Table of Contents
- Germination Method 1: Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs (Recommended)
- Germination Method 2: Plant marijuana seeds directly in growing medium
- Germination Method 3: Germination Station
- Germination Method 4: Soak Marijuana Seeds in Water Overnight
- Germination Method 5: Paper Towel Method
- How to Plant Your Germinated Cannabis Seeds
- Your Cannabis Seedling’s First Few Weeks
- What Size Pot Should I Use?
- When should I start a pot seed?
- How long does it take to grow a pot plant from seed to flower?
- How can you tell if a seed is female?
- How to Plant Cannabis Seeds Indoors: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
- How to germinate Cannabis seeds: a guide for beginners
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by Nebula Haze
Table of Contents
- Method 1: Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs (Recommended!)
- Method 2: Plant Directly in Growing Medium
- Method 3: Germination Station
- Method 4: Soak Seeds Overnight
- Method 5: Paper Towel Method
Introduction: Cannabis Seed Germination
Cannabis germination is the process of getting your seeds to sprout, and you know sprouting has occurred when a little white tendril pops out of the seed.
The little white tendril that emerges from a cannabis seed during germination is your plant’s first root, known as a “taproot.” All other roots made by your cannabis plant in its lifetime will sprout from the taproot.
The taproot – and maybe a few tiny early offshoots of the taproot – will get longer and longer, pushing the seed up, and after the shell breaks through the surface of your growing medium, the first leaves (these first round leaves are known as “cotyledons”) will emerge from inside the cannabis seed.
The cotyledons were already created as part of the plant embryo in the seed itself, so the cannabis seedling doesn’t have to grow them. In fact, the emerging first leaves are what break apart the shell after it’s cracked open by the taproot, as pictured here.
The next set of leaves after the cotyledons are your plants first “true” leaves and will have jagged edges (serrations). At least, they are the first leaves that your seedling cannabis plant has grown all on its own, unlike the cotyledons which were already formed in the seed.
Cannabis seeds can be expensive, don’t waste your seeds with bad germination methods!
(Wait, where can I get cannabis seeds?)
What Do Marijuana Seeds Need to Germinate?
Marijuana seeds need the following to get the best germination rates:
- Moisture – Keep things moist but not soaking (you can soak hard seeds for up to 24-32 hours, but do not leave seeds soaking in water for longer than that).
- Peace – Seeds need to be left alone while you’re waiting for the taproot to show up.
- Warmth – Keep things warm to get the best germination rates, but not too hot! Think springtime. Seeds can definitely germinate in cooler temps, but germination tends to take longer when it’s cool.
- Gentle – Be careful when checking seeds, and treat them gently when you have to move them. Avoid touching their white root if possible; the taproot is very fragile and easily snaps off!
- Plant Root Down – When planting germinated seeds, point the white root downwards into the growing medium to prevent the seedling from having to reorient itself.
- Plant Knuckle Deep – When planting germinated seeds, they don’t have to be placed too far under in the growing medium, about a half inch to an inch (1.3 cm – 2.5 cm) down from the surface of the medium should be enough.
When germinating cannabis seeds, think springtime conditions. In the wild, your cannabis seeds would germinate in the spring so they can be ready to take full advantage of long summer days!
Never let your young sprouted seeds dry up!
The main signal that tells a marijuana seed to start sprouting is the presence of moisture and heat. The combination of warm and wet (aka spring conditions) “tells” the seed to start burrowing their main root (called a taproot) through their shell.
If a seed’s root breaks through the shell and the water around has dried up, your seedling will die. Plain and simple.
Seedlings are fragile at first. Once sprouted, the roots need to stay constantly moist to stay happy and healthy. It’s important to make sure the seeds have access to water the entire time during germination, no matter which cannabis germination method you end up using.
Keep things warm!
Seeds germinate best in warmer temperatures and young marijuana seedlings do better with higher relative humidity in the air. When seedlings are young, they grow faster and healthier when they can absorb moisture from the air through their leaves while their roots are still developing. Dry air won’t kill your seedlings, but it doesn’t make things better. Again, think springtime conditions!
You can use an incandescent bulb (or two) placed over the marijuana seed germination area to help keep things warm. Incandescent bulbs are the opposite of what a grower typically wants: they can’t be used as grow lights, but they’re great at generating heat. Some people will also place a heating pad (the kind you get from a garden store for seedlings) underneath seeds to help aid germination.
Basically, you want to make sure any seeds or sprouts are kept warm and moist at all times, that their roots are unexposed to light, and that they get planted right away.
There are several different methods to germinate your cannabis seeds, and in this article we’ll go through some easy techniques that have proven to be effective.
How do I know if my seeds are good?
Assume all dark seeds are viable, even if seeds can be crushed
Generally, pale-green or white seeds will not germinate, but most dark seeds will germinate when given good conditions.
I used to believe that marijuana seeds were only “good” if they were extremely hard and very dark. One of the first tests I heard to check new cannabis seeds for viability was to try to crush them between my fingers. If the seeds could be crushed, they weren’t good, or so I was told. This has proven to be absolutely terrible advice!
Some of the best plants I have ever grown have emerged from seeds which were flimsy and could be crushed between my fingers. As long as you provide great marijuana germination conditions (as explained above), I’ve found that a lot of seemingly “weak” seeds germinate and produce amazingly hardy plants and great buds.
I do not believe the health of the plant is directly tied to the apparent “health” of the seed. If the seed germinates, it’s a good seed!
Here’s a picture showing several healthy and viable cannabis seeds
Remember! Most of the medical strains of marijuana we grow today (learn how to get seeds) have been bred over many years to produce plants that are easy to grow and which produce potent, medicinal buds. However, these strains have not been selected for the toughness of the seeds they produce since that isn’t important to us as growers. Just remember…
As long as a seed germinates, it’s a good seed!
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Germination Method 1: Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs (Recommended)
One of the best cannabis germination methods is to use specifically-made starter cubes and seedling plugs. These plugs make cannabis germination easy. You simply place the seed in the cube or plug, add water as directed, and seedlings automatically get the perfect conditions for germination.
