Germination is where the life of the plant begins, so it’s important to understand exactly how to do it. There are many methods of germinating hemp seeds (cannabis seeds) – some better than others. In this guide, we’ll cover the main methods of germinating hand seeds, along with some strategies to ensure you get the best possible result while doing so.
Introduction to germinating cannabis seeds
Like all plants, the cannabis plant begins as a seed. What is as small as a pebble is actually a whole plant, lying comfortably in the tray pending germination and supplied with nourishment for the first few days after germination. During germination, this stored material is converted into food, which the plant uses to break through the shell and form its roots. From this point on, the young seedling depends on its environment for the nutrients it needs to grow and survive.
Germination brings a seed out of its dormancy and triggers the growth process. A seed begins to germinate as soon as it receives enough moisture.
At this point, it will increase in size and crack open its shell. A germination opening forms and a root develops, which helps the plant absorb nutrients from the soil.
Nature and gravity cause the root to grow downward and the stem upward, creating a young seedling capable of surviving on elements ( light, water, earth and air ).
In addition, the quality, i.e. the health of the seed, plays a major role. So how do you know if a seed is healthy or not?
Honestly, it’s hard to tell if a plant is healthy based on its seed alone. However, there are some indications that point to this.
In general, a pale green, white or very dark cannabis seed may have trouble germinating well. However, this does not always reflect the quality of the plant (growth potential) and it is still always worth trying to continue growing this plant.
We will examine the process of germinating cannabis seeds and perfect the necessary conditions for young seedlings. In addition, we will go through the different methods of germination and the pros and cons of each method.
Plan the germination
Seeds are naturally designed to germinate but are more likely to do so when the conditions for an ideal environment are met. There are many methods of germinating cannabis seeds, but they all require the following prerequisites:
Moisture that helps the seed expand to break through its shell
Minimal interference so sensitive structures are not accidentally destroyed
Temperatures close to spring (between 20°-22° Celsius)
If you keep these three things in mind and include them in the germination, the chance of success and therefore the germination rate is higher.
It should be a no-brainer that successful germination is important. Your seeds are the basis for your plants. This is why many growers choose to start with quality cannabis seeds.
You can also improve your germination attempts (and possibly speed up the process) by soaking the seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea solution ( see the last chapter of this post for instructions) for 12 hours before use. This process kills all infectious agents.
3 easy methods to germinate cannabis seeds
Methods of germinating cannabis seeds
1. Germinate cannabis seeds in water
It may sound like a bad idea as there is more water and light than recommended with this method, but it works! In our experience around 90%.
The “trick” is not to leave the seeds in the water for too long.
Usually, 24 to 48 hours is enough for the seeds to show their seedling root. However, don’t worry if you let the seeds soak in water for up to 7 days.
Germinating in water is convenient because it ensures that there is the right amount of moisture to start seed germination.
Used for a short time only, it helps break open the seed shell and you can watch the plant stretch out its seedling root.
Steps how to germinate cannabis seeds in water
Germination in water shortens the process by making it easier for the plant to do so, rather than having to use more force to push its way through the soil.
Soak Cannabis seeds in water
- Soak your seeds in water. They will germinate between 24 and 72 hours and the seedling root will be visible
- Plant cannabis seeds- Place the seed in a 1 cm deep hole in the soil of a small pot, cover gently with soil
- Put under light- Once your seedling has hatched and broken through the soil place the pots under 36-watt fluorescent lights 5 cm from the plants
- Keep moist – Keep the soil moist and spray twice a day with a spray bottle
- Transplanting – potting – As soon as the roots grow out of the bottom of the pot (after about 2-3 weeks), it’s time to repot into a larger pot
- Seedlings are ready- Once the plant is 20-30cm tall it is ready to be planted outdoors or under MHL/NDL/LED
This method is not perfect, however, as it requires you to pick up (move) the seeds (regardless of whether a root has already developed or not) in order to then plant them.
This root is extremely delicate; If damaged, it could be detrimental to the development of the plant, so you must be extremely careful when touching a seed with a protruding root. Tip: To save time, plant the seed root-side down afterwards.
2. Germinate cannabis seeds in the soil
Planting the seeds directly into the soil you plan to grow in is also a common method of germinating cannabis seeds.
This method is perfect for ensuring young seedlings receive as little disturbance as possible, as the fragile root is protected by the soil.
