Without a doubt, germination is one of the most important stages in cannabis cultivation. In this article we will take a look at some of the most comm When to start germinating marijuana seeds for the best results and a big winter crop of cannabis flowers. If you read our recommendations on how to choose the best moment to start your outdoor crop, you have probably waited for the good weather to settle in and for the be…
5 common mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds
Although the germination of cannabis seeds is a relatively quick and easy process, it is crucial to take into account a series of important factors in order to obtain as high a germination rate as possible. In addition, it’s in our interest that the seeds germinate as quickly as possible, and especially if we want to avoid problems like fungal infection or a low germination rate.
In our article on how to germinate cannabis seeds we explain step by step what you must do to achieve successful germination. Today we will take a look at the main mistakes made during this process, some simple errors that, as we will see, can easily be solved. Let’s see where many growers fail to germinate their seeds, it’s a great way to learn what not to do if we want to make the most of our seeds.
A germinating cannabis seed
Letting the germination medium dry out
By placing the seed in a moist culture medium, it begins a series of reactions that will lead to germination in a few hours or days. Whichever substrate we choose for germination, we must ensure that it never completely dries out, because as the seed stops absorbing moisture, it’s likely that the seed will cease its activity and never germinate. Cialis for Erectile Dysfunction http://valleyofthesunpharmacy.com/cialis/
For this reason, it is advisable to check every day to make sure the germination medium remains moist, especially if a heat source is used to achieve a higher temperature and therefore a better germination rate; the heat will cause the substrate to dry more quickly, something that must be kept in mind to avoid nasty surprises. In case of hydroponic cultivation it is always better to germinate in rock wool cubes, which of course must always remain moist.
The paper towel should never dry out once germination begins
Leaving seeds to germinate for too long
Another common mistake, in this case when germinating in kitchen paper or similar, is to let the seed germinate until the cotyledons appear. If we do this, then the subsequent transplant is very difficult, and it is very likely that we’ll damage the root in the attempt. Additionally, the longer the root is exposed to air and light, the more damage will result, so it is preferable to transplant it before this occurs.
To avoid problems, it is best to plant the seeds when the tap-root measures approximately 1cm, or 2cm at the most. This will make it much easier to transplant and we won’t harm the development of the roots, which can be expand into the new growing medium without setbacks. Phentemrine diet pills http://kendallpharmacy.com/phentermine.html
Direct germination in soil
This is a common mistake that usually results in non-germination, especially if the substrate hasn’t been previously watered before sowing the seed but is watered afterwards. By planting the seed directly in the substrate, we run the risk of it being buried too deep, made worse when we irrigate the growing medium post-sowing.
To obtain much better results, first germinate seeds in kitchen paper, jiffy pellets or peat plugs used for rooting cuttings and then transplant them to the soil or to a pot once the small seedlings have been born. Another benefit of this method is that we can germinate a large number of seeds in a very small space, such as a small greenhouse, which will make it much easier to provide the correct temperature and humidity.
Temperature and humidity for germination
Cannabis seeds germinate correctly with relatively high temperature and humidity values. It will be necessary, especially during some seasons of the year, to use some source of heat to get a temperature of about 26-28ºC. For this purpose there are many options on the market, such as thermal cables or heated greenhouses. The latter are particularly interesting because they also provide the perfect high humidity environment for seed germination.
The ideal is to maintain the germination medium at about 26-28ºC and at 70% relative humidity. Lower values will result in a slower and less successful germination, while higher values can bring fungal or rot problems.
A heated greenhouse is perfect for germinating seeds
Planting the seed incorrectly
If you look closely at a cannabis seed, you will notice that it has a slightly oval shape, ending in a point at one end and forming a small “crater” at the other end, which is called the crown. When planting your seed (whether it’s a seed that you want to germinate, for example, in a jiffy, or a seed already germinated on kitchen paper that you want to transplant) you must keep in mind that this crown should always be facing upwards.
