Germination Guide: Planting Autoflower Seeds Directly In Soil

In order to grow cannabis plants, seeds first need to germinate. That means they need to emerge from seed coats and make their way toward light. If everything goes well, they will develop root-and-shoot systems. In this course, I will teach you exactly how to germinate your autoflowering seed directly in soil so they can…

Germination Guide: Planting Autoflower Seeds Directly In Soil
Nenad Nikolic

Author: Nenad Nikolic

Publish Date: July 17, 2023
Last Update Date: September 13, 2023

Germinate Autoflower Seeds Directly In Soil

Germinate Autoflower Seeds Directly In Soil

Germination is process in which roots sprout from seed. Autoflower Seeds need certain circumstances to germinate.

The ground needs to be wet, and temperature has to be right.  You need to put seeds in dark place.

If right circumstances are met, it will crack open, and first root will break through soil or water surface. 

From there on, main root will grow downwards.

After some time, leaves will appear out of soil and cannabis will start growing upwards.

Once you decide which strain to grow, it’s time to sprout your seeds. With autoflower seeds, putting seeds direct in soil is most straightforward method.

You don’t have to do anything besides placing seed in soil, ensuring it’s moist, and waiting for it to sprout.

Should You Put Seed Straight Into Soil

You could sow your autoflower seeds straight into soil if you want to. But it’s best to do germination stage in sterile soil medium to get best results.

By sprouting seeds on sterile soil medium, you can focus on giving them optimum temperature and adequate level of darkness. 

Best of all, it will prevent them from being eaten by snails or other creatures.

How Deep To Plant Autoflowering Seed

How Deep To Plant Autoflowering Seed

If you want to plant your seeds straight into soil, there’s no need to pre-fill a seedling tray. However, it’s important not to put them too deep.

They need at least 2 inches of soil over their heads for them to be able to break through into light. It would be best if you definately started by making small hole that’s about 2 inches deep and then placing it inside.

Fill lid of pot or glass with soil and drop autoflower seed into it. Make sure you put it on its side, so there’s more chance of it getting stuck in soil. Cover with another layer of soil and give it little bit of water.

After 24 hours, check if it has cracked through soil surface and gently dig up if needed. You can now begin feeding your plants with Grow Booster Fertilizer Stick for autoflowers, which is rich in all macro- and micro elements required for optimal growth process of plants (i.e., Nitrogen, Phosphor, and Potassium).

Guide To Autoflower Seed Germination

In this section, I will discuss how to germinate autoflower seeds in soil and what you should pay attention to.

I will also provide ideal temperature, humidity, and sprouting time frames.

Here are steps to follow when placing seeds directly in soil:

  1. Fill pot with soil, so it’s nice and firm, but not too tight. You want your seedlings to be able to sprout easily through it. 
  2. Place seeds on surface and lightly cover them with soil.
  3. Don’t pile soil on top of seed, or you could suffocate it. Make sure you leave enough space between them and pot surface so seedling can emerge smoothly.

Optimal Planting Depth For Autoflower Seeds

Autoflower seeds can be planted in soil just like normal marijuana seeds. We recommend placing them around 1 to 1.5 inches deep, as this provides perfect conditions for sprouting and root development.

You don’t have to worry about lights, because all autoflowers are automatic and will grow toward lights sources without needing help.

Best Time For Autoflower Seeds To Sprout In Soil

Best Time For Autoflower Seeds To Sprout In Soil

It’s important to know best time for them to sprout to make sure you’re ready with pots, soil, and lights source when they need it.

Best time to start growing autoflower seeds in soil is when you plan on seeding your outdoor garden. If you’re growing outdoors in spring, you’ll have to start seeding your autoflowers indoors about two weeks before you plan on growing them outdoors.

Once roots have sprouted, it needs lots of water to keep roots warm and create an initial root system.

Transplanting doesn’t have to occur immediately after germinating, but ensure soil stays moist until then.

Importance Of Keeping The Soil Moist During Germination

It’s very important to keep soil moist during germination. If soil gets too dry, seedlings won’t be able to emerge from soil and will eventually die.

Ensure you don’t use hoses or sprinklers during this period because these could cause your seeds to get too wet, and fungi could grow on them.

It would be best if you watered your marijuana by hand with spray bottle so that you can determine exact amount of water they need. Amount of water they need will differ per type of weed plant.

Preparing The Soil For Germination

Preparing The Soil For Germination

Before starting process of seed germination make sure to get all your materials and soil ready. You’ll need premixed soil, container for planting, water, and seeds.

