In commercial cannabis production, generally, growers will plant many seeds of one strain and choose the best plant. They will then take clones from that individual plant, which allows for consistent genetics for mass production.
Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.
So don’t discount bud because it has a seed or two in it. While not ideal, it could be the origins of the next great weed strain.
Cannabis seeds vs. clones.
This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones or for breeding if you want to create a seed bank of your own.
Growing marijuana takes a certain level of commitment: time, energy, and financial resources, so be sure you can commit to the whole process.
Plants grown from seed can be more hearty as young plants when compared to clones, mainly because seeds have a strong taproot. You can plant seeds directly into an outdoor garden in early spring, even in cool, wet climates.
Some varieties of cannabis can produce male parts alongside female flowers on the same plant, especially if exposed to environmental stressors. These plants are known as hermaphrodites, and sometimes they can self-pollinate to create seeds.
Autoflowering seeds are also popular with beginning growers. They are easy to grow because you don’t have to worry about light cycles and how much light a plant receives.
However, a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis , which developed in extreme northern conditions without much sunlight, will begin flowering once the plant reaches a certain age—they automatically start flowering regardless of the amount of light they receive, hence the name “autoflower.”
Finding a cannabis seed in your stash is not ideal, but we’ve all been there before. Although much less common than it once was, it still happens. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower, or you’ll see one pop, spark, and crackle from the heat of a lit bowl.
Even if your seed sprouts fast and grows vigorously, it still has roughly a 50/50 chance of being female and producing buds, instead of turning out to be a male.
For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.
Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.
Was the seed found in good weed?
Additionally, every long-time grower will tell you that clones degrade over time.
A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.
Germination is the process in which a seed sprouts and begins to grow into a new plant. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your weed grow.
If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear.
One drawback of clones is they need to be taken during the vegetative stage of a plant—flower is too late—so if you have a small setup with only one light, it can be hard to keep clones alive while flowering other plants, because the two need different amounts of light.
Sometimes you’ll have a taproot that is curved or bent. You don’t want to try to straighten it out! Open the Rapid Rooter you split, and lay the germinated seed down gently. The seed and root will naturally lay on the flattest side. Slowly close the Rapid Rooter, and you’ll see that the bent parts of the root will end up in the “crack” of the Rapid Rooter from where you cut to split it open from the side.
A big plant will drink up all the water quickly, but with seedlings, you’re basically waiting for the growing medium to dry out by itself. While you’re waiting for the container to dry out, your cannabis roots are sitting in a wet environment and not getting much oxygen, slowing down their growth rates.
Sometimes you’ll see what appears to be roots emerging from your cannabis seed, but this is actually the stem. The stem pushes the seed and leaves up, and the main taproot is currently burrowing down to support the seedling.
Some seeds take longer than others to sprout. Especially older seeds tend to need longer to pierce through their shell. However, if seeds are left soaking too long, and haven’t yet sprouted, they can drown.
When growing cannabis plants in a container, you have to choose the size of your pot.
Germination Method 5: Paper Towel Method.
It does not break down naturally and therefore after Rockwool is created, it will remain in that form basically forever, filling up landfills without breaking down for thousands of years.
This Timeline Will Help Show You What to Expect.
Alternative to Solo Cup: Start plants in seedling cube.
As long as the roots of a cannabis seedling are able to grow down, they will. Roots never grow upward on their own. Seedlings can sense the difference between up and down. Roots always try to grow down. Roots never grow upwards.
Keep things warm!
Once your seed has sprouted, just make a little hole in your growing medium, and place the entire pellet inside. Make sure growing medium is also moist yet not soaking, like your pellet or cube. The roots will emerge from the bottom of the cube and burrow directly into your growing medium.
Another method to germinate marijuana seeds is to soak them overnight in slightly warm water, usually done in a glass drinking cup.
Keep CFLs or fluorescent lights about 6 inches away from your seedlings. Place your hand where the leaves are to make sure it doesn’t feel too hot. If it’s hot for your after 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your plants.
Here are some pictures to give you an idea of the timeline to expect.
Your Cannabis Seedling’s First Few Weeks.
With young marijuana seedlings, less is more .
Plant seeds so that the white root faces downward, about a knuckle deep into your growing medium. The top of the seed should be just below the surface of your growing medium.
If a seed’s root breaks through the shell and the water around has dried up, your seedling will die. Plain and simple.
For fastest growth rates, it’s better to plant young seedlings or clones in a very small container, like a disposable plastic solo cup.
