Growing your own weed takes time and energy, but when you obtain your first harvest, you’ll know how rewarding it is. Growing weed isn’t hard science, I figure this is a common newb question and I am a newb to this so this is the place for me…. I pre-soaked 6 old ass bag seed in a mild pHed epsom +… Did your cannabis plant just die for no apparent reason? Frustrating, isn’t it? There is a whole range of reasons why this might have happened and in
How Long Does It Take for Marijuana Seeds to Sprout?
Growing your own weed takes time and energy, but when you obtain your first harvest, you’ll know how rewarding it is. Growing weed isn’t hard science, especially if you have previous experience with growing plants, so if you learn the basics the rest will quickly follow.
This article focuses on the germination process of growing weed, and the most common germination methods, as well as some tips for success. Whether you’ve chosen indica or sativa, or regular or autoflowering seeds, germination is crucial to the plant’s growth process and the start of its lifecycle, so keep on reading for some helpful tips and information.
How Do Weed Seeds Work?
Weed seeds are the small oval-shaped fruits of the cannabis plant. They’re covered in a subtle membrane, albumen, which keeps the center of the seed healthy until it’s time for germination. At the center of the seed you can find the embryo from which the new plant grows from. This embryo contains the plant’s genetic code and is the place from where the taproot starts forming.
Similar to other plant seeds, cannabis seeds are the fruit of the pollinated flowers of female weed plants that don’t contain any psychoactive effects. However, they can be consumed as food since they’re the source of a lot of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial proteins.
Pros and Cons of Using Cannabis Seeds
When it comes to cannabis cultivation, germinating cannabis seeds is one of the methods you can choose. This method of cultivation has a lot of benefits, but also a few downsides.
Some of the benefits of cultivating marijuana seeds include:
- The presence of the taproot from the germinating seeds provides more support in the initial growth stages of the cannabis plant.
- You don’t inherit pests from the mother plant.
- As a result of the expansion of the cannabis market, you can choose from a huge variety of high-quality seeds from a lot of seed banks all over the world.
- Seeds can be stored for a long time without going bad and still germinate.
On the other hand, the downsides when using cannabis seeds include:
- Having to wait until the plant reaches the flowering stage in order to differentiate whether it’s a male or a female plant.
- Seeds can take a while before they pop (germinate).
- Germinating seeds is harder for newbie growers since it requires more skill.
Cannabis Seeds vs. Clones
Compared to cannabis seeds, cannabis clones are an example of asexual propagation, or replicating from a single parent. The cutting is taken from a stable mother plant and is grown into a genetically stable ang genetically identical plant under the right conditions. The benefits of using clones for weed cultivation include:
- Ensuring that the gender of the new plant is female.
- Knowing which traits your plant will have.
- The cultivation process is several weeks faster compared to a seed that needs to sprout.
- The clone is less delicate than the seed is at the beginning.
- Growing clones is easier since you only need to “plug and play”, so beginners will find this process easier.
How Are Marijuana Seeds Grown?
You can grow marijuana seeds both inside and outside, depending on the conditions, space, and resources available. Generally, growing marijuana indoors requires a dedicated space and equipment, like fans, grow lights, and heating pads. This method is more private and gives you better control, but at the same time, it’s more expensive and demanding. Growing outdoors is the easiest and cheapest way to grow, provided that there’s enough sunlight – at least 6 hours of light daily. The downside is that you’ll be limited to the growing season even though outdoor marijuana yields a lot more weed because the plants grow bigger. If growing outdoors isn’t an option for you, or you want to grow all year long, you can always invest in some quality lights.
Marijuana plants usually start out as a seed, but some growers use clones as well. Basically, a clone is a cut-off from a plant that’s used to grow another plant. Growing weed from seeds is a little more convenient, especially if it’s your first time growing weed, plus, seeds give a stronger plant.
Before the seeds turn into a beautiful marijuana plant, they need to be prepped for transplanting, or in other words, they need to germinate.
What Is Seed Germination?
Seed germination is the process when a plant starts sprouting from seed and continues growing from there. During the germination process, the food reserves present within the seed are converted into sugars that the plant uses to increase in size, causing its root to start breaking through the shell. This is the first sign that they have germinated.
Once emerged, the root is crucial to the plant’s survival as it provides the necessary nutrients from the environment. After this process, the germinated seeds are ready to be planted in the growing medium of your choice.
The simplest and most common one is soil, but in recent years, hydroponics are also becoming popular – Rockwool cubes and coco, especially. The downside of these growing mediums is that you need to be well-versed in pH levels and maintain the optimal pH and nutritional status of your plant at all times.
Germinating Your Cannabis Seeds
There are three most common germination methods.
