Grow Weed Starting From Seed
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
Growing your own cannabis plant starting from seed is a remarkable journey. Understanding the biology of the plant is one thing, but comprehending how a little miracle bean can turn into a gigantic tree producing flowers that can affect your body and mind is nothing short of an evolutionary miracle. Or rather a co-evolutionary story of plant and human.
Start Growing Weed From Seed
Our favorite thing about growing your own weed starting from a seed , rather than a clone, is that you get to see the full life cycle and enjoy a plant that is unique, just like you. An entirely new genetic makeup will enter the world for the first time, and if you’re lucky, something remarkable might be born.
Raising a cannabis seedling , however, requires some patience, gentle hands, and a smidgen of luck. Thankfully pot seeds are remarkably vigorous because they are what’s called endosperm seeds , which means they have almost pre-formed cotyledon leaves before you even add water. Below is a brief guide on the techniques we have found yield the most success when starting seeds and raising your seedling to a healthy plant ready for transplanting. And, don’t forget, a Pot for Pot’s Complete Grow Kits take the guesswork out so you always wind up with a splendid harvest!
1) Germinating Your Cannabis Seed
To accelerate germination, soak your seed in a small container with lukewarm water and place it in a dark and warm place (like a kitchen cabinet) for 12-24 hours, but no longer. By drenching the seed, it absorbs the water thoroughly, activating the germination process on a physical and chemical level. Doing this helps to loosen the shell as it becomes a little softer making it easier for the embryo to crack it open. When your seed sinks to the bottom, it is ready to be planted, and sometimes the seed will pop out a small taproot. A seed can still be planted though if it does not sink or put out a taproot. When a seed pops a taproot (often called a tail), it becomes more vulnerable and it is better to plant it before this root emerges.
2) Planting Your Weed Seed
We see best results with seedling pellets that are made of a mix of compressed peat moss and coco husk. To expand, soak it in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Using warmer, lukewarm water, instead of cold water, will speed up the time the pellet takes to fully expand. Once your seedling pellet has absorbed enough water and has expanded to its maximum size, gently squeeze to remove excess water. The growing medium should be like a damp sponge that would not leave streaks on the table. Dig a small hole about 1/4 inch deep for your seed. Use a spoon to lift the seed out of its bath. If it has popped out a taproot be careful not to damage it. Gently place the seed into the hole and lightly cover it with dirt from the pellet. Now that you have started the germination process, your seedling will come above ground within two weeks. The older the seed, the longer it takes for it to germinate.
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3) Weed Seedling Sprouts
Perhaps the most exciting stage, your plant baby will come above ground in 1-2 weeks, with the average popping up in 5 to 7 days after planting. As your seedling comes above the soil, its shell might take a few days to fall off. It’s best to leave it alone, nature has the job covered. If it does not come above ground after about two weeks, the chance of success is dramatically reduced, and it’s best to try again. Even the best seeds have an 85% germination rate. When your seedling comes above ground, it is going to want to see a direct light source.
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4) Lighting for Your Cannabis Seedling
Marijuana seedlings require a medium amount of light — enough to get energy to grow, but not too much light that to get burned. Leaving your seedling in direct sunlight will cause the leaves to curl, while too little light will cause the seedling to stretch. If growing outside, seedlings want to see a direct light source to stop them stretching. If inside, a sunny windowsill with more than half a day of sunlight works wonders. Otherwise, 24 to 30 inches from a grow light is an excellent supplement. Your seedling should not stretch more than 6 inches at most.
5) Watering Your Cannabis Seedling
For cannabis plants young and old, it’s best to use bottled, distilled, or filtered water as these are without chlorine. If using tap water, let it sit for 48 to 96 hours before watering to dissipate any chlorine. Chlorine can also be eliminated by boiling for 20 minutes. Under normal conditions, after soaking your seedling pellet, it should contain all the moisture your plant needs before it comes above ground. As it grows, it will only need about a shot glass worth of water at most per week to keep the medium damp. Seedlings don’t drink a lot of water, which makes sense given their size. Your plant will do better in a growing medium which is damp but not soaking wet. Overwatering is just as deadly as drying out!
