You can grow your cannabis from either a seed or a clone. In commercial marijuana production, producers will often sow many seeds of a single strain and select the best plant. In this article, we cover three different methods, nutrients for seedlings, and the different types of seeds available. Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go.
A Simple Guide To Germinating Cannabis Seeds
You can grow your cannabis from either a seed or a clone. In commercial marijuana production, producers will often sow many seeds of a single strain and select the best plant. During the cannabis grow stages, producers will take clones of that particular plant, allowing for uniform genetics in large production.
Since marijuana is legal in your state, you can purchase seeds or clones from the local dispensary or several seed banks online.
When is the Ideal Time of Year to Start Growing Marijuana Seeds?
The beginning of spring is the optimal time to germinate cannabis seeds for outdoor growing. Cannabis plants are annuals, meaning they will grow throughout the spring and summer before flowering in the Autumn as the days become shorter. If you’re growing your seeds inside, you can germinate them whenever you want as long as you provide them with the necessary atmosphere.
Duration Taken in Cannabis Seeds Germination
Sprouting can take anything from a few days to a week for your seeds to begin to sprout and grow into plants.
Will Seeds Germinate in a Paper Towel When Placed in The Dark?
Yes, to put it briefly, a seed will often sprout with a bit of moisture, warmth, and darkness.
A substance called phytochrome is the key to this. In light, phytochrome exists in one form, and after a time of darkness, it exists in a different form. After a few HOURS, the light form decreases to a dark state; after several MINUTES in the light, it is converted back. As a result, a seed on the soil’s surface receives enough light to maintain the dark state of phytochrome low for long enough to prevent germination. The dark version of phytochrome is only active long enough to cause germination when the seed is in complete darkness.
The tissue will help keep your sprouts moist, but it will not provide additional nutrients. They’ll have enough food to get started from seed, but they’ll require soil or food for happy roots and light to create strong green leaves.
Remember to distinguish between what a seed requires and what your seedlings require; thus, examining the plant’s requirements after germination is an intelligent idea.
What are the Optimum Temperature and Light Settings in Germination of Cannabis Seeds?
Seeds require appropriate warmth, humidity, and air to sprout efficiently. Marijuana seeds like a temperature range of 70°F to 90°F for sprouting. It’s why cannabis grow tents are dark on the outside to increase temperatures. Seeds do not require light to germinate, but seedlings need good lighting to grow.
Why Won’t My Cannabis Seeds Sprout?
When growing cannabis from seeds, seeds may fail to sprout because of various causes, including age or dryness, improper storage, incorrect cannabis germination methods, and difficulties at the seed bank.
I do not recommend disturbing or attempting to shatter the seeds at this time because they are very fragile and could be damaged. To “activate” your seed, use the “glass of water” procedure. It’s best to wait for now and be patient, ensuring they have the best sprouting conditions.
How Deep Should I Plant My Cannabis Seeds?
Direct planting is even more natural than soaking in water. Sow your seeds 1/2 inch to one inch deep in damp soil or a similar medium. Not subjecting your seedlings to transplant shock is a significant advantage of this method. They will have adjusted to their surroundings because they have grown up in them.
When you want to germinate cannabis seeds, patience is essential, and this step is no exception. Taking notes is a great way to keep track of your progress and figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Refrigerate your seeds until you’re ready to start. It takes a little research and experimentation to grow cannabis, but it’s not rocket science, and it’s a VERY satisfying experience. Give home-growing a try and shop at Upper Limits Inc. for all grow tent, grow light & grow accessory product needs.
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A Beginner’s Guide to Germinating Cannabis Seeds
There is no better moment than when your new pack of Cannabis seeds arrives in the post. As you tear the pack open and think about all the wonderful things about to come out of this pack, it is worth considering the different ways to germinate. In this article, we cover three different methods, nutrients for seedlings, and the different types of seeds available.
The Different Types of Cannabis Seeds
There will be two types of Cannabis seeds that are available to grow, and these are regular sex or feminized. Originally, the only seeds that were available to buy were regular, and it was in late 1999 when the first feminized seeds rolled out and changed the indoor and outdoor marketplace forever.
- These seeds will produce either male or female Cannabis plants
- Male plants would need to be removed from the garden during 12/12
- Regular sex seeds are much cheaper to buy than feminized.
- For breeding projects and stability, regular sex seeds are most practical.
- Only female plants will grow, meaning no need to remove males.
- The choice of feminized seed is much greater than regular seeds.
- A grower can use their indoor and outdoor space as efficiently as possible.
- It is possible to grow different feminized strains together, meaning more variety.
- Feminized seeds can be purchased as 3,5, and 10 packs.
