Germination itself is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. The seed germination process is the foundation of every marijuana plant, and steps can be taken to boost successful popping. For example, some cultivators improve germination attempts by soaking seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea for 12 hours beforehand to kill any dangerous pests.
Preparing to germinate cannabis seeds
To employ water germination, fill a glass with tap water and let it sit until it reaches room temperature or around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Add two to three plant seeds per cup and allow them to sit, watching for any changes. Change the water to fresh tap water every two days, making sure it stays at room temperature.
How to germinate seeds in water
Germination is the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
If growing male and female cannabis seeds, they’ll start to show their sex organs, or “pre-flowers,” after 8-10 weeks from germination.
However, a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis, which developed in extreme northern conditions without much sunlight, will begin flowering once the plant reaches a certain age—they automatically start flowering regardless of the amount of light they receive, hence the name “autoflower.”
You might also find a mature seed that has been physically damaged through poor handling, like rough trimming. In those cases, it probably isn’t worth the effort to try and germinate the seed.
How to sex a pot plant
Most experienced or commercial growers will not use feminized seeds because they only contain one set of genes, and these should never be used for breeding purposes. However, a lot of beginning growers start with feminized seeds because they eliminate the worry of having to deal with male plants.
Females will have a round structure with long hairs—these hairs will develop into pistils, which will catch pollen in the air.
Autoflowers don’t need lots of nutrients because they’re small and don’t spend much time in the vegetative cycle. They won’t need as much veg nutrients—such as nitrogen—but will need more bloom nutrients.
Tips for growing autoflower marijuana seeds
These are referred to as “bagseeds” and whether or not you can grow one will depend on where it came from.
Some varieties of cannabis can produce male parts alongside female flowers on the same plant, especially if exposed to environmental stressors. These plants are known as hermaphrodites, and sometimes they can self-pollinate to create seeds.