starting weed seeds for hydroponics

This article has been viewed 54,313 times.

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time.

Hydroponics is an ideal method for germinating seeds! An alternative way of growing plants will be to grow plants hydroponically. Hydroponics is a more hygienic and efficient method compared to soil based growing. It also protects your plants from root rot or insects. You can also control the whole system as everything is automated in this growing method.

I’ve seen several growers buy a water chiller and still get root rot. So I personally don’t believe cold temperatures are the best way to go to keep roots healthy.

I’ve tried a bunch of different germination methods over the years, and the technique I prefer is for hydroponics is starting with the “Paper towel method” to germinate, putting the germinated seeds into Rapid Rooters, and installing the Rapid Rooters directly into reservoir. Lots of other germination methods as well, but this has worked best for me!

The Rapid Rooter should be cut open lengthwise.

There’s good reason to believe that hydro plants would grow better with a cool reservoir. For example, the bad microorganisms that make root rot don’t survive well at lower temperatures. Additionally, water can physically hold more oxygen at lower temperatures, which seems like it would be great for faster plant growth. Because of this, lots of growers will AC their room to 60°F, and/or get a water chiller to cool their water reservoir to a similar temperature.

This method is hard to mess up if you follow the instructions!

Learn How to Start Seedlings So You Can Grow Hydroponic Cannabis Plants Like This!

The other reason I recommend to keep it warmer is because the plants just grow faster around 75°F in hydro. If your roots go from 60°F to 75°F, you’ll see the plants start growing faster in just a day or two, just like how plants in soil grow faster when it’s warm!

I do agree that if the temperature is above 80°F, your plant is a lot more likely to get root rot. However, I personally have not found that cool temperatures are adequate to prevent root rot. Even if the temperature is 60°F, you still need lots of bubbles and a “good bacteria” supplement like Hydroguard to prevent root rot in many cases.

Don’t use a humidity dome on seedlings unless it’s very dry where you live. If you do use a dome, consider keeping a vent open and watching the humidity. A young seedling doesn’t require high humidity, and they tend to get “wet feet” and stop growing in constantly wet conditions.

Here are tips for taking the best care of hydroponic marijuana seedlings:

5.) Install Rapid Rooter and water the seedlings until roots reach the water reservoir – Turn on light to keep seedlings warm for best results!

Hydro Tips & Hints.

6.) Take Care of Hydro Seedlings.

If seeds sprout, but then stop growing…

1.) Get Cannabis Seeds.

Since your seed has already sprouted and been in placed into the right growing position, it’ll often pop its head out within just 12-24 hours! Sometimes you see just the leaves, but occasionally you actually see the seedling push the shell above ground. I keep the grow light on even before the seedling appears. It helps keep it warm and guide it toward the light.

Add your Rapid Rooter(s), and fill around the edges with extra clay pellets to hold each one in place.

The Rapid Rooter in this picture is a little too wet, which makes the seedling prone to “damping off.” If you ever notice the Rapid Rooter actually looks wet or shiny, it’s too much water. Try turning the top-feed off every few hours, or hand-watering the seedling at first. Too much moisture can kill!

Just like in soil, cannabis plants in hydro tend to grow faster in relatively warm temperatures. This is a somewhat controversial statement because a lot of hydro growers prefer to keep their temperature lower in the grow space to help prevent root rot. In fact, there are some growers right now who are reading this and shaking their heads at me.

We have a cannabis seedling germination page which has everything you need to know about all the different germination methods, but this tutorial is different. In this hydroponic seedling tutorial I’m going to share exactly how I do my seeds from beginning to end in a DWC/bubbleponics setup!

Most seedling plugs will go back into place easily, and you’ll barely be able to tell it’s been opened 🙂

These seedlings were sprouted using the paper towel method!

Supplies Needed.

Cannabis seedlings just getting their bearings – try to avoid moving or disturbing them until they are growing fast, with new leaves every day!

Big cannabis plants ready to switch to the flowering stage.