Each cube or plug already has a hole specifically for you to place your seed. Just stick your seed into the precut hole and pinch the top closed a bit with your fingers. Don’t worry, you can’t mess this part up 🙂 As long as the seed makes it in there, you should be good.
This is one of the easiest germination methods and doesn’t leave a lot of room for error. Cannabis seeds and clones can be expensive, and sometimes we have genetics we just can’t afford to lose. When that’s the case, germinate your cannabis with one of the following recommended options to ensure as close to 100% germination rate as possible.
Which Starter Cubes Work Best for Germinating Cannabis?
Rapid Rooters (Highly Recommended For All Setups)
Rapid Rooters are easy to work with – you just stick your cannabis seed in the Rapid Rooter (pointy side down), keep your seed warm and slightly moist, and let the Rapid Rooter do its magic.
Sprouts emerge and roots appear in just a few days.
Rapid Rooter starter cubes are suitable for all growing methods, including hydroponics, coco coir and soil. They work for every setup and come from General Hydroponics, a trusted company (the same one used by NASA) which is known for the quality and consistency of its products.
I highly recommend using Rapid Rooters over any other starter plugs. They are less prone to problems and work great with any growing medium (including hydroponic systems).
Pros of Rapid Rooters
- Easy to Use – You Can’t Really Mess Up
- No Prep or Setup – Open the Package and Go
- Some of the Best Germination Rates of Any Method
Cons of Rapid Rooters
- Can only get 50+ at a time (General Hydroponics currently does not offer fewer plugs per package)
- After opening the package, you only have a week or two before they dry out, so if you’re only germinating one or two seeds, you’ll end up having to throw many of the Rapid Rooters away.
There are a few different options for Rapid Rooters, which can be confusing if you’re not sure what you want. The 3 different options for Rapid Rooters are listed here…
Bag of Rapid Rooters
These are round on bottom instead of being a cube, which means they cannot stand up on their own. These are best suited to a hydroponic setup where the Rapid Rooter will be placed directly in the final destination. In our hydroponic setups, we’ve had near 100% germination rates with Rapid Rooters, better than any other seedling cube we’ve tried.
- Round on bottom (won’t stand up by themselves without support) unless you squish the bottom so it’s flat like this grower did (pic)
- Great for starting with Rapid Rooter directly in final destination (hydro, soil, coco coir, etc)
- Get 50 Rapid Rooters at a time
Rapid Rooters Mat
This type of Rapid Rooters comes in a mat of (usually 98) Rapid Rooters. All the individual Rapid Rooters are sectioned off and have a hole for the seed, but they must be cut or pulled away from the complete mat. Unlike the type of Rapid Rooters that comes in a bag, these ones are made into cubes and are flat on the bottom so they can stand alone. This makes them good for germinating in a shallow pool of water where the cubes need to be able to stand up on their own.
- Easily break cubes off the mat (already sectioned off with pre-cut holes)
- Already shaped like cubes with flat bottoms, so they easily stand up by themselves
- Good for seamlessly transplanting your seedlings somewhere else
- Get 98 Rapid Rooters at a time
Rapid Rooters Tray
The Rapid Rooters tray is perfect for seeds or clones. Allow your young plants to sit in the tray with water until their roots are well formed and ready to be transplanted to your final destination. The standard size tray fits most humidity domes. You can refill the tray with Rapid Rooters from the bag or mat.
As you can see in the pictures below, the Rapid Rooter Tray comes packaged up. Once you open the package, you will see 50 Rapid Rooters already set in the tray. The resting place for each Rapid Rooter has a hole on the bottom so water within the tray is wicked up. The top part comes apart from the bottom.
Just add you seeds and pour some water into the tray – the Rapid Rooters will do everything else for you.
- Perfect for cloning or starting seeds with a humidity dome (standard 10-inch by 20-inch dome like this one – 7-inch height recommended for cannabis seeds or clones)
- Easy to transplant to new destination
- Just add water and seeds, that’s it!
- Whole tray can be refilled with any type of Rapid Rooters (from bag or mat)
- Comes with 50 Rapid Rooters, ready to go
Rockwool Cubes (Not Recommended)
It’s often hydroponic cannabis growers who use Rockwool cubes since these can be safely placed in hydroponic setups, hold a lot of moisture, and are resistant to mold. Rockwool is cheap and easy to find. It comes in convenient cubes. But it does have some major drawbacks…
Pros of Rockwool
- Cheap & Easy to Find
- Inert Medium (useful for hydroponic growers)
Cons of Rockwool
- Bad for the environment (unnatural material that does not break down)
- Bad for your health (especially your lungs) – wear gloves and cover your mouth/eyes when handling Rockwool
- Has a pH that is too high for cannabis, so it must be thoroughly rinsed and treated
- Poor cloning and germination rates
- Difficult for new growers
Rockwool cubes are bad for the environment
Rockwool is not a natural material – it’s made by heating rock and chalk to 3,000°F and air is blown through the mixture to create thin fibers of rocky material
It does not break down naturally and therefore after Rockwool is created, it will remain in that form basically forever, filling up landfills without breaking down for thousands of years.
Rockwool cubes can be bad for your health
Rockwool is dusty and needs to be rinsed thoroughly before use. Little pieces of Rockwool and dust can easily get in your eyes, skin and mouth. Small strands or fibers can get lodged in your lungs if you breathe in Rockwool dust, and it’s unknown if these fibers can ever get out again.
Protect yourself! Always use a mask, goggles and gloves when working with Rockwool.
Rockwool cubes have a high pH until they’re treated
New Rockwool cubes have a high pH – too high for healthy cannabis seed germination. Therefore it’s important to thoroughly rinse Rockwool cubes in pHed water, then let them soak in pHed water overnight before use. Since Rockwool holds onto a lot of water, after soaking they should be given a few days to dry out before planting seeds or making clones.