Damping off happens when the seedling is in too moist of an environment. The young plant’s immune system is not strong enough to ward off a fungus that results in the plant rotting from the bottom of the stem. When this happens, the plant will bend over and die if not treated. To help fight the infection, lightly spray a 0.5% solution of hydrogen peroxide around the affected area. However, the best option is to avoid this by not exposing your seedling to too much moisture.
6) First Cannabis Seedling Leaves & Hardening Off
The first set of leaves to come above ground are called the cotyledons . These little leaves are packed with energy and will grow to about 1/4 in in size before eventually falling off. Your second leaves to emerge will be single blades and will be serrated, looking like regular pot leaves.
They will become several inches in length. During their growth your first actual set of leaves will appear. These are typically three blades. Around this time is when your plant is “hardening off”. You will notice that the stem will start to develop a thicker skin and harden off. As the leaves of the plant get bigger, they can gradually handle more sunlight, so move it into more direct light– the more light the better!
7) Transplanting Cannabis Seedlings
About 10 days after germination, when the baby cannabis plant has hardened off, roots will start emerging from the bottom of your seedling pellet and the plant is ready to be transplanted into a bigger pot. Be very careful not to damage the roots during this stage. Any stress will slow its growth.
Dig a small hole in your bigger pot for the seedling, sprinkle some rooting booster in the bottom of the hole then carefully plant the whole seedling pellet holding your weed baby.
Now bury so the base of its stalk is level with the topsoil. Give it a watering to set the roots in the ground, then hold off watering until you pick up the pot and it feels light in weight.
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8. Separating the Girls from the Boys
At about 4-6 weeks into your plant’s growth , you’ll be able to determine the sex of the plant. You’ll want to separate and dispose of any male plants. This is an important step for growing marijuana because the female plants are more potent and valuable. You also don’t want male plants to compromise the growth of your female plants.
Why Do You Only Want Female Weed Plants?
Only female marijuana plants produce THC buds that are high in potency. You want to make sure your Cannabis plants are all female. If you have a male plant, it can fertilize the other female plants, and they will work to produce seeds instead of flowers and nugs.
It’s essential as a grower to know the difference between a female and a male plant so that you can remove the male plants before they contaminate your crop . Unfortunately, you have a 50/50 chance of getting a male plant when growing a plant from a seed from a nug.
There is a massive market for seeds that will only grow into female plants. But even these seeds are not a 100% guarantee you’re going to get a female plant. To ensure a good crop, you’ll want to germinate and plant many marijuana seeds and then separate the females from the males when the plants begin to show their sexuality.
How to Tell if a Weed Seed is Male or Female
As your plant matures sexually, it will develop between its nodes. Nodes are the area of the plant where the branches connect to the plant’s stalk. The distinguishing characteristics that will help you identify your plant’s gender:
- Male Plants : Small pollen sacs will cluster in the nodes.
- Female Plants : Stigmas will develop in the nodes. The stigmas can catch the pollen of male plants. Stigmas have hair-like veins that will extend from the sacs in the nodes.
- Hermaphrodite Plants : These plants have both the stigmas and pollen sacs in their nodes. These are female plants that develop both sex organs when exposed to a lot of stress.
Once you can identify the sex of your plants, you’ll want to remove the male or hermaphrodite plants because they can negatively affect the harvest of your female plants. That’s why it is crucial to germinate and grow several cannabis plants to this stage to ensure you get at least one healthy female plant.
9) Grow Weed Plant, Grow!
Suddenly, before your very eyes, the plant will transform. She will grow in height and branch out, putting off leaves and a network of branches. It is your job as the grower to meet her needs so that she can reach her full potential. With a good grow kit, this means as much light as possible and lightly watering only when she is thirsty.
This is considered your marijuana plant’s vegetive stage. The goal in this stage is to keep her healthy and allow the plant to grow as big and strong as possible so that she can hold many, many flowers.
Our complete grow kits include everything you need to go from seed to your very own supply of high grade medical cannabis.
Do I Have To Germinate My Marijuana Seeds Before Planting?
I heard that if I don’t, then it would take longer for it to grow? Is this true? What will happen if I just plant it without doing this?
No. it is better to plant them straight into soil. too much can go wrong between germination and planting..but if you do it all at once then you can’t have any of those issues.