There are a few different ways to get cannabis seeds, with the most common being ordering seeds online and growing seeds you find in weed that you buy. Learn how to research and find the right strain.

Paper Towel Method.

When this happens the shell usually falls off on its own as the seedling grows!

Just follow these instructions and you’ll end up with healthy, fast-growing plants that germinate in just a few days. It’s pretty much fail proof!

If your seeds still aren’t sprouting and growing properly, consider the following factors.

The first is that you’re limited to what you can grow in your system. You have to choose from the options available at the store. However, if you start your own seeds, you can grow anything. This means you can grow your favorite heirlooms or even rare plants that aren’t found at many nurseries.

Give the root system a chance to naturally seek out the water and nutrients in your system by top watering it for a few days to give it a chance to grow the root system.

The first time you start your own seeds for your hydroponic system may be a bit more expensive at the beginning because you need to buy more materials than in future years. Seeds need water, light, oxygen, and heat to grow. You really don’t need anything too special to grow your own seeds.

What You Need to Start Seeds in a Hydroponic System.

Adding seeds to your hydroponic system means that they won’t go through any trauma or root damage from being transplanted into your system. This process may also introduce diseases or bugs into your hydroponic system from the store.

You can use a grow tray with a dome for your own miniature greenhouse to create an ideal environment. If you’ll be growing your seeds in an area that is cooler, you may want to invest in a heating mat that goes underneath the grow tray to keep it warm as this is a necessary condition for sprouting to occur. Light is good to have as well as this will help your seeds sprout.

Starting your seeds hydroponically has many benefits, but many people are unsure how to go about it. Shannon McKee gives us a primer on the basics of starting your own seeds to expand on what you’re currently growing.

Many people skip starting their own seeds because of the time and effort to get them started, but there are some great reasons to start your own seeds hydroponically. It’s so much easier to just go to the store to pick up some seedlings to pop into your system and get growing, right? Well, store-bought seedlings do have some downsides that can be avoided if you start your own.

Clear up a spot in your hydroponic system’s growing media for the seedling – cube and all. Gently transfer the starter cube into your growing media, and cover it gently.

Some people prefer to use a Ziploc bag, rather than a grow tray, when trying to get the seeds to germinate as it functions like a greenhouse. Seal the bag with a little bit of air and put it in a dark place for about four days to get the seeds sprouted. Then, you can put the starter cubes with sprouted seeds into the grow tray.

Step by Step Instructions for Sprouting Seeds in a Hydroponic System.

Keep your tiny seedlings growing strong with your hydroponic nutrient solution. Once they’ve gotten bigger, you don’t have to make the nutrient solution half strength.

Seeds are also more cost-effective than buying one or two seedlings in the long run, as you can save some for the following year. The germination rate can decrease over time, but often, you can still get quite a few to sprout over the years until you have to buy your next seed packet.

Voila! You grew your own seedlings into a strong plant for your hydroponic system. Depending on the type of plant, you’ll be able to get your first harvest about four to eight weeks from the time you transplanted your seedlings.

Inside of your grow tray, it can be beneficial to use a pot that works for your seeds and their future as seedlings in your hydroponic set-up. You’ll want to use starter cubes, such as those made of stonewool (rockwool). The key here is to use something that can withstand being immersed in water without dissolving, as it could clog up your system after transplanting.

Step by Step Instructions on Transplanting.

Also, you get the satisfaction of growing a plant from a tiny seed rather than just picking up a seedling. Plus, a packet of seeds can grow a number of plants for just a few bucks, whereas the cost of only one seedling can be the same amount.

You’ll start to see the seedlings’ roots coming out of the bottom of the cube, and this is the sign you’ve been waiting for, as it means you can start transplanting. This can take about two to four weeks depending on what plants you’re growing.

Cut out the dependency of only being able to grow the types of plants that are available as seedlings at your favorite gardening store. Take a little extra time to nurture your seeds so that they become strong seedlings ready to transplant into your system. You’ll be able to take pride in your efforts with how healthy your plants are and your overall system’s health.