Rockwool cubes do not get great germination rates
Rockwool can be difficult to germinate marijuana seeds in, so I recommend most beginner growers sprout their seeds using another method like Rapid Rooters (mentioned above) which can also be used in hydroponic applications but are less prone to germination problems.
Many growers have placed seeds in Rockwool cubes, only to wait for weeks and never see seedlings appear.
Some growers seem to have no problems, yet many other growers suffer through very poor germination rates. Some seed companies will not honor seed germination guarantees if the grower uses Rockwool because it is notoriously bad for germination.
If you do use Rockwool, it’s recommended you germinate your seeds using another method like the paper towel method, then transplant your seeds to the Rockwool cubes after roots have already appeared.
Even when following all the best practices, we just have not gotten great germination rates with Rockwool cubes, and it’s common for new seedlings not to make it. When we were using Rockwool (before we switched to Rapid Rooters), we usually lost at least 1 seed out of a batch of 6 or 8.
We also had trouble rooting clones in Rockwool. Rockwool cubes just don’t hold enough air to get plenty of oxygen to the roots, and they tend to hold onto a lot of water and get waterlogged easily. Since Rockwool can hold a lot of water, it’s prone to “drowning” seeds
I highly recommend using Rapid Rooters instead for your hydroponic application (or any grow setup), as they are much more user-friendly and tend to get far better germination rates.
Jiffy Pellets (Recommended for Soil or Coco Coir)
Jiffy Pellets are used in a similar way to Rockwool cubes, though these tend to get much better germination results. Jiffy pellets are not suitable for most hydroponic setups where the roots are grown directly in water, but Jiffy Pellets can be directly transferred into soil or coco coir.
Pros of Jiffy Pellets
- Good Germination Rates for Soil and Coco Coir
- Good for Cloning – read a cannabis cloning tutorial using Jiffy pellets
- Come in dried pellets, so they can be kept for a long time
Cons of Jiffy Pellets
- Not suitable for hydroponic setups
- Must be soaked to expand each pellet before use
How to Use: Soak Jiffy pellets in warm water, which makes the pellets expand in size, as pictured below.
Once the compressed Jiffy pellets have expanded in warm water, gently squeeze excess water from each pellet and you’re ready to go. Treat them the same as Rapid Rooters.
Germination Method 2: Plant marijuana seeds directly in growing medium
Sometimes nature’s way is the easiest way. In nature, marijuana seedlings would sprout in soil, and they would emerge as their taproots start growing down.
As a grower, you can also plant your seeds directly in your final growing medium. This works in all growing mediums, though some can be tougher than others.
One of the biggest benefits of planting your seed directly in the growing medium is you don’t have to worry about shocking your young seedling during transplant. Because your seed is already in its final resting place, your new seedling will immediately start adjusting to the environment. Every time you transplant a sprouted seed, it can cause stress as the young plant needs to readjust its new surroundings.
- Soil – Plant seeds a knuckle deep (0.5-1 inch OR 1.3 cm – 2.5 cm) in moist yet not soaking soil. Use a light or a heating pad to keep things warm. This is one of the easiest marijuana germination methods for beginners.
- Coco Coir or other soilless growing mediums – Plant in a similar way to soil
Germination Method 3: Germination Station
One option for growers is to use a tool which has been specifically designed to provide optimal germination conditions like this germination station with heat mat.
You can make a DIY germination station at home by putting a plastic dome over a plate on a heating pad.
There are benefits to the professionally made germination stations as they work very well and are pretty cheap to buy.
When growers start their cannabis seedlings in a germination station, the seeds are usually germinated in a starter seedling cube.
One of the advantages of starting seeds in starter cubes is your sprouted seeds can easily be transferred right to their next growing medium or container.
I recommend Rapid Rooters as these starter cubes work great for cannabis seeds and can be used in any growing medium including hydroponics, soil, or coco coir. Other starter cubes include Jiffy Peat Pellets, and Rockwool cubes.
Once your seed has sprouted, just make a little hole in your growing medium, and place the entire pellet inside. Make sure growing medium is also moist yet not soaking, like your pellet or cube. The roots will emerge from the bottom of the cube and burrow directly into your growing medium.
Germination Method 4: Soak Marijuana Seeds in Water Overnight
Another method to germinate marijuana seeds is to soak them overnight in slightly warm water, usually done in a glass drinking cup.
This method is especially effective for seeds which have extra hard shells, or seeds which are older (more than a few years old).
The warm overnight soaking can help “wake up” older seeds.
Most viable seeds will start out floating, and then eventually sink to the bottom of your glass after a few hours of soaking.
If soaked in a clear drinking glass, you will see when the little white tap root first breaks through the shell.
Some seeds take longer than others to sprout. Especially older seeds tend to need longer to pierce through their shell. However, if seeds are left soaking too long, and haven’t yet sprouted, they can drown.
Therefore, do not leave seeds soaking in water for more than 24-32 hours.
After 24 hours, I recommend putting any still-ungerminated seeds in a warm, moist place to finish germinating.
Germination Method 5: Paper Towel Method
One way to germinate seeds is to wet a paper towel and then fold your seeds in it, then leave the paper towel in a warm place.
Use cheap paper towels! For some reason, the really cheap paper towels work best because they’re so non-porous. Seeds and their roots lay on top without getting stuck to anything. This is important! The more expensive “cloth-like” paper towels (like Viva brand) aren’t good for germination because the roots actually grow into them instead of laying on top.
If you germinate your seeds in a paper towel, there is the risk of hurting the tap root (the little white root that grows out of your seeds) when moving the sprouted seeds so make sure you are careful when you’re checking to see if the seeds sprouted.
There is also the possibility of having the towel dry out which will kill your new seeds so I recommend putting your paper towel under an upside down bowl or between two paper (or regular) plates.
Check on germinating seeds once every 12 hours or so (don’t disturb them or their roots). You can plant any seeds which have sprouted right away, or leave them for another day or two, to let the others keep up.
How to Plant Your Germinated Cannabis Seeds
After you see that your cannabis seeds have sprouted, you should plant them right away.