It is also the most natural way for cannabis plants to grow.
Since the soil forms a cushion of water and nutrients, it is very easy to germinate cannabis seeds in the soil.
When using soil to germinate cannabis seeds, first make sure you are using the right soil. Only use lightly fertilized soil or seed soil. The soil should have a pH of around 6.
Use a soil designed for starting seedlings, it contains spores and minerals that help young cannabis plants thrive. Don’t add nutrients – This soil contains enough nutrients for at least the first two weeks of the plant’s life. Seeds are delicate and can react negatively to an overdose of nutrients.
Steps to germinate cannabis seeds in the soil
- To prepare the soil for the seeds, put the soil in a small pot (between 5 cm – max. 10 cm diameter) and press a small hole in the soil with your little finger or with an object (e.g. a pencil). , which is a maximum of 1.5 cm deep.
- Place a seed in the prepared hole and cover it with soil. If you have already germinated the seed in water, the seed has a root. Place the seed in the hole, root side down (more on that later).
- After you’ve loosely covered the seed with soil, don’t do anything else to it. This includes pushing them further down. This happens naturally when you water it.
- Dampen the soil with water using a spray bottle and place the pots under a fluorescent light or windowsill with a stable temperature of 20-24 degrees Celsius.
- The temperature of the soil should be around 22° Celsius, which is easy to achieve with lighting.
- Check the soil regularly to make sure it stays moist.
- Within a week (or just 4 days) you should see the head and stem sticking out of the ground. You now have a seedling!
- Once your plants are 2 to 4 inches tall, you should transplant your plants to a larger pot with the stems deeper in the soil. Your plant will now form the roots that will support it for the rest of its life.
3. Germinate Cannabis seeds in paper towels or cotton pads
This is also a popular method for germinating cannabis seeds, as paper towels can keep the seeds moist and protected.
Just make sure if you’re sprouting with paper towels that it’s just single-ply kitchen towel/kitchen roll as multi-ply ones can cause the seedling root to grow into the paper towel and get tangled between the plies.
- To do this, place some seeds between two cotton pads or paper towels and spray them with water (spray bottle) to moisten everything.
- If germinating with paper towels, place the seeds between two paper towels and store moistened between two plates, under an inverted bowl, or in a plastic bag.
- Keep the temperature around 22° Celsius and do not place the seeds on a window sill.
After about 2 to 5 days, the seeds will begin to split open and the seedling root will emerge.
- Place the germinated seeds in the soil (or another growing medium) when the roots are 3-5mm long.
As with the method of germinating seeds in water, this process ensures that the seeds have plenty of moisture. On the other hand (also like the water method), the seeds have to be picked up and moved afterwards, which puts the root at risk. However, if done carefully, this shouldn’t pose many problems.
- In 2 to 5 days you should be able to see the roots growing out of the seeds, at which point you should transplant them. This is done simply by carefully removing the cotton pads and placing them in the soil or Rockwool with your fingers or tweezers.
You can speed up germination and kill infectious agents by soaking the seeds in a 1% hydrogen peroxide or compost tea solution for 12 hours.
First position the seeds in a sterile medium, pellets, Rockwool, pasteurized soil or oasis cubes at a depth of about an inch.
Then water the seeds with a 0.5% hydrogen peroxide solution with an added flowering fertilizer of about 25% strength.
Try to keep the medium evenly moist, for example by covering the entire apparatus with a dome (mini-greenhouse) to ensure constant humidity.
Also, try to keep the medium away from the sun at a temperature of around 22*C. Depending on the age of the seeds, they germinate between 2 and 10 days (older seeds take longer than younger ones). Once the seedlings have germinated they need constant light or they will stretch thin and tall.
For outdoor plants, seeds should be planted during the season that corn is planted in your area. You can speed up the season in a greenhouse. However, this can eventually lead to vegetative growth and problems in the flowering period when there is a critical dark period. This occasionally happens when the plants are outside very early in the season.
Seeds need to be planted about 1/4″ (6mm) deep in the ground or simply drilled into the unploughed soil. They need protection from weeds and overgrowth, but if they get unobstructed sunlight, they’ll soon take up the entire canopy.
Some strategies for germinating cannabis seeds are at your disposal; All you have to do is choose whichever is the easiest or most ideal for you to also be able to maintain the humidity and temperature you need .