Are you looking to grow cannabis from seed?
Growing cannabis from seed is not as easy as some beginners may think. The success and germination rate are dependent on many factors. The quality and quantity of your yield will largely depend on how the seeds are started and if there is any cross-contamination in this process.
It is essential to learn how to best germinate cannabis seeds before you can become a successful cultivator. In addition, some cannabis growers prefer clones over seeds. Although each route offers its own benefits, seeds are often easier to obtain than clones. While both seeds and clones get the job done, seeds seem to have higher popularity in many parts of the country.
It’s important to remember that buying cannabis seeds online is illegal. Also, since it is largely unregulated and illegal, there are many vendors that will offer faulty seeds with poor genetics.
So, to avoid getting a bad batch of seeds, check for legal cannabis seed options near you. Numerous licensed cannabis dispensaries will sell cannabis seeds, usually offering many strains and genetic varieties.
Here is how you can start growing your cannabis straight from the seed.
How Can You Determine If A Cannabis Seed Is Viable?
If you are a cannabis user, odds are you have probably found a seed or two in your flower before.
However, not all seeds you find in your flower are viable. Some seeds you will find are actually just shells of a seed and won’t produce anything.
Viable cannabis seeds tend to have darker colors with shades of brown, gray, or black. Additionally, high-quality seeds will have a ‘tiger stripe,’ which is a characteristic of quality cannabis seeds.
Furthermore, a good way to test if a cannabis plant is viable is to pinch it between your fingers. A high-quality seed should be capable of withstanding a solid pinch. If the seed bursts under pressure, it is not a viable seed to use and is more of a shell of a seed like we mentioned earlier.
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Although it isn’t difficult to germinate marijuana seeds, it requires some attention to detail along with providing the right environment and conditions for success. For successful germination, you will need the right amount of moisture and an appropriate temperature for the plant to grow.
You will also need adequate lighting (whether it be sunlight or artificially from low-intensity grow lamps). We go into this process in depth in our advanced grow class.
Placing a cannabis seed between clean, unbleached paper towels is the most efficient and cost-effective way to germinate it. It is as simple as dampening the paper towels and squeezing out the excess moisture. It is important to make sure that the paper towels are damp but not oversaturated.
Then, place the seed(s), between the moistened paper towels. Wrap a sandwich bag around the paper towels to seal in moisture. Finally, place the paper towel on a window ledge where it will receive light, but not too much. The paper towels must remain moist until the germinated cannabis seed(s) are ready for transplant.
A heating mat is a good option if the room’s temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The success rate with the paper towel method is rather high. In addition, there are many products that can be integrated into germination strategies. However, they just might not be as cost-effective. Also, if it ain’t broke’ don’t fix it, as they say.
This is an age-old and tried and true method for germination with a high success rate, so there is no need to overcomplicate it.
When Can The Seed Be Transplanted?
The germination process of a cannabis seed can be compared to boiling water. In other words, it takes time.
At most, this process should take up to a few weeks. However, be sure to check on the seeds daily as they can also germinate within a few days and you don’t want them to rot inside the paper towel.
Remember, all seeds have a genetic code and path so to speak, that is activated when the conditions are just right. So, this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Be patient with the seeds.
The seeds will eventually crack open and a white taproot will sprout from the cracked cannabis seed shell. Once your seedling has a strong taproot of about an inch, it is ready to be transplanted. Make sure whatever you are transplanting the seedling into is at least two inches wide. In the video above we use root riot starter cubes which are the perfect size for brand new seedlings. You can also use other seed starting trays and potters. Just make sure to use a high-quality soil mixture or growing medium.
Finally, poke a hole in the place where the seed will go. After disinfecting your tweezers, place your seed with the taproot facing downward in the hole you just created. Using gloves or disinfected tweezers is essential. Then cover it with soil.
Note* cross-contamination can seriously damage your plant at the flowering stage which is the last thing you want.
Germinating Cannabis Seeds: Next Steps
Next, after the seedling has grown a few inches, it can be transplanted into an even bigger pot, and so on and so forth.
Seedlings vs. Clones Drawbacks
Growing cannabis from the seed has one potential major drawback.
For several weeks, you will not know if the marijuana plant(s) are male or female. If the young cannabis plant is found to be male, it will not produce flower, instead, it will produce seeds. The best way to make sure your cannabis plants aren’t male is to use feminized seeds. This saves you a lot of time and headaches.
Furthering Your Education
It is an ever-changing learning experience to cultivate cannabis.
Growing cannabis is a vast and seemingly never-ending topic. Even the most skilled cannabis growers will tell you that they are always learning new cultivation techniques.
Sativa University’s Advanced Growing Program provides a great opportunity to learn more about the cultivation process, from seedling to harvest.
The program is led and guided by industry experts in cannabis cultivation. It also includes informative course materials that you will have lifetime access to after taking the course. This program is great for anyone who wants to grow their cultivation knowledge and skills as a cultivator.
We hope to see you there!