Soaking Cannabis Seeds in a Glass of Water
This is the simplest method and it’s especially helpful for older seeds as it helps to wake them up, or even seeds with hard shells. The process is pretty straightforward: you need to fill the glass with lukewarm water and soak the seeds. At first, they should float in the water, and sink to the bottom after a few hours have passed. If some of the seeds don’t sink, you can try pushing them gently to the bottom.
After you’ve soaked the seeds, put the cup of water in a dark and warm place, and leave them for 36 hours at most. The seeds that have started sprouting will have a tiny white root sticking out. If, after 36 hours some seeds have no signs of sprouting, we recommend you put them in a warm and moist place to encourage the germination process.
The Paper Towel Method
This method is probably the most popular one among weed growers. You’ll need a kitchen paper towel and two plates. We recommend you use a nonporous paper towel (usually the cheaper brands), as this will retain moisture for longer. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide:
- Moisten two sheets of paper towel and put them on one of the plates;
- Carefully place the cannabis seeds over the wet paper towels;
- Fold the damp paper towels over so that the seeds are well covered;
- Cover with the other plate to create a dark space, but make sure to leave some room for oxygen, i.e. don’t align the plates perfectly;
- Check on the seeds often, about every 5-8 hours, and if you notice that the paper towels have dried even a little, spray them immediately to maintain the moisture.
If all goes well, the seeds should take 24 hours to start sprouting, but if they haven’t (this might happen with old seeds), leave them for up to 72 hours and check on them constantly so they don’t run out of moisture. With this method, you’ll need to be patient, as some seeds just need a little more time.
Germinating Seeds in Potting Soil
You can also mimic nature’s way by germinating marijuana seeds directly in a growing medium. This method allows the seeds to sprout in potting soil and continue living there without the need for transplanting. The upside of this method is that the marijuana seedlings will get used to its home environment from the beginning and it’ll be easier to thrive.
To do this, you need to put the seed about ½ inch deep in moist (not wet) soil. Put some soil over the hole to cover it and press lightly. The seed will germinate under the surface and, in about 4 to 10 days, it should slowly spring to the surface.
So, How Long Until They Germinate?
As you can see, the germination of cannabis seeds depends entirely on the type of seed and the chosen method. A rule of thumb is that it takes approximately 24-48 hours for the seeds to start sprouting, however, there can be some exceptions to this rule, of course. Just remember that moisture and warmth are very important and remember to check on the seeds often.
What Do Marijuana Seeds Need for the Germination Process?
Seeds need the ideal environment to break through and start germinating. Seeing as this process is one of the most important steps in growing your marijuana plants, here’s what you need for achieving the best germination rates:
- High moisture levels – your cannabis seeds need a lot of moisture (about 80%) to help them expand, however, be careful not to add too much water, and always make sure you use clean tap water;
- Warm temperatures – the marijuana plant is a warm-season plant that thrives in springtime, so ideally, you should put the cannabis seeds in a warm place and maintain the temperature between 68°-72° Fahrenheit or 20°-22° Celsius;
- Minimal interference – you’ll need to avoid touching the germinating seeds while they’re going through the process because the taproots (cotyledons) are very fragile and prone to breaking. If you must handle them, wash your hands first, or use clean gloves.
Remember that when the seeds are healthy, they will respond well to this basic setup and you won’t need to do or add anything extra to help your cannabis plants grow.
A Few Don’ts for Successful Marijuana Seed Germination
Even though seed germination is a relatively straightforward process, knowing a thing or two beforehand can help you avoid making mistakes and make the most of your seeds.
- Don’t let the germination container dry out. Moisture is very important to kickstart the process, but maintaining the moisture is even more important. Whichever method you choose to germinate the seeds, we recommend you check up on them daily to ensure that there is enough moisture. This especially applies when you use a heat source to achieve warmth as it may cause the water to evaporate faster than normal.
- Don’t leave the seeds to germinate for too long. This means that you shouldn’t wait for the taproots to grow very large, as they will be very delicate and make the subsequent transplant more difficult for you. Plus, leaving them for too long means that they’ll be exposed to air which puts them in danger of oxidation and further damage. Therefore, make sure they’re about ½ -1 inch long at most.
- Don’t plant the seeds too shallow or deep. This is a common mistake that weed growers make, but it’s easy to be avoided. When you plant the seeds too deep, the seedling won’t get enough air and it may suffocate deep beneath the surface. On the other hand, if you sow the seeds too close to the surface, it will result in weak and underdeveloped stems. Your best bet is to plant the seeds at about ½ inch depth.
- Don’t germinate seeds in the same container. Cannabis seeds need plenty of room to grow, so if you plant several in the same pot, they will compete for light, nutrients, and space, resulting in little branching and weaker roots. This will, in turn, affect the quality of your plant. So, unless the container is big enough, you should give the seeds enough room to thrive.
