How to germinate Cannabis seeds? If you are tempted to believe that cannabis seeds germinate on their own, you should know that you can lend them a helping hand and stimulate this process. In fact, it is even recommended to do so, taking care of your plants before they even emerge, as this is the key to obtaining healthy and vigorous mature cannabis plants.
So, while you cannot change Mother Nature’s ways, you can make sure that the seeds have the best germination conditions. Because it is so important to take care of your plants from ground zero, the current guide will give you comprehensive information about cannabis seed germination and how to start your cannabis culture in the best way possible.
Information about cannabis seeds
You may already know that every plant grows out of a seed, so cannabis plants are no different. The seed is an incredible capsule, containing all the required resources to help a plant start out and survive for a couple of days without anything else.
But, in order to germinate, a seed will need water, the first sign that the environment is favorable for the growth of the future plant. Without water, cannabis seeds will not begin their germination process.
When it has sufficient moisture from the ground, the seeds soak in it and crack, allowing the first root of the plant to reach the ground and develop.
At the same time, a stem will start growing upward. Don’t worry, as the small plant can sense the gravity, so the roots will always go down and the stem up, no matter how the seed is positioned in the soil.
How to germinate weed seeds: Start the germination process
You have quite a few options when it comes to triggering the germination of cannabis seeds.
Thus, you can use potting soil, rockwool cubes, or peat pellets, each of this options working just as well if all the conditions are met.
More precisely, regardless of the chosen support for germination, the seeds should have a proper level of moisture and the right temperature.
To increase the rates of success, you can even combine two types of germination,
which are water and soil. This means that before placing the cannabis seeds in the soil, you should place them in a bowl of water, at room temperature, and allow them to soak this way for the next 24 hours.
This will give the seeds the chance to absorb a good amount of water, so when you place them in the soil, they will be ready to germinate. Just make sure not to forget the seeds in the water for several days in a row.
Starting the germination process in the soil
Germination is very easy when you use good quality potting soil.
You should be able to find this type of soil in any gardening shop and it is recommended to choose it because it already has a decent amount of nutrients that will be sufficient for a week or two.
The nutrients in the soil are important for the germination of the seed and growth of the plant, although you need to pay attention to the number of nutrients in the soil, as overfeeding the plant or seed can have negative effects on them.
Put sufficient soil in small pots, using one pot with soil for one seed. Then, with the help of a pencil’s end, create holes in the pot with the depth of a quarter of an inch.
If a seed already presents a small root, which can happen while they soak in water, then you can make sure that it will develop right by placing the seed with the root facing downward, into the soil.
After you placed the seed in the hole, place a small amount of soil over it, without pushing down the soil as it will naturally arrange when you’ll water the seed.
Now, the plant is ready to germinate and you will soon see signs that things are going well when the plant will finally emerge from the soil. This can take a few days to a week, so have a little patience.
How to water the seeds
Of course, you don’t have to overdo it either, so continue reading to find out how to water the seeds correctly.
Too little water will make the plant grow small, as the plant will be economical with the available resources and won’t use too many for its growth.
Too much water, on the other hand, with suffocate the roots as they won’t receive enough oxygen. This will make them root and the plant will be extremely affected.
Not to mention that wet soils are the ideal environment for the development of bacteria and mold. Thus, the best way to make sure that you water the seed properly without exaggerating is to pour water into the soil until you see it dripping from the bottom of the pot.
When this happens you can stop. Make sure to check the moisture of the soil in the pot each day, as this water reserve won’t last for more than a few days, so you will need to water it again soon.
What’s the right light intensity?
Light is an extremely important factor when it comes to seed germination and growth of the new plant. If it is too cold or dark, the germination will not take place.
And considering that cannabis plants are light-lovers, you need to make sure there is plenty of it at their disposal.
The light will allow the plants to develop through the photosynthesis process, which uses light to turn water and carbon dioxide into sugars, crucial for the growth of the plant.
So, the amount of light the plants have will significantly affect the way they will grow. Thus, plants that have little light will grow thin and tall, in an attempt to reach for more light, presenting a long stem and not very many branches.
But when the light is sufficient, the plant will grow thick and develop a lot of branches, which means a lot of buds for you to enjoy in the end. So, make sure that your plants have plenty of light throughout the day if you want to encourage a healthy growth.
