The germination of your cannabis seeds is the first step to getting your crop under way. Read more about the specific methods you can use. Learn how to successfully germinate your precious cannabis seeds every-time with this simple, easy to follow guide. A must read for all beginners. If you read our recommendations on how to choose the best moment to start your outdoor crop, you have probably waited for the good weather to settle in and for the be…
Germination Cannabis Seeds
Germinating your cannabis seeds is the first step to getting your crop under way. It is the process in which life within the seed is stimulated, turning it from a seed into a sprout.
There are three main stimuli that trigger germination; Water, air and warmth. All three must be present for the cannabis seed to successfully grow. The first is water; the seed goes through a process called “imbibing”, this is where the seed soaks up water around it, eventually causing the seeds shell to split as the embryo inside expands. The second factor which is required to trigger germination is air. This will ensure that the embryo that it has what it requires to perform photosynthesis and transpiration. Finally the cannabis seed needs a degree of warmth to trigger growth. The embryo contained within the seed has a small store of food to get itself going; it just needs these indicators to give it the go-ahead.
As your cannabis seeds take their first steps into life they will develop a tap root, which bursts through the shell of the seed. As it continues to grow it will produce 2 small embryonic leaves known as the cotyledons; these will push off the remainder of the seed shell – do not attempt to remove it yourself, you are likely to do more damage than good. When these leaves appear it is very important to start providing the seedling as much light as possible, allowing it to start its process of photosynthesis, which produces the fuel for its future growth.
There are a few methods by which you can germinate you cannabis seeds, some of which are more reliable than others. It is generally recommended as a novice cultivator, that if you have 10 seeds start by germinating 5, followed by the other 5 the following week. This will ensure that if you spoil your first batch due to poor technique, you will still have some seeds left to try again. If you are confident in your skills, and you have done this a few times, then there is no reason not to do them all at once.
Generally speaking, cannabis seeds germinate best in temperatures of 69-80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27 degrees Celsius), and will take around 2-7 days to germinate. Although many believe otherwise, it is fine to have your seeds germinate in daylight.
If you buy low quality/immature seeds then you are not likely to get very good success rates, no matter how experienced you are. Indicators of a bad seed can be a pale whiteness in color, but this can also be the appearance of some specific strains – so do some research or contact your seed bank if they have sent you white seeds you were not expecting.
Other factors that can cause cannabis seed germination to fail are incorrect pH levels, seed exposure/drying out, the incorrect depth, over feeding, physical damage or bad soil. Take care where you store you germinating seeds as well; for example, a cold draft could end up damaging your seeds, causing the growth to be stunted.
If you are growing in soil then refrain from the urge to uncover your seeds to see how they are doing – no matter how long you think they are taking. It will do more harm than good, as you can damage young roots.
Finally, some strains of cannabis can grow with fairly weak stems. If you notice your seedlings leaning to the side, prop them up with a small stick until they are stronger. Never use a stick from the outside; they can bring in unwanted, negative variables such as pests.
How to germinate cannabis seeds
When germinating cannabis seeds there are a few factors that play an important role. Cannabis seeds need humidity and warmth to sprout. A temperature between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius is ideal. Also besides that, we recommended that you leave the seeds in peace.
A glass of water
Place your seeds in a glass of sterilised water, the water temperature should be around 20 – 25 degrees Celsius. Gently push the seeds with your fingertip below the surface of the water and leave the seeds fo float. After 2 – 4 hours, your seeds should have sunk to the bottom of the glass, if not, Gently push the seeds again, they should fall to the bottom. Within 24 / 48 hours, your seeds will have small roots and be ready for the next stage.
Cotton pads – Paper towels
Place the seed between 2 wet layers of your chosen material. Using this method, the water will evaporate quickly so it is best to create an environment where condensation can take place. You can do so by placing 2 plates on top of each other with the top one upside down for example. Make sure to check the humidity twice-daily! The material should be humid, not wet!
When the root is longer than 2 – 3cm, its ready for planting.
Choose the size of pot that you will need and fill with a quality soil of your choice. Place your finger into the soil making a small hole in the middle. Carefully transplant the seedling into the soil with the root facing downwards. The seed head should just be covered up by the soil. Wet the soil carefully. Make sure it is wet enough for the seedling to continue growing. Check regularly. The seedling will require 18 hours of light a day in the growing (vegitation) stage.
We recommend storing your seeds in an airtight plastic bag or container in the fridge. The seeds will stay fresh for years when stored this way.
How to germinate cannabis seeds every time
Learn how to germinate your cannabis seeds successfully every time in our easy to follow guide. Read more
What if my seeds do not germinate?
If your seeds do not germinate for some reason please contact [email protected] for a *free replacement.
*This only applies to seeds bought from this website.”
How to germinate weed seeds?
You can germinate your cannabis seeds both indoors and outdoors, though our recommendation is that you do it indoors, as you will have more control over all the factors that can have a negative effect on the process. But if this is not, below we explain the best way to germinate seeds outdoors.
Our first recommendation, as we already said, would be to wait for the good weather to settle in. Having a high temperature (from 22 to 26°C) is an important factor for your seeds to decide to emerge into the world.
Step 1: protect your seedlings from climate factors and fauna, prevention is better than cure.
