How to germinate marijuana seeds

There are many ways to germinate marijuana seeds, but some are more successful than others. This guide will discuss the many ways to germinate your seeds as well as some strategies for ensuring you get the best results.  All plants begin as seeds. What appears to be a pebble is actually a complete plant that has been conveniently stored with enough food to sustain itself for a few days. During germination, this food is converted into sugars that the plant uses to break through its shell and create its roots. From that point forward, the seedling relies on the conditions in its environment to provide the nutrients it needs to survive. Once a seed has received enough moisture, germination begins. A seed will begin germinating once it has been brought out of its slumber. When that happens, the plant’s size will increase and its shell will crack open and a small white root will emerge, which will allow the plant to absorb nutrients from the soil.

What does a healthy marijuana seed look like, and where can I get them?

Many people want to know how to identify a healthy seed since all marijuana grows from a cannabis seed. It can be tough to detect whether a seed is healthy based on the plant alone. Nevertheless, there are some indications. For example, when you have a pale-green or white marijuana seed the chances of it “waking up” are much less than that of a dark, healthy marijuana seed.  As with any organic material, as time goes on it will begin to decay, so it’s important you store your seeds in a cool, dark and dry place until you can use them again. The refrigerator is a good choice. The best place to get your seeds from is a credible seed bank with a solid germination rate built on strong genes. One reputable seed bank we have loved time and time again is ILGM (I Love Growing Marijuana). Led by Robert Bergman and based in California, this seed bank makes you feel like a family with their robust inventory and germination guarantee.  If you are completely new to growing and are not sure of what marijuana strain to plant, we recommend you check out Weedlax, where you can access growing guides, a strain database, and other important knowledge tid bits to help you make your next grow a complete success. 

How to germinate your seeds using 3 simple methods

You should choose the method that works well with you, whether it be simple and natural or complicated and technological. At the end of the day if you have been able to successfully wake up your seeds from their sleep and foster an environment for them to grow then you can deem that process the magical method for you. In any case, here are some various ways (and our favorite) to germinate your cannabis seeds.

Sow seeds directly into the ground

Achieving germination by placing marijuana seeds in the soil is the most common method. It is also often successful and is the most natural way for plants to grow. When germinating cannabis seeds it is important to protect and not touch the white root. Because the seed starts in the soil there is no human interference and is protected by the soil using this method. It is vital to first make sure you use the correct kind of soil to plant marijuana seeds in. You can use lightly fertilized potting soil or a seed starter which generally has a pH of approximately 6. Choose a light and airy medium to help the young seedling start. A cannabis seed doesn’t have much energy, so you want that energy to go into allowing the roots to grow as big as possible – not struggling to get through your medium. Using too much nutrients can also kill your seedlings. At this stage in their life they are just beginning to grow and set the roots for their plant. Allow your seedling to develop a solid foundation before introducing a rich nutrient plan. To plant your cannabis seed in soil first make a small indentation. It doesn’t have to be large and shouldn’t be over a half inch deep. Plant your seed with the pointy side down and lightly put soil on top. Using this method it’s critical for your seedling to maintain warmth and moisture. Consider making a humidity dome and putting this pot on a seedling heating pad. You’ll want to provide it with water but not too much that it drowns out the seed. 

Sprout seeds in water

This is our favorite and most trusted method and funny enough, 90% of the time, this method works. It’s as simple as putting your seeds in distilled water and if you can control their environment, you can see their little tail start forming in as little as 24 – 48 hours. This process can take up to 7 days and if your seeds haven’t started in that time they are probably a dud. 

The process of water germination

You’ll want to use distilled and filtered water at this point (and really going forward). Place your seeds in a small cup of water. We recommend handing them with gloves on or using tweezers gently as we don’t want the seeds to be contaminated with the oils on our hands.  Once the cannabis seeds are in a small cup of water put the cup on a heating pad. We usually use a thin piece of cloth as a buffer between the glass and heating pad to ensure that the seeds don’t get too hot.  Put a piece of saran wrap on top of the cup to act as a humidity dome and cover the sides of the small cup with the cloth so that no light enters the cup. That’s it! Check in with them after 24 hours to see if any of the seed’s tails are forming. You may sow your seeds at any point once the tail shows, but once the roots are three to five millimeters (.1 to .2 inches) long, they must be planted or you risk drowning out the seeds. Think rainy spring weather – it’s getting warmer outside and has plenty of moisture. It’s our job to create that environment for our young seeds.  Even though we prefer to germinate our seeds in water, there are some disadvantages that you will want to be aware of as well. Handling your seeds is dangerous at some point, and this is especially the case with germinating seeds. The roots of plants are especially vulnerable, and if you damage them in any way, your plant may not grow properly. When planting sprouted seeds, be very careful not to place the root facing upward. Instead, place it facing downwards.

The paper towel method

To germinate your cannabis seeds using the paper towel method, use a paper towel. This is an uncomplicated process. Soak the paper towel in water and place it in a small container or plastic bag. Gather your cannabis seeds and put them inside the paper towel and back into its container. Similar to the water soaking method above, you’ll want to mimic spring time keeping the seed’s moisture levels high and in a dark warm place. Care must be taken when using this method to germinate these seeds. You may damage fragile roots or tangle the root in the wet paper towel if you are not careful.  When transplanting delicate sprouts, use your clean fingers or tweezers to handle them, and make sure the roots don’t grow too long before planting them in the soil.

How to water sprouting seeds

It is critical for the marijuana life cycle that water is essential for germination. Your seeds germinate if there is enough water, but they don’t survive if the root is soaked.  If you don’t water your plant enough, its roots will lose its access to oxygen and die. It’s relatively simple to monitor the water levels when germinating weed seeds indoors using soil or another growing medium. Even though the seedling needs only a little bit of water at a time, it will quickly evaporate, so make sure there is always enough around.

Onto the next phase in your plant’s life

After your cannabis seeds have sprouted and have shown life in their new pot consider this a major milestone and get ready for some fun weeks ahead. Your little seeds are now seedlings and require water, light, heat, and a good ventilated area to thrive now. As your plant grows, so does its needs and with every week you’ll be learning something new.  While we love our water soaking method we also love hearing about other methods and success stories. Feel free to drop us a message and tell us what works for you. The post How to germinate marijuana seeds first appeared on The Weed Street Journal.