How Long should I wait for seeds to sprout?

I planted some seed that I purchased here 8 days ago. I soaked them in water for 24 hours, then put them in soil 1/2 inch deep and have kept the soil moist. Is eight days normal without seeing something or is something wrong?

8 days is not normal as far as I know. Not sure about some of the exotic strains or autoflowers. There are lots of possible reasons for them not to sprout. Wait for the experienced growers to answer, but if I had the same type of result I would carefully dig one out with a thin piece of plastic or wood and take a look at it. Does it have the first root sticking out of it? What color is that root. (If it’s white or light green it’s likely still alive. If it’s brown or black something wasn’t right with the soil or placement of the seed. If the seed hasn’t cracked, it wasn’t wet enough or it wasn’t a viable seed for some reason.)

When I got my seeds, I didn’t soak them in water, I soaked them in a folded paper towel. Kept them wet for 24 hours then watched. By the third day, all the seeds had cracked and were starting to sprout a tiny root. As I found each of them sprouting, that’s when I put them into the soil being careful to pack the soil gently but firmly around the seed and that tiny root. I never leave them in the towel long enough to become attached to it. Even being as careful as I am, I caused one of my seeds to die after the sprout by not packing the soil firmly around it when I put it in the soil.

  1. What type of soil? (plain dirt, soil with nutrients added, etc.)
  2. If the soil was storebought, did you get it completely soaked before you put the seeds in? (Sometimes soil will float when you first put water on it, this can move the seed and cause it to be deeper or shallower than you expected.)
  3. When you put the seeds in, did you pack the soil firmly around them? (If there’s air pockets, the roots can die shortly after sprouting.)
  4. PH of the soil and the water?
  5. How did you moisten? (spray bottle, few drops of water, faucet, etc.)
  6. How long did the seeds sit before you put them into water? (If a long time, how were they stored?)
  7. Indoor or outdoor?
  8. Temperature? (average if it varies a lot)
  9. What strain were they?

Before you try again, it’s important to do a root cause analysis (no pun intended) to see what caused the problem. I’d be really disappointed at this point. Sorry. But don’t let it keep you from trying again.

It takes mine 10 days to sprout counting the 3-4 days of germination.
I used to go 1/2 in and it did take a few days longer.Now two times the depth of seed is what I go by.That’s only 4-5mm or 3/16in.
It takes me a magnify glass to see shell or the tiny white root to break through soil.I usually see about 1mm of the white root before seed shell if it doesn’t come off in soil.

1 Like

It does depend on a lot of factors, but when the moisture, temperature and dissolved oxygen ratios are perfect it can happen fast. The paper towel technique is so popular because, if done right, it brings a lot of dissolved oxygen to the seed by allowing so much air to mix with the moisture around the seed. I’ve seen seeds crack and have as much as a centimeter to even over an inch of growth within only 24 hours on occasion, also I’ve had seeds i thought were dead and just throw them in some moist potting mix off to the side that stayed moist for few days to a couple of weeks on its own, and then been pleasantly surprised to have a little healthy plant poke up so many weeks later.

Soaking in a glass of water works very well also, just be sure to keep the oxygen levels in the water high by replacing it daily with fresh aerated water, the aeration from the tip of the faucet in tap water is usually good enough or if using bottled water, poor some water into an empty bottle and shake that vigorously and then poor this freshly-mixed-with-air-water into the glass for the seeds.

I like to do both, the soak in well aerated water the first day, and the moist paper towel thereafter. I take the moist, not saturated, paper towel and fold it into a smaller square and put this in a zip lock sandwich bag and seal it in with a bunch of air in the bag and put it on a plate and place the plate on back of the top of the refrigerator to give it some warmth. Change out the air daily and maybe even change the paper towel every few days for stubborn seeds that are taking longer, if you start to smell a rotten smell coming from the seed, it is dead and remove it from the rest of the seeds immediately. Anything that takes more than two weeks probably isn’t viable.