Outdoors we never know what dear mother nature has in store for us; in the same way that your seeds might enjoy a week of good weather and sun, there can also be thunderstorms and low temperatures on the very day they sprout. Not to mention the large variety of birds, snails and other fauna that delight in eating those tender and tasty marijuana seedlings. Bear in mind that during their first moments of life, your plants are defenceless against many dangers that threaten them; therefore, it is your job to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. How? It’s actually quite simple, you can buy mini-greenhouses for germinating or you can use a Tupperware and make holes in it for adequate ventilation, although we recommend the first option.
Ventilation is an important factor; don’t make the greenhouse airtight, open the trapdoors to allow adequate ventilation and as the covers are made of thin plastic, you can even make some extra holes if necessary.
Step 2: choose quality materials.
Today you can find high quality products on the market, specifically designed for germination and which, in addition, are not expensive. What do you need?
- Germination greenhouse
- Electric blanket: If you live in a very cold area, a good solution to stimulate germination is to place an electric blanket underneath the greenhouse, thus achieving an adequate temperature. It is important that the probe that measures the temperature calculates the temperature of the blanket, and not of the greenhouse, as otherwise you might heat the seeds excessively.
- Jiffy 7: This product consists of of a compressed and dehydrated substrate pellet which, after leaving it in water for a few minutes, becomes a small sack of special substrate for germinating, and is also biodegradable. This is the star product that will optimise your germination process due to the following reasons:
– On the one hand it has the ideal structure, that is, the amount of air and water in the substrate is adequate for germination.
– It is sterilised, meaning that we prevent the appearance of fungi (powdery mildew, botrytis, etc)
– It has all the elements necessary to nourish your seed/seedling during the first week; the ideal amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Phosphorus and calcium are particularly important for the correct development of roots.
– It has a neutral pH, which is the most adequate and makes it the perfect medium for germination; during one week you just have to add water.
– Jiffy 7 is expressly designed for the mega-industrial production of seedlings and does not require fertilisation.
– Another advantage is the specific temperature: water has a low specific temperature. This means that if we place a glassful of water in a room at 25°, it will be very hard for the water to reach that temperature. Therefore, if we place the cannabis seeds in a very watery medium (a glass or between paper towels) the temperature will be lower, while in a Jiffy, as it is more exposed to the air, the temperature will be higher and the process, faster.
However, there are people who germinate marijuana seeds in paper towels. Why don’t we recommend them? Well, although this method may be effective, it is not the most adequate and has some disadvantages. To start with, the seedlings do not receive the necessary light, as the paper towel that covers the top prevents the sun’s rays from penetrating. In turn, in the Jiffy they do receive light, and therefore photosynthesis will start earlier. Another advantage is that as soon as the root emerges in the Jiffy, it starts to turn downwards and to absorb nutrients: on the one hand we accelerate the process and on the other, when we replant the Jiffy 7 with the seedling there is no transplant shock.
Step 3: follow the method.
- Put the Jiffys in lukewarmwater.
- Once the Jiffys have expanded, make sure that they are thoroughly wet (don’t squeeze them, just remove the excess liquid if they are dripping). Monitor the pH (between 6 and 7) and the EC (less than 0.5 ms) of the water.
- Insert the seed in the central hole of the Jiffy, not too deep (approximately 5 mm) with the tip pointing upwards. The marijuana plant must not be sown too deep because otherwise the root has to travel too far: it always emerges through the pointy part of the seed, turns 180°, penetrates into the soil, and once it is secure, it raises its “head” from where the cotyledons will grow.
- Place the Jiffys in the greenhouse as well as a thermo-hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity.
- Temperature control: it must not fall below 20 degrees nor exceed 30. If you put the greenhouse in the sun, it can get very hot; you must constantly monitor the temperature. If it exceeds 25 degrees, we recommend that you lift up the top cover to ventilate it. Another important factor you have to check is humidity. If it is very sunny, the Jiffys will dry up and it is important that they are always humid. You must therefore add water when necessary, though not in excess. They should only be soaking wet during the first two days. After one week we should already have marijuana seedlings; with their two cotyledons (the first two round -shaped leaves), before the first two real leaves sprout (the serrated leaves), transplant them. If they are autoflowering seeds, we recommend that you transplant them to the definitive flower pot, though if they are feminised seeds you can transplant them to a smaller pot and then, when the plants are larger, you can move them to the definitive pot.
For indoors: The same but under a grow light, fluorescent or LED. If you have the option of germinating your cannabis seeds inside your home, ideally the light intensity will be high; the less intense the light, the more the seedlings will stretch in search of light and become spindly. If you use a 400 W light ideally it should be 40-45 cm away.
Now that you know how to take your first steps, you’re ready to start this season’s crop. Have a good harvest!
Kushka Barcelona-born journalist and grower with a curious spirit. I used to spend my life travelling, writing and working with cannabis clubs until Professor OG called me. My two passions, the plant and the writing, have followed the same path ever since. I absolutely love tricky subjects, those that oblige me to spend days buried in books, investigating and driving the entire technical team crazy. There’s no way I can write a story without going into the issue in depth. I enjoy challenges, but even more sharing them with you on our blog. You can find on instagram at @_kushka.
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