seeds

Here at Marijuana Seed Breeders, we get many questions. From Beginner to Expert. 

We love helping growers.

In fact, we try to address frequently asked questions into articles so that everyone, even non-MSB Growers can benefit. 

One of these questions is about germination: what is the best way for germinating marijuana seeds?

Interesting one, because perhaps is our best way, not your best way. Therefore we created the article How to germinate weed seeds. 

In the article we give steps for 5 frequently used cannabis germination methods:

  1. Glass of water
  2. Wet towel
  3. Directly in soil
  4. Stone wool blocks
  5. Using a starter kit

We also give pros and cons to every method. So this should give you enough information to determine what is the best fit for your next growth.


Which Germination Method is the most used?

Every spouted seed counts. To more plants the better, right?

That's why we are interested to understand how marijuana growers around the world germinate their cannabis seeds.

When we ask people this question we get a lot of different answers. Which germination method is the most used one?

We had an idea, but we didn't know for sure.

It was time for a survey amongst our beloved MSB Community. We also reached out to experts in the field to learn more about their preferred method.

We asked:  

We were blown away by the number of enthusiastic replies! Both from our MSB community as well as the experts. 

Yes, sure we received replies, just confirming one of the 5 methods. 

But the larger group of people actually took the time to reveal their 'secret' to cannabis seed germination!

But first: let look at the statistics from our own research.

Results Preferred Marijuana Seed Germination Study

Without further ado, the most favorite germination method amongst 143 growers is:

#1. Wet Towel (37.3%).

#2. Other. 21.1% of the growers follow another germination routine.

#3. Directly in Soil. A surprisingly high percentage (19%) put their precious seeds directly in soil!

#4. Starter kits. 10% use starter kits (like Spongepot).

#5. Glass of water is the best way for 8.5% of the growers.

#6. Stonewool (3.5%).

Here is the breakdown in a chart:

Statistics about Best Way Germinating Marijuana Seeds

Preferred Germination Method Experts

Ok, enough of the statistic, it's germination time.

Let's start with Expert advice!

First off: even though they were busy, we received kind feedback from the Experts. This shows again how approachable and awesome the people in our growing community are,

We received feedback from these experts from the field (sorted in alphabetical order):

#1. Dr. Dina, The Queen of Cannabis, Co-Owner of AHHS WeHo

#2. Ed Rosenthal, The Guru of Ganja

#3. James Loud, Founder of Loud Genetics Loud Seeds

#4. Jennifer Martin, Founder Cultivation Sector Consulting LLC

#5. Jesce Horton, Founder and CEO LOWD

#6. Melanie Carruthers, Director of Propagation 7ACRES

#7. Ryan Douglas, Cannabis Growth Consultant Ryan Douglas Cultivation

#8. Rudy Ellenbogen, Founder and CEO Whole Grow

Ready? Let's dive right in! 

Dr. Dina, The Queen of Cannabis, Co-Owner of AHHS WeHo

When someone gets a nickname from Snoop Dogg, and when that person is referred to as The Queen of Cannabis, the Mona Lisa of Mary Jane as well as The Queen of Weed AND the main character of the 8 season series Weeds is based on their person, then you know that you are dealing with a true expert. 

Dr. Dina Photo

  I prefer to germinate My seeds in root gel (clonex) and stick them in cubes. Paper towels work well too, but I think the root gel gives the seeds the extra push to become a strong plant.  

Happy gardening!

- Dr. Dina, The Queen of Cannabis 


Ed Rosenthal, Author, Educator, Social Activist, And Legalization Pioneer

ed rosenthal instagram image

I use starter trays and plugs from iHort – EXcel T-50 and 32 Star Excel trays to start seeds. They come pre-moistened, with a little hole to drop a seed. 

I use the 50 per tray when I will be transplanting within two weeks and the 32 per tray for growing up to 3 weeks.

When I’m using fresh seed, I just drop them into the hole in the cube. 