The Different Methods of Germinating
Every grower has their preferences when it comes to seed germination. Some have used the same technique for decades, whilst others are still experimenting with other ways. Generally, a seed will pop out a small white tail within 48-72 hours once in any of the following environments.
1. Using paper towels
Using paper towels is easy and requires a piece or two of kitchen roll and two plates. The paper towel is folded up into a square and then the seedlings placed inside the tissue. The plates will keep the wet tissue paper moist, without the concern of drying out. As the seeds are sat on a wet tissue blanket and surrounded by air, it does not take long for signs of germination. In some cases, the roots can grow quite fast and may end up becoming longer than you originally anticipated, and worst case will make a J shape.
Top Tip: Make sure that the paper towel you are using is thick and easy to peel back and examine. Avoid cheap tissue paper that will become soggy and waterlogged. Remember, it is the air around the seeds that promote the roots to search outwards.
2. A glass of water
Throwing your seeds into a glass of bottled water and left in a cool and dark place, is another way to kick-start life. The seeds may float on the water for the first 12-24 hours, however once encouraged by a gentle swirl will all sink to the bottom of the glass. Some growers have no problems at all using tap water, others prefer store bought bottled water, and then others may add a few drops of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide into the glass of water.
Top Tip: It is a good idea to change the water every 24 hours, and do not let the water come into contact with sunlight. In the event that seeds do not sink to the bottom, and show no signs of doing much, then be prepared to throw that seed out, if you cannot place it into soil and hope for the best.
3. Planting directly into soil
Mother Nature’s way and oftentimes the most practical, especially if you are confident that the growing medium you have is rich in nutrients. Cannabis seeds that come into contact with microbe and fungi rich mediums will grow faster and stronger than without. When planting your seedlings, you will want to take a match stick and insert 2 cm deep. The part of the Cannabis seeds that has a clear, round appearance needs to face upwards. The tap root will grow out and anchor itself downwards, and the seedling will emerge at the surface within 3-5 days.
Top Tip: Take extra care when inserting seedlings into your growing medium, making sure they are all facing the correct way. Seeds that form a J root can be problematic and produce stunted plants.
Nutrition and watering
Once all of your seeds have made it out of the substrate they are growing in, now you will need to feed them. At this very early stage, all you have to give them is plain water, with a minimal amount of nutrients.
Root boosters work well and if you are growing in soil, then using only water for the first 3-4 weeks is fine. Foliar spraying is an excellent way to keep the seedlings well hydrated, without transpiring too much. It is a good idea to frequently spray your seedlings, and to make sure they are as happy and healthy as possible.
Watering frequency, whilst plants are so young, is down to how often the growing medium becomes dry. Allowing the medium to fully dry out is actually a good thing for roots, and encourages them to search out into the open space. Finding the point between dry and light, to wet with runoff is a balancing act, but remember less is more when working with Cannabis seedlings.
What About Seeds That Don’t Germinate?
There is nothing more frustrating than when a pack of expensive seeds simply don’t germinate. Occasionally, the seedlings can look immature and pale colored, whilst others look the part, but just don’t do anything under any circumstances. Unfortunately, the quality control for many breeders is not what it used to be, but this is also how you learn which seed banks take pride in their work, and which are white-label specialists who only care about profits.
Avoid Using Bad Quality Soil
Don’t make a big mistake and start your seedlings off in poor quality soil. You will only be kicking yourself when they don’t germinate or have become waterlogged due to poor aeration and drainage. Below is a short list of what to look out for when inspecting soil.
- The texture is thick and clumpy and does not break apart easily.
- When watered, there is no runoff and the soil becomes very heavy
- When smelling a handful, there is a rotting egg aroma forming.
- There are no signs of perlite or anything that adds air pockets
- The soil has been used before and is full of chemicals.
Endo Mycorrhizae and Trichiderma
Did you know that at a microscopic level, millions of beneficial microorganisms exist in the soil? Bacteria and fungi work harmonizing with plants to allow them to access the soil food web. Endo mycorrhizae and Trichderma both have beneficial properties for seedlings or mature plants.
It is a good idea to mix beneficial microorganisms into your growing medium, to guarantee they have the best start in life, and are well protected from pathogens and diseases that may enter the garden and soil.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Cannabis, better known as marijuana, is getting more popular across the United States as more medical reports deem it highly useful for better health and more states legalize its sale and use. There’s no question of how potent and beneficial marijuana is for health and recreation, so it is no surprise that more individuals are more getting interested in growing the herb in their homes.
Like any other plant, cannabis goes through the germination process before full growth. Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go.
Below here, we breakdown the main aspects of cannabis seed germination you need to know.
The Ideal Germination Conditions for Cannabis
For maximum cannabis seed germination, you need to provide the following conditions:
Marijuana seeds need adequate moisture in the soil to develop properly. You can maintain moisture by using well-watered soil or a naturally-moist medium such as compost. Alternatively, you can use mulch on the ground to lock the moisture in.
Your seeds need a stable setup during planting to guarantee proper germination. You can achieve this by placing the seeds about 1.3cm to 2.5 cm into the medium, not any further or closer to the medium surface.
Marijuana seeds require a proper balance between hot and cold temperatures for proper germination. Keep the temperature around the germinating area adequately warm, because colder temperatures tend to delay the germination process.
Marijuana seeds need direction when being germinated. When placing the germinated seed into the growing medium, ensure that the white root is looking downwards into the medium and the seed body is looking upwards. Positioning it otherwise means the root will have to reorganize itself, which can slow germination.
Seed Germination Methods
There are more than a few options to choose from when picking a method for your seed germination process. We list and explain the best of them below:
Use Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs
This is the most recommended cannabis seed germination method on this list because of its ease. Starter cubes and seedling plugs are specially designed for the purpose of seed germination, so they come filled with the right kind of planting mix and a hole drilled adequately in the middle for placing your seed. All you have to do is place your seed carefully into the hole and close it with a simple pinch of the nearby planting mix.
- They have high germination rates thanks to adequately pre-set conditions
- They are easy to use; you open them up and start planting
- They give less room for error
- Some of them are designed to allow hydroponic growing (water-based planting)
- They aren’t too expensive
- Are usually sold in packages of 50 plugs or more at once, no less.
- Some plugs dry out too quickly after opening.
- Some plugs must be soaked for a while first before use.
Plant your marijuana seeds directly in the final growing medium
Another good method for germinating your cannabis seeds is by planting them within your final growing medium from the very beginning, whether it is soil or compost or water.
- The seeds don’t get transplant shock during transplanting
- The seeds get accustomed to the medium early on, which fosters growth
- Some final mediums are not adequately nutrient-rich to support cannabis seed germination in its earliest stages
Use a germination station
For best seed germination results, you can alternatively employ a germination station before transferring to a final growing medium. Germination stations are pre-designed to offer optimum conditions for germination.
- Germination stations are cheap to purchase
- You can create your own DIY germination station at home using a plastic dome fitted over a plate that’s placed on a heating pad.
- Germination seeds are only appropriate for the early stages of growth, unlike, say, the final medium.
Soak Your Marijuana Seeds in Water Overnight
Alternatively, you can germinate your cannabis seeds using water alone. Place the seeds in a glassful of mildly warm water overnight and wait for the white root to break through the seed shell. Then you can transfer to a final growing medium.
- It works well for seeds with extra hard seed coats
- Cuts out all the extra preparation required in soil-based germination
- Some seeds, especially the older ones, cannot germinate in water because they require a longer time
- There is always the risk of over soaking the seeds and killing them
Try the Paper Towel Method
The most DIY cannabis seed germination method on this list is the paper towel method, which involves wrapping your seeds in thin paper towels, making them wet and leaving the setup a warm place. Soon enough, the white roots start showing and the seeds can then be transplanted.
- It is so cheap; the thinnest (and cheapest) paper towels work best
- It is so easy to do.
- Thicker paper towels can be hard to separate new seedlings from after they’ve sprouted
- There is a high possibility for errors during transplanting, such as root breakage when seed roots are found to have grown into the paper towel, not on its surface.
- Paper towels can dry if unattended, thereby killing the new seedlings.
Planting Germinated Seeds
Once the cannabis seeds have germinated, they need to be planted in order to grow into proper cannabis plants. The recommended method for planting cannabis seeds includes the steps below:
Step One : Set and prepare your planting medium. You can use either a rooting cube or a planting mix for planting, depending on your preference. Rooting cubes have no major preparation requirements –have one ready from Oasis, Jiffy or another good brand. If you’re using a planting mix, procure sterile soil for the process. Random soil doesn’t cut it here.
Step Two : Next, add water to the sterile soil or rooting cube to saturate it. Then use a needle or chopstick to drill small planting holes within the soil or rooting cube. Please do not use your finger for this task.
Step Three : Get your tweezers and sterilize them with alcohol or spirit first. Then use the tweezers to pick the seeds, paying good attention to the fragile white roots.
Step Four : Place each germinated seed into a hole of its own, ever so tenderly, such that the root faces downward. Don’t place the seeds too deep into the ground either, because it slows growth. Move quickly because the roots are easily damaged by exposure to the atmosphere.
Step Five : Next, cover each of the holes with adequate soil or rooting cube. Make sure the planting mix or root cube is moist and not too cold.
Germinating and growing cannabis seeds requires a bit of work, but when done right, the end results are worth every minute spent. Like any other plant, cannabis seeds have to go through germination and then plant growth. Making sure each of these stages is done right will guarantee you a super bouncy harvest every time.