Sprouting is the beginning of life for your cannabis plant, and it is important to understand how it works. This guide will discuss the different ways of sprouting your cannabis seeds and some of the strategies to help you to achieve the best results.
Why You Need to Germinate the Cannabis Seeds Before Planting
Many different plants can germinate in the ground. However, cannabis seedlings can be fragile. Because of this, cannabis seeds should be germinated separately before planting.
Immediately after the seeds have sprouted, they should be planted in a hydroponic setup, a soilless medium, or the soil. During the planting process, you should ensure that the seeds are planted one inch deep in whichever medium you choose and covered lightly. After planting, you should wait for one week for the seedling to start emerging from the soil. If the seed hasn’t poked through the soil by the tenth day; likely, they didn’t survive.
When to Sprout Your Cannabis Seed
We recommend that you germinate your cannabis seeds when the hours of sunlight are long enough to allow for healthy growth. In short, we recommend germinating your seeds in the spring when it is getting warmer and when the sun won’t disappear for long periods.
You don’t need to follow a fixed calendar, although it can help. You can just look around outside your house and see when other plants are starting to sprout. Just make sure that good growing weather is going to be present for some time.
Your plants should be getting about 12 hours of sunlight each day at this point. You can help with this by making sure they have southern exposure. This means, make sure your plants have access to the sky facing south. Now that we have a solid foundation of where to start, let’s learn how to germinate your cannabis seeds.
How to Sprout Your Cannabis Seeds
Before we highlight the different methods of germinating marijuana, we need to understand what conditions the seeds need to germinate. The conditions include:
· Moisture – You need to ensure that the seeds are moist. You can soak cannabis seeds from between 20-30 hours. Do not oversoak them.
· Provide Peace- Don’t disturb the seeds, wait for the taproot to show up.
· Warmth- To assist with germination, keep the seeds in a warm place. Make sure the environment is not too hot. Seeds can germinate in cooler temperatures, but the process tends to take a long time when it’s cold. You want to shoot for somewhere between 21.5–25°C (approx. 70–77°F).
· Be Gentle- Be careful when taking care of the seeds, treat them gently as you move them. If possible, avoid touching the white root; this is the taproot and is fragile. It can easily snap off.
· Plant with the Pointed End Up- When planting the seeds, make sure the pointed end is facing up. This will make sure that the seedling does not waste energy trying to reorient itself.
· Plant About a Knuckle Deep – Don’t put the seeds too deep in the soil. You can place the seed about an inch under the surface of the soil.
Different Methods of Germinating Cannabis Seeds
The best germination method depends on the choice of the cultivator. Below are some of the common ways to germinate your cannabis seeds.
Germinating Seeds in The Soil
Perhaps the easiest way to germinate cannabis seeds. The soil acts as a protective barrier for the seeds. It is also good at retaining moisture. What steps should you take to germinate seeds in soil?
Step 1: Ensure That You Use the Correct Soil Type - This is the very first step. The soil should either be gently fertilized or a seed starter with a PH level of 6.
The soil should also contain enough nutrients and the right acidity to strengthen the young plants during the first 2 weeks. Refrain from adding more nutrients to the soil, unless there is an absolute need. You can cause your plant to go into nutrient lock.
Step 2: Place The Soil in A Container and Use a Pencil to Create a Small Hole - Once the soil is in the pot, you can use a pencil to create a hole that is half an inch, to an inch, deep. Once the seed is in the soil, bury it with the soil. After this stage, do not touch the seed because it is very fragile.
Step 3: Water The Soil - Carefully water the soil with a spray bottle and place your pots under a fluorescent lamp. Keep your seeds away from a window. The temperature swings that happen at a window can interfere with germination. You need to ensure that the temperature range is between 70 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ensure that you monitor the soil every day to ensure that it is moist. After 4 to 7 days you should see small stems sprouting through the soil.
Once the seedling grows to 2 to 4 inches in height, you can now transplant the cannabis to a larger pot with more room for the roots to spread out. This indicates that you have successfully germinated the seeds to young plants.
Germinating Seeds in Water
Germinating cannabis seeds in water is popular because it is faster. All you need to do is place your seeds in water and make adjustments as necessary.
As we stated earlier, germinating seeds require a balanced and ideal growing condition. Many water germinations require only 24 to 48 hours, to ensure that the stems pop out of the seeds. Some seeds can be soaked for up to a week.
The reason water germination can be fast is due to the fact that the seeds have all the water they need, readily available. This allows the shell to be softened and to crack easily.
What do you need to do to germinate seeds in water?
Step 1: Fill A Glass with Tap Water and Leave It to Come to Room Temperature - Once you fill a glass with tap water you should leave it for some time in a warm room until it attains a temperature of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Add Seeds to The Glass - Add 2 or 3 seeds to the glass and allow them to settle for some time. Then watch the glass for any changes. You can change the water to freshwater after every two days, but always make sure that it is at room temperature.
The seeds may start sprouting after two days, though some old seeds may take a week to sprout.
Step 3: Remove The Seeds from The Water - Once the seeds have sprouted, remove them from the glass and place them in the soil.
The only disadvantage with water germination is that you need to be very careful when you move the sprouted seeds. This process is very delicate since the seeds are fragile. If you harm the seeds, you can kill the plant.
Germinating Seeds On Paper Towels
Germinating marijuana seeds on paper towels is a common way to sprout cannabis seeds. In some cases, the grower will use a cotton pad instead. The methods for germination using paper towels and cotton padding are very similar.
