Germinating Marijuana Seeds

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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. Want to germinate your cannabis seeds? Not sure how to start? This guide will give you a few tips and tricks to get your journey started. Discover the most effective ways of germinating cannabis seeds indoors in an easy, fast and affordable way; the best tips and tricks.

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.

Bottom Line

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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How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Just received your cannabis seeds in the mail? Great! Now what?

Now you germinate your seeds. But what does that mean, and how do you do it? Once again, Seedsman has all the information you need. This article will look at the germination process – both what it means and a step-by-step look at how to do it. Bookmark this one for future reference.

Table of contents

What is Seed Germination?

Put simply, germination is the first step when growing marijuana plants. It’s the first step in the cannabis plant life cycle before planting or potting your seeds, where the seed goes from seed to seedling. The shell will crack, and (all being well), you’ll see a white root emerge.

This sprout is known as a taproot, and it’s the first sign of life to burst forth from your seed. There are several different ways to germinate cannabis seeds, most of which are pretty straightforward. We’ll look at these methods in a bit more depth, and you can decide which method is best for you – and your seeds.

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Getting the germination stage right is crucial to getting your cannabis cultivation off the ground. There’s a high chance of failure, and how you store your seeds, as well as how you handle them before attempting germination, is vital. If you get it wrong, your seed is useless, and you’ll have to try again with a new seed – but don’t worry! This guide will give you all you need to know to get you germinating seeds like a veteran.

Before you get started, there is a small caveat – even the most seasoned cultivators will often find themselves with a dud seed or a few dud seeds now and again. Taking great care of your seeds and using the proper techniques will serve you well, but sometimes a seed just won’t sprout. Bear in mind a seed is a living organism, and sometimes you’ll get a seed with bad genetics. If this happens to you, toss it aside and start again.

Inspect Your Seeds

Cannabis seeds are just the same as any other seeds in that they’re not all created equal. Upon opening the package, you may notice seeds of different sizes and colours. This is normal, and the shape and size of the seed aren’t indicative of its quality.

There’s a consensus among the experts that the colour of the seed may be a quality marker. Darker seeds may have greater viability, and pale green or whiter-looking seeds are more likely to fail. That doesn’t mean tossing out the pale ones, however. Germinate them all and see how you fare. Even a seed with slight damage to the outer shell can sometimes germinate and grow to produce good plants.

It likely suggests a good seed if a seed has a tough shell and can take a squeeze without sustaining any damage. An immature seed will typically be of a paler colour and more prone to shell damage if pressure is applied.

What’s the Score?

Some cultivators believe in scoring the seed’s outer shell with a sharp object before germination. This process is also known as scarification and is a good way to assist in the germination process. The idea is that weakening the seed’s outer shell makes it easier for moisture to permeate the hard shell. This should speed up the process somewhat and make it easier for the taproot to burst through.

Feel free to try this method, but take great care. Also, note that if you’re a hobbyist, scarification is fine, but if you’re a licensed cultivator with dozens of plants, you might find scarification to be an unnecessary, time-consuming endeavour.

As scarification involves a sharp implement (such as a pen knife or a thin file), there’s a reasonable chance you could nick yourself in the process. Your seed is at risk of damage because if you score too deep into the shell, you can damage the embryo inside the seed. Sure, you can toss the seed aside and start over with a new one, but can you say the same about your finger?

You can nip seeds with nail clippers to scarify them, but remember not to squeeze too hard – the aim is to put a score in the shell and not pierce it.

Another way to scarify seeds is to soak them in hot, but not boiling, water. Let the water cool to room temperature, and leave the seeds in that same water for around 12 hours.

A Word About Water

Home growers take note – many seasoned cultivators recommend using distilled water rather than tap water when germinating seeds. The advantage of distilled water is that it’s free of contaminants and seems to help seeds germinate quicker.

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Once you’ve inspected your marijuana seeds and scarified them if you choose to, it’s time to begin the fun part – germinating your seeds. This is the first step in the life of your cannabis plant when the initial shoot of the plant appears, long before putting the plant under grow lights or into a growing medium. Seeing your first taproots is an exciting experience and is often documented like the imminent arrival of a child with a series of photographs from bump to birth.

