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I can't get the seeds to sprout. What am I doing wrong?

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    I can't get the seeds to sprout. What am I doing wrong?

    Hi. First time posting and I hope I'm not duplicating another posted question. I have gardened (organically) for some 40 years now, but I have the worst luck germinating seeds. This is the second attempt at starting cannibus seeds and 1 out of 6 come up. I've tried the paper towel method, although in your articles here it's not the recommended method due to root damage. This time I planted directly into soaked jiffy pellets on August 2, so it's been about 20 days. I gently checked them about a week later and they all looked liked the shell had cracked and a little white could be seen. Then....nothing more than just one sprout has come up. I thought maybe the temp in the room was a little too cool so I set the tray on a heating pad for a couple hours and turned down the AC. That's when the one sprouted, but nothing more since. I thought maybe I had over soaked the pellets so I have placed each one in a cup of organic potting soil to help wick away the excess moisture and still nothing more. I'm afraid that I just wasted another $50 on seeds. Is there any hope? I did not include photos since there's nothing to see

    Welcome wildweft
    sounds like you are skipping the soak in a shot glass for 24 to 48 hrs step. We're did you get your seeds?


      Hi. Thanks for your response. I didn't realize that was so important. Most seeds germinate in moisture and I thought there was enough in the soil ... I see.. Even if they seemed to be cracked open and beginning to sprout? Do you know if they can be revived? I ordered them from The Single Seed Centre,


      • quietlybinary
        quietlybinary commented
        Editing a comment
        I have had multiple bags of seeds never sprout on me and after 6 days I move on. If moisture and temperature are present then I usually factor in the possible age of the seeds or the source of them. The shot glass is not a step as it is a method like the paper towel or directly into the soil. Both of the methods you used are usually effective.

      • Mr.furley
        Mr.furley commented
        Editing a comment
        I would highly recommend using the shot glass method it re-hydrates seeds even old one's. It gives you a chance to see the seed has opened before putting it in the soil/cube/puck. I have moved completely away from paper towels and am having 100% germination rate.

        Once in your new medium remember to not overwater the unseen plant, you can drowned out the little one. If it was me I'd contact the seed company and state you case for some replacements.

      I skip the paper towel, leave 'em in the glass (I use ceramic mugs) until the tap root peaks out, then into solo cups/old nursery pots.
      Meesta's Grow


        Man i feel that frustration. I've had trouble recently but mine was because of old seeds. It really can be several things.

        First, where did you get your seeds from? If you are like me and got them from a breeder and had to have them stealth shipped through customs and none of the seeds are germinating then it could have been zapped by xrays at customs. I have never experienced it myself but have heard of it happening. The seeds get through but they are all dead. People in question would contact the seed bank and get replacements sent usually. But like i said, hasn't actually happened to me.

        How old are the seeds. If the seeds are over 2 years you might find they are harder to germinate.

        What water are you using? I found that since using RO water i have been more successful with the germination of my OLD seeds. If you have good tap water then this should not be an issue however. But just something to think about.

        Contaminated jiffy pellets as another possible issue? I had gotten some rapid roots but they were not in the rapid rooter bags, just some plastic ziplock. Every seed i planted in those would die. Got a different brand of rooter plug and am having no issues. I have had much success in the past germinating through rapid roots but these somehow were not working.

        Also, and this is hard for me to do as well. LEAVE THE SEEDS ALONE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!! Man i have a hard time with this! Sometimes I want to check to see if its working and end up exposing the taproot too much or damaging it somehow and it never recovers. I have killed a few this way. I would say if they are healthy seeds you should see something within a week but ive seen one pop up after a day or two. I do soak my seeds in a glass of water (shot glass) until they sink to the bottom which is usually 12-24 hrs then plant in starter plug.


          currently coming to the end of my first grow so not an expert opinion by any means...I soaked a couple of rapid rooters and put the seeds directly in them, both sprouted but only 1 survived and the other took about a week for the leaves to pop out the top...I believe I may have kept the rooters too wet due to my inexperience...I then tried the paper towel method, new seeds germed after 2 days and were then (very carefully!) placed in new moist NOT WET rooters and did just fine...based on my limited experience I would say be careful the rooters are moist not wet and when putting the seed or germed sprout inside and don't bury them too deep as the may burn all the energy stored in the seed before they can clear the top of the rooter. just sayin!


            tssc seeds have always worked for me. I consider them one of the best seed companies. Temperature may be your problem.... constant 72-80 degrees works for me.


              Thanks for the info. I had gotten my seeds before (about 2 years ago) from another seed distributor that was recommended to me. Both companies seem legit, but I will contact them and ask, you never know. I'm thinking that I may have put them in too wet of medium for too long, although soaking them first seems even wetter, but probably being only 24-48 hours doesn't damage them and the advantage of seeing if they will sprout saves some time and, maybe some aggravation. I'll post any response I get from the seed vendor and try, try again!


              • Geofite
                Geofite commented
                Editing a comment
                My first seed buy was a flop. I did the jiffy germination and nothing happened after 2 weeks. I notified the seller and they sent me new seeds. I did the same method of germination and 5 out of 6 seeds sprouted and now they are enormous in my back yard. If your seeds don't sprout, it's not you, it's the seeds. They could have sent you old seeds or seeds that weren't stored properly. They should send you new seeds for free. Contact them and let them know that their seeds are duds.



                wildweft You'll probably have more success if you root your seeds in a pot of good quality seedling starter soil w/ 30% perlite. The Jiffy pellets are too acidic ... 100% peat.
                Space 1: 3ft x 3ft T-Tek tent
                400W HPS Mag Ballast
                GH Floro - DWC
                Current grow - Humboldt Fem Green Crck from seed
                - TGA GSC x Space Dude clones

                Space 2: 6ft x 6ft x 8ft room
                IponicZone 400/600/1000W dimmable HPS E-Ballast
                Supplemented with California Lightworks Solar System 275 with spectrum control
                GH Maxi Series-DWC
                Current grow - Humboldt Fem Blue Dream from seed
                - Humboldt Fem Blue Dream Clones
                - TGA GSC x Space Dude from reg seed in dirt, G.O. Box nutes


                • wildweft
                  wildweft commented
                  Editing a comment
                  OK. I'll try that with the freebie seeds that I still have left. Thanks!

                hi wildweft,

                research say, use mix of seaweed & fulvic acid for best germination rates...

                i used a shot glass last time for 5 autoflower seeds - all 5 sprouted.

                65ml water, 1ml seaweed, 2.5ml fulvic acid.
                GreenQube 1.5m x 3.0m x 2.2m tent
                2x CDMH 315W lights
                870m3/hr fan
                12 x 42L buckets, 2 airstones each
                Hydrogarden ESSENTIALS pH Meter
                HM Digital (NaCl calibrated) TDS meter


                  Paper towels and a warm dark cabinet work for me (plate under and over to keep that moisture in).


                    I've always used rapid rooters and only had one out of roughly 30 plants not sprout within 4-6 days. The one that didn't sprout was my first grow, and the rapid rooters was far too wet so operator error lol.

                    I let them soak in water with Calmag ph'd properly for a few minutes, then I squeeze out the excess water. Like you said - damp, not soaking.

                    Grow 1

                    Grow 2

                    Grow 3

                    Grow 4

                    Grow 5

                    Grow 6

                    Grow 7

                    Grow 8

                    Grow 9


                    • wildweft
                      wildweft commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Are the Jiffy pellets similar to the Rapid Rooter pods?

                    • mcubed476
                      mcubed476 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      They look the same, so I would think so. But you never know.

                    try the shotglass overnite with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, I have 99.99% germination success with this method!


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