Marijuana pH and water For marijuana growers, whether using soil, soilless or hydro methods, pH levels can make a huge difference to your success and yields. In this article we will take a closer 1. Germinate hemp seeds directly into soil 2. Activate cannabis seeds with water 3. Germinate cannabis seeds with paper towels – GIF Learn how to germinate marijuana seeds on your FIRST try! Reach 100% seed germination rates by using our step-by-step tutorial.
Marijuana pH and water
For marijuana growers, whether using soil, soilless or hydro methods, pH levels can make a huge difference to your success and yields. In this article we will take a closer look at pH values and discuss why you need to know about them and how that knowledge can help you become a better grower.
What is pH?
So, let’s start at the beginning. pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a given substance. Technically it is about the concentration of hydrogen ions. A pH of 7.0 is totally neutral, 1.0 to 6.9 is acidic and 7.1 to 14.0 is alkaline. When using a pH scale it is important to know that the decimal points really count. The pH scale is a logarithmic scale which means that for every one point of pH, the concentration changes by a factor of ten. For example, an increase in pH from 7.0 to 8.0 is actually a tenfold increase, so be aware!
Why is pH Important in Growing marijuana?
- The optimum pH for marijuana in soil is around 6.3 – 6.8
- The optimum pH for marijuana in soilless or hydro is around 5.5 – 6.1
pH in Soil
When growing marijuana in soil you are less likely to run into pH problems, especially if you are using especially mixed soils that feed the plant throughout its life, without having to add any liquid nutrients. It is said that the soil acts as a buffer, this means that it helps slow the change of pH values as opposed to hydro systems where changes in pH take effect much more quickly.
- The same thing happens when you grow marijuana in soil in containers. When you add water the pH of the soil changes and the whole range of nutrients become available to your plant as the soil slowly dries out again;
- This means that some nutrients that are otherwise dormant in the soil become available when it is wet.
- If you are using tapwater, make sure you let it sit in a bucket or reservoir for a few days to allow it to dechlorinate. Then check the pH to make sure it is within your required range.
pH in Hydro
If you grow marijuana in a hydroponics system then pH management is a much more important issue. With no soil to act as a buffer changes in your pH values take effect much more quickly. With hydro grows allowing your pH to fluctuate within a prescribed range is important as it allows all of the nutrients in the solution to become available to the plant in turn. Luckily, this happens naturally as the pH of the solution in your hydroponic reservoir will drift over time. When making up the nutrient solution for your hydro set up, always mix the separate components in the water. Never mix them together directly. This can cause them to chemically react with each other and may change their desired properties. Mix your nutrients gently. Overly vigorous mixing adds oxygen to the solution and this will temporarily raise pH levels. Some growers like to shake their solution vigorously to add oxygen which is good for the roots. If you like to do this, do it after you have checked and adjusted the pH. Make your mix in a clean reservoir and check the pH. Let the mix stand for an hour and check the pH again. The pH of nutrient solutions often changes quite quicklywithin the first hour so you should recheck and adjust as necessary.
Making adjustments to pH
If you are topping up your solution, or adjusting the pH in your reservoir, try not to subject the plants to drastic changes in pH. Large swings in pH will stress them. Make changes slowly. Do not mix nutrients or pH regulators directly into the plants’ reservoir. Make a mix in a separate container first then add that to your reservoir so that changes take place slowly. Remember that pH drift is not only normal, it’s desirable. Allow the pH in your reservoir to change gradually, but make sure you keep within the range of 5.5 to 6.5.
Although many soil growers don’t bother, a pH tester is a crucial piece of kit for the serious marijuana grower. There are a couple of options that are available to you. Digital Meter – This is by far the easiest, most popular and most accurate method for checking your pH levels. Digital pH meters are easy to work, just insert the probe and read the pH levels off of the digital read out. pH Strips – Cheaper to buy initially, but more expensive in the long run, and more hassle. pH strips turn a specific color depending on the pH. You then compare the color to an index and that gives you the pH value. If you are trying to measure the pH of your soil you will need to make up a soil solution in water. You should measure pH periodically as part of your plant maintenance program. With experience you will need to measure less often as you get your set up dialled in. Special care should be taken to measure pH when you seriously change the nutrient regime you are following, when flipping to 12/12 for example.
So, having checked the pH levels of your nutrient solution you find that it is out. How do you adjust it? The best answer is to buy proprietary pH Up and pH Down solutions. There are lots of forum posts by people who add vinegar or baking powder to adjust pH. Whilst there is some convincing evidence of this working, we recommend using proprietary solutions for reliable results.
pH Up is a strong alkali formula for raising pH. The one from General Hydroponics is made from a base of Potassium Hydroxide and Potassium Carbonate.
pH Down is an acid based formula for lowering pH. General Hydroponics up/down is made from a base of Phosphoric Acid.
As explained above, adjust the pH of your solution a little at a time. Try to use only either Up or Down. If you overshoot with one and then have to readjust with the other you can end up unnecessarily stressing your plants. Mix up a little of the required pH adjuster in a separate jug. Then add them a little at a time to your reservoir. Allow time for the whole reservoir to even out and settle. Better to get it right with 3 slight adjustments than have it wildly swinging up and down.
The best way to germinate cannabis seeds!
With this guide, we would like to explain to you, how to germinate a cannabis seed most successfully. There are three common methods of cannabis seeds to germinate. Properly executed, they will be successful in almost every case.
