Cannabis or marijuana seeds represent a potentially bountiful harvest of cannabis flowers or buds that every grower dreams of. However, not all cannabis seeds are a hundred percent viable, and even if they are, sprouting them incorrectly will lead to a major cultivation failure.
So how do you sprout cannabis seeds to ensure a more bountiful harvest? Check out the tips below to learn about sprouting your favorite cannabis seeds successfully.
Preparation Before Sprouting Cannabis Seeds
SeedSupreme explains the importance of choosing high-quality seeds. Before you even think of germinating your cannabis seeds, it’s essential to select viable, plump seeds with ‘tiger stripes,’ which indicate maturity.
The only time you can determine the sex (male or female) of cannabis seeds is when they grow into cannabis plants. And, of course, every cannabis grower aims to have more female cannabis plants for a productive harvest.
How To Achieve The Best Germination Rates
Your cannabis seeds need optimal conditions to germinate properly. The following factors will influence their germination rates:
- Moisture: Keep the environment of your cannabis seeds moist but not soaked.
- Warmth: Cannabis seeds have slower germination rates in cool environments. Keep the area where you want to germinate your seeds warm—but not too hot—to attain the best germination rates.
- Gentle Care: Leave cannabis seeds alone until the taproots sprout. Once the taproots become visible, don’t touch them.
- Plant Your Seeds Knuckle Deep: Plant germinated cannabis seeds 0.5 to 1 inch, or knuckle deep, and not too far from the bottom surface of the container.
Top Tips To Sprout Your Cannabis Seeds
1. Use Starter Cubes and Plugs
Starter cubes and plugs make cannabis seed germination a lot easier than other methods.
The commonly used starter cubes and plugs include Rapid Rooter Mat (easily breakable cubes from the mat) and Rapid Rooter Tray (for clones and seeds). While rock wool cubes (also known as stone wool) are cheap and easy to find, they are bad for your health and the environment. On the other hand, peat pellets or coconut fibers are recommended for soil. These provide good germination rates, but are no good for hydroponic setups.
How to use starter cubes and plugs to germinate your cannabis seeds:
- Place the cannabis seeds in the starter cubes or plugs. Because each starter cube or plug has a hole, you can simply stick the seed in there.
- Add water as instructed.
- The starter cubes and plugs automatically provide your seeds with the perfect conditions to germinate properly.
2. The Paper Towel Method
You can germinate cannabis seeds by soaking them in a paper towel. It’s important to wring the towel out to avoid dripping. You only want a soaked paper towel which won’t wear away and can fold over your marijuana seeds.
How to germinate marijuana seeds using the paper towel method:
- Place the soaked paper towel with the cannabis seeds inside it in a plastic bag.
- Get rid of air inside the bag before sealing it.
- The ideal incubation temperature is 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit as the cannabis seeds need warmth. You can put it on a sunny windowsill, on top of a fridge, or on a seed heating pad.
3. Planting Cannabis Seeds in the Soil
You can expect seeds to develop taproots within 48 hours. A taproot refers to the dominant root of a plant (a little white tendril in sprouted cannabis seeds) from which other roots grow laterally. As the taproots grow, they continue pushing the shell of the seed wherein cotyledons, or first leaves, emerge. Once you see the first sign of taproots, it’s time to plant them in soil.
How to transfer your seeds to soil:
- Prepare a pot with a capacity of at least one gallon with a light seedling soil mix. You can add worm castings in a ratio of one part worm castings to four parts soil.
- Before you plant the seeds, water the soil, but avoid soaking it.
- Use a chopstick to make a ½ to ¾-inch hole below the surface. Use rubber gloves and work carefully.
- Place the sprouted cannabis seeds in the holes with their taproots pointing down.
- Cover the cannabis seeds with dirt.
- Don’t pour water over your newly planted cannabis seeds. Doing so will disturb their placements. Instead, sprinkle one to two tablespoons of water over the soil.
- Because cannabis seedlings are fragile, you can take them indoors during the night until they grow strong enough to handle outdoor temperatures. The ideal temperature for seedlings range between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Germination Station
Growing cannabis at home can be challenging. But with the help of a germination station, you can be assured of optimal germination conditions—thanks to a heat mat. You can also encourage germination by placing a plastic dome over the plant tray.
Advantages of using a germination station to sprout cannabis seeds:
- It’s affordable.
- It almost guarantees successful germination.
- You can make a DIY germination station.
5. Soaking Cannabis Seeds in Water
It’s also possible to sprout cannabis seeds in a glass. This may work for older, extra hard shells. This method is easy and cheap:
- Place marijuana seeds in a cup or a shot glass.
- Soak them in plain, slightly warm water.
- Soak older marijuana seeds overnight to ‘wake’ them.
- Avoid soaking your seeds too long—no longer than 24 hours. After soaking, place the seeds in a warm, moist place. They will eventually germinate.
- Keep a lookout for the white taproot that should break through the shell within a few days. Remember that some seeds take longer to sprout.
Tips For Planting Sprouted Cannabis Seeds
It’s important to plant your sprouted marijuana seeds right away. Here are some tips to ensure you do it properly:
- Never allow your fingers to touch the white taproot, because it can damage easily.
- Use tweezers carefully to move the sprouts.
- Taproots should face downward.
- The cannabis seeds’ tops should be below the soil’s surface.
With so many methods to sprout cannabis seeds, you’re sure to find the one that works best for you. Starter cubes and plugs are recommended because they provide ideal conditions for marijuana seeds to germinate. But if you’re on a tight budget, you can always soak them or use the paper towel method to get stared. The tips above are all used by successful cannabis farmers.