You don’t want to touch the little white taproot with your fingers, so either carefully move the seeds, or use tweezers. If you do touch or break the root, the seedling may still survive, but any damage to the root will definitely stunt and slow down growth right in the beginning.
Plant seeds so that the white root faces downward, about a knuckle deep into your growing medium. The top of the seed should be just below the surface of your growing medium.
It can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days before you see the young seedling emerge from the soil or growing medium. If your marijuana seedling hasn’t sprouted from the soil within 10 days after being placed root-down, it probably isn’t going to make it 🙁 Even with the best practices and the best seeds, you will occasionally lose a seed. Many times it has nothing to do with you!
First sign of taproots. These are ready to be planted!
Rapid Rooters are nice, but not necessary. You can use them before you transfer your seedlings to their final container. The Rapid Rooter should be cut open lengthwise if you plan on using them for germinated seeds. I use big scissors.
Gently place the germinated seed inside, root down. Place the seed close to the surface so it doesn’t have far to go.
Sometimes you’ll have a taproot that is curved or bent. You don’t want to try to straighten it out! Open the Rapid Rooter you split, and lay the germinated seed down gently. The seed and root will naturally lay on the flattest side. Slowly close the Rapid Rooter, and you’ll see that the bent parts of the root will end up in the “crack” of the Rapid Rooter from where you cut to split it open from the side.
After closing a Rapid Rooter, it’s hard to tell it’s been opened. The texture of Rapid Rooters causes the seeds to stay in place and not “fall down” further into the hole once you’ve got it closed.
12 hours later
Sometimes the shell can get stuck on the seedling, but it will often fall off on its own. If it seems really stuck, you can help the seedling by gently removing it.
Within the first week of germinating seeds, you will notice that some seeds germinate right away and others take a little bit longer. This can be caused by a lot of things, from the age of the seed (old seeds have worse germination rates and tend to take longer) to simple chance. The amount of time does not necessarily have anything to do with how healthy your plant will be in the long run.
Once your seeds are safely planted, you can turn on your grow light. The heat from the lamp improves germination rates, and the light can help your new cannabis seedlings open their first set of leaves. In fact, the first set of leaves will often stay yellow until they get light.
If you will be transplanting your seedlings again, avoid transplanting until they are well established and have a couple of sets of leaves (nodes). Some growers will plant seedlings in a growing medium in a solo cup or peat pot, so they can just cut away the cup for easy transplanting.
When you move seedlings around a lot, it stresses them out and potentially stunts their growth. Too much stress can even kill them. So try to plan from the beginning so that you move your seedlings around as little as possible. once they get bigger, they are a lot more hardy and can stand a lot more stress and movement.
Here are some pictures to give you an idea of the timeline to expect
Sprouted seeds planted in Hydrofarm pellets and placed on soil
If you want, you can put bottles on top to help retain extra humidity (like a cheap humidity dome).
It’s a steady 85 degrees F in there, no idea about the humidity in the bottles.
Marijuana seedlings under T5 Grow Light
Day 7 from seed
Your Cannabis Seedling’s First Few Weeks
During the first few weeks of a young marijuana plant’s life, you have to be careful.
Marijuana seedlings, especially seeds from some of the most potent strains, tend to be a bit delicate.
If you’re planting in soil, start with a balanced potting soil that doesn’t contain extra nutrients. I recommend Happy Frog potting soil mix for young cannabis seedlings, but any plain potting mix from your local garden store will do. Never use Miracle-Gro soil or any soil that has “time-released” nutrients already mixed in. After your plants have grown a few sets of leaves, you can transfer them to a stronger potting mix that contains higher levels of nutrients like Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil, or you can start supplementing with cannabis soil nutrients. Don’t want to use nutrients? Learn how to mix up your own super soil so it has all the nutrients your cannabis plants will need!
If you’re planting in coco coir, a soilless medium, or hydroponics, only add cannabis nutrients at seedling strength, or 1/4 the regular strength, until your plants have grown a few sets of leaves. Then you can slowly start working your way up to full strength nutrient levels.
With young marijuana seedlings, less is more.
You’re trying to give young plants a very small dose of nutrients at first. However, even with young marijuana seedlings, the pH of your water and growing medium is important. Some growers get lucky and happen to have water with the right pH, but if you’re noticing deficiencies and problems with your seedlings, definitely take the time to understand about marijuana root pH and how it affects the plant’s overall health.
If you plan on eventually putting your marijuana seedlings under high intensity grow lights (such as HPS or MH grow lights), you may want to start them out with less intense fluorescent grow lights or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Or just keep your high intensity grow lights several feet away at first, and slowly move lights closer as your seedlings gets older
CFL bulbs (twisty/spiral bulbs as pictured to the right) are a great source of light for young marijuana seedlings
- CFLs provide the right types of light for seedlings
- CFLs are extremely cheap to buy
- CFLs are easy on your electric bill
- CFLs can be found almost anywhere, at your local hardware store, supermart, grocery store, or online
Keep CFLs or fluorescent lights about 6 inches away from your seedlings. Place your hand where the leaves are to make sure it doesn’t feel too hot. If it’s hot for your after 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your plants.
Once your seedlings have developed their first two sets of leaves, then you can move these lights as close as 2 inches away as long as the lights aren’t too hot.
Remember: If grow lights feels too hot to your hand after 10 seconds, they’re too hot for your marijuana seedlings
Make sure to keep a close eye on your seedlings to ensure they don’t grow too close to the grow lights and burn themselves. Seedlings can grow fast, and many growers have been surprised to find plants have actually grown into the light overnight.
If new seedlings are showing signs of stress, try moving the lights further away and see if that helps.
Once marijuana seedlings are about fourteen days old, they’re ready to start being treated as if they’re in the vegetative stage.
