Cannabis seeds need only water, heat, and air to break dormancy and germinate; they do not need extra hormones, fertilizers, or additives. Seeds sprout Learn how to successfully germinate your precious cannabis seeds every-time with this simple, easy to follow guide. A must read for all beginners. If you read our recommendations on how to choose the best moment to start your outdoor crop, you have probably waited for the good weather to settle in and for the be…
Jorge’s Cannabis Encyclopedia: Seed Germination
Cannabis seeds need only water, heat, and air to break dormancy and germinate; they do not need extra hormones, fertilizers, or additives. Seeds sprout without light in a range of temperatures. Strong, viable, properly nurtured seeds germinate in 2 to 7 days. At germination, the outside protective shell of the seed splits, and a tiny, white sprout (radicle) pops out. This sprout is the root, or taproot. Cotyledon, or seed, leaves emerge on a stem from within the shell as they push upward in search of light.
Break dormancy: Put newly harvested seeds in the refrigerator for a week or two to simulate winter. Remove and germinate. Seeds will germinate more uniformly because they all come out of dormancy at the same time.
Timeline for Germinating Most Seeds:
At 36 to 96 hours – Water is absorbed, root tip (radicle) pops through outer shell and is visible.
At 10 to 14 days – First roots and root hairs become visible.
At 21 to 30 days – At least half of seeds are rooted by day 21. Seeds not rooted by day 30 will probably grow slowly.
Once seeds are rooted, cell growth accelerates; stem, foliage, and roots develop quickly. Seedlings develop into full vegetative growth within 4 to 6 weeks of germination.
Seeds are Prompted to Germinate By:
Water: Soaking seeds in water allows moisture to penetrate the protective seed shell within minutes. Once inside, moisture continues to wick in to activate the dominant hormones. In a few days, hormones activate and send enough signals to pro- duce an initial root tip. The white radicle (rootlet) emerges to bring a new plant into the world. Once a seed is moist, it must receive a constant flow of moisture to transport nutrients, hormones, and water so that it can carry on life processes. Some seeds need lots of moisture to wash out the dormancy hormones in the seed coat, and if they do not get enough moisture, they do not germinate. Conversely, too much water deprives the seed of oxygen, reducing its quality or destroying it. If fragile germinated seeds are allowed to suffer moisture stress now, seedling growth will be stunted. Soaking most seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours is all they need to initiate germination. All the nourishment for a seed’s initial growth requirement is pulled from the fleshy cotyledons, or seed leaves. Water seedlings with low-EC (electrical conductivity) household tap water during the first week or two of life. Supple- mental nutrients are unnecessary and if applied in excess can disrupt internal seed chemistry. Some gardeners prefer to germinate seeds using distilled or purified water that contains virtually no dissolved solids.
Temperature: Overall, cannabis seeds germinate in temperatures from 70°F–90°F (21°C–32°C) and grow best at 78°F (26°C). Temperatures below 70°F (21°C) and above 90°F (32°C) impair germination. Low temperatures delay germination. High temperatures upset seed chemistry causing poor germination. Seeds germinate best under the native conditions and temperature ranges where they were grown.
Air & Oxygen: Sow seeds twice as deep as the width of the seed. For example, 0.125-inch (3 mm) seeds should be planted 0.25 inches (6 mm) deep. Adequate oxygen is un- available for seeds planted too deeply, and tender seedlings have insufficient stored energy to drive through deep layers of soil or crusty hard soil when sprouting.
Agricultural Astrology — Planting by the Moon
Ancient Babylonians and Egyptians planted and harvested based on moon phases in relation to geographic location. The premise is that plants grow better when planted during the appropriate moon phase.
Moon phases cause ocean tides to rise and fall. They also affect the rise and fall of moisture in soil and fluids inside plants. The moon phase influence is said to be the same indoors, outdoors, and in greenhouse-grown cannabis.
