Seeds didn't sprout


A customer has a question and I hope we can get some opinions on it, thanks

Hello; I ordered the above referenced seeds (beginners feminized seed pack, 3x5 seeds) several months ago. I first tried to sprout 3 ‘bubble gum’ seeds, using rapid rooter medium; moistened, in a seed starting tray with a plastic top, sitting on a seed-starting heated pad, keeping them moistened daily under a bank of 8 100watt cfl lights, approximately 5 inches above the tray. After a week, although there was no sign of sprouting, I removed the transparent top of the tray and just kept the medium moist with the application of water (deionized, with a pH of approx 6.0). I waited for 3 weeks (patience is a virtue, right? :slight_smile: )but none of them sprouted. I next tried three of the’ white widow’ strain, but this time I soaked the seeds for 24 hours before transferring them to the sprouting/growing medium. Again, no sprouts after almost 3 weeks. As of today, I am attempting to sprout 3 ‘AK47’ seeds by soaking in water until I see tails. I am a fairly successful gardener in other respects, although I am more accustomed to seeding directly into the soil outdoors when weather is appropriate (things like tomatoes, squash, annual flowering plants) - but obviously, I’m not willing to try growing this particular crop outdoors. My grow space is an unused bathroom, about 8ft x 10ft, inside the tub area with a space heater on the floor (outside the tub) to keep ambient temperatures between 75 and 85 F. There is some air exchange through a floor vent for ac/heating (forced air type) and a fan in the ceiling, though both have remained unused, the space is by no means airtight. I have kept the bank of lights on 24/7 and had intended to do so until the flowering phase. What could be wrong with my set up? I have sprouted seeds (flowers and vegetables)before and had trouble hardening them off to transfer outdoors. For that reason I just sow directly into my gardens. I never imagined that something nicknamed a ‘weed’ just wouldn’t sprout! Any advice is much appreciated.


We would love you to join the forum, and get some pictures of your set up. We would enjoy assisting you from seeds to harvest.

What most growers here do, soak them in water, 24-48 hours. Then place in a moist paper towel in a zip lock bag on top of the seedling heater mat until you see tap roots come out.
Then place in your growing medium.
It is interesting what is considered a weed can be so difficult to get started sometimes.
Happy growing.


For weeds, they are tricky little suckers. Join the forum and we would be happy to help you get through those tricky parts. Some people have trouble germinating, not that there’s anything wrong with your germinating process for regular garden seeds, but MJ is a bit temperamental, and not the easiest plant to grow.


Thank you for your suggestion! I am now trying three feminized AK-47 seeds; I soaked them for 72 hours and now have them in the moist paper towel - zip lock bag set up, on the heated mat. They’ve been in the bag for about three days now, and so far, no tails. I zipped it shut…should I have, or should I have left it a bit open for air exchange? I can over-think everything! :slight_smile:

Does anyone nick them, as I have learned to do with gourd and pumpkin seeds?

Again, thanks for your suggestion! I am determined to make this work…it’s just a steep (and expensive) learning curve - and that’s just for germination! I imagine I am going to make mistakes at every stage, but if I can make a go of it, it will be much safer for me legally with less subsequent stress.


Hey there @teddy it seems like you’re doing everything right. Sometimes those tails don’t show for up to 4 days. After that, they’re probably duds.
Leaving the bag open for air exchange is always a good idea. Make sure the paper towel is moist, but not saturated. I’ve killed a few that way myself. Don’t hesitate to tag me @Covertgrower if you have any questions.


Thanks! They are indeed tricky. Ha - wish they would grow like the ‘weeds’ in my gardens! I am trying the soak/paper towel in ziplock baggie method now, I’ll see how that goes. Fingers crossed!

It’s funny to me, as my parents were natural-born gardeners; they never even had to think about it; my gardening has been the result of plodding along doggedly. But, like other things I have discovered with cannabis, nothing is as it was expected. After 60 years of disinformation, I find the ‘gateway to hard addiction and insanity’ plant to be quite gentle, and needs some cooperation on my part of get it to ‘work’. Though it does work for me - and in unexpected ways, I does seem to need some ‘permission’ on my part. It sounds woo, I know, but I wonder if perhaps the growing part needs that same sort of being ok and on the same wavelength with it as I found using it does.

Thanks for your welcome!


Thanks, again, Covertgrower! Will open the bag right now!


I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. If this was me we were talking about. I would only try to germinate one seed at a time till I got it worked out. That way you are not loosing a handful of seeds each time. Once you get one to go. You will have a better idea of what works for you. Like said above. Every now and then you get a stubborn seed. Most of mine pop in 2 to 3 days. When I first started with out a heating mat. it took me closer to 5 days. Hang in there, you will get it and then the fun begins.


