The effects of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) of dielectric barrier discharges on the wettability, imbibition and germination of Leucaena leucocephala were investigated. It was established that CAP treatment markedly hydrophilized the seed coat, especially at longer treatment times. From the profile of the imbibition curve and visual observation, it was possible to verify that there are two resistance barriers to water penetration: integument surface and region of the macrosclereid cell wall (light line). Although the plasma interacts only in the integument, increasing the density of hydrophilic sites increases the capacity of water absorption, producing enough driving force to overcome the second resistance barrier. The existence of these two barriers changes the three-phase pattern generally observed during seed germination. Despite an increase in imbibition, the plasma treatment conditions used in this work, were not enough to overcome completely the dormancy barrier.