The best light sources to use are the fluorescent lights, as they are economical when it comes to the consumption of energy and they do not generate too much heat either, so you can place them near the plants, maximizing their growth potential.
Still, seeds don’t actually need light if they are not germinated yet. But, as soon as you will see the first sign of an emerging stem, it is highly important to provide a sufficient amount of light.
What about temperature?
The temperature around the plants is another thing you need to have in mind and measure constantly.
The ideal temperature is of 73 degrees Fahrenheit and you can achieve it by bringing the light lamps closer to the plants.
If the temperature turns out to be too high, just push the lamps further away from the plants, until the temperature drops at the ideal level.
Until the seeds germinate, you can wrap them in plastic foil, so that humidity will be more effectively preserved while the temperature is within the right ranges.
This way, you will create the ideal environment for germination to occur. If the right temperature is reached, then you should expect to see your plants anytime between 3 to 7 days since you planted the seeds.
But, if you wrapped the pots with plastic foil, remove it immediately as you see the new plant sprouts. Also, this is the time to turn on the light lamps as well, keeping them on for 18 hours per day and turning them off for 6 hours at night, so the plants will have the right cycle of day and night.
Using rockwool as a substrate
What about germinating cannabis seeds in rockwool and not soil? Rockwool is a type of mineral wool, made from volcanic rock and it is a great environment for your seeds to germinate.
The only difference you have to remember when using rockwool instead of potting soil is the addition of fertilizers. Unlike potting soil, rockwool is sterile when it comes to nutrients.
Also, the pH of the rockwool may be too high for the requirements of your plants, being usually around 7, so you will have to lower it to 5.5.
You can easily do this by putting the rockwool into the water and allowing it to soak for 24 hours, as the process will bring its pH down.
There are both pros and cons when using rockwool for germinating cannabis seeds. For example, when you will transplant the small plants into bigger pots, their roots will not be affected, as you can transplant them together with the rockwool in which they grew.
But, on the other hand, you need to keep an eye on the pH and TDS, which is the quantity of fertilizer that should be around 600 ppm.
Starting the germination in peat pellets
The peat pellets are made out of peat compressed into a pellet-like form and kept together with a thin mesh.
When you get these pellets wet, they will increase their volume as they soak in the water.
So, they transform into a soft container for your cannabis seeds.
Both the TDS, which is somewhere around 625, and pH that is 5.5, make peat pellets the perfect support for the germination of your seeds.
Once the seeds start growing roots, you can move the pellets directly into the soil or rockwool, without risking to damage the plant’s roots when performing this operation.
Using cotton pads
Believe it or not, you don’t have to use sophisticated materials to make your cannabis seeds germinate.
You can easily cotton pads to create a nice and moist environment for the seeds.
So, placing them between cotton pads that have been soaked in water is another way to ensure that the seeds have plenty of moisture to germinate.
The only downside to this method is that you will have to move the seedlings once they start growing roots, which can damage them as they are very fragile.
So you will have to maneuver the small plants with a lot of caution.
If using this method, check on your seeds daily, as it takes between 2 and 5 days for them to begin shooting roots and you will have to move them into pots with soil or rockwool once this happens.
To do this, just take the cotton pad that is on top and gently use your fingers or a tweezer to place the small plants into an adequate environment for growing.
Can cannabis seeds be germinated outdoors?
Well, unless the temperature outside is the ideal one, it is not that recommended to do this.
You see, it is harder to control the temperature outdoors, as if it gets slightly colder, due to weather changes, the germination will be delayed or will not occur.
Not to mention that rain, cloudy weather, and other external factors can be damaging to your plants.
Germinating your weed seeds inside is easier to do and you will be able to obtain bigger with a higher number of branches, which translates into a generous yield of buds.
Making things happen faster
If you soak the seeds into a solution made out of 1% hydrogen peroxide or in compost tea, you will not just destroy all the germs that may damage the seeds, but you will also make the germination take place faster than usual.
Do this operation after planting the seeds in a sterile environment, in holes that have a depth of a quarter of an inch.
Then, water them with a solution that contains hydrogen peroxide in a proportion of 0.5% and bloom fertilizer with a strength of 25%.
It is recommended to cover the containers with the seed with something that will keep moisture in. Also, make sure that the pots are out of the sun while the temperature is kept at 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 degrees Celsius.
This way, it will take between 2 and 10 days for the seeds to germinate, depending on their age. So have in mind that older seeds will take longer to produce sprouts.