Some people use a wet paper towel, and I can say I have done this myself more than a few times. but there are too many times that I let the paper towel get too dry, or it gets too hot, Or the seed sprouts and I rip it to pieces before I can get it in the ground. or when you go to pull it off the paper towel it rips the teeny tiny new little root. The only issue with planting the seed straight away is that you can’t check to see what is going on. but after a few days you should see a sprout. if after 4 days I don’t have a sprout, I gently try to dig around the baby plant and see what is going on. The only issues with soil planting is that sometimes you might plant the seed too deep, in which case you will know if after 4 days you have no sprout, because when you go looking for it. you might find a tiny sick looking little seedling just stuck under the soil, in which case you just move it up a little, no harm as long as you catch it before it is too late. or you plant the seed too shallow and it sprouts out of the ground with it’s seed shell still stuck on. which is really easy to fix as well. just wet it really well adn then gently remove the stuck shell, or just leave it alone. I am a shell picker though. also if the seed shell is still on you can bury it a little more. the seed shell gets soft when it is wet and then the plant can just split it open and go on. but if the seed shell is above ground it dries out and gets hard like the original seed, and sometime the plant can’t make it out..but as long as you keep the seed shell wet it will get pushed off naturally by the plant.
It will take longer to sprout is what you mean, not exactly longer to grow. Planting right into soil would be like how nature intended. Add a little heat plus keep it moist and it will be the same as if it were growing in the ground outside almost.
Germinating before hand will just eliminate your chance of a dead seed not growing. Plus you risk contaminating your seed if you handle the seed and touch its roots when its thats small. I personally have not seen that case but it was something to keep in mind. Always wash your hands before and after you handle.
I let them soak for an hour in a lite hydrogen peroxide solution then straight to planting in my medium of choice.
It’s your choice you can germ them in a paper towel or just chuck them straight in some peeps pre soak them some don’t it’s all a learning curve
I pitch mine into a shot glass of water for 12-24 hours & then straight into the dirt.
Works like a charm.
Place seeds in a glass of water for 24 hours then place them in paper towel soak paper towel with water but not to much place paper towle on a teaplate put a bow over then place in a warm area.
Leave for about 6 hours check it has not dryed out wet agian if needed leave for 6 hours repeat until you see the tap root let that get to about 2.5cm long then plant into the soil root pointing down.
Interesting. I just noticed that one of my darker seed has a little “white root” coming out of it. Its really small but I think I will plant it. I just want a small plant with bud on it.
i use the paper towel method
2 small matching plates, fold a paper towel in 1/2 twice (2 folds) dampen paper towel (to make it easier to work with) put seeds in middle and then soak the paper towel, place second plate on top put in a warm spot and within 48 hours you should have some tap roots coming out. i have had a couple seeds take longer than 48 hours but the average is about 24-36 hours. i generally let them sit in the paper towel for ran additional 24 hours after i first see a root, then just take a pen, poke a small hole in the medium and place the seed in the hole and moisten the soil.
the biggest thing is to “moisten” the soail not saturate it, and after you moisten it you shouldnt have to add any water for a while (unless you have some really hot/dry conditions that small seedling will never use all that water) at least 2-4 days you want the soil to dry out a bit so the root has to “search” for water towards the bottom of the container
biggest thing that kills small sprouts/seedlings is death by drowning, either you cause a situation called “damping off” or you just straight up drown them either way dont over water them, they only need the bottom 1/2 of the soil to be moist so its ok if the top layer gets a bit dried out.
good luck, plant more than one if your using reg seeds (i suggest at least 4) so your not setting yourself up to get let down after 4-5 weeks of growing a plant to find out its a male. if your inside get some decent lights, CFL’s are a bit “cheaper” (not really but you can buy a couple at a time so the up front cost is spread out) than a HID light. inadaquet lighting will also set you up for a let down as you will grow a plant for 12 weeks (minimum maybe more) just to get a gram of 1/2 way smokeable herbs
lots of good info and people on this site to use to your advantage just try not to keep asking the same questions a million other people have already asked like “how do i germinate a seed” do a bit of research and when searching go right to the advanced search instead of using the quick search as it yeilds better results.