Solve Germination Problems

July 2024

On this page we offer some tips to avoid problems during the germination and seedling phase when growing weed. If your seeds don't germinate, or your weed seedlings don't want to grow, in this guide you will probably find the reason for your problem, as well as the solution!





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Before you can begin caring for beautiful cannabis plants, you must first have healthy weed seedlings. However, germinating cannabis seeds is not always easy and we can say the same about growing young cannabis plants. Discover some common problems that many growers face during the germination and seedling phase. The solutions to the various problems are also discussed, of course.

Common Problems Occurring When Germinating Cannabis Seeds

When growing weed you have a greater chance of success if you work carefully and precisely. Weed seeds and seedlings are especially vulnerable. Their growth stops easily, they can die quickly and even turn out not to be viable at all! Below we discuss the most common problems that you may encounter during the early stages of your cultivation. Of course, you’ll also discover what you can do to solve these germination problems.

Problem 1: Cannabis Seeds Don’t Germinate (DAY 0)

If your cannabis seeds don’t germinate at all, there could be a number of reasons, the main one being:

  • Poor Quality Cannabis Seeds: Perhaps you found some cannabis seeds in a bag of weed and tried to grow them, or scored some cheap seeds somewhere. It could even be that you bought seeds from a good breeder, but they just won’t germinate. Either way, there is little chance that your cannabis seeds will germinate and grow into healthy plants if they are of poor quality.
  • Solution: Buy good cannabis seeds! This isn’t hard to do. For example, high-quality breeders conduct rigorous testing to determine quality and germination. This often means healthy cannabis seeds, with good germination. Of course, there are exceptions, but if you buy from a good seed bank or breeder, the chances of successful germination are always higher. And seed banks like Marijuana Seed Connect even offer guaranteed germination.
  • Touching Weed Seedlings With Bare Hands: Your hands contain all kinds of pathogens, such as bacteria and mold spores. These can contaminate cannabis seeds and weed seedlings, which are very susceptible to infection at this vulnerable stage. So it is wise to avoid direct contact!
  • Solution: Work hygienically! If you want to work completely sterile, wear latex gloves or use sterilized tweezers. In any case wash your hands before handling your cannabis seeds or weed seedlings.
  • Water Quality: Depending on where you live, the tap water may also contain compounds that prevent your seeds from germinating. Chemicals, including chlorine, can be very harmful to cannabis seeds and young cannabis plants. Tap water is safer when the plant is older, but it always pays to find out what minerals it contains so you can adjust your plant diet accordingly.
  • Solution: Use purified water or bottled water. This may sound excessive, but your plants are still young and this is an important stage. So give them what they need and they will reward you for your efforts later!
  • Cannabis Seeds Not Sown Deep Enough: If you don’t plant cannabis seeds deep enough, they won’t get enough moisture, which will cause them to dry out. Moisture stimulates a seedling by breaking the skin, so is incredibly important.
  • Solution: Generally, it is recommended to plant cannabis seeds at a depth of 0.5 to 1cm in the soil. This is the optimal depth. In addition, a grow box allows you to maintain high and good humidity (relative humidity of 70% or higher). This will increase your chances of germination.
  • Low Temperature: In nature, cannabis seeds will germinate in the spring, when it gets warmer outside. So if they think it’s too cold, they won’t germinate. In addition, certain pathogens flourish in cool temperatures. So even if your seeds already germinate, they will not perform as well in that case.
  • Solution: Keep them warm! If you’re growing indoors, this isn’t an arduous task. A grow box in a comfortable warm room will go a long way. Even if you plan to grow outdoors, you can still germinate your cannabis seeds indoors. This way you give them the best start and protect them from sudden cold. If you want to carry out the whole process outside, you will have to wait until the nights are less cold and the days warmer. If you don’t do this, the results will probably be disappointing!
  • The Soil Is Not Airy Enough: If you press the soil too hard, or simply plant your seeds too deep, it can be very problematic. First of all, a newly “hatched” seed is not the strongest creature on earth. This means that if you plant your seeds too deep, they won’t have the strength to rise above the earth. In addition, they may also suffer from lack of oxygen if the soil is too compact or they are too deep, which also slows down overall development.
  • Solution: As mentioned, you should plant the seed at a depth of 0.5 to 1cm. When doing so, carefully cover the cannabis seed with a small layer of soil and press it down very lightly. The soil does not have to be completely compact.
  • Not Enough Water: As mentioned, cannabis seeds need moisture to germinate. If you don’t water them enough, the chances of failure are high.
  • Solution: You don’t need to soak the soil, but you do need to keep it moist. If you use a grow box, you can spray the inside with water to ensure high humidity and adequate moisture.
  • Low Humidity: Speaking of humidity, if it is too low, your seeds may also fail to germinate. In fact, this is one of the most important things when germinating cannabis seeds. So don’t let the environment get too dry. There are two reasons for humidity being too low. First, it may simply be too cold. Second, the soil may not contain enough moisture.
  • Solution: Water adequately and maintain the ambient temperature (at least 21°C). With a grow box, you can keep the humidity high while it also retains heat. These grow kits are specifically designed for germinating seeds, so be sure to give them a try!