Cannabis gardeners who plant by the moon report faster-sprouting seeds that grow into vigorous plants. However, scientific evidence is lacking in regard to cannabis and other plants’ relationship with agricultural astrology.
Seeds need oxygen from the air to germinate. Growing mediums that are too moist (soggy) will cut off oxygen supplies and the seeds will literally drown. Cannabis seeds germinate best when moisture is between 60 and 70 percent.
How to germinate cannabis seeds
When germinating cannabis seeds there are a few factors that play an important role. Cannabis seeds need humidity and warmth to sprout. A temperature between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius is ideal. Also besides that, we recommended that you leave the seeds in peace.
A glass of water
Place your seeds in a glass of sterilised water, the water temperature should be around 20 – 25 degrees Celsius. Gently push the seeds with your fingertip below the surface of the water and leave the seeds fo float. After 2 – 4 hours, your seeds should have sunk to the bottom of the glass, if not, Gently push the seeds again, they should fall to the bottom. Within 24 / 48 hours, your seeds will have small roots and be ready for the next stage.
Cotton pads – Paper towels
Place the seed between 2 wet layers of your chosen material. Using this method, the water will evaporate quickly so it is best to create an environment where condensation can take place. You can do so by placing 2 plates on top of each other with the top one upside down for example. Make sure to check the humidity twice-daily! The material should be humid, not wet!
When the root is longer than 2 – 3cm, its ready for planting.
Choose the size of pot that you will need and fill with a quality soil of your choice. Place your finger into the soil making a small hole in the middle. Carefully transplant the seedling into the soil with the root facing downwards. The seed head should just be covered up by the soil. Wet the soil carefully. Make sure it is wet enough for the seedling to continue growing. Check regularly. The seedling will require 18 hours of light a day in the growing (vegitation) stage.
We recommend storing your seeds in an airtight plastic bag or container in the fridge. The seeds will stay fresh for years when stored this way.
How to germinate cannabis seeds every time
Learn how to germinate your cannabis seeds successfully every time in our easy to follow guide. Read more
What if my seeds do not germinate?
If your seeds do not germinate for some reason please contact [email protected] for a *free replacement.
*This only applies to seeds bought from this website.”
How to germinate weed seeds?
You can germinate your cannabis seeds both indoors and outdoors, though our recommendation is that you do it indoors, as you will have more control over all the factors that can have a negative effect on the process. But if this is not, below we explain the best way to germinate seeds outdoors.
Our first recommendation, as we already said, would be to wait for the good weather to settle in. Having a high temperature (from 22 to 26°C) is an important factor for your seeds to decide to emerge into the world.
Step 1: protect your seedlings from climate factors and fauna, prevention is better than cure.
Outdoors we never know what dear mother nature has in store for us; in the same way that your seeds might enjoy a week of good weather and sun, there can also be thunderstorms and low temperatures on the very day they sprout. Not to mention the large variety of birds, snails and other fauna that delight in eating those tender and tasty marijuana seedlings. Bear in mind that during their first moments of life, your plants are defenceless against many dangers that threaten them; therefore, it is your job to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. How? It’s actually quite simple, you can buy mini-greenhouses for germinating or you can use a Tupperware and make holes in it for adequate ventilation, although we recommend the first option.
Ventilation is an important factor; don’t make the greenhouse airtight, open the trapdoors to allow adequate ventilation and as the covers are made of thin plastic, you can even make some extra holes if necessary.
Step 2: choose quality materials.
Today you can find high quality products on the market, specifically designed for germination and which, in addition, are not expensive. What do you need?
- Germination greenhouse
- Electric blanket: If you live in a very cold area, a good solution to stimulate germination is to place an electric blanket underneath the greenhouse, thus achieving an adequate temperature. It is important that the probe that measures the temperature calculates the temperature of the blanket, and not of the greenhouse, as otherwise you might heat the seeds excessively.
