In a few days the seedling will sprout out of the growing medium. (Courtesy of Jorge Cervantes via "The Cannabis Encyclopedia")

How to plant cannabis seeds: Keep it quick and dirt-y

Renowned grower Jorge Cervantes will answer readers’ questions and give advice on all things related to the cannabis plant. Got a question for Jorge? Email him at

Editor’s Note: Laws for cultivating cannabis vary from state to state and city to city — before germinating any seeds or planting any clones, take care to learn what your local laws are.


Question: I’d like to grow marijuana from seed. What do I need to know about getting a plant started?

Answer: Once germinated (see “How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds“), seeds are ready to plant. A sprouted seed with a tiny sprouted rootlet (taproot) is similar to a newborn infant in need of tender, loving care and nurturing.

How to Plant Seeds: Step-by-Step

Step One: Prepare your planting mix or rooting cube. Use fine soil or soil-less mix for a planting medium that holds water and air evenly. Don’t use dirt from the backyard — sterile soil is best. Or use a rooting cube, such as Rockwool, Oasis or Jiffy. Have all your supplies at hand and ready to use.

Saturate soil mix or cube with clean water. Use a clean chopstick or similar (inert) object to drill planting holes. Do not use your finger.

Step Two: Use tweezers to pick up and move sprouted seeds. I dip my tweezers in rubbing alcohol to sterilize before using. Remember, seeds are very fragile at this early stage in life.

Carefully place each sprouted seed in the predrilled holes. Make sure the white root tip is pointing downward. Be prepared and plant quickly. Exposing tender rootlets to excessive light and air causes damage and slows growth.

Step Three: Cover germinated seeds with a quarter-inch of moist growing medium. Or crimp rooting cube over seed. Keep the seed mix or rooting cube evenly moist to ensure adequate moisture and oxygen. Soon the little white taproot will grow minute feeder roots. The microscopic fuzzy feeder roots are fully functional in about 10 days. Later, some roots take on more specialized functions.

Once wet, seeds must stay moist. That means constantly moist! If seeds suffer “moisture stress” they will be stunted or, worse yet, dry out or drown. This point is critical to seed and plant health. If you see a burned (dark) rootlet tip, something is terribly wrong.

DO NOT plant seeds too deeply. Seeds have just enough stored energy to break through a quarter-inch of soil. Adding fertilizers or “special” products will not improve or rescue a seed that is planted too deeply.

Your opinion is valuable:
Please tell us how you plant germinated seeds in the comment section below. Our readers want to know your tips and tricks!

See the “The Cannabis Encyclopedia,” available at, for information on “How to Help Ensure Female Seedlings.”