Problem 2: Cannabis Seeds Germinated But Stopped Growing (DAY 1-7)

Sometimes it also happens that your cannabis seeds have germinated, but suddenly stopped growing. What is the matter then? Well, several factors can come into play. You need to identify the cause and deal with it quickly so that your weed seedlings don’t die!

  • Fungal Or Bacterial Infection: For example; if you have touched your cannabis seeds with dirty hands, they can develop a fungal or bacterial infection. For young weed seedlings, even a small infection can be enough to use up all their energy, stopping their development.
  • Solution: In this case, prevention is better than cure. Proceed carefully when planting your cannabis seeds and try to touch your weed seedlings as little as possible. To prevent fungal infections in the substrate, keep the humidity and temperature within the ideal range. Also, make sure the environment is clean. Once an infection gets free rein at this stage, there’s really not much you can do.
  • Too Much Water: Plants absolutely need water, but you can also overdo it. It is very easy to overwater, which is especially dangerous for weed seedlings. This because it can lead to too little oxygen at the roots, causing them to rot. At this stage, this is a catastrophe! The same goes for cannabis seeds. Soaking seeds is generally not recommended. Some growers do germinate their seeds in a glass of water, but usually this is not done for more than 24 to 36 hours.
  • Solution: Most importantly, don’t be too enthusiastic with water. Be mindful. Again, a spray bottle is your best friend. Weed seeds and young cannabis plants definitely need a lot of moisture, but you don’t have to drown them! If you think you’ve overwatered your weed seedlings, the best thing to do is remove them from the soil and try to dry out their roots. Then replant them in slightly drier soil.
  • The Temperature Is Too High: Just like too much water, too high a temperature can also be disastrous. The weed seedlings of cannabis plants like a temperature of 20-30°C. Anything below or above it interferes with growth.
  • Solution: If you’re using a grow box to germinate your seeds, it may be helpful to invest in a thermo-hygrometer. That way you can always read the temperature and humidity and adjust as needed.

Problem 3: Weed Seedlings That Are Weak Or Stretching (DAY 7+)

As weed seedlings grow, you may still encounter problems. Fortunately, they do become more robust as they grow. This makes it easier to deal with problems. If you notice your weed seedlings getting very tall and/or falling over, see if you might be dealing with the following problems:

  • Not Enough Light: If your cannabis plants are not getting enough light, they will shoot up. They will think they are being overshadowed by other plants, and will make an attempt to receive enough light any way they can.
  • Solution: The first thing to do is check the distance between your young plants and the light source. It may make sense to hang the grow lights a little lower, as this can help limit the height of the weed seedling. In addition, cannabis plants prefer specific lighting at different stages of growth. Weed seedlings especially like light from the blue spectrum, as this stimulates root growth and development. It may also be that the light is simply not strong enough when your young plants reach the growth stage. Weed seedlings perform best under cool CFL lamps, but in the vegetative phase you may need to choose something stronger, such as an LED lamp or MH lamp.
  • Pots Of The Wrong Size: If your weed seedlings are in pots that are too small, the roots cannot support them properly. This is how you end up with weak plants. If you don’t take action, your cannabis plant may die prematurely.
  • Solution: Repot to larger pots. A cannabis plant needs a pot of about 10 liters to mature and sometimes it needs even more than that. It’s easier to repot early because a large root ball brings all kinds of potential problems. Once your weed seedlings have three or four sets of leaves, you can transplant them to their next or final pot. This will increase your chances of getting happy cannabis plants!

Solve Germination Problems | Frequently Asked Questions

Can I solve germination problems that have to do with infections?

Sometimes you can, but it’s much better to avoid them.

How can I avoid instead of solve germination problems?

Avoid direct contact with the plants and follow a reliable grow guide.

What size pot do I need for my weed seedlings if I want to solve germination problems?

Ideally you would need a pot of about 10 liters.

Is it possible to solve germination problem by adjusting the amount of water?

Yes, in fact; in many cases it is a great solution.

Can I solve germination problems if my weed seedlings don’t grow?

Yes, unless you have low quality seeds.