Let’s talk about germination methods:

The Wet Paper Towel Method

This is a favourite of hobbyist cultivators worldwide, mainly due to its sheer simplicity. To germinate cannabis seeds using the paper towel method, you’ll need the following:

Cannabis seeds (of course)

  • Two plates
  • Four paper towels
  • Tweezers
  • Distilled water

Begin by laying the paper towels out flat. Dampen them with distilled water, enough to moisten without saturating them – you want them to be moist but not wet. Lay two of your dampened paper towels on top of one of the plates, and using tweezers, place your seeds on top of the paper towels a few centimetres apart from each other. Then, take the other two paper towels and lay them on top of the seeds. Finally, cover the lot with the last plate to seal in the moisture and create a nice, dark environment for your seeds.

Store your plates in an environment where the temperature is between 20°C and 30°C (68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) and check on them twice a day. You can buy a heating mat online to help create a stable temperature. Top Tip – if you find the paper towels are drying out, add a little more distilled water to keep them moist.

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Resist the temptation to check on them regularly, as you don’t want to keep disturbing the ambience between the plates. Using the paper towel method, you should see taproots emerge within the first three days, although some strains and older seeds may need a little more time. When you have taproots measuring 2-3mm, remove your sprouting seeds and plant them in the soil.

The Glass of Water Method

A less common and perhaps less effective method is the glass of water method of germinating seeds. Here, you’ll need:

  • Seeds (of course)
  • A cup/glass/bowl – small container of water

First, ensure the water is at room temperature. Don’t heat it, don’t boil it, don’t pull a bottle of Evian straight from the fridge and have at it. Then, simply pop your seeds in and check back the next day. After somewhere between 3 to 5 days, you should find that your seeds have opened and those magical white tips have appeared. Once they’re around 2-3mm long, remove the seeds very carefully, and plant them in soil pots.

This is the simplest germination method, but the internet is awash with contradicting views and sob stories about using the glass of water method to germinate cannabis seeds. Some people found that seeds effectively drowned and were useless due to spending so long in the water, but others reported the process worked fine.

Soil Plugs

A slightly more hi-tech method of germinating your seeds involves using soil plugs. These contain ingredients such as key nutrients which should benefit seedlings to thrive. By investing in soil plugs, the idea is that you’re strengthening the plant from its earliest stage of life and providing head-start protection. Soil plugs can assist nutrient uptake and protect against pathogens which could attack the root zone.

For this method, you’ll need the following:

  • Seeds (of course)
  • Soil Plugs
  • A propagation tray
  • A spray bottle
  • A clear plastic lid (Tupperware style)

Begin by placing a single seed into each plug, then place each plug into the propagation tray. Grab your spray bottle and set it to mist to avoid overwatering, then mist each plug with just enough water to moisten them.

Then, pop your lid on the propagation tray to retain the humidity inside the tray. It would be best if you aimed to keep the temperature somewhere between 22°C and 25°C and relative humidity between 70% and 90%. Once roots begin to appear, soil plugs have the benefit of allowing easy transplant into soil, rock wool, coir or hydroponics systems.

The Soil Method

The advantage of planting seeds directly into potting soil is a notable one – you want to minimise handling as much as possible at this stage, and the soil method allows you to skip that altogether. For that reason, planting straight into soil is probably the safest method of germinating cannabis seeds.

  • Seeds (of course)
  • Small pots
  • Premium quality soil
  • Water
  • A spray bottle

Soak the soil you’re going to be using in water, and fill each pot with soil. Make a small hole about 15mm deep in the centre of the soil, then carefully place one seed in the hole in the soil in every pot. You’ll then lightly cover each seed with soil, but take great care not to compress the soil over the seed. Doing this will make it much harder for the root to break through the soil and can slow growth significantly. A light dusting over the seed should do the trick.

After this, lightly spray the top soil with water to keep it moist. Then, place the pots in an environment in that temperature sweet spot between 22C and 25C. It should take between four and ten days for the seedling to sprout in this method, but as it’s already in soil, the plant’s roots will also have started to spread underneath. The result is a plant that’s underway and has enough resilience that you can transfer it – and the soil – to a larger pot for the next stage of young plant growth.

Different Methods, Same Conditions

Once your seeds have germinated, pot them and transfer them to a windowsill to give young seedlings some light. You won’t have to worry too much about nutrients at this stage, but once you see the first set of leaves emerge (known as cotyledons), slowly introduce nutrients at around a quarter of the recommended dose, increasing in quarter increments per set of leaves.

Remember that no batch of seeds comes with a guarantee that 100% of them will germinate. Any of the above methods will successfully germinate most of your seeds, but no matter which way you choose, there are key conditions that remain consistent with each.

