Can't get seeds to germinate, Please help

I have been through half of my White widow seeds and have not been able to get any of them to germinate. I put 2 of them in a quart of pH 6 water and kept the temperature at around 70°. I’ve been checking on them twice a day, no sign of a root/tail after 6 days. All they do is turn a little bit darker brown in color.
In the past I have had no problem growing a strain called Aurora Indica using the wet paper towel method for germination. But, have not had any luck using that method with the White Widow seeds I received.
Tried putting one of the seeds straight into damp potting soil, no luck there either. I would greatly appreciate any advice anybody could give me.I’ve also tried planting them in potting soil after soaking them for 24 hours in distilled water, no luck.

It would seem to me that you need to have it a bit warmer, say closer to 75*F, especially in the paper towel or in soil at the start. The seed really needs the extra energy to get the chemical reactions going to germinate easily.

Also you want to be careful not to drown the seeds, I wouldn’t soak them for longer than 24 hours.

I have a simple, easy to make , bubble cloner. It uses the 2 inch net pots, with the bottom net part cut off and the neoprene/foam collars to hold the stem of a cutting. In some of the holes I’ll use a net pot that still is intact with its net bottom. In these I will place a “jiffy” peat plug or a small 1 inch rockwool cube and place the seed inside the middle of the peat plug or rockwool cube. Then I will loosely place a new neoprene/foam collar or something else on top to keep the light out. I seem to get 100% germination rates with this method.

I’ve always kept them at between 75 and 80° when using the paper towel method. The 1st time I tried soaking the seeds in a quart of water was at this temperature as well, left them for just a day. At the advice of Ilovegrowingmarijuana, I dropped the temperature down to under 70° and left them soaking in water for over 5 days.

Thank you for the advice, I will give that a try.

I recommend not going above 78F, and yes cold freshly aerated water at 70 is good for the soak in that method, it should hold some good oxygen ratios for a while, but I like to put fresh water everyday if you need a prolonged soak, the whole idea is the water has plenty of dissolved oxygen so the seed won’t drown, same with the roots for the rest of the grow, and when a seed first cracks, it is almost like it is nothing but root. This is why the peat plug or rockwool cube hanging in a basket just at the surface of a bunch of bubbling water from the airpump and air stone works so well for germinating as well as rooting clones. There are tons of tutorials on how to build one on you tube, you can make a great one with up to 4 or 5 net pot positions out of a plastic folger’s coffee can and wrap the body in black duct tape or aluminum foil tape to light proof it and pick up a cheap air pump at walmart, petco or anywhere for dirt cheap and order a small bundle of 2" net pots on amazon, ebay or maybe pick some up at a local hydroponics store and you’d be good to go…

Going to try and germinate in rockwool later today. I’ve been growing using hydroponics for a while, have a couple of air pumps and quite a few net pots.

Never had trouble germinating before using the paper towel method, used to get my seeds from somebody local, but they aren’t available anymore. I’m wondering if something can happen to the seeds during shipping.

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That is always the possibility, on a rare occasion it might have sat in a metal mailbox baking in the sun and got too hot, maybe it got x-rayed by a super powered x-ray that killed the seeds, lol, ya’ never know. :wink:

I put the seeds in a paper towel sit it on a plate take another plate turn it over and sit it on top of that plate sit the plate on a heat pad set it to 75 put it in a closet and about 5 days u will see a head peeking out. Make sure u mist it when needed.

No luck trying to get them to germinate in rockwool. They mailed some replacement seeds, hopefully I’ll have better luck when they arrive.

I too have had no luck with germinating White Widow seeds. I placed 1 seed each in 2 rock wool cubes with distilled water. I have a humidity dome with heat pad. Nothing after 25days. I have done this again now and still no germination after 20days.


If you have propagation domes, and heating pads; You must be diligent in keeping moisture within the rockwool; Not just seeing humidity. You must keep the cube moist enough to keep the cube from drying out, and dry enough not to drown the seed.

I never have had any issue with starting seeds in rockwool.

I am not saying you did anything wrong; I am stating some faqs

Another faq: If seeds do not germinate; It is generally due to drowning; Or, Drying out. Sometimes, but, not as likely; It is the seeds.

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I’m going to try the paper towel method next…

Jackaroo, it never occurred to me that a particular strain may be harder to get to germinate than other strains.

I do not think that particular strains are harder to germinate. I believe it is due to the length of time, and environment the seeds were stored; Is directly proportionate to how long a seed takes to germinate.

That is a fact! :mrgreen:

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I didn’t have any problems with the widows, I couldn’t get the OG to germinate. I think I might have 2/3 this time though!! Don’t give up!

I soaked the last 4 seeds for 24 hours and all of them stayed floating… I believe its the seeds…where to from here?

You can soak more than 24 hours, sometimes difficult seeds do need more time. However I recommend using fresh water daily and if possible, make sure the water is highly aerated water, seeds and roots need a high dissolved oxygen ratio in the water to keep from drowning and rotting. Also make sure you keep the temperature right about say 75F/24C, and you don’t want them too warm - not really any higher 77F/25C, they’ll have a higher chance of rotting, and you don’t want them too cold - not really any lower than 70F/21C, they do need some energy from the heat to get their metabolism working, chemical reactions occur easier in warmer temperatures.

My first order here. The germination instructions say soak in water for 24 hours. This seems like the maximum amount of time you want to soak them. They never said anything about the danger of drowning the seeds. After some research on other websites I took them out of the water after 26 hours and now have them in a wet paper towel. They’re white widow seeds…no signs of sprouting yet. Keeping my fingers crossed : )

If i was following directions that said soak for 24 hours before planting; I would just plant them in seed starting mix.

I have noticed different strains germ faster or slower.I’ve had some germ in two days some up to 4-5 days before any root fully appears.
Sometimes you can see the seed split with a magnify glass or white spot appears on end of seed days before it root shows.

I purchased three super skunk seeds a while ago. When they arrived, I began the germination process, but none of the three stated to germinate. I haven’t had any problems with your seeds or my germinating process before…HELP