Start by filling your pots about halfway with soil. This can be any pot you have lying around, but it has to have hole in bottom so you can place it in water later on.

Also, if you use clay pots, they should be glazed because clay absorbs water too quickly. Best is to use plastic or terracotta pot because these materials don’t absorb water as fast as clay, and plastic pots are easy to clean.

Importance Of Quality

It’s important to prepare your soil properly. If you are growing indoors, start with quality soil for your autoflower seeds that contains all nutrient and minerals your plants will need during their development.

Quality of soil is very important because this determines nutrient that seedlings will recieve. In addition, if you’re looking for highest yield possible, your marijuana need plenty of nutrient.

Your seeds first need to create roots to absorb nutrients from soil. This can take couple of days depending on type of and quality of soil.

Best method for germinating autoflowers is using soil with perfect combination of nutrients and moisture levels. It will also provide ideal place for roots to grow until they’re ready to break surface.

Selecting The Right Premixed Soil

You can find premixed soil in many garden centers or online. Best growing soil for cannabis is one that is rich in humus. This consists of partly decomposed organic matter and can be bought at specialist stores or made yourself by mixing garden compost with peat moss.

If you prefer to start from scratch, you can use professional premix for pot or mix your soil by combining one part garden compost with two parts coarse sand or perlite.

Perlite is a sterile glass-based substance that retains water well and doesn’t become compacted when repeatedly watered. It also has nice layer of air that protects roots from infections and mold growth.

How To Test Soil PH Levels

How To Test Soil PH Levels

Before growing any seed, it is important to test soil to ensure it’s ideal for germination. There are two ways to do this:

  • Dip pH strip and wait until it changes color. Look at packaging of that strip to see what pH value it indicates. If strip indicates 6.0 and your soil is currently 5.5, you need to add some lime to raise pH level.
  • Take sample and mix it into water. Wait until pH level is indicated on strip.

Moistening The Soil To The Appropriate Level

Soil needs to be moist but not soaking wet. It’s good idea to check every other day and adjust moisture level accordingly.

Ensure you don’t over-water, which can cause root rot. Best way to find out if it is moist enough is by digging it little bit with your fingers and feeling if it is moist enough.

If you’re using premixed soil, it’s very important to transplant your growing seedlings after certain number of days.

Best Way To Grow Autoflowers Indoor In Soil

Best way to growing cannabis is in soil. It provides them with all nutrient they need to thrive, and it also allows for good drainage.

It would be best if you always started your seeds indoors. This is because they need lot of lights, especially during their first weeks of life.

Once days are long enough, you can transplant your marijuana outside into flower pots or directly into ground. I recommend using premixed soil with many nutrient and pH values between 6 and 7.

Take care when mixing different types of soil together, because this can cause change in pH value. Make sure to water properly before putting seeds in it, so that it’s nice and compacted and doesn’t become too dry or too wet afterward.

Benefits Of Germinating Seed Directly In Soil

Benefits Of Germinating Seed Directly In Soil

Here are benefits of germinating autoflower seeds direct into soil:

  • Quicker seedling development
  • Stronger and healthier seedlings
  • More resistance against fungi and diseases
  • Better root system, resulting in higher yields

Your marijuana will form taproots that can reach down to 20 inches or more. This is real workhorse of marijuana, reaching deep into ground to find water and nutrient. Indoor growers don’t let their marijuana develop such strong root systems since they are often transplanted into bigger pots.

But if you want to grow outdoors, it’s best to let your marijuana develop their full potential. By doing so, they will be able to absorb lot of sunlight and will have enough water and nutrient available for entire growing season.

Disadvantages Of Germinating Autoflower Directly Into Soil

Here are some disadvantages of autoflower germination direct into soil:

  • More difficult to manage
  • Less control over nutrient
  • Less control over watering schedule
  • Increased risk of diseases and pests

Once seedling breaks through surface, grower can start applying nutrient. This process is more manageable and more controllable in pots or coco.

How Long For Germinated Hemp Seeds To Break Surface

How Long For Germinated Hemp Seeds To Break Surface

Once you’ve placed your seeds, several variables determine how long it will take to break surface. Best way to know exact time is to keep close eye on your germinating autoflowering cannabis seed. Here is guide on what depends autoflowering cannabis germination;

  • Indoor Vs. Outdoor: Sprouting takes longer outdoors. This is because outdoor usually has fungi and pests that indoor often lacks.
  • Amount Of Lights: More dark, faster germination. More darkness means shorter time it takes for seedlings to break surface. Cannabis autoflower need darkness for sprouting and lights for their 1 week, 2, week, 3 week, 4 week, 5 week, 6 week, 7 week and 8 week of growth.
  • Temperature: Warm temperature, faster sprouting period. Don’t place your grow tent or greenhouse too close to heater, they won’t sprout if temperature is too high!
  • Humidity: More humid environment leads to faster sprouting process. Make sure to moisten regularly until you see first signs of sprouting! If environment gets too dry, they won’t be able to absorb enough water for optimal absorption, which can lead to irregular growth patterns and improper root formation.