Step 1: Lay The Paper Towels On a Flat Surface - To germinate seeds using paper towels, you should lay paper towels on a countertop, then place some of the seeds on them. Cover the seeds using another towel.
Step 2: Moisten The Towels – Use a spray bottle to moisten the towels. Place the paper towels and seeds on a plate or in a bowl. Then cover the seeds with a face-down bowl or plate. Alternately you can place them in a plastic bag to ensure that they are secure.
Step 3: Maintain The Temperature - Ensure that the room temperature is between 70 - 77 degrees Fahrenheit. You will want to maintain this temperature. Also you should wrap the seeds and place them in a dark place. You will want to keep the seeds away from direct wind and sunlight. Within 2-5 days, the seeds should start to show tiny roots. You can plant them when they reach about 5 millimeters in length.
The paper towel method has some risks. This is because the seedlings might be destroyed during the unwrapping and potting stage. Also the roots can become entangled in the towel, and the roots of other seeds. Make sure you relocate the seeds before their roots get too long.
You can use your hands or some tweezers to move the seeds and place them in your medium of choice.
Other Popular Germination Methods
The above methods we have mentioned are some of the most popular ways of germinating marijuana seeds. However, they are not the only ways. You can always use starter plugs or cubes.
These methods are very easy. All you have to do is to put a seed into or onto the growing medium. Once you do this, you add some water. Then you just need to wait. The seeds should begin to germinate. Just keep an eye that they don’t dry out.
These methods protect the plants from damage especially when they are being transported to their final homes. A usual, you should exercise caution when using these methods.
Germinating Seeds in Peat Pellets
This is a method of germinating seeds that will help to mitigate damage to the young roots. Peat pellets are made of decomposed vegetable matter. These pellets contain nutrients that the seedlings need to develop properly. The pellets enlarge when you add some water to them forming a nutrient-rich container.
The peat pellets are optimized with a PH of 5,5 (5.5). You shouldn’t need to worry about any adjustments. Just remember to soak the pellets in warm water in order to prepare them for the seeds.
Once the roots appear, move the whole pellet into the medium where it will continue growing. This method is not recommended for hydroponic setups. Peat pellets are good for germination and can be used by beginners. They can also be used in cloning.
Planting The Germinated Seeds
After the seeds have sprouted, they should be planted in the most suitable medium.
If you use a germination process that requires you to move the sprouts, do so with a lot of care, since the roots are very fragile. You don’t want to touch the root or you can break it. The root may sustain this, but it can seriously hamper the growth of your plant. It can also send the plant into shock, which it may never recover from. It should also be placed half an inch to an inch deep in the growing medium. After positioning the germinated seed, cover it lightly and make sure the soil is moist. After one week the seedling should emerge through the soil.
Some seeds emerge in a day or two, while others can take up to 10 days. If the waiting period exceeds 10 days, your seed may not have survived.
If your seed is planted upside down, don’t panic, nature has a way of working things out. As long as you have not crowded the seedling, it should be able to correct itself. Give it some time and space and allow it to do this.
Cannabis Seeds Versus Clones
For typical home growers, it is easier to obtain cannabis seeds as opposed to clones. Also, growing seeds produce stronger plants that have acclimated to the climate they are growing in.
Cannabis plants that are grown from seed are usually stronger than plants grown from clones. This is because they develop strong taproots. In cooler climates, you can plant your seeds directly in your garden. You will want to do this in mid to late spring, after the last frost.
It is better to germinate your seeds indoors, if you are going to grow them outside. This will allow the seeds a longer germination period and also protect them from the worst of the early spring weather. Moreover, growing the plant indoors will enable the seedling access to plenty of light (especially if you use a grow lamp). Transplant them, outside or to an indoor pot, when they are mature enough.
Is Lighting Important for Cannabis Germination?
Just like water, lighting is an essential requirement for germination. Light enables the plant to survive. It allows for the creation of sugars during photosynthesis. The plant will use these sugars to feed itself as it grows.
Light is also important to the young plant. It also provides much needed warmth. The plant will require warmth in order to help break through the shell, and also to not die from the cold. Fluorescent bulbs with a color temperature of 6500K and a T5 output will be useful in providing the seeds with the correct light.
Fluorescent bulbs are recommended because they take up very little power and they don’t produce too much heat. You can adjust the position of the lights so that they are very close to the plants, without causing the plant to suffer any damage. As soon as the first leaves start to emerge, you will need to make sure that your plants are receiving light.
You can use incandescent bulbs also. They will generate heat. You cannot use incandescent lights to provide the light necessary to grow your plants. However, they can be used to assist in germination.
You can use garden heating mats, as an alternative to using light as a heat source. These pads heat the seeds from underneath the container you are germinating in. Just keep in mind that once the plants start to grow, you will need to have an alternative method of heating. These pads will not produce enough warmth for larger plants.
Remember to keep the soil at around 70-73 degrees F (21-22 degrees C). Seeds need a certain temperature range in order to germinate. If the temperature is too cold, they won’t germinate. If the temperature is too hot, they won’t germinate.
It is better to have humid air when germinating seeds. Drier air is not that good for your seeds. Also, if the temperature in your germination grow starts to get too high, move the set up away from the lights. If it is too cold, move it towards the lights.
Germination can be considered one of the most important stages of cultivating your cannabis. You will need to be careful with this stage.
We have gone over some strategies for germination which will help you to achieve the best results possible. Having said that, we think that what works for you is the best possible way to do something. If you are like me, you prefer to do things in the simplest and natural way possible. Not just because it’s easy, but also because it most closely emulates natural growth. But something else may appeal to you. So get out there and see what works for you.