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Marijuana Germination Overnight by Scarifying Seed Shell

Marijuana Germination Overnight by Scarifying Seed Shell

Sprouting Cannabis Seeds

There are few things as disappointing as seeds that don’t sprout. It isn’t so easy to get quality cannabis seeds. You’ve invested your time and money to obtain the best seeds you can find, and you want every single one to grow into a beautiful plant.

But germination can be tricky, thanks to the tough outer shell on cannabis seeds. We’ll show you how to scarify your marijuana seeds to greatly improve germination rates.

Sprout Seeds Overnight

Why Do Cannabis Seeds have such Tough Shells?

Marijuana Seeds

A seed has two basic parts:

  1. The Embryonic Plant – This is the part that grows into a big, productive cannabis plant.
  2. The Outer Shell – This protective coating keeps the embryo safe during a long winter.

Germinating Cannabis Seed Embryo and Shell

The tough outer shell gives the seed an evolutionary advantage, allowing it to survive freezing weather, storms and, in some cases, even a trip through the digestive tract of an animal.

In order to germinate, water and gasses must penetrate that tough coating to stimulate the embryo. If the shell is especially tough, sometimes they simply don’t get through.

Did you know? Hybrid cannabis seeds tend to have extra-tough seed shells.

Scarifying Cannabis Seeds Helps Germination

Scarifying simply means scarring the shell of a tough seed to let in moisture and air. It can be done to any type of seed with a tough shell, from cannabis to nasturtium seeds. Scarifying can speed germination so much that your cannabis seeds will literally sprout overnight.

Scarify Seeds by Cutting or Filing

Scarify Seeds with Nail File

Most people use this method of scarification with cannabis seeds.

Materials You Need:

  • Cannabis Seeds
  • Sandpaper, Metal File OR Nail Clippers
  • Water


Your goal is to make a small nick in the seed shell. You never want to go too deep, as this can damage the embryo and make the seed unviable.

Damage the seed shell by:

  1. Sand the shell gently with fine grain sandpaper. Only sand until the shell is dull and scratches are visible OR
  1. Use a metal file to file the edge of the shell. Only file until the shell appears dull and you can see several small scratches in the surface OR
  1. Use the nail clippers to nip a tiny piece of shell off the end of the seed.

Scarify Seeds with Nail Clippers

Scarify Seeds by Soaking in Hot Water

This is an alternate method for scarifying tough shelled cannabis seeds using hot water. With this technique you don’t actually cut, scratch or damage the outer shell in any way.

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Place seeds in hot, but not boiling, water.
  2. Allow the water to cool to room temperature.
  3. Soak seeds in the same water for another 12 hours.

Germinate your Scarified Seeds

Marijuana Seeds Ready to Germinate

Now it is time to germinate the scarified seeds. If you have a preferred technique, feel free to use it. You could plant the seeds directly into moist soil, place them in rockwool cubes to germinate or follow these easy steps:

  1. Moisten a paper towel so it is damp but not dripping water.
  2. Lay the seeds on the paper towel.
  3. Place the seeds and towel inside a ZipLock bag and squeeze out all the air. Seal the bag.
  4. Place in a warm area (80-90°F)
  5. Watch scarified seeds sprout in 24-48 hours!

Plant your seeds root down in soil or a hydroponic medium. Happy Growing!

Planting Germinated Cannabis Seeds in Soil

Successfully Germinate Cannabis Seeds Overnight

Scarifying seeds is a simple technique that is highly effective. Use it to speed germination (you can literally sprout seeds overnight!) and to improve germination rates of stubborn seeds.

Remember that growing great cannabis is as much an art as a science, and there is a learning curve to everything. Be cautious when you begin scarifying. If you don’t do enough your seeds may be slow to germinate, but if you go to deeply with the file or clippers you could kill the seed entirely. Start out with gentle scarification. You can increase the depth of your nicks as you gain experience.

Have you ever tried scarifying your cannabis seeds? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

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Marijuana Germination Overnight by Scarifying Seed Shell, 7.5 out of 10 based on 42 ratings

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How to Grow Marijuana Forum - Growing Marijuana Indoors & Hydroponics

3 thoughts on “Marijuana Germination Overnight by Scarifying Seed Shell

  1. Sudburyberyl says:

    I use the risky peel off the shell when it splits and free the sprout. Sometimes I leave a half shell. I have had great success with it. Only snapped maybe one or two in a few years.

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  2. Chris Neely says:

    Has anyone heard of placing a seed in a cube of potato for Germination and early grow out? Supposedly, the 80 percent water content and the enzymes and hormones of a sprouting potato accelerates early root development…

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  3. GrowingGirl says:

    mmmm . . . okay. But if you just buy a Jump Start Hot House and use Rapid Rooter plugs, they will pretty much germinate overnight anyway.

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