Fill a small seedling pot with an unfertilised or “light” potting mix. Poke a small hole about 1cm deep in the middle and place your seed inside. Cover lightly with soil. Water the soil and cover the seedling pot with clingfilm to lock in moisture. Seeds should germinate in a few days.
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.
3. NOT USING THE RIGHT SOIL
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!
The thing is, weed isn’t just weed. There are big differences in growing characteristics among different cannabis seeds. An indica autoflower will certainly behave differently than a picky photoperiod sativa. Some strains may be suitable to grow in a colder climate, while others may require a hot, sunny environment. Some strains may need lots of nutrients, while others require only light feeding. You get the idea.
There are several methods for germinating cannabis seeds. Although none is really “better” than the other, we do recommend germinating directly in soil, or even better, using the RQS Starter Kit. This does away with the risky part of transferring sprouted seeds and possibly damaging them.
Raising a seedling, however, requires some patience, gentle hands, and a smidgen of luck. Thankfully pot seeds are remarkably vigorous because they are what’s called endosperm seeds, which means they have almost pre-formed cotyledon leaves before you even add water. Below is a brief guide on the techniques we have found yield the most success when starting seeds and raising your seedling to a healthy plant ready for transplanting.
Perhaps the most exciting stage, your baby will typically come above ground in 1-2 weeks. As your seedling comes above the soil, its shell might take a few days to fall off. It’s best to leave it alone, nature has the job covered. If it does not come above ground after about two weeks, the chance of success is dramatically reduced, and it’s best to try again. Even the best seeds have an 85% germination rate. When your seedling comes above ground, it is going to want to see a direct light source.
Starting From Seed
Seedlings require a medium amount of light in which it has enough to grow but not too much light that it gets burned. Leaving your seedling in direct sunlight will cause the leaves to curl, while too little light will cause the seedling to stretch. If growing outside, seedlings want to see a direct light source to stop them stretching. If inside, a sunny windowsill with more than half a day of sunlight works wonders. Otherwise, 18 in away from a growing light works excellently. Your seedling should not stretch more than 6 in at most. We’ll cover lighting in more depth in a later blog.
Starting from seed is a remarkable journey. Understanding the biology is one thing, but comprehending how a little miracle bean can turn into a gigantic tree that can affect your body and mind is nothing short of an evolutionary miracle. Or rather a co-evolutionary story of plant and human.
Our favorite thing about starting from a seed, rather than a clone, is that you get to see the full life cycle and enjoy a plant that is unique, just like you. An entirely new genetic makeup will enter the world for the first time, and if you’re lucky, something remarkable might be born.