Germinating Marijuana Seeds

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There are many to consider when germinating cannabis seeds — not only the germination method you choose but also the conditions your seeds require to thrive. We show you in this post how to properly germinate your marijuana seeds. You only have to follow these 8 steps and have a little patience to save time 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.

Care and Caution When Germinating Cannabis Seeds

For growers looking to produce top-shelf cannabis, it all starts with the seeds. Rich Hamilton explains there’s far more involved than simply burying a seed in a pot of dirt.

There are many to consider when germinating cannabis seeds — not only the germination method you choose but also the environmental conditions your seeds require to thrive. These conditions include temperature, light exposure, moisture, and oxygen levels. Get any of these wrong and it could spell the end for your grow before it even begins.

Cannabis seeds can be very delicate and temperamental even when germinating in the perfect conditions. You can understand why you should approach this task with best-practice knowledge and caution.

To try and give your seeds the best chance, we are going to look at some tips and methods to help you get better results, first time, from your germination efforts.

Firstly, what is germination? Well, germinate means “to bring to life.” Germination is the first part of a plant’s life, the growth or shooting of a seed into a seedling and then hopefully a plant.

Cannabis seeds germinate via epigeal germination which sees the cotyledons (seed leaves) pushed upward and out of the soil as the plant begins to grow. For germination to occur, several natural elements and conditions must be present in the correct ratios. Let’s have a look at them.

Water — This is needed to start the germination process as the seed is dry, holding only five percent water and needs to absorb a lot more to begin the germination process. Seeds store starch, oils, and proteins and when germination begins, hydrolytic enzymes are activated, releasing the stored supplies and giving the plant just enough of the right chemicals to get it started. Water is also needed to expand the seed’s shell and soften it, allowing it to split for the beginnings of the plant to emerge. The hardness of a cannabis seed shell can vary quite a lot. If your seed is ripe and mature enough for germination, then you shouldn’t have any problems. A more immature cannabis seed, however, will have a more rigid shell and may fail to germinate.

Oxygen — Seeds need to breathe, but without oxygen the seed may drown or suffocate. Overwatering can suffocate your cannabis seeds preventing oxygen from getting to them, so keep them moist but not soaked. Don’t overwater your seeds — use a spray mist rather than pouring water directly onto them.

Temperature — Ideally, your cannabis seeds will germinate best at their “sweet spot” between 70-75°F. If you germinate a cannabis seed outside this range, then it can negatively affect the plant’s growth and health in the future. When temperatures are too cold, it can ultimately stunt germination so keep seeds away from any drafts, open windows, or fans.

Light conditions — Cannabis seeds germinate best in dark conditions. During germination, your cannabis seed is working to develop its first root (the radicle), and roots (unsurprisingly as they exist underground) do not like light! It is therefore vital to keep your cannabis seeds somewhere dark until transplant. But as soon as germination occurs and your new seedling develops leaves, it will need to be exposed to light to start the vital task of photosynthesis. Now that we understand what your cannabis seeds need, let’s explore the most popular methods used to germinate them.

The Glass of Water Germination Method

You can leave your cannabis seeds in a glass of mineral water in a dark environment until the radicle/tip of the root shows.

Depending on the seed strain, you should generally see something happening within one to five days. Why mineral water? Well, depending on where you live, your tap water can vary immensely in terms of chemical composition and pH. The ideal pH for water when germinating is pH 7. Anything outside of this can have adverse effects on your seed. Using mineral water is a cheap and effective way of keeping a stable pH environment. If you use tap water, however, leave it to stand for 24 hours first. The tap water needs a chance to settle and dissolve any chemicals that are present and may be harmful to the seeds.

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You can use an air stone and pump to oxygenate the water whilst it stands for 24 hours. By doing so, you will reduce the chance of the seeds drowning and helping to dissolve any unwanted chemicals at a faster rate.

The Paper Towel Germination Method

Using a paper towel to germinate your cannabis seeds is both reliable and straightforward. You should find that 90 percent or more of your cannabis seeds will germinate when following this method correctly.

Take a sheet of premium paper towel and fold it in half, then place the seeds to the left of center. If you are germinating more than one seed, then you can use the same piece of kitchen towel but do not let the cannabis seeds touch each other. Now fold the kitchen towel in half again so all the seeds are covered up and then saturate it with water.

Mineral water is excellent to use, or if you are going to use tap water, then follow the recommended process for the glass of water method as previously discussed. Now leave the kitchen towel on a plate in a dark place as the roots will hopefully begin to develop soon and they do not like the light.

Humidity levels are equally important and keeping the seeds in the paper towel will keep the humidity levels where they should be. Keep the kitchen towel moist at all times and do not let it dry out. If you have been successful, it should take about two to four days for you to see until the radicle begins to emerge.

It is best practice to place the moist kitchen towels between two clean plates. Doing so helps to stabilize temperature and humidity and block out any light. The plates should be face-to-face, with the germination towel in between. Once a cannabis seed starts showing signs of successfully germinating, you can easily remove them whilst leaving the others, which may not yet have germinated, undisturbed.

