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Germinating marijuana seeds means “activating” the seed,. which is the first step to start growing your weed (or technically the second step after building your grow room). The seed contains not just the embryo, but also the food that plant will use during its very early stages of life. When exposed to moisture and warmth, the seed will naturally “activate,” and begin using its stored food to develop a taproot and push up from the grow medium. In order to achieve successful germination and rapid early growth, it is crucial to maintain ideal conditions for your germinating seeds.
If you are new to growing cannabis, and would like some extra help germinating your cannabis seeds. Then check out this awesome video from Percys Grow Room. It will take you step by step through the germination process.
Marijuana seed can be obtained from many sources (online and offline), the quality and the and genetic diversity can vary based on where you're getting cannabis seeds from. Online seed banks are your best bet if you’re not located in a region with recreational legalization established.
There are many reliable outlets sell high quality seeds, here is a list of The Best Online Seed Bank for Feminized Seeds that ship to the USA, in the industry. These seed banks have strong reputations and are known for providing high quality genetics.
If it’s your first time growing, it also pays to get feminized seeds. Dealing with identification and removal of males is an additional complication that inexperienced growers can avoid simply by purchasing feminized seeds.
The choice is always up to the grower, but I strongly believe feminized seeds are a justified expensive and recommend them for any new grower.
Once you get your marijuana seeds, you will want to check if they're matured. If you use a good seed bank, like the ones in the list above, then you will most likely receive quality seeds that are ready to be germinated.
Matured marijuana seeds shell tends to be very hard, darker brown or deep tan, with lighter accents (stripes). If they look fresh and green, it means they didn't reach full maturity, they're pretty much useless.
Before you plant the seeds, you need to germinate your cannabis seeds, and to do so, you will need three main things; water, heat, and air, like every living being on earth. There are a few common methods for germinating seeds, and some seed banks provide detailed instructions for how to germinate the seeds you purchase from them. Some banks also provide a guarantee on germination rates, and will provide replacements or refunds, but only when their instructions have been followed.
Although we recognize a number of methods as being successful means to achieve germination, always follow your provider’s instructions when applicable, particularly so that you may take advantage of any guarantees included with your purchase.
Now, how to germinate marijuana seeds; the following method (paper towel germination) is the most common, and one of the most simple. Here is what you need:
And here is the method:
Check your germinating marijuana seeds at least once a day. You will probably need to add more distilled water as they begin to dry out. You don’t need to completely drenched the paper towel, but it should always be damp to the touch. Once the seeds split, you will see a single taproot coming out (see the picture below). You will know that your beloved cannabis seeds are successfully germinated.
Once the tap root is approximately 0.25-0.75 inches (0.6-2.0 cm) it's time to move them into a starter medium (rockwool cube, peat moss plug, etc.) or soil and straight to your grow room.
Related article: How to Build the Perfect Indoor Grow Room (For up to 6 Plants)
Important tips to ensure successful germination for the marijuana seeds:
Related article: Top 7 Online Stores for Marijuana Growing Supplies and Equipment
Due to the limited root system the germinated seeds have, best practice is to plant the germinated seeds in small containers. This will increase the plants' accessibility to oxygen and nutrients by avoiding overwatering.
When plants are initially placed in large pots, they cannot use all of the water and nutrients around them very quickly. This results in damp conditions that facilitate the growth of mold and certain pests. Thus, we prefer to start our seedlings in small containers like solo cups, then transport them to a bigger container when they start developing a larger root system (once they hit the seedling stage).
Here is what you need to do:
Place the small pot(s) in your grow room, and turn the lights on. The seeds technically don't need the light at this point, but they immediately do once they pop out of the soil. Having the light on and waiting for the plant will assist the young plant to develop better and faster. You can leave a fluorescent light close to the surface (a couple of inches away) from the plant since fluorescent lights don't emit a lot of heat, but HID or LED should be at least 24 inches away, if not further. Refer to the light manufacturer’s instructions to see if they provide a recommendation for distance from the canopy at various stages of growth.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind for germinating your seeds:
If you have any questions, and you would like more help with starting your cannabis grow, then join the cannabis growers forum over at Percys Grow Room. They have over 1 thousand members, waiting to help you with your grow.
Just click here, it will take less than a minute, its free, and your plants will thank you for it.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in Jan 2018 and has been revamped and updated as needed for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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