Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
Also, buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank will give you a sense of what a particular strain will look and smell like, how it will grow, and how much it will yield at harvest.
Germination is the process in which a seed sprouts and begins to grow into a new plant. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your weed grow.
For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.
Most cannabis plants begin flowering when the amount of light they receive on a daily basis reduces. Outdoors, this happens when the sun starts setting earlier in the day as the season turns from summer to autumn. Indoor growers can control when a plant flowers by reducing the daily amount of light plants receive from 18 hours to 12 hours.
Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.
Plants grown from seed can be more hearty as young plants when compared to clones, mainly because seeds have a strong taproot. You can plant seeds directly into an outdoor garden in early spring, even in cool, wet climates.
Perhaps the most exciting stage, your baby will typically come above ground in 1-2 weeks. As your seedling comes above the soil, its shell might take a few days to fall off. It’s best to leave it alone, nature has the job covered. If it does not come above ground after about two weeks, the chance of success is dramatically reduced, and it’s best to try again. Even the best seeds have an 85% germination rate. When your seedling comes above ground, it is going to want to see a direct light source.
Our favorite thing about starting from a seed, rather than a clone, is that you get to see the full life cycle and enjoy a plant that is unique, just like you. An entirely new genetic makeup will enter the world for the first time, and if you’re lucky, something remarkable might be born.
We like to use seedling pellets that are made of a mix of compressed peat moss and coco husk. To expand, soak it in water for 10 minutes. Once your seedling pellet has absorbed enough water and has expanded to its maximum size, drain off any excess water. The growing medium should be like a damp sponge that would not leave streaks on the table. Dig a small hole about 1/4 in deep for your seed. Use a spoon to lift the seed out of its bath. If it has popped out a taproot be careful not to damage it. Gently place the seed into the hole and lightly cover it with dirt from the pellet. Now that you have started the germination process, your seedling will come above ground within two weeks. The older the seed, the longer it takes for it to germinate.
3) Above the ground
For young plants, it’s best to use bottled water as it has no chlorine added. If using tap water, let it sit for 24 hours before watering to dissipate any chlorine. Chlorine can also be eliminated by boiling for 20 minutes. Under normal conditions, after soaking your seedling pellet, it should contain all the moisture your plant needs before it comes above ground. As it grows, it will only need about a shot glass worth of water at most per week to keep the medium damp. Seedlings don’t drink a lot of water, which makes sense given their size. Your plant will do better in a growing medium which is damp. Overwatering is just as deadly as drying out.
Raising a seedling, however, requires some patience, gentle hands, and a smidgen of luck. Thankfully pot seeds are remarkably vigorous because they are what’s called endosperm seeds, which means they have almost pre-formed cotyledon leaves before you even add water. Below is a brief guide on the techniques we have found yield the most success when starting seeds and raising your seedling to a healthy plant ready for transplanting.
To accelerate germination, you are going to want to soak your seed in a small container with lukewarm water and place it in a dark and warm place for 12-24 hours, but no longer. By drenching the seed, it absorbs the water thoroughly, activating the germination process. Doing this also helps to loosen the shell as it becomes a little softer making it easier for the embryo to crack it open. When your seed sinks to the bottom it is ready to be planted, and sometimes the seed will pop out a small taproot. A seed can still be planted though if it does not sink.
Starting from seed is a remarkable journey. Understanding the biology is one thing, but comprehending how a little miracle bean can turn into a gigantic tree that can affect your body and mind is nothing short of an evolutionary miracle. Or rather a co-evolutionary story of plant and human.
The seed has enough energy to push through a thin layer. The farther down it is, the more likely the soil could hinder the plant’s ability to grow. It might not be able to get the light it needs, and the stem could become weak. If you believe you planted the germinated seed too deep, try brushing away some soil instead of repositioning the plant.
The positioning can help the top of the plant and its roots grow out correctly. The stem could bend and not develop properly, and the roots might sprout upward. The weed seedling might not turn into a healthy adult plant.
Step 2 — Make a Small Dimple
The dimple should be about a couple of centimeters deep. If you are using a pencil, an easy way to measure is by making the tiny hole erasure-deep. Like any plant, you do not want to plant the weed seed too far in the growing medium.
The final step of the planting stage is one of the quickest ones to do. All you need to do is cover the cannabis seed with a thin layer of soil. About a couple of millimeters should do the trick. The thin layer is enough to block out the grow lights or sun while giving the seedling room to grow.
Some seeds may be tricky to plant and grow, but you do not need much regarding cannabis seeds. You will notice that many of the tools are already in your home. If you need to get any additional items, you can find them in a regular store or garden center. The list of equipment includes: