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Even if your seed sprouts fast and grows vigorously, it still has roughly a 50/50 chance of being female and producing buds, instead of turning out to be a male.
Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.
It’s important to keep the delicate seed sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as it begins to split.
Time to germinate
Marijuana seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.
To get the buds found in medical and recreational stores, female cannabis plants are grown in an environment without males—or the males are removed from the area before they release pollen—so the females don’t create seeds. Females can then focus their energies on producing buds and not seeds—this high-potency marijuana is traditionally known as “sinsemilla,” meaning “seedless.”
Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.
Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.
Use some type of absorbent paper (kitchen paper, coffee filter) and place a couple sheets on a flat surface such as a plate. Put your seeds on the paper, spaced a little apart, and cover with a couple more sheets over the top. Moisten the paper and make sure to keep it damp so it doesn’t dry out. After a few days, when the seeds have sprouted 2–3mm taproots, transfer them to their seedling pots.
Speaking of growing indoors, we recommended investing in a high-quality LED grow light and a timer. Set the timer to at least 18 hours on and 6 hours off during the vegetative phase. If you’re growing photoperiod genetics, you’ll need to reduce the schedule to 12 hours on and 12 off to initiate flowering.
3. NOT USING THE RIGHT SOIL
Fill a glass halfway with lukewarm (22°C) water and drop in your seeds. After about 3–5 days, the seeds should have sprouted, and you can now transfer them (carefully!) into your prepared soil pots.
People love their weed plants, so they think giving them more must be a good thing. But alas, it’s not. Overfeeding can lead to nutrient burn, or worse, nutrient lockout caused by accumulated minerals in the soil. In this case, you’ll need to flush your soil with water and start again with your feedings to return the pH to an ideal window. In short: don’t overdo it on the nutes!
Excessive moisture is also bad news for seedlings. When humidity levels are too high or when you overwater your seedlings, this can lead to the dreaded damping off, a deadly fungal disease. Seedlings will become weak and tip over, and there is nothing you can do to save them. Avoid extremely high humidity and overwatering, and make sure to use a sterile medium for germination.