Cannabis uses energy reserves to emerge from shell. This energy comes from starch reserves that are located inside them. As soon as it gets wet, an enzyme called hydrolase is activated. This splits starch inside into glucose and releases energy.

From this moment on, cannabis can do all processes it needs to do to survive, such as building cell walls and starting photosynthesis. It takes about 24 hours for it to absorb enough water to start sprouting process.

They mustn’t dry out during this period, so you should make sure they stay moist during first day.

Best Soil For Growing Cannabis

Best Soil For Growing Cannabis

When growing outdoors, ground naturally contains all nutrient and minerals marijuana needs to thrive. This is not case with indoor growing.

To ensure your autoflower strains get everything they need, you’ll have to add some external nutrient in form of amendments. Best options are bat guano or worm castings. Both contain huge amounts of nitrogen, essential for the photosynthesis of marijuana. 

You can also use compost or manure mixed with potting if you want something more powerful. Just remember that this will influence pH level (usually lower) and that you’ll probably have to add some extra lime to raise it again.

How To Grow Highest-Yielding Autoflower Seeds

Many factors determine how fast your Marijuana will grow and their yield time lapse. Best nutritional value, lights, and climate all play their part.

Best way to get highest yielding autoflower seeds is to sprout them right away. Take your time to find right location for your grow space and make sure you have everything you need.

Once they have germinated, they will need light. Make sure your room is bright enough and you can hang light above them.

You can use CFL or MH to provide your young seedling with light. You must ensure you set it correctly and don’t hang it too close because they’re small.

Once they start growing little pairs of leaves, you can place lamp a bit higher and closer. Also, make sure temperature stays between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

When it comes to autoflowering seeds, not all are created equal. Here are some of highest yielding autoflowers unique strains in our shop:

  • Skywalker OG Auto Feminized
  • Banana Kush Autoflower
  • Girl Scout Cookies Auto
  • Malawi Gold Autoflower – Autoflowering Marijuana
  • Critical Autoflower Feminized
  • Triple XL Auto Feminized
  • Northern Lights Autoflower Feminized

All above listed strains have been developed for high yields. If you have any questions about them you can contact us via email.

Other Methods Of Hemp Germination

Other ways of germination process don’t necessarily mean you have to go out and buy special products. There are plenty of other methods you can use to sprout your roots. Here are some of them: 

Paper Towel

Paper towel method is very easy, and it is also cheap. You will need to soak paper towel in water until it is saturated. Place hemp on top of wet paper towel, fold it over, and place it in plastic bag. Check after 24h to see if they have germinated and remove those that have through opening in plastic bag.

Paper towel method enables you to keep track of each seed individually, making it easy to know who’s who when they break through surface.

Jiffy Pellets

Jiffy pellets are also used for germinating seeds indoors. It’s basically small pellets made up of peat moss, vermiculite, and rockwool. All you need to do is place pellet in cup or other container and add some water to it until it expands a bit.

Put seeds inside jiffy pellets and keep them moist at all times. After few days, roots will be visible through hole in bottom of pellet. If you want to transplant these plants, cut off this bottom part and plant stem will slowly grow into new without causing any damage to cannabis itself.

Water Method

This is very easy method to use, and it doesn’t require any special tools. All you need to do is place them in water, place them in dark place, and wait until roots appear.

You can then plant them in ground or grow them hydroponically.


Here are some common questions and answers.

What is difference between germinating and growing?

Growing is process of feeding Marijuana and enabling them to grow as large and as strong as possible.

Germinating is process of breaking seed open so that first root can come out.

How long does it take to germinate?

It depends on type, but it takes 1- 3 days on average.

Should I let them sit in darkness during germination time?

Yes, because they don’t need light yet, only enough air and moisture to let them break open.

Do I have to keep humidity high?

No, it’s best if you don’t spray water too much. Keep soil slightly moist, but not too wet or too dry. You can check this by squeezing handful of soil in your hand. If it doesn’t keep any water after squeezing, you should add more.

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