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How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

An in-depth guide on how to germinate cannabis seeds. Discover different techniques on how to germinate marijuana seeds to ensure a successful cannabis crop.

Everything has a beginning.

Cannabis seeds, like all seeds, must undergo the germination process before it can grow into a weed-yielding beauty.

Countless cannabis germination guides litter the internet. However, none go as in-depth as our seed germination tutorial. Read along to learn how to germinate marijuana seeds like a pro.

You’ll discover everything you need to know about the art of germinating marijuana seeds. From the necessary equipment to different germination methods and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.

The Chemistry Behind Cannabis Seed Germination

Cannabis seeds require the right conditions to sprout.

Without the proper temperature, moisture level, or oxygen saturation, weed seeds will not germinate. Although you can readily germinate seeds outdoors, nothing beats controlled germination indoors.

Let’s take a look at the three primary elements that influence the germination rates of marijuana seeds.

Water

Water is the key player in the process of germinating marijuana seeds.

The outer-layer of the cannabis seed acts as a protective casing that provides a two-fold defense — prevent damage to the inner embryo and prevent minimal moisture from premature germination.

However, if the marijuana seed is saturated with water, it will eventually absorb the moisture and kick-off the germination process.

Oxygen

Once the embryo activates through water saturation, it requires oxygen to jump-start the respiration process. Oxygen fuels respiration, which unlocks food stored within the embryo.

Energy

After the respiration process, the embryo consumes the food stores, which in turn produces energy. Energy is the necessary product that propels the germination stage onwards.

Warmth

Even if cannabis seeds have access to water, oxygen, and energy, it’s all for nothing unless it has access to warmth.

As long as cannabis seeds experience 72-78°F during the initial germination process — they’ll burst forth from the ground and spread their primordial leaves under the sun or artificial light.

The three most important elements for successful weed seed germination

Why It’s Important to Germinate Weed Seeds Indoors

At its core, the germination process lays the foundation of cannabis plants.

Overall, marijuana plants will underperform without proper germination techniques compared to those that experienced ideal conditions during the germination process. Therefore, it’s always best to harness an indoor environment when germinating marijuana seeds.

What to Look For Before Germinating Marijuana Seeds

Before you begin the germination process, there are a few things you must look for.

Let’s take a brief look at each.

Damaged Marijuana Seeds

Ordering feminized or autoflowering cannabis seeds online is the best way to acquire top-shelf genetics.

The seeds, however, may experience a few bumps on the road during the shipping process. With this in mind, you must look over each seed to ensure there isn’t any damage.

As long as each weed seed is undamaged, the germination process will be smooth.

The Cannabis Seed’s Age

Next, it’s a good idea to write down the date on each seed pack once received.

By doing so, you’ll have a clear understanding of a seeds’ age. Like all things, cannabis seeds lose their luster as the years go by. Cannabis seeds may remain viable for decades. However, germination rates decrease over time.

Therefore, you should only germinate seeds that are properly stored for a maximum of 6-months.

The Cannabis Seeds Color

Lastly, you must check the cannabis seed’s color.

Cannabis seeds come in different sizes and exhibit various markings across the outer seed coat. However, the seed’s color is an excellent indicator that represents seed maturity.

In other words, light green to pale white seeds are immature and are likely unviable. Therefore, always make sure that your cannabis seeds are light to dark brown color before germination.

Take a close look at the seeds that you receive for damage or discoloration

Should You Use a Seedling Heat Mat?

Many new cannabis cultivators ask if they should incorporate a seedling heat mat into the equation.

Although seedling heat mats are excellent tools to ensure fast germination, they are not always necessary. Seedling heat mats work by producing a gentle warmth that won’t rapidly dry cannabis seeds during the germination process.

However, they may be overkill if you utilize them during hot days, such as those during the summer months. Alternatively, they are essential during colder months during the winter. Therefore, you can choose to harness a seedling heat mat based on the time of year that you choose to germinate marijuana seeds.

Three Easy Methods To Germinate Cannabis Seeds Indoors

Now that you have a broad understanding of germinating marijuana seeds let’s get some weed seeds poppin‘ with a few different step-by-step tutorials.

You’ll have a better idea of which germination technique to choose once you’re done reading this section.

1. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds in Soil in Five Easy Steps

If you want to germinate weed seeds au natural — there’s no better option than using soil.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to germinate cannabis seeds in soil:

  • Feminized or autoflowering cannabis seeds
  • Eco-friendly “starting” container
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Label
  • Heat mat (optional)

As you can see, the list above isn’t extensive in the least. In other words, germinating marijuana seeds in soil is incredibly affordable.

Step One

First, fill an eco-friendly starting container with soil.

The golden rule? Don’t pack down the soil. Remember, the soil you choose must exhibit a loamy consistency. Hardpack soil does not allow proper water drainage and oxygen circulation, which, as you learned previously, are critical components for the seed germination process.

Furthermore, if you choose to use a heat mat, place the eco-friendly containers on top to warm the medium adequately.

Step Two

Label each container.

The last thing you want to do is forget what seed you placed into each container — especially if you’re germinating multiple cannabis strains at once.

Step Three

Now, it’s time to sow the cannabis seed.

Create a small hole that’s roughly 0.25-inches (6mm) deep. Gently place the seed inside the hole and cover it. It does not matter which direction you put the seed — believe us when we say that the seed and gravity will sort things out.

It’s important to note that each eco pot should contain a single cannabis seed.

Step Four

Gently pour a small amount of water into the area where you buried the cannabis seed.

At this point, you must ensure that the cannabis seed never dries out. Once the germination process begins — there’s no turning back. Therefore, allowing cannabis seeds to dry will guarantee inadequate germination or premature death.

Ultimately, you must monitor the soil and continuously apply water until the seed sprouts.

Step Five

The final step is patience.

The moment the seed is planted, most beginners ask: how long does it take to germinate cannabis seeds, or how can I germinate my seeds fast?

Healthy cannabis seeds typically break the surface within 2-4-days. Older seeds, however, may take upwards of 12-days to sprout.

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The germination phase is an incredibly vulnerable moment for cannabis seeds. Therefore, Do notwe repeatdo not dig up the seed to “check on it.”

This is what you can expect after you successfully germinate your cannabis seeds in soil

2. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Using Paper Towels In Five Easy Steps

One of the most popular germination techniques is the paper towel method.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need for this low-budget method:

  • Feminized or autoflowering seeds
  • Dinner plate
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • Labels
  • Heat mat (optional)

Now that you’ve gathered the necessary supplies let’s get crackin‘.

Step One

Place two to three sheets of paper towels on top of a clean dinner plate. If you decide to use a heat mat to increase the temperature, place it under the dinner plate.

Step Two

Label the dinner plate with the name of the cannabis strain of choice.

Step Three

Place up to 10-seeds per plate.

You must make sure that a minimum of 1-inch adequately separates the seeds.

Step Four

Spray water on the seeds until the paper towels are completely saturated. Once done, place a new layer of 2-3 paper towel sheets on top of the seeds. Use the spray bottle to soak the new paper towel addition.

Remember: the paper towels must always remain saturated with water. If allowed to dry, the cannabis seeds will fail to germinate.

Step Five

The germination process should occur within 24-48-hours. After 48-hours, gently peel back the upper paper towel section. If the seeds germinate, you will see cracked-open seeds with an emerging radicle.

At this point, it’s time to move the germinated seed to its new home with a pair of tweezers. This final step requires extreme care because the radicle is fragile, and if broken, the embryo within will die.

Be careful when you use the paper towel method and make sure to label each plate

3. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Using Rooting Cubes in Five Easy Steps

Germinating weed seeds with rooting cubes is the ideal method for beginners and professionals alike.

Overall, rooting cubes provide the ease of the paper towel method and the soil technique’s efficiency. Let’s take a look at everything you need to when germinating marijuana seeds with rooting cubes.

  • Feminized or autoflowering seeds
  • Rooting cubes
  • pH 6.0 water
  • Rooting tray
  • Labels
  • pH meter and pH up or down
  • Heat mat (optional)
Step One

First and foremost, place the rooting cubes in the rooting tray. If you decide to use a heat mat, place the tray on top.

Step Two

Next, label each rooting cube or tray with the appropriate name of each cannabis strain.

Step Three

Use a pH meter and pH solution to achieve a pH of 6.0.

The amount of water you pH depends on the number of rooting cubes. Start with one cup of water if you are germinating less than ten seeds.

Germination cubes require a pH of 6.0 because they are typically made from peat moss, rockwool, or other soilless-based mediums. Therefore, a pH of 6.0 will ensure the best possible results once the seed germinates.

Step Four

Each rooting cube is equipped with a pre-made hole.

