Moist vs Soaked cannabis seed germination test

What’s the best way to germinate cannabis seeds? Let’s pursue our germination test series with another critical matter: should the seeds be placed in moist conditions, or is it better to completely soak the seeds to ensure the highest germination rates and the fastest germination speed? The answer may surprise you!

Moist vs Soaked cannabis seed germination video

To assess moist vs soaked germination conditions, Dutch Passion made a side-by-side germination test. 15 cannabis seeds were attempted to be germinated in soaked conditions and 15 seeds germinated in moist conditions. Does adding too much water to your cannabis seed germination help improve germination rates, or does it have a dramatically negative effect? The video, below, shows exactly what happened.

As shown by the video, perfect germination occurred when the cannabis seeds were germinated between lightly sprayed (i.e. moist) cotton pads. All 15 seeds germinated perfectly. However, of the 15 seeds that were placed between soaked (saturated) cotton pads, only 3 seeds were able to survive. The others showed brown coloration on the embryonic root, this is a sign that the root had started to rot in the waterlogged conditions.

Moist vs Soaked Cannabis Seed Germination from Dutch Passion on Vimeo.

How much water should you use to germinate cannabis seeds?

In the Dutch Passion ‘moist vs soaked’ cannabis seed germination experiment, some simple cotton pads were used. This is usually a reliable way to germinate seeds, whether you are using feminised seeds, regular seeds or autoflower seeds. Note that for the successfully germinated seeds in moist conditions, a minimum amount of water was used and delivered the best results. Just 3 light water mist sprays were given to each cotton pad.

The advantages and logic of germinating cannabis seeds in moist conditions

For the 15 cannabis seeds that successfully germinated in moist conditions, we ensured that the cotton pads were lightly sprayed (3 times for the lower cotton pad, 3 times for the upper pad).

The key principle is that cannabis seeds need only a small amount of moisture to soften the shell casing and allow a root to emerge into a moist, oxygenated environment. Once the root has emerged, access to oxygen is just as important as access to moisture. The root needs very little moisture at this stage.

Related:
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The disadvantages and problems caused by trying to germinate cannabis seeds in soaked conditions

Of the 15 cannabis seeds that attempted to germinate in soaked cotton pads, only 3 survived. That’s because the waterlogged conditions simply didn’t provide enough oxygen for the root to grow.

Both the upper and lower cotton pads were soaked in water and the seeds were placed in-between. The soaked conditions allowed the shell casing to soften and open. However, as soon as the roots started to emerge, most of them simply started to rot and die. The easiest way to spot this is via the brown discolouration the root tip.

This is usually a sign of root damage, and for freshly germinated seeds this is often fatal. Even if the seedling survives, with root damage the plant may be permanently stunted only allowing a small, poor yielding plant to grow.

Soaking cannabis seeds during germination causes them to stagnate.
Soaking cannabis seeds during germination causes them to stagnate.

Dutch Passion advice on cannabis seed germination

There are many different ways to germinate cannabis seeds. We should also remember that cannabis seeds have found ways to germinate for thousands of years without human intervention.

But since cannabis home growing became so widely adopted, many growers want to aim for the very highest germination rates that they can achieve. If you are buying the best cannabis seeds at premium prices, you may want to get your seed germination rates as high as you can possibly get them.

For that reason, the Dutch Passion team recommend the cotton pad seed germination method. Remember to lightly spray the upper and lower cotton pads only 3 times each to create moist conditions. Adding more water, and soaking the cotton pads will only decrease your germination rates.

Related:
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How to germinate cannabis seeds in RootIt Cubes?

If you are serious about giving your cannabis seeds and seedlings the best possible start in life then the following blog is essential reading. It explains how to avoid the top-10 mistakes made by growers with seeds and seedlings.

Germinating cannabis seeds in moist cotton pads results

In the Dutch Passion cotton pad seed germination video 5 cannabis seeds were placed in-between 2 cotton pads. Each cotton pad had been lightly sprayed with 3 squirts from a simple water mist spray bottle. To evaluate the seed germination test properly, a total of 15 seeds were germinated with 100% germination rates.

Note that the moist cotton pads were placed on a dinner plate and the plate was sealed with transparent kitchen film. This ensured that the moist cotton pads didn’t dry out. If this happened, the germinated seeds would eventually die. The experiment took 4 days, though many home growers would perhaps inspect after the germination after a couple of days and re-plant the germinated seedlings into a grow container.

Germinating cannabis seeds in soaked cotton pads results

Experienced cannabis growers know the dangers presented by soaked/saturated seed germination conditions. That’s why many of them avoid using e.g. toilet tissue, which can hold a lot of water and not drain well. In the Dutch Passion moist vs soaked seed germination video, only 3 of the seeds just about survived the waterlogged conditions. All the rest were ruined by the soaked/saturated germination conditions.

Once the root emerges from the seed, it needs a certain level of aeration in order to survive. Leaving cannabis roots in waterlogged conditions inevitably results in root rot. That’s why so many growers find that they achieve superior results when using grow containers (e.g. air pots or felt sacks) that offer superior root aeration levels. Experienced growers know that overwatering plants or seedlings can stunt growth, and in worst cases kill the plant.

The main message for growers is that it is very easy to get low germination rates even from perfectly viable cannabis seed simply by using germination conditions that are too wet/soaked. To get the best germination rates, use moist conditions. Never use soaking wet conditions for cannabis seed germination. If the root emerges and spends too long in these saturated conditions the seed/seedling will die.

How to achieve maximum germination rates?

If you are completely new to cannabis seed germination, it may help your confidence if you practice seed germination with less expensive fruit/veg seeds to begin with. This allows you to get used to the cotton pad seed germination method without risking expensive cannabis seeds. As soon as you start seeing successful seed germination from other seed types it will give you improved confidence with cannabis seeds.

As soon as you have the confidence, try the Dutch Passion cotton pad cannabis seed germination method!

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