After 24 hours, I recommend putting any still-ungerminated seeds in a warm, moist place to finish germinating.
Cannabis seeds can look a bit different when germinating. When in doubt, always wait a few days to see if leaves appear before you try to interfere.
How to Plant Your Germinated Cannabis Seeds.
It’s often hydroponic cannabis growers who use Rockwool cubes since these can be safely placed in hydroponic setups, hold a lot of moisture, and are resistant to mold. Rockwool is cheap and easy to find. It comes in convenient cubes. But it does have some major drawbacks…
Pros of Rockwool.
Sprouts emerge and roots appear in just a few days.
Rockwool is not a natural material – it’s made by heating rock and chalk to 3,000°F and air is blown through the mixture to create thin fibers of rocky material.
Rockwool cubes are bad for the environment.
Marijuana seeds need the following to get the best germination rates:
If you germinate your seeds in a paper towel, there is the risk of hurting the tap root (the little white root that grows out of your seeds) when moving the sprouted seeds so make sure you are careful when you’re checking to see if the seeds sprouted.
A clear plastic cover on the top keeps the warmth in. You can make one of these at home or purchase one inexpensively at your local nursery or online.
Put a plate or other object under the bottom towel to prevent moisture damage and another over the top towel to keep the seeds in a dark space. When you see the white taproot emerge from your seeds, they will be ready to transplant. Make sure to plant them taproot down.
Whether you are growing pot for personal use or for income, it is crucial to give your plants the best start in life possible. Just as with animals and children, healthy beginnings will encourage rapid, strong growth. You have two basic options for growing your own cannabis: start with seeds or use clones.
Also known as seed starters, germination stations are like mini greenhouses. They include a tray filled with soil and a heat pad underneath to keep the soil warm.
And maybe you have been using trial and error but ended up thinking, “Why won’t my marijuana seeds germinate?”” Truth is, you’ve likely been making some mistakes without knowing it. You can increase your results, although some seeds inevitably will be duds. No one can attain 100% germination, but there is room for improvement regardless.
Choose between indica and sativa according to your preferences for cannabis effects or the market’s demand. You will also have dozens of strains to choose from.
Plant a seed or two in each pot, making sure to keep the pots moist. Once the plants sprout, you can transplant them in their Jiffy Pot to a container or to a raised bed or garden plot.
When you are ready to plant, just add water. They will expand into little individual soil pots you can use as a growing medium.
This is an even more natural method than water soaking. Just plant your seeds 1/2 inch to one inch deep in soil or another medium that has been moistened. A key benefit of this technique is that your seedlings won’t be subject to transplant shock. Because they have grown up in their surroundings, they will have acclimated to them.
Some folks like to germinate their seeds in Jiffy Pots. You can buy these at nurseries and other places as little round disks.
Germination simply means getting a seed to sprout a taproot, which will serve as its main root into the soil as it grows. For the best results, start with the best seeds you can afford to buy online or get from friends.
Lots of folks like this simple, direct method. Simply soak your seeds overnight in a glass of lukewarm water. The next day, plant them directly in the ground, containers or wherever you plan to grow them.
There are five basic germination methods that are popular. With any of these methods, remember that seeds will need adequate warmth, moisture, and air to germinate properly. Generally, cannabis seeds like a temperature of 70° F to 90° F for sprouting.
The paper towel method is a favorite for many home growers. Simply take two pieces of paper towel. Moisten them with water. Then place your pot seeds in between the two layers of moist paper towels.
How long does it take to germinate marijuana seeds? Typically, it will take anywhere from a couple of days to up to a week to see your seeds start to turn into plants.
DripWorks is happy to provide this primer on how to germinate marijuana seeds fast. These methods can get you and your seeds off to a good start.
If possible, get feminized seeds. Because female pot plants produce the bodacious bud that cannabis connoisseurs crave, starting with feminized seeds will produce more buds when the plants mature. Feminized seeds won’t provide 100% female plants, but they will greatly increase your odds from the 50-50 chances of a standard seed selection.
If you choose the seed route, you will want to know the best way to germinate marijuana seeds. Experimenting with marijuana germination is your best bet for determining what’s right for you, since even seasoned growers often argue about the best methods for germinating marijuana seeds.
Simply plant your pot seeds in the growing medium and let them grow. When they are big enough, transplant them to a place where they will grow to maturity and harvest. To keep your crop growing well, check out other guides from our cannabis blog.