This Timeline Will Help Show You What to Expect
Two round cotyledon leaves, then two “real” (serrated) single-finger cannabis leaves
Next, the single-finger leaves expand, and the next set is usually 3-finger leaves
Next, the cannabis plant will start making 5-finger leaves
Finally, most cannabis plants stop at 7-finger leaves
If you look closely at the above plant, you can see that some of the newer leaves on this plant actually have 9 fingers. It is normal for there to be some variation between leaves – some plants will grow leaves with 11 or even 13 fingers. But the above guide will give you a general idea of what to expect.
Once your cannabis seedling is about fourteen days old, it’s ready to start being treated as if in the vegetative stage.
Make sure you learn about plant training techniques to make the most of your time in the vegetative stage!
Wait! My seed is growing upside down with the roots up; what do I do?
As long as the roots of a cannabis seedling are able to grow down, they will. Roots never grow upward on their own. Seedlings can sense the difference between up and down. Roots always try to grow down. Roots never grow upwards.
So how come sometimes it looks like a cannabis plant is growing with its roots pointing up?
When the seed end is still bent down, all you see is a U-shaped stem/root
Cannabis seeds can look a bit different when germinating. When in doubt, always wait a few days to see if leaves appear before you try to interfere.
Sometimes the stem of a brand new cannabis seedling can look like the roots growing out the top. But if you wait and watch, you’ll see that it’s all part of the plan. Hope these pics help someone!
Sometimes you’ll see what appears to be roots emerging from your cannabis seed, but this is actually the stem. The stem pushes the seed and leaves up, and the main taproot is currently burrowing down to support the seedling
As the seedling emerges you’ll be able to see the leaves (sometimes it will still have the seed stuck on the first leaves, like in the picture above).
The cotyledons (first, round leaves) unfurl, and then the regular cannabis leaves between to grow. Here’s another view of that same seedling from above. Even though it may have looked a bit weird at first, this seedling is completely normal and will grow just fine from now on.
What Size Pot Should I Use?
When growing cannabis plants in a container, you have to choose the size of your pot.
A general guide is to have about 2 gallons per 12″ of height. This isn’t perfect since plants often grow differently, but this is a good rule of thumb.
When in doubt, get a bigger final container size as opposed to a smaller one. Plants that get rootbound from being in a too-small container will grow more slowly and be prone to problems. It’s not good to transfer plants during the flowering/budding stage, so you want to have your cannabis plants in their final container at least 2 weeks before the beginning of flowering/budding. How do I get my cannabis plants to start flowering?
Final Container for Desired Plant Size – General guide
12″ ~ 2-3 gallon container
24″ ~ 3-5 gallon container
36″ ~ 5-7 gallon container
48″ ~ 6-10 gallon container
60″ ~ 8-10+ gallon container
But what size pot should you use for your seedlings?
For fastest growth rates, it’s better to plant young seedlings or clones in a very small container, like a disposable plastic solo cup.
For new seedlings and clones, use a small container if possible
The reason you want to start with a small container is that your plant’s young roots thrive on oxygen. Cannabis plant roots “breathe” oxygen, just like we breathe air, and it’s important that young cannabis roots get plenty of oxygen so the plant can grow as fast as possible.
However, young plant roots do not drink much water yet. When you water seedlings or clones in a very big container, they will use up all the oxygen quickly, and the large size of the container will prevent the growing medium from drying out.
A big plant will drink up all the water quickly, but with seedlings, you’re basically waiting for the growing medium to dry out by itself. While you’re waiting for the container to dry out, your cannabis roots are sitting in a wet environment and not getting much oxygen, slowing down their growth rates.
Poke holes in the bottom of your cup so water can drain out easily!
By planting young seeds in a small container with holes in the bottom, the growing medium will dry out much more quickly, allowing you to water more often. The young cannabis will get plenty of oxygen and water.
Alternative to Solo Cup: Start plants in seedling cube
If you don’t want to have to transplant your young plants, you can start them in a seedling plug or cube and wait until you start seeing roots come out the bottom. At that point, they will be ready to be transferred to a larger container.
What happens if I plant seeds or clones in a big container?
Your cannabis seedlings and clones will definitely survive in a bigger container; they just won’t grow as fast for the first few days or weeks because they aren’t getting as much oxygen.
With a bigger container, you will need to wait longer between waterings, and during that time your plant roots will be getting reduced oxygen.
If you’ve planted your young plant in a large container, try to give only a little bit of water at a time (enough to wet the area around the seedling roots) until the plant is growing vigorously. Once the plant has grown a few sets of leaves, you should start watering cannabis normally so that water drains out the bottom.
If you would like to take advantage of faster vegetative growth from transplanting, view the Complete Cannabis Transplant Guide (with pics!)
When should I start a pot seed?
The best time to germinate a Cannabis seed for outdoor grow is at the beginning of Spring. Cannabis plants are annual, they would grow all Spring and Summer and start flowering towards Autumn when days grow shorter
How long does it take to grow a pot plant from seed to flower?
It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to grow a cannabis plant, this varies based on where you’re growing. If you have an indoor grow room, your plant has the ability to flower after only a few weeks! The quality of your plant depends on your knowledge of the cannabis growth stages and the lifecycle of your plants.
How can you tell if a seed is female?
