Learning how to grow marijuana from seeds is a way better option if it is your first time. Yes, you can grow from clones but you will have healthier plants and better yields of high-quality weed buds if start them from seeds.
Strong marijuana plants come out from seeds and they all undergo the process of germination. Each marijuana seed contains an alive, little plant just waiting for the right time to sprout. The seed also contains enough food and nutrients for it to survive in its first stages of life.
During germination, all these nutrients are transformed into food and glucose to supply the plant’s growth.
Germinating Cannabis Seeds
Germination is the process of having your marijuana seeds sprout. You’ll know you’ve successfully germinated your seeds once you see tiny white tendril breaks out from the seeds.
This white little tendril that pops out from your marijuana seed will be your plant’s first root, called “taproot.” Succeeding roots that your plants will make throughout its life cycle will all emerge from the taproot.
What do Cannabis Seeds Need for Germination?
In order to successfully germinate, cannabis seeds need the following:
- Moisture– activates dormant seeds by penetrating the shell and triggering the germination process. You can soak your seeds for up to 24 hours or more, but do not leave your seeds soaked in the water for more than 32 hours.
- Warmth– Cannabis seeds take advantage of a warm environment and achieve the best germination rates. Although seeds will still germinate in a cooler environment, the process tends to be longer when it’s cold.
- Darkness– is needed to speed up the germination process of cannabis seeds. By this time, they need to be left alone as you wait for the taproot to sprout. Be gentle when checking germinating seeds. If possible don’t touch their white root as it is very fragile and can easily snap off.
These 3 factors are needed to signal the seeds to start sprouting. It is important to keep your seeds moist while the germination process is ongoing. Otherwise, your little seedling will dry up and die. In fact, there are different germination techniques you can try to successfully germinate your cannabis seeds.
Planting Germinated Seeds
Once your seeds have successfully germinated, it’s time that you plant them right away. We have to be careful when handling germinated seeds as they are very fragile. Be careful not to touch the tiny white taproot, so either we can carefully transplant the seeds or use tweezers.
If we cause damage to the taproot, it is very likely that the seedling will not survive or will definitely stunt its growth.
Plant your seedlings in about a knuckle deep hole while keeping the white root faced downwards. It can take about several hours to a couple of days before we see the little seedling come out from the soil, however, if it’s already more than 10 days, it probably won’t make it.
Within the first few days of germinating your seeds, you will notice that some seeds germinate fast, while others may take a while before they sprout. This is affected by several factors, such as the age of seeds (older seeds tend to take longer) or the method of germination you used. Nevertheless, the amount of germination time doesn’t necessarily dictate if your plants will be healthy or not in the future.
Once you have safely planted your seeds, you can now use grow lights. The heat coming from the lamps speed up germination rate and helps seedlings to develop their first set of true leaves. Wait up until your seedlings have grown strong and have established a few sets of leaves before deciding to transplant them in another container.
When you transplant seedlings a lot, it stresses them and potentially hampers their growth. Move them around in as little as possible, as too much stress can kill your plants. Some growers use plastic cups and peat pots so they can just tear away the cup to make the transplant easier.
What Size of Pots is Ideal for Marijuana Plants?
When using pots for marijuana, you have to choose the right size of pots that will support the maximum growth of your cannabis plants.
To choose the proper size of pots, a good rule of thumb is to have about 2 gallons per 12 inches of plant height. Even though all marijuana plants grow differently, following this general rule is a good way to start.
If you’re still in doubt, the bigger the size of pots, the better for your marijuana plants. Cannabis plants easily get root bound on small containers and will, therefore, grow slower than those planted at the right containers.
For seedlings or clones, it is best to initially plant them in small containers like plastic cups. You can also use seedling cubes to make transplanting easier. When using seedling plugs or cubes, you will know that your plants are ready to transplant into bigger containers when you start seeing roots emerging from the bottom.
Cannabis Seedlings during their First Few Weeks
The first few weeks of your cannabis plants are the most delicate time for their survival. Seedlings can’t still withstand strong and harsh environmental conditions such as intense light from lamps or strong fertilizers. They are also prone to overwatering, so you have to be very careful when tending marijuana plants during this time.
If you are growing seedlings on soil, start with a balanced gardening soil without added extra nutrients. After they have grown several sets of leaves and have grown into strong, young cannabis plants, transfer them in a potting mix with higher levels of added nutrients that are fit for cannabis plants.
However, if you are planting in a soilless medium like coco coir or hydroponics, only use seedling strength nutrients at first or just quarter strength of the regular nutrients for cannabis plants. Wait up until they grow a few sets of leaves before you start working your way to shifting into full strength of nutrients.
Furthermore, start with less intensity of lights at first such as using fluorescent grow lights or CFLs. You can also use high intensity grow lights provided that your lights are kept several feet away from your plants. You can slowly move your lights closer as your plants get older later on.
After you have successfully started to grow marijuana from seeds, it usually takes them almost 3 months or more until harvest. Remember, some strains may take longer or lesser, depending on the type of strains you are growing.