- Germinate hemp seeds directly in soil
- Activate cannabis seeds with water
- Germinate cannabis seeds in damp cloths
So that cannabis seeds can be germinated under optimal conditions, in all three breeding types, some basic rules have to be considered. Before we describe the methods exactly, we first want to talk about these basics; The first golden rule is for example, not to treat cannabis seeds with bare hands to avoid the chance of contamination with bacteria or fungus. We strongly recommend the use of clean gloves and some disinfected tweezers!
Germinate weed seeds – The quality of the water:
The water temperature should be around 20 degrees and have good quality. The quality of the water can be tested with a PH meter and an EC meter. Recommendation: Osmosis water or drinking water very debil (with little salts and mineral arm).
The ideal substrate to germinate weed seeds:
You can work with different substrates. The most common are earth (light mix), coco and rock wool. Even with the substrates, the soil and ambient temperature should be right. A light mix is specially adapted to sensitive plants such as hemp. Most mixtures contain nutrients and minerals for a few weeks, which the young plant absorbs when it needs them.
For Coco substrate, before working with it, you should test the EC content, as most Coco substrates have a very high value. To lower the value, wash the Coco once with mineral water (osmosis water).
Breeding for coco and rock wool is also referred to as hydroponic cultivation, which means that significantly more air circulation at the roots is created. But the nutrients that are then fed to his plants are more directly absorbed by them. The risk of over or under-fertilization is greater but also the expected yield. Breeding on hydroponics is what gardeners with more experience.
Required air, light, and temperature for germination:
In order not to endanger the germination capacity of the seed, it should be stored in a dark and cool place (6 ° – 10°).
Before the seed is germinated, it must not be exposed to light and the air temperature should not be below 20° C (68° F) nor exceed 30° C (86° F). Maintaining a temperature around 25°C (77° F) is ideal. For outdoor cultivation, it’s recommended to germinate indoors, letting the seedlings grow for a few weeks, and don’t set plants outside too early.
Method 1. – Germinate hemp seeds in soil
- Prepare material (fill small flowerpots with soil).
- Lightly moisten the potting soil with good water. (Too much moisture = mold and fungal danger).
- Place the seeds in a 0.5cm recess in the center of the pot. Make sure that the seed is transverse and not upright, this can affect the germination rate. Nature has not shaped the seed without reason oval. If you set the seed transverse, it will easily position itself properly in the soil after germination! When you work with jiffies it works something similar. The jiffy is only soaked in water until it swells apart, then the water is expressed again without crushing it until residual moisture is over. At Jiffy, the factory usually prepares a slight depression for the seed.
- Lightly cover the seed with soil so that no light can shine directly on the seed. Also with the jiffi one covers the seeds with a little material. Wet but not wet! Now pour no more that could flush the seed back up and the amount of water is also difficult to control.
- In case of too little moisture, we recommend wetting the plant with a spray bottle.
- Now put the plant in a safe place and depending on the variety and genetics can be expected in the next 36 to 72 hours with a first result. In some cases, it can take up to 6 days.
Method 2. Germinate cannabis seeds in a paper towel.
- For preparation, we gonna need two plates, some sheets of kitchen roll, good quality water as described above, and our seeds.
- Put two sheets of kitchen paper on one of the plates and moisten them with water.
- Put your seeds on the damp cloth and put two more kitchen towels over it.
- Moisten also the upper cloths. Runoff excess water that the wipes are only slightly saturated.
- Put the second plate on the other plate like a shell.
- Store in a dark place and check daily that do not dry out the kitchen towels and of course to see if the seedlings are already broken. Once it is germinated, a small white shoot comes from one side. Now the time has come, the seed can be placed in the substrate of your choice. Carefully remove the seeds with tweezers from the cloths and carefully place them diagonally with the small germ downwards into a prepared hole. Only so deep that the seed is slightly covered with soil (max 5mm).
7. Wait, wait, wait and then be happy.
Method 3. Germinate cannabis seeds in a cup of water
This method is particularly suitable for activating seeds that have been stored for a long time
The addition of hydrogen peroxide is suitable for softening the husk of the hemp seed. About 3 – 5 drops per 100 ml of water are sufficient.
- Prepare a cup of water at a temperature of about 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Put the seeds into the water for 12 hours.
- Prepare to plant the seed in a small flower pot. Exactly as we described in method 1, under point 3.
- After planting, cover the seed with the substrate and moisten again with water.
- After about 2 – 3 days, the germ should gradually see daylight.
Cannabis seeds do not germinate? These are the most common mistakes:
- The pH of the water is too high or too low. Regardless of the method used to germinate the cannabis seeds, the pH should always be between 5.5 and 6.5.
- The EC value of the water is too high, it should be below 0.8.
- The water temperature was ignored, it should be between 20 ° and 22 ° celsius.
- If you let the hemp seeds germinate into soil, it may be that too much water was used, the soil was fertilized too much, or that the seed was pushed too deep into the soil, or was placed upside down.
- The seeds were exposed to strong temperature differences during transport.
This information is only of interest to customers who live in a country where cultivating and cultivating cannabis seeds is not a violation of the law.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The germination phase is an incredibly vulnerable moment for cannabis seeds. Therefore, Do not — we repeat — do 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
- Heat mat (optional)
Now that you’ve gathered the necessary supplies let’s get crackin‘.
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.
Label the dinner plate with the name of the cannabis strain of choice.
Place up to 10-seeds per plate.
You must make sure that a minimum of 1-inch adequately separates the seeds.
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.
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
- pH meter and pH up or down
- Heat mat (optional)
First and foremost, place the rooting cubes in the rooting tray. If you decide to use a heat mat, place the tray on top.
Next, label each rooting cube or tray with the appropriate name of each cannabis strain.
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.
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.
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.