Male plants will have small pollen sacs for the purpose of spreading seeds while the female plant will have stigmas, which catch the pollen that male plants spread. It is best to identify the sex of the plant before the plant’s reproduction cycle become active
How to Plant Cannabis Seeds Indoors: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Plant Cannabis Seeds Indoors: 15 Steps (with Pictures) Download Article Download Article Growing cannabis at home can be a fun project and a nice way to have your own cannabis plants on hand. You may want to grow cannabis indoors due to inclement weather in your area or due to a lack of green space in your yard. Start by germinating the seeds. Then, plant the seeds in soil or in a starter cube. Once the seeds have been planted, care for them properly so they grow and thrive. 1 Soak the seeds. To make germination easier, consider soaking the seeds in tap water for 12 hours in a bowl. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and non-viable seeds will float. After 12 hours, place the viable seeds on a towel. 2Wet one paper towel and put it on a plate. Paper towels are thick enough to retain the moisture needed to help the seeds germinate. Place one paper towel under running water until it is wet to the touch, but not dripping wet. Use a ceramic dish or plate, as it will be strong enough to hold the towels and the seeds. The paper towel should cover the dish or plate. Advertisement 3 Put the seeds 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) apart on the towel. Place the blunt end of the seeds, the end that does not have a point, on the towel, spacing them apart so their roots do not get tangled. If you do not have enough space on one plate for all your seeds, soak two more paper towels and put the remainder on a new plate covered in a wet paper towel. 4Wet other paper towel and place it over the seeds. Make sure the wet towel makes contact with the seeds. 5 Store the seeds at 70 to 85 °F (21 to 29 °C). The cannabis seeds need to sit at a warm, consistent temperature to germinate. Store the seeds out of direct sunlight in a warm area, such as the top of your refrigerator. You can try using a heat lamp near the seeds to keep them warm. Do not warm the seeds up too much, as you do not want your heat source to dry out the paper towels. 6 Keep the paper towels moist. Spray the top towel with a spray bottle of water to keep them moist. Check the paper towels several times a day to ensure they do not dry out. If the seeds become too dry, they could die and never germinate. 7 Wait for the seeds to germinate. Viable cannabis seeds will usually open with 48 hours. You should see the roots start to appear within a few days, depending on the seed type. Once the tap roots are 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch (0.64 to 1.27 cm) long, the seeds are ready to be planted. Be very careful with the seeds as they open. Avoid prodding, pulling, or touching the seeds, as you do not want to damage the roots. Any seeds that have not opened and grown roots within a few days should be discarded, as they are not viable. Advertisement 1 Fill small, 2 inches…
How to germinate Cannabis seeds: a guide for beginners
How to germinate Cannabis seeds: a guide for beginners Last updated on May 24, 2021 In this article, you’ll learn to germinate Cannabis seeds in 3 easy steps. How to germinate seeds indoors step by step, what do you need to start, how to store your seeds and tips to get your seeds started! Cannabis seeds: Autoflowering vs PhotoperiodicCannabis seeds: Feminized vs regular seedsHow to germinate Cannabis seeds in 3 easy stepsStart your germinated seed in a small containerTIPS before starting to germinate Cannabis seedsFrequently Asked Questions about Cannabis Germination This is how the life of the Cannabis plant begins. A viable seed looks brown with some stripes, hard to the touch and dry. If it feels weak or it’s white or light green, it’s probably an undeveloped seed and it won’t produce a healthy plant. You can start your seeds indoors or outdoors, but we recommend doing in indoors because there’s a bigger chance of seed survival. When germinating seeds outdoors, the small plants are exposed to cold/hot weather, wind, pests and mold. In this stage, plants are very vulnerable and it’s important to keep them safe. On the contrary, when germinating seeds indoors, we reduce or eliminate the possible negative outcomes caused by temperature changes and insects, for example. There exist many methods for germinating seeds indoors. For example, placing your seed between cotton balls or paper towels sprayed with water, placing your seed in a jiffy or a small cup directly into the soil. In this article, we’ll explain how to germinate with the paper towel method, as it requires simple equipment and has a high rate of germination. But first, a brief intro about Cannabis seeds, in case you haven’t chose yours yet. Cannabis seed macro Autoflowering vs Photoperiod seeds (Switch to flowering automatic or photoperiod) Photoperiodism is a developmental response to the changes of duration in the cycles of light and dark periods. Photoperiod Cannabis seeds Photoperiod seeds may produce male or female plants. Cannabis is an annual plant, its flowering period is determined by the seasons and when the cycle ends, the plant dies. Cannabis plants stop growing in size and start to flower and produce buds in Autumn when the days grow shorter. To replicate this process indoors, growers shorten the light period usually from 18 hours light and 6 hours of darkness (18/6) to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness (12/12). If the plant continues living under an 18 / 6 hours of light regime, it will stay in the vegetative stage and will not start flowering. Autoflowering Cannabis seeds Autoflowering Cannabis seeds produce female plants that don’t need photoperiod conditions in order to change from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage. The switch to the flowering stage is “automatic”. They are designed to start flowering at a fixed period of time, despite the environmental conditions and light stimuli. This makes Autoflowering Cannabis a good choice for beginner growers because they don’t have to worry about guessing if the plant is male or female or when to change the photoperiod. They have fixed and shorter life cycles so they will develop faster than photoperiod strains. Feminized vs Regular seeds Regular Cannabis Seeds Regular seeds may produce male or female plants. Even hermaphrodite plants. Growing regular Cannabis seeds is one of the most popular and easiest ways of growing marijuana plants. It’s easier to find and produce regular Cannabis seeds, and they are obviously cheaper than feminized seeds. Feminized Cannabis Seeds Feminized Cannabis seeds will produce only…
How to Grow Marijuana from Seed – Dummies.com