With stale seeds, first I soak them in a 0.5% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution for 3-4 hours. The recipe is 1 part drugstore 3% H2O2 to 5 parts water. This sterilizes their surfaces. Then they soak in mycos and liquid kelp solution for about 6 hours. Then they are placed in the cubes. 

Upon first signs of germination, I water them with mycos and kelp to promote root growth. The next day they are watered with a weak combo of veg and flowering formula about 400 PPM.

- Ed Rosenthal, The Guru of Ganja

James Loud, Founder of Loud Genetics

James Loud Seeds Photo

  Well it’s a loaded question because it depends on scale.

I sterilize in an h2o2 Soak then germinate in a jiffy #7 typically. However, large scale I prefer a needle/vacuum seeder to place the seeds evenly in the substrate.

Well and with autoflower I believe direct sow in optimal conditions can yield better results.  

- James Loud, Loud Seeds 

Jennifer Martin, Owner Cultivation Sector Consulting LLC

Jennifer Martin Photo

  I use coco plugs. I gave up the wet paper towel method years ago because managing the moisture was too cumbersome.

I buy coco plugs that come in the 50-cell sheet, make a light nutrient mix, put all of the plugs in a pitcher of the nutrient mix, squeeze them to fully saturate them with the mix, put them back in the cell sheet, push a seed into each hole, and put a dome on the tray under the light.

Then I just keep the plugs moist. The seeds start to pop in about 3 days. Some take up to a week. I leave them in there until they overgrow the tray, then transplant into 3" pots.  

- Jennifer Martin, Cultivation Sector Consulting LLC 

Jesce Horton, Founder and CEO, LOWD

Jesco Horton Photo

  I’m a water glass guy. I like to know before planting which seeds are more vigorous and then assess based on that benchmark throughout the growth process.

I carefully pull the seeds with a spoon and drop them into a coco mixture a day or two after they pop.  

- Jesce Horton, LOWD

Melanie Carruthers, Director of Propagation, 7ACRES

Melanie Carruthers Photo

  Our processes at 7ACRES for seed germination use a combination of a glass of water and wet towel.  

- Melanie Carruthers,  7ACRES

Ryan Douglas, Cannabis Growth Consultant Ryan Douglas Cultivation

Photo Ryan Douglas

  I prefer to start seeds in a seedling tray  

- Ryan Douglas, Ryan Douglas Cultivation

Rudy Ellenbogen, Founder and CEO Whole Grow

Rudy Ellenbogen Photo

  Wet towel  

- Rudy Ellenbogen, Whole Grow

Preferred Germination Method MSB Community


Do you want more inspiration?

Get ready for more feedback from growers from our own growers' community.

We received so much great feedback that it was just too much to add all of it.

We handpicked a collection of replies which we think are unique and are not a duplication from other replies.


Michael, Directly in Soil


  I used previously fertilized soil, place the seed about a quarter inch below the surface, and I gently water when I see the soil begin to dry out. I check daily. I do not always get a sprout, but when I do it is very strong and very fast growing. I use Osmocote to fertilize.  

Lidia, Starterkit

  I have used Glass of water, wet towel, directly in soil and a starter kit. I have found that the starter kit is the quickest method, 3 days to sprout.  

Tom, Wet towel

MSB Grower

  I have used a wet paper towel (easiest method). I also have small hydroponic pods that I have successfully used to germinate seeds.  

Paul, Wet towel

  I put seeds in a paper towel and soak it with a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 tablespoon 3% hydrogen peroxide/cup water) for 18-24 hrs. Then I plant them. They typically sprout in 4 days.  

Andrew, Starterkit

  Spongepots all the way for me! If I have none, old fashioned jiffy pots.  

Cyrus, Starterkit

  My preferred Seed Germination method: is using the starter kit
purchased from MSB. It is easy and has great effects. Seeds
germinated are healthy and strong.  