- Jiffy 7: This product consists of of a compressed and dehydrated substrate pellet which, after leaving it in water for a few minutes, becomes a small sack of special substrate for germinating, and is also biodegradable. This is the star product that will optimise your germination process due to the following reasons:
– On the one hand it has the ideal structure, that is, the amount of air and water in the substrate is adequate for germination.
– It is sterilised, meaning that we prevent the appearance of fungi (powdery mildew, botrytis, etc)
– It has all the elements necessary to nourish your seed/seedling during the first week; the ideal amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Phosphorus and calcium are particularly important for the correct development of roots.
– It has a neutral pH, which is the most adequate and makes it the perfect medium for germination; during one week you just have to add water.
– Jiffy 7 is expressly designed for the mega-industrial production of seedlings and does not require fertilisation.
– Another advantage is the specific temperature: water has a low specific temperature. This means that if we place a glassful of water in a room at 25°, it will be very hard for the water to reach that temperature. Therefore, if we place the cannabis seeds in a very watery medium (a glass or between paper towels) the temperature will be lower, while in a Jiffy, as it is more exposed to the air, the temperature will be higher and the process, faster.
However, there are people who germinate marijuana seeds in paper towels. Why don’t we recommend them? Well, although this method may be effective, it is not the most adequate and has some disadvantages. To start with, the seedlings do not receive the necessary light, as the paper towel that covers the top prevents the sun’s rays from penetrating. In turn, in the Jiffy they do receive light, and therefore photosynthesis will start earlier. Another advantage is that as soon as the root emerges in the Jiffy, it starts to turn downwards and to absorb nutrients: on the one hand we accelerate the process and on the other, when we replant the Jiffy 7 with the seedling there is no transplant shock.
Step 3: follow the method.
- Put the Jiffys in lukewarmwater.
- Once the Jiffys have expanded, make sure that they are thoroughly wet (don’t squeeze them, just remove the excess liquid if they are dripping). Monitor the pH (between 6 and 7) and the EC (less than 0.5 ms) of the water.
- Insert the seed in the central hole of the Jiffy, not too deep (approximately 5 mm) with the tip pointing upwards. The marijuana plant must not be sown too deep because otherwise the root has to travel too far: it always emerges through the pointy part of the seed, turns 180°, penetrates into the soil, and once it is secure, it raises its “head” from where the cotyledons will grow.
- Place the Jiffys in the greenhouse as well as a thermo-hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity.
- Temperature control: it must not fall below 20 degrees nor exceed 30. If you put the greenhouse in the sun, it can get very hot; you must constantly monitor the temperature. If it exceeds 25 degrees, we recommend that you lift up the top cover to ventilate it. Another important factor you have to check is humidity. If it is very sunny, the Jiffys will dry up and it is important that they are always humid. You must therefore add water when necessary, though not in excess. They should only be soaking wet during the first two days. After one week we should already have marijuana seedlings; with their two cotyledons (the first two round -shaped leaves), before the first two real leaves sprout (the serrated leaves), transplant them. If they are autoflowering seeds, we recommend that you transplant them to the definitive flower pot, though if they are feminised seeds you can transplant them to a smaller pot and then, when the plants are larger, you can move them to the definitive pot.
For indoors: The same but under a grow light, fluorescent or LED. If you have the option of germinating your cannabis seeds inside your home, ideally the light intensity will be high; the less intense the light, the more the seedlings will stretch in search of light and become spindly. If you use a 400 W light ideally it should be 40-45 cm away.
Now that you know how to take your first steps, you’re ready to start this season’s crop. Have a good harvest!
Kushka Barcelona-born journalist and grower with a curious spirit. I used to spend my life travelling, writing and working with cannabis clubs until Professor OG called me. My two passions, the plant and the writing, have followed the same path ever since. I absolutely love tricky subjects, those that oblige me to spend days buried in books, investigating and driving the entire technical team crazy. There’s no way I can write a story without going into the issue in depth. I enjoy challenges, but even more sharing them with you on our blog. You can find on instagram at @_kushka.
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