So, you should plant the seed with the tip down and the crown uppermost and facing you. Once the seed germinates the crown will serve as a hinge, so that the seed will open at the tip and let out the root. In case of placing the seed incorrectly, the tap root will grow upward and the seedling downwards, which should be avoided at all costs because it is likely that the seedling will not be born.
Planting at the incorrect depth
Too often the seed is buried too deep (a problem that we have already seen in case of watering after planting the seed), so the seedling may never emerge. In the other case, if we sow too close to the surface, we can find that the seed germinates well but the stem grows weak, bending and not allowing the seedling to develop correctly.
To avoid these problems it is be best to sow the seed at about 2cm depth. In addition, we can cover the lower stem as the seedling grows, so that it gains stability and produces new roots along the length of stem we have buried. In this way we can accelerate the growth of the plants.
We should plant the seed with the root downwards
Planting several seeds in the same pot
Although it may be tempting, germinating several seeds in the same container is not usually successful. In addition to the difficulty of correctly planting several seeds in the same pot, once they are born they will compete for the little space available for their roots. Having restricted root growth does not suit cannabis plants, which will grow more weakly and with greater internodal distance.
In addition, the scarce space between the plants will also mean they will compete for available light, something not recommended if we want to get the most out of each plant. The plants will produce very little lateral branching, and will center their growth on a weak main stem, with too long an internodal distance, factors that usually affects negatively on the final yield of buds.
We hope that this article will help you avoid problems when germinating your seeds, it can be very frustrating to start a grow with all the enthusiasm and excitement, only to run into problems straight away! Do not hesitate to leave us any doubts, comments or your own tips and tricks, we’ll be happy to answer you.
Comments in “5 common mistakes when germinating cannabis seeds” (49)
I’ve been growing since I was 13. I am 66. Not a boast. It just is. My comment is not so much about growing weed but rather about a lack of civility AND (not necessarily limited to only this forum). For the most part cannibis “enthusiasts” are wonderful people. Still, is it my imagination or are there a lot of condescending pricks (can I say that?) on these forums. Some of which are “Newbee Experts” criticizing anything that didn’t come out of their own mouths? When the Real Expert offers an opinion that doesn’t mesh with the self proclaimed genius’s vast knowledge base, they tend to respond with very little grace. So I guess this is more about the general state of things and what some people believe is acceptable behavior. Just a thought. Cannabis community, let’s treat each other with respect. We’ve made so much ground and it’s taken SO MANY years. Let’s not screw that up.
Just a quick poll for those of you with a few growing seasons under their belt. Have you found that your failure rate with seed germination has been increasing. I suppose it is possible that I’ve just had a bad run but my success over the last two grows has been about 50%. I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time and my technique is sound. Just seems like I have more duds lately (I have not purchased seeds from Philosofer).
I quit reading long back when the initial 100 seed results were reasoned. I’ll likely be missing many points observed. Simple opinion, for better than 25 million years of natural survival this plant has recreated itself for man to adapt to its uses in a very short 10,000 or how ever many years there’s been somebody crapping In a watermelon patch Surely it knows its way around a 2cm [email protected]&?ing hole surrounded by its predecessors environment. I would think genetically it knows what the !(@& to do. Especially if you are using a “Feminized seed”. Now, surely many observations have been made justifiable or not the laws of average are easily debatable, but I believe that the laws of average have established the standards many moons ago friends. Maybe I’ll fill up a kiddie pool 4ft Dia. @6 inches deep perlite and drop a 100 seeds through a pine bow from 6 feet high and then document the seeds position when it’s at rest in the perlite.. . I’m Extremely new to cuktuvating cannabis, my 2nd year. My first year turned out peesonally satisfiable at best simply because I planted shark cookies. I germinated in a paper towel, from there I rested the seed however it rested in a tub of perlite with an aquarium bubbler, also a circulator moving a solution of compost tea through the roots for 2 weeks, then put them in a small crawl area with a fan and a few lights for another 45 days, and then moved them to a bucket and put outside for the next 3 months and then brought back inside for another 2 weeks. So any opinions that we all have are open for discussion, but the only resolution for judgement is our own environmental abilities to nurture the development of variable genetics. Happy gardening friends..