Place one cannabis seed per hole. You may tear off a small piece of the substrate to cover the opening. Once done, saturate the rooting cube with pH 6.0 water.

You must make sure that the rooting cube never dries out. Remember, cannabis seeds must remain moist until they sprout to the surface.

Step Five

Once again, patience is the final step when you learn how to germinate cannabis seeds with rooting cubes. Overall, cannabis seeds may emerge from the rooting cube within 2-4-days. However, germination may take as long as 7-days.

There are a lot of rooting cubes to choose from, but the germination process remains the same

How to Germinate Old Cannabis Seeds

Now that you understand how to germinate healthy cannabis seeds let’s quickly discover how to germinate old marijuana seeds.

As you become infatuated with the world of cannabis, you’ll soon begin to stack an extensive seed collection. Don’t worry; we’re all seed hoarders at heart because there are so many incredible cannabis genetics out there.

Eventually, however, you’ll notice that you have more than a few old cannabis seeds. Luckily for you — all is not lost.

Here’s our tried and true technique to give your old seeds a boost during the germination process.

Cannabis Seed Scarification

Scarring cannabis seeds is incredibly simple.

All you need is a nail file or a piece of sandpaper. Use the file or sandpaper across the surface of the seed in question. You do not need to use an immense amount of force, but instead, a few good scrapes to scar the seed’s outer shell will do.

The point of seed scarification is to allow water to penetrate the seed coating easily. By doing so, the embryo receives a jump start that initiates the germination process.

Once the seeds are scarred, you may choose one of the three above mentioned techniques to complete the germination process.

A few readily available tools to get your cannabis seed scarification done

The Best Way To Germinate Marijuana Seeds

Now that you’re done reading this guide on seed germination — which method will you choose?

The soil, paper towel, and rooting cube methods are all tried-and-true and provide excellent germination rates. Remember, cannabis seeds are an investment, and you must use the best germination method possible to ensure a healthy cannabis crop.

You have one chance to germinate each seed the right way, and by using this guide, you’ll make each seed count.

ROOT BOOSTER

Root Booster from Terra Aquatica is a root enhancer that will make your plant’s roots grow vigorously. It is also the perfect ally for germinating seeds or strengthening seedlings and cuttings roots.

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  • Substrate All of them
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  • Nutrient usage Basic
  • Fertiliser application Watering

Root Booster

Root Booster is the 100% ecological root and growth enhancer. Terra Aquatica, the new name of General Hydroponics, provides us with this natural supplement prepared to promote the growth of a healthy root system and a vigorous vegetative growth in a 100% organic way.

Its formula contains vitamins, enzymes, and humic acids that will accelerate and enhance root growth without the use of any synthetic or chemical materials.

Root Booster fertilizer is perfect for use in seedling and cutting root formation by enhancing the growth of the root system. But it will also be your perfect ally to give your adult plant’s roots an extra boost, as it will improve the absorption of essential nutrients.

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This multi-purpose fertilizer is also used for Cannabis seeds germination. By diluting a little of this concentrate you can create a solution in which you can soak the seeds before planting them into the substrate.

Root Booster Dosing

To use Root Booster with transplanted cuttings, seeds and seedlings it is recommended to apply them for 15 days in a solution of 3 to 5 ml/L of water.

You can also use it as a foliar fertilizer and for that, you have to dilute 3 ml/L of Root Booster in water or a nutritive solution.

Terra Aquatica recommends continuing the use of Root Booster with your Fulvic, to stimulate the creation of endless root terminations.

It’s usually purchased with

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Bottles from 0.5 to 5 liters

https://www.semillas-de-marihuana.com/en/terra-aquatica/1893-root-booster.html 1893 ROOT BOOSTER

Root Booster from Terra Aquatica is a root enhancer that will make your plant’s roots grow vigorously. It is also the perfect ally for germinating seeds or strengthening seedlings and cuttings roots.

https://www.semillas-de-marihuana.com/4188-soy_product_list/root-booster.jpg 10.1575 instock 11.95 8.3946 15 1.4814 2020-06-21T18:41:24+0200 /Cultivation /Cultivation/Fertilizers /Cultivation/Fertilizers/TERRA AQUATICA /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/TYPE OF NUTRIENT /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/BY SUBSTRATE TYPE /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/NUTRIENT ORIGIN /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/EASE OF USE /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/APPLICATION /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/TYPE OF NUTRIENT/ROOTS /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/BY SUBSTRATE TYPE/VERSATILE NUTRIENTS /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/NUTRIENT ORIGIN/ORGANIC NUTRIENTS /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/EASE OF USE/BASIC NUTRIENTS /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES/APPLICATION/IRRIGATION /Cultivation/Fertilizers/FEATURES 1881

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TRIKOLOGIC

Root Booster from Terra Aquatica is a root enhancer that will make your plant’s roots grow vigorously. It is also the perfect ally for germinating seeds or strengthening seedlings and cuttings roots.

