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How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

how-to-germinate-cannabis-seeds

Cannabis, better known as marijuana, is getting more popular across the United States as more medical reports deem it highly useful for better health and more states legalize its sale and use. There’s no question of how potent and beneficial marijuana is for health and recreation, so it is no surprise that more individuals are more getting interested in growing the herb in their homes.

Like any other plant, cannabis goes through the germination process before full growth. Handling cannabis seed germination is no difficult task, but it requires a great deal of precision and care. If you can provide that, you’re good to go.

Below here, we breakdown the main aspects of cannabis seed germination you need to know.

The Ideal Germination Conditions for Cannabis

For maximum cannabis seed germination, you need to provide the following conditions:

Moisture

Marijuana seeds need adequate moisture in the soil to develop properly. You can maintain moisture by using well-watered soil or a naturally-moist medium such as compost. Alternatively, you can use mulch on the ground to lock the moisture in.

Stability

Your seeds need a stable setup during planting to guarantee proper germination. You can achieve this by placing the seeds about 1.3cm to 2.5 cm into the medium, not any further or closer to the medium surface.

Temperature

Marijuana seeds require a proper balance between hot and cold temperatures for proper germination. Keep the temperature around the germinating area adequately warm, because colder temperatures tend to delay the germination process.

Direction

Marijuana seeds need direction when being germinated. When placing the germinated seed into the growing medium, ensure that the white root is looking downwards into the medium and the seed body is looking upwards. Positioning it otherwise means the root will have to reorganize itself, which can slow germination. 

Seed Germination Methods

There are more than a few options to choose from when picking a method for your seed germination process. We list and explain the best of them below:

Use Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs

This is the most recommended cannabis seed germination method on this list because of its ease. Starter cubes and seedling plugs are specially designed for the purpose of seed germination, so they come filled with the right kind of planting mix and a hole drilled adequately in the middle for placing your seed. All you have to do is place your seed carefully into the hole and close it with a simple pinch of the nearby planting mix.

The Pros 

  • They have high germination rates thanks to adequately pre-set conditions
  • They are easy to use; you open them up and start planting
  • They give less room for error
  • Some of them are designed to allow hydroponic growing (water-based planting) 
  • They aren’t too expensive

The Cons 

  • Are usually sold in packages of 50 plugs or more at once, no less.
  • Some plugs dry out too quickly after opening.
  • Some plugs must be soaked for a while first before use.

Plant your marijuana seeds directly in the final growing medium

Another good method for germinating your cannabis seeds is by planting them within your final growing medium from the very beginning, whether it is soil or compost or water.

The Pros

  • The seeds don’t get transplant shock during transplanting
  • The seeds get accustomed to the medium early on, which fosters growth

The Cons

  • Some final mediums are not adequately nutrient-rich to support cannabis seed germination in its earliest stages

Use a germination station

For best seed germination results, you can alternatively employ a germination station before transferring to a final growing medium. Germination stations are pre-designed to offer optimum conditions for germination.

The Pros

  • Germination stations are cheap to purchase 
  • You can create your own DIY germination station at home using a plastic dome fitted over a plate that’s placed on a heating pad.

The Cons

  • Germination seeds are only appropriate for the early stages of growth, unlike, say, the final medium.

Soak Your Marijuana Seeds in Water Overnight

Alternatively, you can germinate your cannabis seeds using water alone. Place the seeds in a glassful of mildly warm water overnight and wait for the white root to break through the seed shell. Then you can transfer to a final growing medium.

The Pros

  • It works well for seeds with extra hard seed coats
  • Cuts out all the extra preparation required in soil-based germination

The Cons

  • Some seeds, especially the older ones, cannot germinate in water because they require a longer time
  • There is always the risk of over soaking the seeds and killing them

Try the Paper Towel Method

The most DIY cannabis seed germination method on this list is the paper towel method, which involves wrapping your seeds in thin paper towels, making them wet and leaving the setup a warm place. Soon enough, the white roots start showing and the seeds can then be transplanted.

The Pros

  • It is so cheap; the thinnest (and cheapest) paper towels work best
  • It is so easy to do.

The Cons

  • Thicker paper towels can be hard to separate new seedlings from after they’ve sprouted
  • There is a high possibility for errors during transplanting, such as root breakage when seed roots are found to have grown into the paper towel, not on its surface. 
  • Paper towels can dry if unattended, thereby killing the new seedlings.

Planting Germinated Seeds

Once the cannabis seeds have germinated, they need to be planted in order to grow into proper cannabis plants. The recommended method for planting cannabis seeds includes the steps below:

Step One: Set and prepare your planting medium. You can use either a rooting cube or a planting mix for planting, depending on your preference. Rooting cubes have no major preparation requirements –have one ready from Oasis, Jiffy or another good brand. If you’re using a planting mix, procure sterile soil for the process. Random soil doesn’t cut it here.

Step Two: Next, add water to the sterile soil or rooting cube to saturate it. Then use a needle or chopstick to drill small planting holes within the soil or rooting cube. Please do not use your finger for this task.

Step Three: Get your tweezers and sterilize them with alcohol or spirit first. Then use the tweezers to pick the seeds, paying good attention to the fragile white roots.

Step Four: Place each germinated seed into a hole of its own, ever so tenderly, such that the root faces downward. Don’t place the seeds too deep into the ground either, because it slows growth. Move quickly because the roots are easily damaged by exposure to the atmosphere. 

Step Five: Next, cover each of the holes with adequate soil or rooting cube. Make sure the planting mix or root cube is moist and not too cold.

Conclusion

Germinating and growing cannabis seeds requires a bit of work, but when done right, the end results are worth every minute spent. Like any other plant, cannabis seeds have to go through germination and then plant growth. Making sure each of these stages is done right will guarantee you a super bouncy harvest every time.

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