How to Grow Marijuana from Seed dummiesIf you’re contemplating growing marijuana, you might be wondering where to start. You can grow plants from seeds or create a clone of a plant from a cutting. To decide, consider the pros and cons of seeds versus cuttings: Growing from a cutting of an existing plant essentially clones the plant, so you know what you’re getting. If you clone a female plant, you get a female plant. Although technically you can clone an auto-flowering strain, it’s usually not worth the trouble because the clone doesn’t produce nearly the same yield. If you want to grow auto-flowering strains, buy seeds. Unless you buy feminized seeds, which have a very high likelihood of growing into feminine plants, you can’t tell just by looking at a seed whether it’s a seed for a male or female plant. You have to plant a bunch of seeds, wait until you can determine whether the plant is male or female, and then dispose of the male plants. You also can’t tell the strain of a plant by looking at a seed, so unless you know which strain of plant the seed came from, you have no idea what strain the seed will produce. Plants from seeds generally are more vigorous. In fact, sometimes growers grow cuttings and allow them to go to seed to revitalize the plant’s genetics. ©By Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com If you’re in a location where cannabis (another term for marijuana; short for the plant cannabis sativa) is illegal, growing it is probably illegal too. Bringing in seeds or cuttings to your location can very well be a felony, and reputable sellers won’t ship to you. You can probably purchase and grow hemp seeds and plants, which have a negligible amount of THC, but these plants won’t produce the psychoactive effects of plants that contain higher levels of THC. Check with your seller to be certain you’re getting what you think you’re purchasing. If you buy seeds for CBD-only hemp plants by mistake, you can end up being very disappointed post-harvest.How to acquire seeds or cuttings You can usually find cannabis seeds for sale at most dispensaries in areas where growing cannabis for personal use is legal. You may also find growers who sell cuttings/clones. You can expect to pay $50 to $100 for a pack of ten seeds. When shopping for seeds or cuttings, read the labels and any other information the manufacturer provides on its website or in its catalog to make sure you’re getting the right seeds or cuttings (the strain) for the plants you want to grow. One way to get your mitts on some seeds is to collect seeds when you find them in flowers you purchased, or get some from friends if they’re collecting. When buying seeds or cuttings, here are some key characteristics to consider: Feminized seeds: Nearly all seeds sold by reputable companies are feminized, but make sure they are. These seeds are specially treated to grow into female plants. Auto-flowering or photoperiod: Auto-flowering plants are easier, because they enter the flower stage after a certain number of weeks regardless of the light/dark cycle. If you’re a beginner, seriously consider going with auto-flowering plants. Genetic background: If seeds are from a well-established strain, such as O.G. Kush, Bubble Gum, or a cross-breed, the genetic background should be stated. Blend: The blend represents the percentage of the three species — sativa, indica, and ruderalis. All auto-flower strains contain some percentage of ruderalis, which is responsible for the auto-flowering nature of the plant. Yield indoors: The number of grams of bud per square meter of plant when grown indoors. Yield outdoors: The number of grams of bud per plant (after drying) when grown outdoors. Plant height indoors: Shorter than when grown outdoors. Plant height outdoors: Taller than when grown indoors. Time to harvest: Approximate number of weeks after germination the flower should be ready to harvest. Potency: Percentages of CBD and THC. Effect: The type…
Growing Cannabis Seeds: Here's Everything You Need … – Herb
Growing Cannabis Seeds: Here’s Everything You Need To KnowStarting cannabis from seed can be extremely rewarding. Not only do you get to take your plants through a complete growth cycle, but you might also get to produce some seeds of your own. With seeds, anyone can go from a cannabis enthusiast to an amateur breeder.You’ll be able to custom tailor your plants to meet your specific needs or possibly develop a new strain or two. To help you experience the wonders of seeds, we’ve created this article – the ultimate guide to growing cannabis seeds.What Are Cannabis SeedsCannabis seeds are obviously the seeds of our favorite herb, but can you grow any old seed into a flowering weed plant? The important thing for successfully growing cannabis is to only cultivate female plants. Female plants will provide you with the highest quality flowers for smoking. However, those same female plants should be seedless, so where do cannabis seeds come from?Cannabis seeds are produced when a male plant fertilizes a female plant. You don’t want this to happen if you’re growing females for smokable flower because then the buds are cluttered with seeds. That’s why cultivators isolate their female plants as soon as they identify the sex, and you should too.Of course, if seeds are desirable for reproduction or hemp seed oil, then this process is allowed to happen. However, when it comes to creating cannabis seeds to produce a new generation of plants, there are some other techniques experienced cultivators will use.How To Find And Choose The Right Cannabis SeedsIf you’re growing from a clone, it’s unlikely that your plant will produce seeds. Seeds develop after a male cannabis plant pollinates a female. Only female plants produce seeds. Yet, when you smoke cannabis, you’re typically smoking the unfertilized bud of the female flower. This can make it a bit difficult to actually find seeds if you’re interested in growing from scratch.There are a couple of ways you can source your seeds. If you live in a legal medical or recreational state, ask your favorite dispensary for reputable local seed companies. Many people also order seeds from online seedbanks such as ILGM. Though, this is illegal in the United States. Seeds for “souvenir purposes” are legal in many regions around the world, allowing many seedbanks to ship worldwide.Though ordering seeds is illegal in the U.S. and you can face criminal charges, seed arrests are uncommon in comparison to arrests from growing or germinating plants. It’s not uncommon, however, to have your mail-ordered seeds confiscated by U.S. customs. If you order seeds from an international seed bank and they are found, you will get a letter in the mail saying that your seeds have been tossed out.Do All Cannabis Plants Produce Seeds?Cannabis plants only produce seeds after a male plant pollinates a female plant. It’s uncommon to find seeds in dispensary quality bud, and it’s also unlikely that your plants will develop seeds if you’re growing from a clone. When you smoke or vape marijuana, you’re typically consuming the unpollinated, seedless female flower. This part of the plant is named sinsemilla, meaning “without seed”.Female plants produce significantly more resin than male plants, which is why bud from female flowers is what we’ve come to cultivate for harvest. Marijuana resin in the form of trichomes produces has a crucial role in the plant’s reproductive cycle.The trichome-heavy female marijuana bud is designed to capture male pollen spores in order to develop seeds and reproduce. When females are kept away from the males, not do you create sensimillia, but you also kickstart trichome production.So, while all female plants are capable of producing seeds, pollination is required for their development. Breeders and seed banks play the part of geneticists and help spur evolution by selectively mixing pollen from specific male plants with the genes from selected female plants. This creates seeds featuring hand-selected and carefully chosen traits.How To Choose Your SeedsLook For These TraitsFinding seeds may be a little tricky, but choosing the…
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds
How to Grow Weed from Seeds: TOP 7 Tips for Healthy …