Steve, Starterkit

  Your startup for sure is the best way to get them going. I have almost 100% germination with them!  

Greg, Stonewool

  I use some damp cotton wool pads in a saucer. I refresh the water with a few drops daily until they sprout and then plant them directly into some warmish soil. I've found they don't grow very well in cold soil.  

Rich, Stonewool

  I have tried them all, and I use rock wool blocks  

Ken, Wet towel

  I've always had good luck using a wet towel in a plastic baggy  

Bob, Wet towel

  wet towel works for me every time, cheers  

Laurence, Wet towel

  I have been growing for about 53 years, my absolute best way of germinating is the paper towel method, I do not like the water method very much, but have tried it. So for me, paper towel all the way.  

David, Wet towel

  I prefer the basic paper towel/wet method, transferred to a Jiffy Pot until it is time to plant in the soil/coco type of growing medium. Many thanks for your help in getting growing. God bless you and your efforts.  

Shawn, Wet towel

  I haven't grown since the mid-80s and a lot has changed they have recently legalized pot in my state so I'm going to try a grow as far as germination.

I would put my seeds between wet paper towels and when they sprout plant in paper cups when the plant would get 2 or 3 in cut the bottom of the cup and plant in dirt.  

Brandon, Other

  I soak my seed for 24 hours in a very wet paper towel(to swell the seed), then directly in the soil with a seed marker.

To water the seed in the soil, I use an eye(liquid) dropper as you would get in test kits. It easily waters the seed without it moving or getting buried deeper until it sprouts and grows a solid tap root.  

Anonymous, Wet towel

  Germination with a wet towel. Use a heating mat at 72-74 degrees F for more vigorous growth and a higher percentage of female plants.  

Anonymous, Wet towel

  Old school for me. Damp paper towel on a plate with another plate inverted over the top of the first plate. I like around 80 F. Sometimes I’ll put the plate on top of my modem to really heat things up.  

Anonymous, Other

  I always start my seeds in pure worm castings  

Anonymous, Other

  50/50 vermiculite peat moss small container in the cooking sheet so they don't dry. 99% percent success rate.  

Rick, Other

  I use a plastic tray with a sponge cut in half in it.  I float that in a bucket of water keep the temperature at 76-80 degrees with a fish tank thermometer.

I keep the sponge wet.  Seeds go in between sponge 3-4 days ready to plant. Have to be careful removing from the sponge, they grow into it.  

Dennis, Direct in soil

  I do it right in the soil. You can’t put the seed more than a quarter-inch into the soil. And make sure it’s damp, not wet. I have had great results with your outdoor feminized seeds. Excellent yield last year. And looking for a better yield this year.  

Michael, Direct in soil

  I used previously fertilized soil, place the seed about a quarter inch below the surface, and I gently water when I see the soil begin to dry out. I check daily. I do not always get a sprout, but when I do it is very strong and very fast growing. I use Osmocote to fertilize.  

Anonymous, Direct in soil

  Soil works best for me. I think plants start stronger that way tried all other methods they work but I prefer soil.  

Conclusion: What is the Best Way to Germinate Marijuana Seeds?


What a great collection of germination advice! 

Remember, we didn't even add ALL the Tips.

It's clear: so many growers, so many preferences. 

So what is the best way to germinate weed seeds?

Well, the right question should be: what is YOUR best way?!

Your next step is looking at the different methods and to determine which method sounds good to you. And simply just test them!

We certainly hope that this article will help you with getting your shortlist in place.

Happy growing!

How to Germinate Weed Seeds?

Inspired to try one of these methods but not sure how to do it?

Read our post How to Germinate Weed Seeds.

We will give you step-by-step advice for 5 of the most common methods.

Including pros and cons for each method!


Article by:


The effectiveness of THC Oil reintroduced me to the world marijuana. It’s amazing how this plant allows you to take the matters into your own hands. Growing this powerful plant at home truly gives me a self-supporting feeling. I even developed a green thumb.