Semillas-de-marihuana.com is a website for people over 18 years old, owned by Experiencia Natural SL, with NIF B32488199. We do not sell cannabis seeds to any customers who we suspect intend to use them to cultivate cannabis in a country where it is illegal to do so. Cannabis seeds are sold only strictly as souvenirs or collectibles, and they are illegal to germinate in most countries. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All texts are registered in Safe Creative.

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How to make Seed Sprout Tea (SST) for cannabis plants

Despite forming part of Chinese cuisine and medicine for centuries or even millennia, it’s only been in the last 30 or 40 years that the western world has really woken up to the health benefits of eating seed sprouts, or germinated seeds. These days it’s widely accepted that adding some sprouted beans or other seeds to our daily diet is highly beneficial for their high content of protein, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But did you know we can get some great results by adding seed sprouts to the diet of our cannabis plants too?

Yes, it’s true! Our plants can make the most of the beneficial properties of sprouted seeds and enjoy a natural boost in growth and plant health. Seed sprout tea (SST) is an easy, economical and environmentally-friendly way in which we can irrigate our garden with our own homemade plant growth stimulant, rich in phytohormones, enzymes, minerals and nutrients, and is suitable for use on cannabis plants in vegetative growth as well as during the flowering period, depending on the seeds being used.

Barley grains sprouting in a jar

What seeds can we use to make SST?

Seeds or grains will sprout when we expose them to air, water and warmth. This sets in motion a series of biochemical reactions that alter the composition of the seed, during which process the macronutrients are broken down and the bioavailability of micronutrients is hugely increased. In short, the sprouted seeds are far more nutritious than either the grown plant or the seed itself, and it’s this vitality that we want to capture and apply to our organically-grown cannabis plants, whether we’re cultivating outdoors, in greenhouses or indoors using grow lamps.

There are a few types of seed that are most commonly used for this purpose, these are primarily maize, barley, alfalfa and lentils. These are used at different times, depending on what stage of life our plants are in, and the desired effect.

Barley (Hordeum vulgare)

Sprouted barley grains contain are very high in enzymes and gibberellins, as well as many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and nutrients. As well as the growth-promoting effects of gibberellins, barley SST is principally applied in order to establish and maintain the enzymes in the substrate. These enzymes help to digest dead roots, keeping the substrate and root zone in good health, as well as potentiating the soil food web and improving nutrient uptake. Some of these enzymes, specifically chitinase enzymes, have been shown to have an inhibiting effect against fusarium, a pathogenic fungus that causes great losses in agriculture as well as in cannabis gardens.

If whole barley grains are difficult to find then malted barley is a good substitute. Because the grain has already been sprouted as part of the malting process, this is a much faster method and will only need to be steeped, or “bubbled” in water for a few hours to make a natural enzyme tea, although freshly-sprouted seeds will always be more effective. To use malted barley add 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. Apply this or Barley SST once a week during vegetative growth and then give a top-up application roughly halfway through the flowering period.

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

Rich in enzymes, vitamins, proteins and, most importantly, triacontanol, a potent growth-boosting plant hormone which increases photosynthesis by raising chlorophyll levels, increasing root mass, alfalfa seed sprout tea is a powerful plant stimulant that’s perfect for the transition into flowering, when it helps to maintain close internode spacing and increase root mass. It can also be used in combination with Corn SST during vegetative growth and flowering as a general growth booster. More care must be taken with alfalfa as it is very powerful indeed and we recommend to either start the process with half the amount of seeds or to dilute in double the quantity of water before application.