How to Grow Weed from Seeds: TOP 7 Tips for Healthy Germination Growing marijuana seeds allows you to connect with your cannabis on a physical level. There is something special about nurturing a seed that will eventually grow into the gratifying bud we all know and love. Growing cannabis isn’t rocket science, but it does take time, patience, and care. If you are curious about how to grow weed from seeds, look no further. By reading this article, you’ve already shown you care about growing cannabis responsibly. We’ll take a look at the benefits of growing your own marijuana or hemp and the best methods for keeping your plants healthy and happy. Before getting our hands dirty, let’s examine what it takes to grow cannabis. Is It Easy To Grow Weed from Seeds? Growing weed from seeds can be easy, but it won’t happen overnight. This cannabis plant may be special, but it still requires the same attention and nutrients that other plants require. While it requires dedication, marijuana cultivation is a relaxing process that anyone can have fun with. Since a seed’s environment impacts its needs, an Alaskan grower’s experience in winter will differ from one planting their marijuana in Louisiana’s summer heat. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean your environment limits your growth abilities. If you can’t grow seeds outdoors, take them inside! \ Advancements in indoor and outdoor growing techniques have made it possible to produce incredible hemp and marijuana no matter where you live. While it may be challenging for someone in Manhattan to maintain outdoor plants, they could still grow bodacious buds just fine as indoor plants. Cannabis growers have long debated whether indoor or outdoor growing results in better plants. For example, some argue that outdoor flower isn’t as pretty as indoor bud. The truth is, the technology and supplies for both methods have advanced so much in recent years that it’s really up to you. The benefit of growing your cannabis indoors is that you have the greatest amount of control. Environmental factors like light and humidity are at the mercy of Mother Nature outdoors, but inside you can adjust your grow lights and the moisture in the air as needed. On the other hand, outdoor operations take far less investment. The natural soil, sunlight, and natural warmth are just what your plant needs to thrive—and best of all, they’re free! The biggest risks of outdoor cannabis cultivation are poor weather conditions, pests, and plant diseases. Are There Benefits to Growing Weed from Seeds? One of the most rewarding benefits of growing cannabis seeds is watching something come to life. Your time and commitment will turn a small, unassuming seed into a flowering plant standing several feet off the ground. Another benefit is a constant supply; you’ll never run out of cannabis again! Taking care of other plant species is rewarding for the same reasons: the thrill of encouraging life and the proven mental benefits that plants promote. Though, marijuana and hemp plants have the added advantage of their flowers, which are packed with useful properties. Of course, some companies grow top-shelf cannabis using techniques that the average home grower may not have access to. Nevertheless, germinating seeds yourself is a great way to save money, exercise control over your strains, and experiment however you like. Growing your own cannabis seeds can indeed save you money in the long run, but how long it takes to break even will depend on your initial investment. For those looking to care for a few plants at a time, you can start growing for under $200. In this case, you’ll quickly harvest affordable bud….
How do I germinate marijuana seeds? – Grow Weed Easy
How do I germinate marijuana seeds? | Grow Weed Easyby Nebula HazeTable of ContentsIntro: How to Germinate Cannabis SeedsAre my seeds good?5 Common Germination MethodsMethod 1: Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs (Recommended!)Method 2: Plant Directly in Growing MediumMethod 3: Germination StationMethod 4: Soak Seeds OvernightMethod 5: Paper Towel MethodHow to Plant Your Germinated Cannabis SeedsWait! My seeds are growing upside down!Taking Care of Marijuana Seedlings – The First Few WeeksWhat Size Container to Use?Introduction: Cannabis Seed GerminationCannabis germination is the process of getting your seeds to sprout, and you know sprouting has occurred when a little white tendril pops out of the seed.The little white tendril that emerges from a cannabis seed during germination is your plant’s first root, known as a “taproot.” All other roots made by your cannabis plant in its lifetime will sprout from the taproot.The taproot – and maybe a few tiny early offshoots of the taproot – will get longer and longer, pushing the seed up, and after the shell breaks through the surface of your growing medium, the first leaves (these first round leaves are known as “cotyledons”) will emerge from inside the cannabis seed.The cotyledons were already created as part of the plant embryo in the seed itself, so the cannabis seedling doesn’t have to grow them. In fact, the emerging first leaves are what break apart the shell after it’s cracked open by the taproot, as pictured here.The next set of leaves after the cotyledons are your plants first “true” leaves and will have jagged edges (serrations). At least, they are the first leaves that your seedling cannabis plant has grown all on its own, unlike the cotyledons which were already formed in the seed.Cannabis seeds can be expensive, don’t waste your seeds with bad germination methods! (Wait, where can I get cannabis seeds?)What Do Marijuana Seeds Need to Germinate?Marijuana seeds need the following to get the best germination rates:Moisture – Keep things moist but not soaking (you can soak hard seeds for up to 24-32 hours, but do not leave seeds soaking in water for longer than that).Peace – Seeds need to be left alone while you’re waiting for the taproot to show up.Warmth – Keep things warm to get the best germination rates, but not too hot! Think springtime. Seeds can definitely germinate in cooler temps, but germination tends to take longer when it’s cool.Gentle – Be careful when checking seeds, and treat them gently when you have to move them. Avoid touching their white root if possible; the taproot is very fragile and easily snaps off!Plant Root Down – When planting germinated seeds, point the white root downwards into the growing medium to prevent the seedling from having to reorient itself.Plant Knuckle Deep – When planting germinated seeds, they don’t have to be placed too far under in the growing medium, about a half inch to an inch (1.3 cm – 2.5 cm) down from the surface of the medium should be enough.When germinating cannabis seeds, think springtime conditions. In the wild, your cannabis seeds would germinate in the spring so they can be ready to take full advantage of long summer days!Never let your young sprouted seeds dry up!The main signal that tells a marijuana seed to start sprouting is the presence of moisture and heat. The combination of warm and wet (aka spring conditions) “tells” the seed to start burrowing their main root (called a taproot) through their shell.If a seed’s root breaks through the shell and the water around has dried up, your seedling will die. Plain and simple.Seedlings are fragile at first. Once sprouted, the roots need to stay constantly moist to stay happy and healthy. It’s important to make sure the seeds have access to water the entire time during germination, no matter which cannabis germination method you end up using.Keep things warm!Seeds germinate best in warmer temperatures and young marijuana seedlings do better with higher relative humidity in the air. When seedlings are young, they grow faster and healthier when they can…