Great idea! Somehow I was thinking ‘I have room for three, I’ll sprout three’. I bought a pack of multiple seeds so I still have 6 left, along with three in the paper towel/ ziplock set up. Still hoping on those, but it’s been awhile. I need to develop a knack for this! :slight_smile:


I had a lot of trouble getting them to pop in the beginning. Then a member here mentioned putting them on a cable box to keep that warm. That did it. I later ordered a germination mat. Only 20 bucks on amazon but well worth it. Now I normally have the seed pop in 2 days. I have had a couple stubborn ones and a few that just wouldn’t open up. Since they normally pop in just a couple days. Even if you did one now and the others in a ew days. All would still be close together. I haven’t tried the zip lock bag before. i just put the seeds in a moist paper towel. I like the heavy blue ones. Put the towel on a plastic Tupperware lid and then put a pie tin over it. Then on the cable box or germination mat now. I found for me. That worked great. I will be following along here. I know you will get them to go soon :grinning:


I have a germination mat, and it’s worked a treat for other seeds; it has really surprised me that these are giving me such a hard time! I think I’ll try one at a time and the lid/pan method next. So far in the sprouting medium, soaking beforehand, in the bag, no luck.
I was feeling pressed for time, but it’s a moot point now; the bathroom they are in is a guest bath, and we never have visitors except for holidays, which tend to begin for us in October. No way I’ll get them growing and harvested by then, but if I only have one plant, maybe I can move it to another room temporarily when we entertain. Makes me nervous, though…the risk of interrupting the light cycle and all, but I’m counting my chickens before they hatch. Wish I had the courage to put them outdoors, as we are having the usual hot and humid weather and everything else out there is growing like gangbusters! I think I’d be ok, but the risks just aren’t worth it.
I’ll probably try to germinate a seed this weekend, I’ll come back to the board and let folks know how it goes.
I can’t believe they are all duds, or that something is that wrong in my process; I wonder if they are somehow exposed (deliberately?) to something in the shipping process that prevents germination? Sounds paranoid, but I encountered a very nasty little trap while driving through a state that borders a ‘legal’ state (I’m in the US) and I wouldn’t put anything past the Barney Fifes of the world!


Hi, all!
The AK47 seeds (soaked, then on towels and in baggies, on sprouting heater mat) have not sprouted, but they seem to have ‘burned’ the towels. I’m posting a photo, plus a photo of my set up. Going out today to try to find the blue thicker kind of towels and try them but if you see anything in the photos that I might change for more success in sprouting, I’d appreciate it.


That looks like mold. How long have they been in the paper towels?


Hi! They were soaked for 72hrs then I kept them in the towels/baggie for about 12 days. :frowning:


Yeah, 12 days is too long, that’s why they are moldy. One of the seeds looks like it has split, you can try to plant it in soil. Are you keeping them in a warm, dark place?


I had the same problem with my first 2 seeds. Both times I tried a variation of the paper towel method and both times failed. Reached out to ILGM they said not to worry and to circle back after I attempt all 5 seeds and they will replace the ones that didn’t sprout. They told me to just take the seed, leave it in the water 24-48 hours and bam a root. I was absolutely mind blown how leaving it in the water longer vs throwing it into a paper towel is what did it for me. PH balanced water, a shot glass, a dark mid 70’s temp closet and about 30 hours later she popped open. Hope you fix your problem!!! Happy growing :innocent:


Hi…warm, but not so much dark maybe; in the towels,but with lights on above. From what I’ve read, 3 or 4 days, they should sprout by then? Seems like any method they will sprout long before I called it quits, but I hate to give up on them, hoping they will just be late bloomers. I was a late bloomer myself. :slight_smile:


It can take up to two weeks for a seed to sprout, but conditions need to be right. Darkness is necessary so that they don’t mold, once they get moldy they won’t sprout.


I can’t say this as an absolute. I had read that for germinating. Temps should be at 78, 80 max. I know with out my temp control. My mat will get to about 92. Hopefully some one will be able to confirm or say this was wrong.
Just tossing out ideas of why you may be having a hard time. I had not heard about the tap root growing in water. now I will have to go read up on that.


This is a direct ILGM customer service email that got my seeds popped.

We recommend putting them in a glass of water for a few days, until they grow a little tail. This can take more than 24 hours in some cases. Make sure the temperature of the water is at 68 degrees and the PH should be around 6. When the tail is out, you can plant them. Also, store them in the fridge with some silica packets or rice as long as you are not using them to keep them cool, dark and dry.