Hi and thanks for your comment. We’re happy that your first year of cultivation was a reasonable success, we hope that this year will be even more so! Germinating seeds may seem like the most natural and easy thing in the world, and that’s how it should be, but it’s amazing just how many people fall at this first hurdle, and when the seeds are not particularly cheap, as in the case of cannabis, it becomes even more nerve-wracking, especially for beginner growers and those who have no basic experience of growing other plants like vegetables, flowers, etc. There’s no real substitute for experience in this game, and the more seeds we pop, the more confidence we get. Thanks again for your comment, best wishes to you!
Hello Good day I have some that looks like stale might be more than years old seeds. It was a given to me by a friend and I doubt it was preserved properly in proper containers. Will it still germinate?
Hi, thanks for your comment and question. The older the seeds are, the less chance they will germinate, and if they weren’t stored in good conditions (dry, cool, stable, e.g. in the fridge) then the chances of non-germination become even greater. You can try a few things to help improve germination rates, for example, the application of fulvic acid and/or gibberellic acid will give older seeds a better chance of germinating. Try germinating a few of the seeds in the normal way and then if you don’t get success I’d look at using one or both of the compounds I mentioned. I hope that helps, all the best!
I have germinated five seeds of different stains, all paper towel method. All sprouted.. All healthy.. All put in good seedling raising mix but the problem is they just sit dormant just not growing. I grow under lights. Last year.. No problems this year no growth. Seeds r less than a year old. HELP.
Hi and thanks for your comment. To work out the problem, we need to eliminate a few possibilities. First, check that the temperature and humidity levels within your grow area are suitable for vegetative growth: ideally from 20 to 28ºC with 40-60% RH. Then verify whether your lamps need changing – old bulbs put out significantly less light than new ones, which could be leading to poor growth. If all those factors are as they should be then the most likely culprit is the soil mix itself – the quality can vary from season to season, even with the best brands, so it’s always possible that there could be pests or pathogens in the soil which are preventing the seedlings from making progress. I would recommend trying with a different brand of soil to see if that makes a difference. I hope that helps. Best wishes and good luck!
I germinated in paper towel until tap root was as long as seed it curled around the seed anyway my question is if I planted in jiffy pod should I put it under light or wait till it pops up to put it in the light .
Hi and thanks for your comment & question. The newly germinated seed doesn’t really need a light source while it’s below the soil surface but as soon as it pops out it will need light to prevent it from becoming stretchy, lanky and unhealthy. For this reason, it’s probably best to keep it under a light with a photoperiod of 18 hours light and 6 hours darkness for the day or two that it takes to break the surface. I hope that helps, best wishes!
You’re incorrect, seeds should be planted pointy end up crown down.
Hi Master, thanks for your comment. I honestly don’t believe there’s a correct or incorrect way. In our time, we’ve tried germinating seeds point down, point up and also laying them on their side in the soil, and we’ve come to the conclusion that it makes no difference at all – we certainly didn’t see any real difference in the results of one method compared to another. In nature, cannabis seed dispersal doesn’t rely on the seed landing in the soil in any particular position and it’s managed to spread pretty well! That said, if you like to sow your seeds pointy end down, then that’s great, keep doing it your way if it works for you! Best wishes!
I had my seeds in the paper towel for 3 days. The tap-roots appeared(not out just showing a bit) and I planted them in the soil. 3 days have past and I haven’t seen any progress. Is there a reason why this is happening?
Hi Sean, thanks for your comment. As long as the soil is neither too wet nor too dry, there shouldn’t be a problem with the seeds. They can take a few days to pop their heads up above the surface once they’re planted, the root needs to work its way downwards and find a solid hold to be able to push the seed head out of the soil. Speaking from personal experience, don’t be tempted to dig around looking for them as you’ll probably do more damage than good. The only times that seeds didn’t come up for me were the times I overwatered them, it’s crucial that they get enough air at this moment and too much water can lead to them rotting quickly. Of course, if they totally dry out then they’re not going to survive either. At this stage, I’d just recommend patience, good luck! Best wishes!
