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Germination From Seed

Germination is the process by which a plant grows from seed. Cannabis plants grown from seed have a number of advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages
  • Plants grown from seeds have a better taproot than clones. This typically results in a stronger, healthier plant.
  • Plants grown from seeds start disease and pest free.
  • Seedlings inherit the genetic traits of both parenting plants and exhibit them in varying ways. This allows growers to choose the healthier and more desirable plants for their crop.
Disadvantages
  • Seeds, when sprouted, will have a 50/50 chance of being male or female. You are not always guaranteed to grow a female plant which is desirable. (Unless of course the seeds are feminized seeds).
  • You will have to determine the sex of your plants and separate the males from the females before they pollinate each other.
  • Seeds take a longer time to grow before they are ready to be flowered.
Methods

Germinating seeds is easy to do, and there are several effective methods.

Paper Towel Method

The first and one of the most common ways to germinate seeds is to place your seeds in between the folds of a wet paper towel or cloth until little sprouts begin to form and grow. The seedlings are then transplanted into a growing medium such as soil, coco coir, or rock wool.

  • Moisten a paper towel or cloth with water until it is mostly saturated.
  • Place your seeds on the wet towel and fold it over.
  • Put the folded towel on a bowl or plate and cover it with plastic wrap.
  • Check on the seeds once or twice a day for signs of germination. It will typically take anywhere from 2-10 days for a seedling to sprout. When the seeds begin to show signs of sprouting, place them in your desired medium (soil, coco-coir, rock wool, or any other hydroponics medium) about a quarter inch below the surface. Moisten the medium and let your plant grow.
  • It is important to note that cannabis seeds germinate best in an environment with a warm temperature range of 70-80° F (21-26° C). At lower or higher temperatures, germination may proceed slowly and the seedlings may be subject to attack by bacteria, disease, and fungi.
Planting directly into a medium (including the ground)

Seeds can also be germinated directly in a growing medium (soil, coco-coir, or any other hydroponics). This too is simple, effective, easy to do, and it cuts down on having to transplant a naked seed into a new home.

  • Simply poke a hole slightly larger than the diameter of your seed into the soil or medium that you are growing it in.
  • Gently place the seed (tweezers are a great help) into the hole. A great tip is to place the seed “hinge down,” that is, with the ridge of the seed aimed downwards. This promotes the taproot to grow directly downward and faster than if it had been planted “hinge up”
  • Moisten the medium and watch for signs of growth over the next few days.
  • Cannabis seeds germinate best in an environment with a warm temperature range of 70-80° F (21-26° C). At lower or higher temperatures, germination may proceed slowly and the seedlings may be subject to attack by bacteria, disease, and fungi.
  • If planting outdoors, it is recommended that you keep your seedlings in the shade at first; direct sunlight can quickly evaporate the moisture of the surface of your soil and can slow the growth of your plants.
  • There are a number of inexpensive and effective products that can be purchased at a hydroponics store or on the web, that are specifically made for germinating seeds. They are often called Root Starters, Seed Starters, Root plugs, rapid rooters, etc.
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