Germinating marijuana seeds. How to germinate cannabis seeds (shot Indoor). Marijuana weed seed germination. Germinating cannabis seeds is the first step in a successful garden. Marijuana seeds can be germinated in a number of different ways. This shot Indoor seed germination method is easy and works quite well. How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Good Got a cannabis seed, but you’re not sure if it’s any good? No worries. By the end of this article you’ll know everything you need to get started. The Cannabis sativa sp. is commonly known as marijuana and has been grown throughout the world for thousands of years. Cannabis seeds germinate in 3 to 7 days, though some varieties may take 10 to 15 days. While germination is a natural…
How to Germinate a Cannabis Sativa Seed
The following is a successful step-by-step process for germinating cannabis seeds on any budget. Germination of marijuana seeds, cannabis sativa, & pot seeds with minimum failure.
Always be sure that your work area is clean. This includes YOU. Wash your hands every time before working with seeds – it will increase your success.
Germinating Marijuana Seeds
Preparation & Supplies
In preparing to germinate your cannabis seeds whether one or a dozen, make sure you have everything you need and that it is also CLEAN. I use anti-bacterial soap in my garden for myself mostly, I recommend using it for everything (hands, buckets, tweezers, shot Indoores, etc.).
(shot Indoor method)
For our tutorial, we are using a shot Indoor, mineral water at room temperature, and our chosen seed(s). We use masking tape and a black marker to identify our seeds when germinating multiple cannabis strains.
You can use your local water with one caution. Fill a pitcher with your water 24 hours before using it & leave it open. This allows chlorine and other potentially harmful chemicals to escape into the open air.
Cannabis Seed Germination
Half fill your Indoor with mineral water. We have taken a single seed (female), and placed it in the water (shot Indoor). Notice that the seed is initially floating.
We have identified this seed and now we need to put it away in a warm and dark place for 24-30 hours. This allows the seed to absorb water. The seed does not need or like any light yet, but likes everything warm.
The cannabis seed simply needs warm air, moisture and darkness to begin a good germination process.
Keeping a temperature of between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit is excellent for starting seeds. Warm, wet and dark is what they like.
Select a warm spot that stays consistent in the temperature it offers (like on your water heater). We cover our Indoor with a dark cup to keep out all of the surrounding light.
Again, leave this covered and warm for at least 24 hours. This will allow the seed to absorb water, and is an excellent indication that the seed can grow.
The cannabis seed sinks when it absorbs water (24 hours). When you return the next day and uncover your Indoor, you may notice that the seed sank to the bottom.
If it did not, have no fear. Try stirring the water with your clean finger. The seed may have absorbed water and still be afloat by a bubble or dry spot (happens all the time).
How to Germinate
If the seed still floats, you can add some fresh water* and check back again in 8-12 hours. After that, you can still plant the seed, but chances are slimmer that it will take hold (germinate).
I then take a cup of my personal grow mix (soil) that is the same mix I use in my plants through-out their maturity.
I only transplant once, and it’s moved into the same exact grow medium in it’s final container. This prevents additional shock or stress when transplanted.
Each time you change containers or transplant, it will make the plant stress for a week or so.
Use a humidity dome until the seeds break ground (already germinated).
I use a solo cup and slice four slits in the bottom for good water drainage and added aeration. It also makes the transplant very easy.
I carefully place the seed into the soil with the knot side up. I only place it about 3/16″ under the soil surface and water thoroughly. I am still only using water* at this point.
When I water* the soil, it tends to move some soil over the seed. I label my cup and place it in a dome for high humidity and added warmth (shown next to a clone). Position a small grow light above the dome and have the timer the same as your 18 hour garden clock. We want some air, moisture, warmth and light right now.
Lights should remain ON for 16 – 20 hours and OFF for 4 – 8 hours. You are deciding this right now, because changing this light cycle in mid-growth IS stress for the plant – we will control the lights completely. This is the ‘trigger’ for future growth stages. I recommend 18 hours ON, 6 hours OFF once germinated.
Keep the soil moist, but not wet. there is a difference. After my initial watering, I do not water* it again for 2-3 days, and then I am spraying water* over my cup of soil.
Usually, in about 2-5 days you will see the seedling begin to pop out of the soil. I have seen seeds take 11 days, but usually less.
Sometimes, as in this example, the seed shell stays attached while the seedling works it’s way upward and fights to exist.
Cannabis seed curling upward with seed shell still intact.
Spray the leaves with water* for two days to help transition from the high humidity dome. Don’t water yet, just spray them.
Germinating marijuana seeds
Once the seedling has broken ground and I can see green leaves, I remove the cup from the humidity dome. Move your new baby to the nursery side of your garden with the 16-18 hour grow light cycle and circulating air.
As the seed uncurls and begins it’s beautiful life, it will lose the seed case and begin to sprout it’s first leaves.
As you can see, the sprout stretches upward while wrestling with the seed casing to be released (all this work for our smoking pleasure).
As it spends more time under the light, the sprout should be able to shake the seed and begin to form it’s first 2 leaves (cotyledon).You will find that once you have a regiment down that works, it’s fairly easy to germinate your cannabis seeds indoors at any time of the year.
Congratulations! We have now moved from the germination stage to the seedling stage. Patience, cleanliness and good soil products can help insure a high percentage of germination success with your marijuana seeds.
