Germinating Cannabis Seeds is both art and science. This handy guide with take you through the top does and do nots of successful seeds. From selecting the right genetics to simple tips for beginners and pros.
So you’ve just scored some lovely secret seeds in a dank bankie or forked out for some top shelf genetics at an online seedbank. These precious little beans now have amazing potential to produce epic levels of dank bud. With the only limits being your imagination and ability to provide them with a very simple formula to success. Air, lights, water and nutrients are all of the essential elements in what will be a months long growing process. For now though we will start at the very beginning.
Selecting cannabis seeds
Selecting the best cannabis seeds has become more convenient that ever thanks to online seedbanks. They offer wide selections of genetics from leading breeders. From feminized and autoflower seeds to breeders packs and limited editions. Once you have found the right genetics for your needs or found some fat pips in a nice nug, you will need to consider the first step… germination.
Cannabis germination techniques
While cannabis’ ability to grow in tough conditions is legendary, it is important to provide the right care early on. Seeds will take a week or two to firmly root and can fail overnight. This is what makes germination so vital. Simply letting a seed soak in water or clean damp cloth will start the process within a couple of days, and a white tap root will soon emerge. Germinating seeds should then be planted root down directly into the moist growing medium or soil, approximately 1cm deep and then covered with a little medium. Germinating seeds should be handled with care. Water them for too long and they will drown. Expose them to air for more than a few seconds and they will dud. Even dirty hands can cause trouble.
For this reason I prefer to to simply bury the seed 1cm deep directly into the already moist growing medium, then cover the area with a clear plastic or glass cup. Creating a mini germination greenhouse effect, that ensures ideal humidity for seedlings to sprout and shed their husks. Clone domes are also excellent as they have the same effect. Once seeds have sprouted, the cup/dome can then be removed to allow in light and fresh air.
Early care for cannabis seedlings
Cannabis seedlings contain enough nutrients and energy to get the plant through the first couple of weeks. For this reason they do not thrive early on in nutrient rich soils or grow mediums. So stick to seedling and inert options. They do however love lots of direct bright light from the start. Sunlight or well powered grow lights are ideal for optimum growth and structure throughout the plant’s life. Overwatering should be avoided as it will quickly drown the plant roots and cause many other issues. Moisture is your plants friend, sogginess is its enemy. Keep pots evenly watered until the seedlings have developed a strong root system.
Avoid planting seeds in the same pot as their roots will become difficult to sperate when transplanting. Try to keep seeds in individual trays or pots and only transplant once they have firm root balls. If planting in the ground or very large pots, space seedling at least 1m apart so that they do not overlap when growing. Over crowded immovable plants will be lanky, pest riddled and lack bud density.
Germinating Cannabis Seed Fails
There is surprisingly little that can go wrong when germinating cannabis seeds. The three most common issues are damping off, light stretch and nutrient burn. Let’s take closer look at each of these.
Overwatering and soggy soils will lead to you seedling damping off. The stem will start to bend and eventually collapse with no real hope of recovery. Be patient with watering and remember that the roots do need some air to breath.
Seedlings that do not receive enough direct direct light will start stretching up or sideways to look for light. Stems will be long and thin, with leaves that point upward. These will often fall over due to being top heavy. Move them closer to light and pile some soil up the stem to support it. We recommend you to check out the best soil for cannabis growth that what for me has available.
Cannabis seeds contain enough energy and nutrients for the first couple of weeks of life. This is stored in the first round cotyledon leaves. Using a nutrient heavy soil or feeding fertilizers too early will cause mutated growth and ruin the seedling. Only use plain water to start and make sure to get seedling safe soil to start in.