This article has a lot of nonsense in it. From Mandala Seeds: A #1 seed killer is a closed humidity dome/mini-greenhouse. Humidity domes are only required for rooting cuttings. Many growers make the mistake of thinking that they need a high ambient humidity for germination or seedlings. This is an unfortunate myth of cannabis cultivation. The high humidity and lack of fresh ventilation quickly causes fungus in the soil or growing medium and the seeds can rot! Cannabis is not an orchid or swamp plant! The seeds need a well aerated growing medium to germinate well. Seedlings also cannot tolerate high humidity and can easily be attacked by fungus such as fusarium and pythium. Only the soil or growing medium should be moist for optimal germination and seedling growth. Ambient humidity is best at or below 50%. Btw, seed should be planted with the pointed end UP, not down. Tap root ALWAYS goes up no matter how you place the seed. It’s by the nature, goes against the gravity to create a support for itself so it can push the seed out. It you put it with the pointed end down it will have to make double turn loosing the precious energy stored in the seed.
Hi, thanks for your contribution. Mandala Seeds give some helpful advice but they don’t have a monopoly on germination methods! In my 20 years germinating seeds I’ve tried all different methods and I’ve found good and bad in all of them. except for the methods using moist paper towels, I refuse to use it these days – I found that’s a great way to get mold problems and a really bad start to the plant’s life! That definitely is far too much humidity. as for ambient humidity, we don’t specify anything in this post. What we do say is that the medium in which the seeds are germinating should be at about 70% humidity for the best results. There’s nothing wrong with using a humidity dome or mini greenhouse, as long as you know when to start ventilating. of course if it’s kept sealed all the time then problems are bound to arise! These days I start all mine in a glass of water with a few drops of H202 and then once the seeds open (usually 24 hours) they get transferred to the substrate. As for the point down/point up debate, I think I’ll need to do a side-by-side comparison to settle this in my own mind. I’ve always planted them point downwards or on their side and I’ve yet to see any weird stuff like roots popping out of the surface, or doing a loop-the-loop before the seedling breaks the surface. But it’s clear that the debate needs to be settled so I’ll do an experiment and I’ll be happy to be proved wrong! EDIT: I’ve since germinated over 100 seeds as a test, 1/3 of them went in the soil with the point downwards, 1/3 sideways, and 1/3 with the point upwards. Most of the seedlings broke the surface at around the same time but it’s clear to see that the ones that I’m still waiting for are mostly those that went in with the point upwards. The next step has to be a test in a terrarium so I can actually see what’s going on but I’m almost ready to call complete BS on this “point upwards” theory, FWIW. Thanks again for your comment, all the best!
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When to germinate marijuana seeds for outdoor cultivation
How to know when is the ideal time to start sprouting hemp seeds?
When we can already feel spring outside the windows
Winter is receding and the first rays of spring signal the arrival of spring, which for many cannabis growers signals the most anticipated event of the year. That’s right, it’s the start of the marijuana growing season.
Some ganja growers are looking forward to testing out their newly loaded growing techniques that they have studied over the winter. Growing outdoors then, like most cannabis growers, you’ll be harvesting huge quantities of ganja so that your winter supplies will be plentiful. But this is preceded by good preparation. When you start germinating your cannabis seeds will also be crucial for the coming months.
Don’t be fooled by the first rays of spring and don’t start sprouting cannabis seeds straight away, as this may be too early.
But don’t worry, we’ll give you some tips to help you choose the best germination time for your ganja seeds.
1. Don’t be hasty in growing marijuana
Yes, I’m sure all of us have experienced it. All winter long you look forward to the sun coming out, the weather outside getting warmer and you can see yourself planting marijuana seeds in your garden. Don’t ever be tempted so early, as the weather in spring is quite fickle and can surprise you very unpleasantly.