In nature, seeds germinate in springtime, so we want to replicate those conditions – warmth, humidity, and moisture are vital. Keep handling of your seeds to a minimum, and remember that checking a couple of times a day is recommended. Germinating cannabis plant seeds can be an exciting time, but resist the temptation to check in every 90 minutes.

Finally, buying your seeds from a top quality and trusted seed bank like Seedsman ensures high-quality genetics, which increases the likelihood of successful germination.

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Got any top tip tips or hacks for germinating your cannabis seeds? Share them in the comments below.

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds – Different Methods

A seed is a plant that’s waiting for the right conditions to germinate and grow. This post is designed to teach you how to germinate cannabis seeds as efficiently as possible in order to obtain successful results during this delicate phase.

Table of Contents

Cannabis seeds (or marijuana) germinate when they’re in the right conditions for successful growth. In nature, this process occurs on its own around springtime; moist soil begins to heat up with the increased sunlight and the inclination of the earth. We’re going to give a quick overview of the different methods used when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds.

Under these conditions, seeds germinate in soil protected from direct light and in an airy substrate. Once they’ve germinated they will begin to take root in the soil.

  • Humidity: alongside heat, this activates seeds and softens the protective shell. Once the seed has germinated, it will need moisture to survive.
  • Darkness: roots are incredibly light-sensitive, so they’ll need to be in the dark in order to guarantee germination.
  • Heat: alongside humidity, heat activates seeds and indicates that the conditions are right to begin growing. It’s important to maintain temperatures between 20 and 26°C during the germination process.
  • Oxygen: it’s important to periodically open the container in which you’re germinating your seeds in order to renew airflow and give your plants’ seeds more oxygen.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

There are many different germination methods when it comes to cannabis seeds, from simple to complex processes. In this post we’re going to go through the most common methods used that, when done with a care, can be 100% effective.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds in Paper Towels

Germination in paper towels is La Huerta Grow Shop’s preferred and recommended method due to how efficient and easy it is, as well as being the cheapest method. Cannabis seeds ready to germinate in paper towels

Necessary Materials
  • Absorbent paper towels (kitchen)
  • Two plates or plastic, opaque Tupperware with a lid.
  • Water.
  • Sprayer (optional.
  • Seeds
  • Latex gloves.

We highly recommend using latex gloves during the entire process in order to avoid accidental contamination via fungi or virus.

You can also use Germinator Pro to help you with this process; it comes with everything needed for the germination process, including a thermometer on top of the germinating container.

Steps to follow
  1. Place 6 – 8 paper towels on a plate or in your Tupperware, and pour in small amounts of mild water until they’re covered. Squeeze them softly until they’re moist but not soaking.
  2. Place the seeds on the paper towel “pillow”, keeping them a distance a apart so their roots don’t end up intertwining. The less you touch them with your hands, the better.
  3. Wet another 6 – 8 paper towels, squeeze to remove excess water and place them on top of your seeds.
  4. Place the second plate upside-down on top (or the Tupperware lid) in order to guarantee darkness. You can close the lid entirely or not, depending on how fast the paper dries. Keep in mind that you need to keep the paper towels moist until the last seed germinates. If you close the lid fully, open it once a day to make sure they get more air and to check if they’ve germinated.
  5. Place the seed container in a warm area without direct sunlight, keeping the temperature between 18 and 25°C. At La Huerta Grow Shop we’ve noticed that cannabis seed germinate faster and better when placed over very light heat sources like a router or on top of the fridge, which generate high enough temperatures to stimulate germination.
  6. Observe the process and maintain humidity. If the paper dries up, spray it again until it’s moist. Seeds don’t always germinate at the same time, so we recommend transplanting when the root is between 1 and 15 cm. If you leave germinated seeds in the container for too long, the root may grow too long and make them harder to handle. This initial root is highly delicate; we recommend using latex or plastic gloves.
  7. Transplant your seeds. You’ll need to wash the soil and make a hole as deep as the root; place the seed in with the root facing downwards. This allows the first two leaves to sprout above the surface of the substrate. The substrate should be moist – not soaked – until the plant grows its first pair of real leaves. During this delicate phase, the amount of moisture available is crucial; don’t let it dry out too much, but don’t over-water. We recommend using small amounts of water frequently.

*if you’re using a heater or heating mat, keep in mind that your seeds are in a container and not a flowerpot, so the heat may be excessive.

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