Germinated Cannabis Seed
First Week (Seedling)
Your new seedling is alive and prospering. In our example, you can leave it in the cup for a couple of weeks while it gains strength. It has everything it needs to begin a stress free life. From here we move into the caring and growing of your marijuana.
At times, I plant more than one seed to a cup. Sometimes I leave them both in the cup, and sometimes I separate them immediately after they break ground.
You should now be on your way to some wonderful romance with your plants.
Do not be afraid to “talk to” and raise your youngsters to be strong, vigorous and ‘stinky’ young ladies.
Be careful not to over water* your seedlings. Wait for the top of the soil to get dry and crusty before you consider watering again.
Water* – In this Chapter, the term water relates to mineral water, distilled or bottled water, or house water that has sat in open air for 20-30 hours.
Giving the seedlings a mild nitrogen mixture in your water* will help vigorous, healthy growth at this stage (if your soil does not compensate in this important area). Be careful! They are still young and very impressionable.
Once your seedling has 5-7 growing days in the cup, you can transplant it anytime to it’s larger container. Make this large enough for the life of the plant (I use 5 gallon containers) I never want to run out of room (soil) at the point of flowering.
I recommend water* throughout this process because my soil mixture contains initial nutrients like nitrogen, phosphates, guano, seafood, and more. At some point, you’ll probably develop your own soil too.
How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Good
Got a cannabis seed, but you’re not sure if it’s any good? No worries. By the end of this article you’ll know everything you need to get started.
The legality of growing cannabis varies depending on where you live in the world. Know your laws.
What to Look for in a Healthy Cannabis Seed:
You can tell a lot about a seed’s health just by looking at it. Here are a few different things you should look for when deciding if a cannabis seed is good or not.
- Darkened Color – Good cannabis seeds will be brown, black, and/or gray. White or green seeds are immature and unlikely to sprout. Your seed should also have stripes or spots all the way around.
- Waxy Coating – A healthy seed will have a thin waxy coating around it. This coating should appear to have a slight sheen to it.
- Hard Shell – You should be able to lightly squeeze a seed without it crushing. If a seed crushes easily between your fingers then the seed is likely dead or weak and will not grow well.
- No Cracks – Inspect the entire seed to make sure there aren’t any small crack or holes. This will most likely cause the seed not to sprout.
Ways To Test Cannabis Seeds
Now that I’ve gone over a basic guide for what to look for I’ll give you a couple of ways that you can test your seeds.
Test Method #1: Floating Seeds in Water
This is a great test that works for many different seeds – not just cannabis. Take your seeds and drop them in a cup full of warm (not too hot) water then wait a couple of hours. If they sink then they’re probably good to go. If they won’t sink then they are probably dead and won’t grow.
Note: Only do this if you’re ready to germinate your plants. Otherwise, it could harm your seed. I cover germination in a later section.
Test Method #2: Just Go Ahead and Try to Germinate the Seed
I know this seems obvious, but it really is the best information I really could give. If you really want to know if a cannabis seed is able to germinate then go ahead and try germinating it – what do you really have to lose? Not quite sure how to germinate a seed? No worries. Here’s a quick guide:
How to Germinate a Cannabis Seed
Germinating a seed simply means getting the plant to sprout from the seed. It’s the first step in your cannabis seed’s journey to a full grown plant. There are several ways to go about this.
One way is to simply plant it in your soil and see if a plant pops up. It’s old school, but no one can deny its simplicity. Plant the seed about 1/4″ deep and wait.
Another way is to put the seeds on a damp paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is damp, but not soaking wet. If it dries out you can add a few drops of water to the paper towel. Leave the paper towel in a dark place. The amount of time is going to vary among strains. Some may take only 2 days while others could take longer. Continue to check them once a day.
How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Male or Female
Unfortunately, there is no way to know if a cannabis seed is going to be male or female simply by looking at it or doing a simple test. This is a bummer since most people don’t want male cannabis plants in their garden.
If you want feminized seeds then you’ll have to buy them from a reputable seed bank. Make sure they say feminized – if they don’t say it then they probably aren’t.
If all you’ve got is a bag seed then the only way to find out if it’s going to be male or female is to grow it.
Can My Cannabis Seed Go Bad / Expire?
The short answer is yes, but if you store your seeds properly they can stay viable for years and years. Moisture, UV degradation, and extreme temperatures could all affect the quality of your seeds.
If you plan to store your seeds for a long period of time make sure to keep them in an airtight container in a dark area. Ideally, seeds should be stored in a climate controlled area (like inside your house instead of in a shed or garage. One study showed laboratory-sealed cannabis seeds were still viable after 19 years.
It’s nice to know what to look for, but in the end the best test is just to put it in soil. If you’re using bag seeds then you never really know what you’re getting anyways. If you’ve bought your seeds from a legitimate seed bank then you shouldn’t have to worry about it.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds
This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014.
There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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Cannabis sativa sp. is commonly known as marijuana and has been grown throughout the world for thousands of years. Cannabis seeds germinate in 3 to 7 days, though some varieties may take 10 to 15 days. While germination is a natural process, factors such as light, humidity/moisture, and temperature must be controlled for cannabis seeds to sprout.