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Mastering Cannabis Seed Germination Techniques

Cannabis seed germination is the most exciting part of the entire process.  Watching our seeds come into life is like a miracle, and make us dream about what’s come next. That is of course, assuming you get the job done right!

Getting those seeds to sprout

First things first – no matter what type of cannabis seeds you have, the germination process is exactly the same. Whether auto flowering, feminized or regular seeds, the important thing is to remove the seeds from their pods and stimulate the growth of their first root, known as the “taproot”. This small white root is the plant’s first step towards attracting the nutrients necessary for its growth. If anyone tells you different seeds need different approaches to germination, don’t believe them. They don’t!

So what exactly cannabis seeds need to germinate? You will need to provide them with carefully controlled conditions. In particular, your cannabis seeds will need;

  • Moisture – It’s crucial to tell the difference between something being a bit wet and totally soaked. We really want to stay away of the completely soaked situation.
  • Peace – Tempting as it may be, you need to avoid any kind of prodding and poking until your seeds have done the business.
  • Warmth – Again, you’ll need to provide your seeds with plenty of warmth, without allowing things to get too hot. 22-28C is the ideal spot.
  • Care – Be careful when touching any of your seeds that have germinated as it’s surprisingly easy to cause fatal damage when moving or planting them.
  • Hygiene – Make no mistake about it – cleanliness really very important when it comes to successfully germinating cannabis seeds!

How Do I Know If My Seeds Are Good?

It’s actually pretty easy to identify a viable cannabis seed. Healthy cannabis seeds are hard and dark color. Seeds that are white or pale-green are probably won’t germinate successfully.  So just as long as the seeds are dark, you’ve every chance of getting the job done.

Increase Cannabis Seed Germination Rate

Paper towel method

  • Place your seeds on a wet paper towel.
  • Fold the paper towel over your seeds.
  • Spray the towel with ph balanced water (5.6-6.2) 2-3 times to make it wet.
  • Place the wet paper towel and seeds in a small plastic zip bag.
  • Place the bag in a warm dark place where it won’t be disturbed.

Typically with the paper towel method, it shouldn’t take longer than a week. In our experience older seeds take longer than newer seeds. We’ve had fresh seeds germinate in 2 days. Check the zip back every day and try to observe they sprout or not.

Water soaking method

Lots of growers like this simple, direct method. Simply soak your seeds overnight in a glass of room temperature water. The next day, plant them directly in the ground, containers or wherever you plan to grow them.

Direct Planting

This is the most natural method. Just plant your seeds 2-3cm to 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’ve grown up in the same environment, they’re already used to it. This method may reduce the chance of seeds to sprout.

Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs

The easiest way to start growing cannabis is by using special cubes and plugs designed for it. These cubes and plugs make germination super simple. All you have to do is put the seed in the cube or plug, add water like the instructions say, and the seedlings will have just the right conditions to start growing.

Each cube or plug already has a hole where you can put your seed. Just stick the seed in the hole and gently close the top a bit with your fingers. That’s it!

How to Plant Your Germinated Cannabis Seeds

Once you notice that your cannabis seeds have started to sprout, it’s time to plant them. Be gentle and avoid touching the small white taproot with your fingers. Instead, carefully move the seeds using tweezers. Remember, damaging the root, even a little, can slow down the growth of your seedling right from the start, so handle them with care.

When planting, make sure the white root faces downward, and bury the seed about a knuckle deep into your chosen growing medium. The top part of the seed should be just below the surface of the soil.

After planting, be patient. It might take a few hours to a couple of days before you see the young seedling peeking out from the soil or growing medium. If, within 10 days of planting the seed, there’s still no sign of the seedling, it’s unlikely to make it. Occasionally, even with the best care and quality seeds, a seed might not sprout, and it’s not always something you did wrong. It’s just a part of the process.

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