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Alfalfa sprouts are rich in triacontanol

Corn (Zea mays)

Corn or maize sprouts are high in enzymes, minerals and nutrients, and also very rich in cytokinins, a plant growth hormone which promotes lateral budding, branching and the development of thicker stems leading to improved nutrient transport and the capacity for heavier crops. It can even be used at twice the strength to control height, resulting in really squat, bushy plants, perfect for growing spaces with reduced headroom. Organic sweetcorn grains are the most common source of corn to use for sprouting, but all maize grains are easy to germinate and some growers even seek out heirloom varieties like Blue Corn to ensure their SST is GMO-free. Corn SST is best applied in late vegetative growth and up to the fourth or fifth week of flowering.

Lentils (Lens culinaris or Lens esculenta) and other legumes

While alfalfa is, in fact, a legume, here we’re talking about other legumes, not only lentils but also larger seeds such as peas, beans or chickpeas. The sprouts of these seeds contain high concentrations of auxins, producing an SST that makes a great rooting stimulant as well as working to boost growth in general. Lentils are a great choice because, due to their relatively small size, they will germinate faster than the larger legumes.

These are the most commonly used seeds for making SSTs, but it doesn’t mean that other types of seed won’t work equally worth experimenting with. For example, an SST using sprouted hemp seeds ought to be an excellent growth booster for cannabis plants, while sunflower seeds are well known to be high in phytohormones, and many others such as rice, fenugreek, pumpkin have been recommended as well.

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It’s important to always use seeds from organic agriculture for our SSTs, to avoid the possibility of introducing any trace of chemical pesticides and other undesirable compounds into our garden. The organic aisle in the local supermarket or health store is often the most convenient place to source seeds for sprouting, usually providing us with all the seeds listed above, alongside a range of other seeds that we could try out for ourselves at home.

What will we need to make SST?

  • 28g (1oz) of your chosen seeds, beans or grains
  • 1/4 tsp Kelp meal
  • Clean water
  • Sieve
  • Glass jar
  • Cheesecloth & elastic band
  • Blender/food processor

Everything you’ll need to make a seed sprout tea

How do we make SST?

Thoroughly rinse the seeds in clean water to remove any dirt, dust or contamination. This is best done using a sieve under a running tap. This also helps to remove any abscisic acid, a growth-inhibiting hormone that occurs on the outer shell of many seeds.

Soak the seeds overnight in clean water. Adding a quarter-teaspoon of kelp meal at this point will infuse the water with growth-promoting phytohormones and help to accelerate the germination process. In this case, we’ve used the soluble kelp powder Alga Plus from Jumus.

Drain and rinse the seeds in clean water after soaking for at least 8 hours and put them back into the jar. They should be wet enough so that the seeds will adhere to the sides of the jar, but not sitting in water. Cover the jar mouth with cheesecloth and fix with a rubber band. This gives ventilation while stopping any insects, or dust falling in. Placing the jar on its side allows for a greater surface area of the seeds to be in contact with the air.

Rinse and drain the seeds at least twice a day until the sprouting tails are as long as the seeds themselves. This usually takes a few days. Then blend the sprouted seeds in a food processor along with a cup or so of water. In our experience, the “Nutri-Bullet” type of blender is best, but pretty much any kind of food processor will do the trick to a satisfactory level.

Separate the liquid from the seed pulp using the sieve, straining the resulting liquid into a container. The pulp can be composted or added directly to the soil surface as an enzyme-rich top-dressing.

Dilute the resulting liquid in 10 litres water before using it to irrigate your plants. In the case of alfalfa SST, which is much more potent, use 20 litres to dilute or, alternatively, start with half the quantity of seeds.

What can we do now?

At this stage, some growers like to “bubble” or aerate the SST for 12-24 hours in a bucket with an air pump, while others will add molasses to the tea and ferment it to preserve it for a longer time. Here at Alchimia, we recommend diluting and using any SST right away for maximum freshness and effectiveness, it’s easy and cheap enough to make a new batch next time you need some more.

If you’d like to boost the SST with more micro and macronutrients, amino acids and other essential elements, you can mix in some more organic, natural ingredients. For example, you could mix in some Nettle Flour, which is ideal for the growth period, or an infusion of dried Comfrey leaves for a nutritional and health boost during the flowering phase.

While SSTs may not be a replacement for the scientifically formulated, high-precision stimulants and boosters used by many cannabis cultivators, there’s no question that, when used correctly, they can be a powerful tool for the self-sufficient organic grower, not only giving great results but also rewarding the grower with the satisfaction of having created their own plant stimulators in a natural way.

We hope this article has been of interest to you, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment with your own experiences, suggestions or any questions you may have.

The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.