Direct Germination Method

Germinating “directly” is where you place the cannabis seed directly within a pellet or block of a medium of your choosing. You can germinate your seed within a soil or coco pellet, however, I would recommend choosing a one-inch rooting sponge or stonewool cube.

You can use a soil pellet, but the risk here is that soil already contains a certain level of minerals and elements that could cause an imbalance in your seed, affecting its development later on in life.

For seeds in their natural environment, there can be double, triple, or a hundred times more plants growing in the soil at any one time. From those plants, thousands of seeds are dropped for germination and of those thousands, only half may germinate, even under natural conditions.

We are trying to grow our seeds under controlled conditions and in much smaller numbers. The margin for error, therefore, is much smaller. Using a rooting sponge is an excellent alternative for germination as it eliminates any risk of deficiencies or toxicities you may otherwise experience when using a natural medium such as soil at this early stage.

The direct method of germination can be hard to control as you must wait until the seedling first shows itself out of the chosen medium to know whether it has been successful or not.

As the cannabis seed is buried within its medium, you cannot check on it during the process to see if it has begun the germination process. As a result, this process can take much longer than the methods already discussed.

If you are germinating “directly” then firstly you should moisten your medium by misting it with a spray bottle. The cannabis seed will then need to be carefully inserted into the chosen medium and be surrounded by its encasing environment to keep any light out.

Now that you have chosen your method and you have successfully germinated some seeds. What now? How do you know when you should transplant? If everything goes according to plan with your germination efforts, you will see the radicle/root tip of the cannabis seed breaking through the shell. This new root is the first sign germination has occurred. It is best to transplant each seedling when the radicle is around three times the length of the seed.

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A rooting sponge is a perfect choice for transplanting as it is compatible with whatever medium or system you use later. Rooting sponges are also an excellent choice for those who are looking to sell their seedlings.

Rooting sponges and stone wool blocks make for more robust root systems. It can take longer for the roots to break through, but when they do, they will be stronger.

When you are transplanting the seed, it must be placed radicle first into its new home, quickly, gently, and precisely as it only has a minimal amount of energy to survive and develop into a seedling. Once your seeds are transplanted, they should go into a propagator, ready for the start of the growth phase of their lives. Your cannabis seed holds all the potential to give you the vibrant, robust, healthy plants, and bountiful yields you desire.

Taking the time and care to get your seeds off to a good start should be a no-brainer. Knowledge is power if you want to be a better grower, so think of the learning process just like a seed itself. Nurture it, cultivate it, and you will soon harvest success.

How to germinate marijuana seeds

Alchimia Grow Shop is always trying to offer a wide and comprehensive seed catalogue , keeping our seed stock in the best storing conditions and thus achieving the best germination ratios of cannabis seeds.For this reason, we constantly renew our stock and never let our seeds to spend more than 6 months in our cooling chambers, so we can guarantee that the seeds you are buying have a maximum storage period of 6 months. Of course, we have a controlled enviroment inside our cooling chambers.However, from time to time, some germination problems may occur. We invite you to tell us any problem that you have, so we can start our scheduled germination tests for this cases and proceed to make a claim to the involved seedbank.

How to germinate marijuana seeds

To ensure that the problem comes from the seed and not from our germination system, we recommend to follow these steps to correctly germinate your seedlings:1.- Take a dish or any flat container and some paper napkins.

Paper napkins and water

2.- Place your seeds between two paper napkins.

Place the seeds between two napkins

3.- Wet the napkins and keep them humid for the next 3/4 days. You can use a mixture of 100ml of tap water with 1ml of hydrogen peroxide.

Moisten both napkins

4.- After 3-4 days, you can see that your seeds have sprouted. If they haven’t, replace the napkins for new ones, also humid.

5.- Soak some jiffys (peat pellets) in tap water to hydrate them. This process takes a few minutes. You can add some root stimulator to the water (follow manufacturer’s instructions).

Soak your jiffys in water to hydrate them

6.- Once your peat pellets are hydrated, make a small hole on each of them and gently place the germinated seeds in the holes, always with the small root downwards (see picture). Cover the seeds with a thin layer of substrate (about 5mm).

Put one seed in each jiffy

7.- With a little bit of patience, after 3-4 days we will se the first plants sprouting.

Young plants sprouting after a few days

8.- After a few days, your seedlings will be ready for planting, either in pots/containers or in-ground.Notice that you can improve your germination ratios by using gibberellic acid – mostly used for germinating old seeds – auxins and cytokinins or several products like B.A.C. X-seeds , which will improve the germination capacity of your seeds while keeping fungus and other unwanted infections away.If you keep your seeds warm while germinating them, the process will be faster, but remember that the napkins will also dry faster, so you will have to carefully check their humidity level to keep you seeds always humid, but not soaked.

It is better to germinate your seeds keeping them in a warm, ventilated and dark place. Many people use small propagators for a better controlled enviroment, improving their germination results.The periods mentioned in this post are merely orientative; some seeds may germinate in 48 hours, while others may take 10 days or more. Be patient and renew your wet napkins every 3-4 days.

The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.

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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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