What is the best way to ensure your cannabis seeds successfully germinate
Always get your seeds from a reliable and known source
The older a seed is the harder it will be to germinate
On average the germinating process takes roughly 72 hours
As the majority of the country moves forward with cannabis, the desire to grow your own is sounding more appealing from coast to coast.
Cannabis cultivation has taken huge leaps and bounds over the years. Still, some believe that if you just throw a few cannabis seeds in the ground and give it some water, you are ready to go. While it is true that the cannabis plant is hardy, and will most likely grow with little to no attention, the plant will not be anywhere close to full potential.
Through a series of articles we will teach you how to grow a cannabis plant from seed to finish. The Daily Haze does not condone using this information for illegal activities. Be sure you know your local laws on cannabis cultivation.
In this article we will be covering the very first step to growing a plant, germinating a seed. This is clearly a very important step for anybody growing from seed and actually does consist of more than just throwing a seed in some dirt.
Know Your Seed
The most important thing is to know your seed! It is very important that your seeds come from a reliable source, and not just a bag of cannabis you have purchased. This allows you to know the requirements for the strain you are growing. More importantly, seeds found in a bag were most likely not meant to be there, as most commercial growers are not growing to pollinate.
There is a very high chance that seed you found in your bag is there due to the presence of a hermaphrodite, which means those seeds will have hermaphroditic tendencies and cause problem for your garden during later stages of growth.
Where To Start
For the germination process we will need two plates, some paper towels, and of course cannabis seeds.
Line the first plate with your paper towels and make sure to get them thoroughly wet. Any excess water in the plate should be poured out as it could harm your seeds, ending your cultivation experience before it even begins.
Place your cannabis seeds on the paper towel and then place another set of wet paper towels on top of the seeds. Once again, make sure any excess water is disposed of. Once this is done, place the second plate over the paper towels so it makes a UFO shape with the other plate. This will create the perfect dark, moist area for your seeds to germinate.
Place your plates out of direct light in a preferred temperature of 69.6 °F. Be sure to check the seeds every day to ensure that your paper towels do not dry out. If they do appear dry you can use a spray bottle to re-moisten the paper towels.
How Long Will It Take
Depending on how old the seeds are, you should see a tap root emerging within a couple days. The older a seed is, the longer it will take to germinate. Older seeds can take up to 10-days to germinate, and in rare occasions up to two weeks. For the most part, if you have not had a seed germinate at the two week mark there is a high chance that it will not make it through the germination process.
Once Your Seeds Are Germinated
Once the first few millimeters of the tap root has emerged, the seeds should be removed from the paper towels and placed into a small container of whatever growing medium you have decided on using.
Make a hole in your growing medium roughly twice as deep as the root is long. Your seed should sit 2-5 millimeters below the surface of the container. Place the germinated seed into the hole with the tap root pointing down, then lightly cover it with just enough dirt to block sunlight, but not obstruct the seed from sprouting.
Germinated seeds will normally sprout within 24-72 hours of being placed in the medium. However, some tap roots may not be straight and will curve to the point where they resemble a “J.” These “J rooted” seeds will display stunted growth, but will eventually recover. J rooted sprouts are caused by hormonal imbalances due to stress.
Once the germinated seeds sprout and enter the seedling stage they require light. It is important to be careful with your seedlings for the first week or two of life as they will be extremely delicate. Many inside growers prefer to place seedlings under florescent lights for the first week before placing them under High Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide. Seedlings are fine to be placed under HPS or MH as long they are kept a safe distance away from the lights, this decision is the personal preference of the grower.
Seedlings that are being planted outside should be acclimated to the sun by placing them on a windowsill in direct sunlight for an hour or two a day. Everyday increase the seedlings time in direct sunlight by an hour or two until they are able to handle a full day of sunlight.
Some people will also cut a straw lengthwise and place it around the stem to ensure extra protection for the young seedling, especially when going outside. The straw will help to protect the seedling’s stem from snapping at this delicate stage and will not harm the plant.
There you have it. That is the first step to growing your own cannabis. It is important to handle your seedling’s with care as stress causes cannabis plants to turn male or hermaphrodite. Unless you are growing for pollen, the male cannabis plant is not what you are looking for. In the next article we will discuss growing mediums for your cannabis plant to flourish in. Happy growing.