Has anyone ever told you that the sooner you plant cannabis seeds, the sooner you will harvest large marijuana plants? Don’t believe it, it’s nonsense.
Planting marijuana seeds earlier will never guarantee you a bigger or faster cannabis harvest. That’s why more experienced cannabis growers already know that they have to be patient, and that’s why they wait for the right moment when the weather is already settled.
You must always bear in mind that the cannabis plant is tiny, fragile and delicate once it has germinated from the seed. And if you don’t want it to die you need to give it plenty of warmth and sunlight.
If you think that planting autoflowering cannabis varieties will help you, you are mistaken, because if you rush and plant them early, the results will also be disastrous.
Even though the life cycle of autoflowering cannabis varieties is around 2.5 months, it is important to maintain good enough conditions for growth for the first 14 days, otherwise you will get a blockage. And even if the sun starts to shine after that, which could get them going again, it’s usually too late.
So whether you plan to plant autoflowering or feminised cannabis seeds, avoid germinating and then planting cannabis too early.
2. Consider the climate in your area
The time at which you start sprouting cannabis seeds depends a lot on the climate you live in.
So what is the right time to germinate cannabis seeds? You can either make a common sense decision and see if the weather is already warm and stable, or you can do more research and study old weather records to see which date would be best. In the Nordic countries it may be safe to plant cannabis at the end of May, in central Europe it is usually early to mid-May and in the south can be planted up to a month earlier.
3. Watch as the cannabis growing season begins?
If you’re new to growing outdoor cannabis and aren’t sure when to start planting, ask a regional fellow growers if you can.
If you don´t know anyone, then you have to study historical weather data and follow forecasts.
4. A few words in conclusion
Start germinating your cannabis seeds as soon as the weather outside is nice with a steady supply of sunshine. The night temperature must not be less than 14 degrees Celsius.
Plant your plants on the south side, so that there is no obstacle between them and the south that could shade them (trees, buildings, hills, etc.) They should get at least 12 hours of sunlight a day.
If you haven’t bought your cannabis seeds yet, take a look at our NukaSeeds range where you’re sure to find the freshest marijuana seeds.
The time for planting marijuana seeds is slowly but surely approaching.
How to germinate weed seeds?
You can germinate your cannabis seeds both indoors and outdoors, though our recommendation is that you do it indoors, as you will have more control over all the factors that can have a negative effect on the process. But if this is not, below we explain the best way to germinate seeds outdoors.
Our first recommendation, as we already said, would be to wait for the good weather to settle in. Having a high temperature (from 22 to 26°C) is an important factor for your seeds to decide to emerge into the world.
Step 1: protect your seedlings from climate factors and fauna, prevention is better than cure.
Outdoors we never know what dear mother nature has in store for us; in the same way that your seeds might enjoy a week of good weather and sun, there can also be thunderstorms and low temperatures on the very day they sprout. Not to mention the large variety of birds, snails and other fauna that delight in eating those tender and tasty marijuana seedlings. Bear in mind that during their first moments of life, your plants are defenceless against many dangers that threaten them; therefore, it is your job to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. How? It’s actually quite simple, you can buy mini-greenhouses for germinating or you can use a Tupperware and make holes in it for adequate ventilation, although we recommend the first option.
Ventilation is an important factor; don’t make the greenhouse airtight, open the trapdoors to allow adequate ventilation and as the covers are made of thin plastic, you can even make some extra holes if necessary.
Step 2: choose quality materials.
Today you can find high quality products on the market, specifically designed for germination and which, in addition, are not expensive. What do you need?
- Germination greenhouse
- Electric blanket: If you live in a very cold area, a good solution to stimulate germination is to place an electric blanket underneath the greenhouse, thus achieving an adequate temperature. It is important that the probe that measures the temperature calculates the temperature of the blanket, and not of the greenhouse, as otherwise you might heat the seeds excessively.
