A lot of people are constantly put off when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds hydroponically. This is because of how time-consuming it is and how much effort it requires. But one thing they do… Full picture guide on how to germinate cannabis seeds for hydroponic growing. Foam collars and Rockwool cubes are used to protect the fragile taproot Germinate Marijuana Seeds We kind of view this as unnecessary, but have added it in because many people swear by it. The theory is that by weakening the tough hull, it makes it easier for the
Best Way to Germinate Cannabis Seeds for Hydroponics
A lot of people are constantly put off when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds hydroponically. This is because of how time-consuming it is and how much effort it requires.
But one thing they do not know is that growing seeds in a hydroponic system will minimize the damage the seeds can get through other methods of germination.
What you Need for your Hydroponic System
First, you need to have a grow tray (not to be mistaken for grow tents) to hold your plants in a hydroponic system. This will create an ideal environment for your plants to grow in. Also, to avoid certain diseases and pests that usually comes along whenever a hydroponic system is set up.
Inside your grow tray, you should invest in a heater or heating mat to maintain a temperature that will encourage growth in your seeds. Aside from that, proper lighting should be installed as well to help your seeds sprout.
Another important thing to take note of is the pot where the germination will take place. You may want to buy starter cubes that can withstand being soaked for a very long time. Rockwool has got to be one of those products that will not dissolve in water.
Step by Step directions for ontogenesis Seeds during a aquacultural System
- The first thing that you should do is to soak your starter cubes or Rockwool in clean water for an hour. Once they have been given a chance to soak, place a few seeds into the cube’s hole. You may want to add a few more on each cube, just in case some seeds do not germinate.
- Once they sprout, you can take out the weaker or unsuccessful plants to allow the strongest to prosper instead.
- Prepare the grow tray with an inch of clean water or a nutrient solution that is not too strong.
- Arrange the light source and heating mat until a suitable environment is met. You can keep the lid on to stay the warmth and wetness within the receptacle.
- Place the planted cubes into the grow tray and add water or the half-strength nutrient solution.
- After regarding four days, you’ll start to see some sprouts emerging.
Apparently, some people prefer to use Ziploc bags, rather than getting grow tray when trying to get the seeds to germinate since it functions as a greenhouse. There is nothing really wrong about that. Just make sure to seal the bag with a little bit of air and place it in a dark place for four days to get the seeds to sprout. After that, you can put the starter cubes with sprouted seeds into the grow tray.
Another method is by using a paper towel. You can easily achieve this by following the steps below:
- Soak four sheets of towel in water. Once soaked, you must make sure that there is water dripping off of those sheets. Too much water is not good for the seeds.
- Set two paper sheets on one of the plates and place the seeds at least 1 inch apart from each other. After that, cover them with the other two sheets.
- Cover the seeds with the second plate to keep the moisture is locked in. Be sure that you check the seeds regularly to see if they have sprouted or not.
- This is where you will find out if your seeds have a chance to prosper.
Always be sure that the seeds are stored in a room where the temperature is maintained between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cannabis seeds usually sprout within 1–4 days. However, there are other seeds, older seeds to be exact, that often take up to a week to sprout.
- Whenever you try to check the seeds, make sure that the towels are moist. If the towels are dry, just add enough water, not too much.
You can understand that germination has occurred because the seed will split, and a touch root seems. Be sure that you don’t touch the taproot when it sprouts or during the transplantation process since it is very fragile.
Just be sure to use a paper towel that is nonporous. Using a porous paper towel will cause the cannabis seeds to cling to the pores of the paper towels.
Although you may not be successful at first, that is just part of life. You win, you lose; all that matters is
that you learn through these experiences. Even if you lose a few seeds in the process, you should not be disheartened by it since it happens to everyone — even if you follow the rules and step as meticulously as possible.
The Weed Blog has an article that directly compares traditional soil germination and hydroponics. Have a read at it if you are still undecided on what method to use; it might help.
Germinating through the process of Hydroponics is definitely a chore, but it is still worth it once you see the roots of your cannabis plants soaking wet and brimming with life. Once you succeed, you will be enjoying every hit you take from your own weed growth.
Germinate Seeds for DWC (Hydroponic Germination)
This guide will show you how to germinate seeds for DWC (Deep Water Culture) growing.
Starting from clones is much easier than starting from seed when it comes to DWC. Seeds are fragile and require extra care when being propagated for hydroponics. This is probably the one area where soil growers have an edge over DWC. Since soil typically contains trace nutrients simply plopping a seed in moist soil is usually all it takes to get a healthy 3-4″ plant.
Materials Required for DWC Germination:
Paper Towel Germination
Start your DWC germination using a moist paper towel. Wet 2-3 sheets of paper towel using tap water. I don’t bother with adjusting pH this early into the grow. Ring the paper towel out so that it is moist but not dripping.
4.4g dry weight, 35g wet weight for the nerds out there
Spread the seeds out over the paper towel and fold over so that the seeds are sandwiched by at least two layers of paper towel. Work with clean hands and minimize air exposure after soaking.
Put this somewhere warm, 80F is ideal for germination but in my experience, anything above 65F will work fine.
Top of the fridge is an oft-recommended spot but when I actually tested surface temperatures in my house the top of my fridge was about 5 degrees colder than the top shelf in my pantry
If you live in a very cold climate like me and my fellow Canadians you can put the seeds in the oven with the light on to generate a bit of heat. Goes without saying you should put a sign up if you are using the oven method!
After 1-2 days the seedlings should crack and the taproot will begin growing. Leave them a few more days.
After 3-5 days the taproot should be over 1″ long. This is when they are ready for transplant. The seeds were a freebie so I’m ok with the 66% success rate. Typically, you should have 90% or greater germination rate for high-quality genetics.
EDIT: Since writing this post I have tried inserting the rooted seedling directly into the foam collar and found it works just as well. IMO the rockwool sleeve is not necessary.
What I do next is something I came up with out of necessity. A full rockwool cube I find to be unnecessarily large. If you’ve read my DIY Cloner article you’ll know that I feel Rockwool can create a low oxygen environment where pathogens thrive.
Rockwool serves a purpose for hydroponics germination. It helps protect fragile taproots and holds water between spraying.
Start by soaking your Rockwool in pH 5.5 water.
Take a Rockwool starter plug and cut it into 4 long strips. Use a clean knife to cut a slit in these strips.
Place the germinated taproot into the slit that you created.
Rockwool Sleeves for Foam Cloning Collars
As per my DIY cloner article I prefer foam collars over neroprene. The foam holds up better and surprisingly absorbs less water.
Trim the foam collar to create room for the Rockwool sleeve
Aeroponics Cloning Nutrient Solution
- 1 Gallon Water (Target pH 5.5) (1 mL each Micro, Gro & Bloom)
- 1.2 mL of Rapid Start
A few drops of pH Down gets me down to 5.5
Unlike soil (which has trace nutrients) cloning/germination in hydroponics requires immediate additions of nutrients. Once you get the pH to 5.5 add:
- 1.2 mL GH Rapid Start
- 1 mL of FloraGro
- 1 mL of FloraMicro
- 1 mL of FloraBloom
My starting ppm was 100 and the final ppm was around 300.
From here the process is the same as with clones. Simply run the pump on a cycle timer and let nature do its work.
The plants will not look happy on day one, but don’t worry they will perk up quickly under the light.
Rockwool Watering (Why I started using aeroponics for germination)
aeroponics cloner I needed to water the seedlings multiple times per day, even with the humidity dome! You can also see why I have the plants so close to my light now. Fluorescents are not very strong and can cause extreme stretching if they are not within a few inches of the plants.
Germinate Marijuana Seeds
We kind of view this as unnecessary, but have added it in because many people swear by it. The theory is that by weakening the tough hull, it makes it easier for the tender seed to emerge. Some gardeners use a nail file to put a small nick in the marijuana seed; others use sandpaper to thin and scratch the hull.
Peat pellets or Jiffy pots and Rapid rooters
These can be found at most garden centers in home improvement or large department stores such as Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc. These are thin wafers filled with peat (Jiffy Pots) or composted bark (Rapid Rooter) and a fabric outer layer that plump up considerable when wet and only cost about 10 cents apiece when bought in bulk though most are sold with a plastic humidity dome. From experience, these are the most foolproof method we have yet to use and have a high success rate. Simply wet the wafer and after it expands, push the marijuana seed in the center just until it is no longer visible. Then place the pot in the humidity dome and wait. Several days after the sprout appears, put the peat pot in the medium of your choice. Success can be high with this method. Rockwool cubes used for germination Rockwool is made out of spun melted rock or mineral fibers. They hold moisture quite easily and may be used in the same manner as peat pellets. Because they are slower to dry out, a humidity dome is usually not required. Starting the seed off in Rockwool is an excellent method of germinating marijuana seeds especially if you are going to use hydroponics for growing. One of the best characteristics of Rockwool is it contains a lot of air and is generally a nice start to your seeds life. Try and use 1 inch X 1 inch cubes, soak the cubes with water then squeeze a little excess water out, place the seeds (sideways) into a small hole in the top, pinch the hole together or cover with more Rockwool, then place the Rockwool cubes in a tray container. You can fill the container with water later on and the Rockwool will suck it up using capillary action. Try and use good quality spring water, it can be the cheap stuff, or rain but it is better than water from the faucet which might be outside the pH required by marijuana. Place the tray in a warm dark spot to germinate. After a day or so you will see the seeds crack open and the roots take hold in the medium. You can then transplant the entire Rockwool cube over to the main hydroponic system.
How to look after marijuana seedlings
Your marijuana plant will start to grow very quickly after germination. It is very fragile when it is small and sometime growers put a humidity dome over the top of them which protects and keeps them warmer but make sure there are holes drilled into the dome so that some air can make it in. Keep the seedlings away from draughts and use a very diluted nutrient mix when watering. Pot it up to a bigger pot once it has established itself and filled the pot or container you started it in.
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Final notes on marijuana seed germination:
No matter which method you use, the temperature requirement is the same. Optimal is about 75º to 80ºF (24º C to 26.8ºC). Going above 90º F (32.2º C) can damage the seedling. Seedlings may still germinate as low as 65º F (18.3º C), but will take longer. Germinating marijuana seeds is quite easy, so why do people struggle so? Too wet, too cool and too much handling are the main culprits. Many growers swear by the use of distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) filtered water. We have just about the hardest tap water in the USA, yet never have any problems. Use purified water if it makes you feel better, but personally we see no need to. If you are or want to be a serious grower, keep different weed strains separate from each other. Be sure to label your seeds with which strain and date before you start germination.