Cotton Pad Germination Method

Another great way to germinate your cannabis seeds. To be successful with the Cotton Pad Germination method it is very important to use the right type of cotton pads. They can be found in most pharmacies and drug stores. Don’t use paper towel, toilet paper or any other comparable materials, only the make-up cotton pad retains the right level of moisture to make this method successful. Germination can take 3-10 days, depending on environmental conditions and variety. Follow these steps for the Cotton Pad Germination Method, to ensure healthy germination rates of around 95-100%.

How to germinate cannabis seeds in cotton pads

Auto Kerosene Krash germination seedling seedshell

Step 1: Collect the correct materials

Here are the five essential materials you will need to proceed with this germination method:

  • Cannabis seeds
  • Cotton pads
  • Water in spray bottle
  • Microwave foil with small holes
  • Dish

Step 2: Place the seeds on the cotton pads

Place the cotton pads on a plate (for every 5 seeds you will have to use 2 cotton pads). Place the seeds on the cotton pad (max 5 seeds per cotton pad) and lay them in a dice formation.

Step 3: Spray the seeds and cotton pad with water

Take your spray bottle and put it on fine mist and spray the seeds lightly.

Step 4: Cover the first cotton pad with a second one

Put another cotton pad on top of the seeds and spray again lightly.

Step 5: Place the pads on a dish and cover with foil

Take microwave foil (with small holes – not normal cling film) and secure it tightly over your plate. Take the plate and put it in a dark place with a constant temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius (a closet in the living room is often a good place).

Step 6: Wait a few days for roots to develop

Wait for 2-5 days (check your plate on day 3) Once the root is between 2-5 cm the newly born seedling is ready to be transplanted into the soil.

Step 7: Prepare the soil and make a hole

Take a pot of minimum 0.25 L and fill it with either Seedmix or Lightmix. Wet the soil and make a small hole in the middle. Place your setup in a room with stable temperature. 20-25 degrees is ideal. We often advice your living room.

Step 8: Place the root inside the hole

Spray again lightly and put the seedling in the hole. Make sure the root goes into the soil and the ‘head’ of the seedling, stays above the soil. Close the hole and move it to a grow room with at least 18 hours of light per day, with a temperature of 20-27 degrees Celsius and a humidity level of around 60-80%. Keep the soil moist daily.

Step 9: Let your seeds grow

Now the seeds will grow further and shed their shell.

Is the growing medium too wet, your seedling will rot. Is the growing medium too dry, the seedling will dry out and die down.

19 Comments. Leave new

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    09/02/2020 11:17

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    26/02/2020 12:04

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  • Gary Grixti
    10/04/2020 12:47

    I have just germinated my seeds and noticed the root had grown thru the cotton pad by about an inch. I carefully tried to remove the cotton pad and snapped the root. I managed to plant the seedling in soil but was wondering what chance it had after breaking the root?

    • Hello!
      This can happen indeed, a lot of the times the seedling will survive if you place it carefully in the soil.
      Can you give us an update how yours is doing?

      Thank you 🙂

  • joseph f mulhall
    24/06/2020 17:38

    which germination is easier water with cotton or soil i tried water paper towel as instructed got 8 duds

    • The germination directly into soil is the easiest method! This is the most natural and you do not have to transplant the seedling.

      Dutch Passion

  • Hi this was the most easiest method I have tried

  • Maija Awng
    27/01/2021 15:01

    This cotton pad method is 100% worked best 😃👍👍

  • Hi there

    Superb info.

    One question, I can’t get a hold of microwave foil. Can I use basic cling film?

    Do you need the tiny holes in the micro foil?


    • Cling film is good to use, the wholes are important to get some are to the seedlings so they don’t suffocate 🙂

      Dutch Passion

  • My seed germinated but it’s day 5 and the roots aren’t nearly as long as the example in step 6. The cotton pad is lightly damp, not too wet or dry. How long does it take for the root to get to 2-5cm?

    • MT Dutch Passion
      27/03/2024 13:29

      It actually takes 2 to 5 days on average but this process can take a little longer depending on the genetics.



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