- Jiffy 7: This product consists of of a compressed and dehydrated substrate pellet which, after leaving it in water for a few minutes, becomes a small sack of special substrate for germinating, and is also biodegradable. This is the star product that will optimise your germination process due to the following reasons:
– On the one hand it has the ideal structure, that is, the amount of air and water in the substrate is adequate for germination.
– It is sterilised, meaning that we prevent the appearance of fungi (powdery mildew, botrytis, etc)
– It has all the elements necessary to nourish your seed/seedling during the first week; the ideal amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Phosphorus and calcium are particularly important for the correct development of roots.
– It has a neutral pH, which is the most adequate and makes it the perfect medium for germination; during one week you just have to add water.
– Jiffy 7 is expressly designed for the mega-industrial production of seedlings and does not require fertilisation.
– Another advantage is the specific temperature: water has a low specific temperature. This means that if we place a glassful of water in a room at 25°, it will be very hard for the water to reach that temperature. Therefore, if we place the cannabis seeds in a very watery medium (a glass or between paper towels) the temperature will be lower, while in a Jiffy, as it is more exposed to the air, the temperature will be higher and the process, faster.
However, there are people who germinate marijuana seeds in paper towels. Why don’t we recommend them? Well, although this method may be effective, it is not the most adequate and has some disadvantages. To start with, the seedlings do not receive the necessary light, as the paper towel that covers the top prevents the sun’s rays from penetrating. In turn, in the Jiffy they do receive light, and therefore photosynthesis will start earlier. Another advantage is that as soon as the root emerges in the Jiffy, it starts to turn downwards and to absorb nutrients: on the one hand we accelerate the process and on the other, when we replant the Jiffy 7 with the seedling there is no transplant shock.
Step 3: follow the method.
- Put the Jiffys in lukewarmwater.
- Once the Jiffys have expanded, make sure that they are thoroughly wet (don’t squeeze them, just remove the excess liquid if they are dripping). Monitor the pH (between 6 and 7) and the EC (less than 0.5 ms) of the water.
- Insert the seed in the central hole of the Jiffy, not too deep (approximately 5 mm) with the tip pointing upwards. The marijuana plant must not be sown too deep because otherwise the root has to travel too far: it always emerges through the pointy part of the seed, turns 180°, penetrates into the soil, and once it is secure, it raises its “head” from where the cotyledons will grow.
- Place the Jiffys in the greenhouse as well as a thermo-hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity.
- Temperature control: it must not fall below 20 degrees nor exceed 30. If you put the greenhouse in the sun, it can get very hot; you must constantly monitor the temperature. If it exceeds 25 degrees, we recommend that you lift up the top cover to ventilate it. Another important factor you have to check is humidity. If it is very sunny, the Jiffys will dry up and it is important that they are always humid. You must therefore add water when necessary, though not in excess. They should only be soaking wet during the first two days. After one week we should already have marijuana seedlings; with their two cotyledons (the first two round -shaped leaves), before the first two real leaves sprout (the serrated leaves), transplant them. If they are autoflowering seeds, we recommend that you transplant them to the definitive flower pot, though if they are feminised seeds you can transplant them to a smaller pot and then, when the plants are larger, you can move them to the definitive pot.
For indoors: The same but under a grow light, fluorescent or LED. If you have the option of germinating your cannabis seeds inside your home, ideally the light intensity will be high; the less intense the light, the more the seedlings will stretch in search of light and become spindly. If you use a 400 W light ideally it should be 40-45 cm away.
Now that you know how to take your first steps, you’re ready to start this season’s crop. Have a good harvest!
Kushka Barcelona-born journalist and grower with a curious spirit. I used to spend my life travelling, writing and working with cannabis clubs until Professor OG called me. My two passions, the plant and the writing, have followed the same path ever since. I absolutely love tricky subjects, those that oblige me to spend days buried in books, investigating and driving the entire technical team crazy. There’s no way I can write a story without going into the issue in depth. I enjoy challenges, but even more sharing them with you on our blog. You can find on instagram at @_kushka.
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