Germination problems in grow room 80% fail. What to improve?

Question from a fellow grower:

"I use a grow tent for my growing space with led lights carbon filter and isolating fans.

For germination i use cell pods checking every day to keep the medium moist with a RH of around 70% and keep the temperature around 25 - 28°C.

I use tap water for my seeds and the ph is between 5.5-6.5

In Vege i use canna nutrients and follow there recommended guide lines.

I grow in Coco perlite medium and normally have great results.

If there’s any other information you need please let me know."


Soak seeds for a few hours and then transfer them to a moist paper towel, fold them into the paper towel and place that into a ziplock bag. Remove as much air from the bag when closing and zip it tight. Place this into a warm dark place for a day and check twice a day for tap roots.

Once you have a tap root you can then place into pods.

You’ll have better success


I do 24 hours in water then straight to soil, 8 for 8 so far, with sprouts in 3 days, careful not to overwater seedlings, i never touch the seed with bare hands either and bury them 1/4 inch deep then lightly cover with soil


It’s be useful to know when and where the failures are occurring. Are the seeds failing to push a taproot? Are they sprouting and then folding over around the soil line? Are they stretching and/or putting out malformed leaves?


Try Rapid Rooters. Simply drop seed in rr, cover and keep moist. 3-4 days and she’s sprouted. Good luck!

1 Like

I would drop the temp a bit, 20-24c
Big swing on your PH, try to keep it at 6.5.
Try a jiffy puck and a starter dome, that’s my favorite method paper towel thing is to much work/hassle and still not the best results.
Keep the lights off until they sprout and stand up

1 Like

I drop my seeds in filtered tap water. From 18 to 24 hours. After that time frame they go into damp toilet paper up to 48 hours…depending on the tap root. I then transfer my seeds straight into my 5 gallon grow buckets and places in the tent.


Some didnt germinate at all and the ones that died came up with deformed leaves, then the leaves died off leaving a dead stork.
Even the ones that did survive are looking very poorly 8 weeks in vege and look like this.


@Crispy Welcome to the forum. How deep is that soil in those tubs? It looks to be pretty shallow and plants need a lot of soil say in a 5 gallon bucket.

Welcome @Crispy

I’d like to know more about your light height, and the light model.

Can you post a photo of your germination setup? I think I know what you mean by cell pods, but I just wanna see. I use what are called high domes covering 72 cell trays and a germination heating mat. All my stuff is from HTG or amazon.

The forum will help you figure this out for sure.

Those plants are in 19ltr of soil roughly each.
I’ll try get some photos of the cell pods i use tonight.

Like others have mentioned, soaking the seeds in pH neutral water or tap water is a great first step. Placing them in a damp (ring it out) paper towel in a ziplock is more reassuring, because you can see how many pop a healthy taproot; however, it’s one less thing that can go wrong if you go from a soak to the moist grow medium.

How much are you watering those plants, and are you monitoring pH in the soil in any way?

Where are you getting your seeds, if you don’t mind my asking?

I’d advise against having multiple cannabis root systems in the same container. Those troughs make the plants compete with each other for resources, and individual planters let you treat them as individual plants.

Seeds are from ILGM Havent had any problems with germination in the past.
They are actually in Coco perlite mix and i always ph my water and check the soil/run off.
Watering we needed usually every other day.
This last lot of seeds is the first time of had these sorts of issues.
Very strange deformed growth and very slow growing.


Hmmm. Have you made any changes in your grows between your previous successes and these issues? New strain? New lights? Different light height? Did you switch to a new coco coir, or open a new bag? Are you buffering your coco?

First I would make sure that the water is the same, say 6.6 not 5.5 thats a big big swing.
I us paper towels. Rip off two sheets and fold in half. Most the first one but not soaking wet place seeds on and then place the other one on top. Making sure that both are most not soking wet keep them that way untill you see the white tail and you will.
Once their most place in a dark but warm place. Should be e days maybe sooner but they will pop and that’s how I do it with 100% germ everytime.


Appreciate all the feed back what im hearing is i need to be more vigilant in my germination process.
I have always germinated seed’s straight into cell pods with tap water with great success until this previous run.
I will definitely be changing my process and trying the paper towel method.
Im still perplexed that these seeds germinated with deformed leaves and then lost there leaves and died.
Again appreciate the feed back and look forward to my next grow.


I’ve had issues with older seeds, never new ones. I think the big thing to ensure a great start is the right temperature. I’ve had the best success at or close to 80f. This time of year that can be tough to achieve just placing seeds in a cupboard wrapped in damp towelettes. I use a heat mat with a thermometer placed in side a box. I’m too cheap to by a thermostat for it so I just pile books on the mat until I get the right heat in the box. Dont laugh it works.

1 Like

Please email customer support so we can replace any nongerm seeds


This is why ILGM stands heads above the rest; customer service that’s responsive and fair.


Crispy, before you try again, consider my previous questions. Make a list of all the steps you took when you were successful, and compare to the steps you took when there were issues. It could even be related to seasonal variation.

Maybe it’s worth starting a notebook to track procedures.