So, How Long Does It Take for Marijuana Seeds to Sprout?
Seed germination is an essential step in the process of growing your own weed. The average time for marijuana seeds to germinate mostly depends on the type of seeds and the germination method. However, the usual time frame is between 24-48 hours. The most important elements that support seed germination together are warmth, moisture, and peace. Finally, having patience and being diligent will help you achieve the best results. And if you’re looking for more info on marijuana grow times, check out our post talking about how long does weed take to grow.
How long for pre-germed seeds to break soil.
I figure this is a common newb question and I am a newb to this so this is the place for me.
I pre-soaked 6 old ass bag seed in a mild pHed epsom + superthrive 000ppm RO/DI solution last Wednesday at a constant temp of 85deg F for 24 hours. Then placed them in paper towel damped with the same solution and kept them at the same 85deg. 4 of the 6 cracked, which surprised the shit out of me considering I have not the foggiest how old the seeds are other than they are at least 2 years old and were not kept in the best conditions. This last Sunday I planted the popped beans in a screened 50/50 peat & composted steer manure mix which I then cut 50/50 with perlite. I mix my soil in 15 gallon batches and to that I add 1/4 cup agricultural gypsum,1/4 cup epsom salt, 1 cup blood meal, 1 cup cotton seed meal, 1 cup kelp meal, 2 cups fish bone meal and 2 cups rock dust. This is my standard tomato and pepper mix and it’s never failed me before. I set the seeds in a < 1/4" depression misted until damp with pHed RO/DI, covered with the soil mix and then misted heavily, but not soaked. The 4 starter pots were then place in a humidity dome and have been kept in the dark at a constant temp of 82deg F since. I've misted the soil once a day since. This is also my standard procedure starting my peppers and maters and it is highly successful for them. Not one seed has broken the soil yet. I figure with each bean cracking and showing from 1/8" to 1/4" of tap root that they are viable seeds. Am I being an impatient cook watching his water waiting for it to boil so to speak and need to just be patient?? Or have I screwed up somehow from the get go??
This is my first go at growing the sweet sweet herb. But I’ve been organic gardening fruits and veggies from seed for over a decade. I’m psyched to get these babies in my cabinet. Just posting here for input and to maybe put my mind at ease a little while I wait. I haven’t had this kind of anxiety since waiting in the doc’s office for my vasectomy. odd how a growing a simple plant can wind me up so much. In the end if I dicked the bag seed up. no big loss. I am going to do a few grows with the old seed I have left to get a couple grows under my belt before I pop the seed I paid for.
How to prevent the death of cannabis seeds and seedlings
Every grower, almost without exception, will have occasionally suffered the death of a plant during cultivation, just when it seemed that everything was going along nicely. In this article, we’ll focus on the main reasons why seeds may not germinate properly, or why seedlings may end up dead in the first weeks of life.
Seeds dying before germination
Cannabis seeds can die even before we start to grow them, in which case, when the grower comes to germinate them, they won’t open up and sprout at all.
The seeds of the cannabis plant, like many other types of seeds, must always be kept in the correct conditions, especially if you want to save the leftover seeds for later use and ensure that they germinate well in the future.
The same goes for unopened whole packs of seeds that have been purchased to store for later use. Sometimes, certain varieties are in high demand and there is limited stock, so the more astute growers will make sure they grab a few packs to keep in the vault until they find the time to germinate the cannabis seeds.
Cannabis seeds must be stored in the correct conditions
What to do with leftover seeds or unopened seed packs
Cannabis seeds need very low relative humidity and relatively low temperature for their proper storage, so the best plan is to keep them in a “no frost” refrigerator, in which both the humidity and temperature are maintained at very low levels for better conservation of food.
If we want to keep a seed package that’s still sealed, simply put the whole unopened pack into the fridge. The best place for its conservation is usually the small shelf where the eggs or butter are kept, although really any part of the fridge is ideal for storage.
If we want to save the leftover seeds from a pack for later use, we recommend storing them in the original Eppendorf tube or container used by the bank. In the original packaging, these Eppendorf tubes hold the seeds and usually also contain a few small silica gel balls, included to maintain very low humidity (10 to 20%) and help to ensure that the seed does not lose any germination viability.
If, however, we leave the seeds for a long period of time in any corner of the house it is possible that over time their viability to germinate will decrease, and when we plant them they may take a long time to germinate or indeed not germinate at all. it is also important to protect them from sunlight.
So if you wish to save the seeds in the best conditions, always keep them in the refrigerator, well protected from air, light and moisture.
How do we store leftover seeds to grow at a later date?
Death during the germination of cannabis seeds
Death during the germination of cannabis seeds is one of the most frequent failures suffered by every grower over the course of his or her cultivation career. There are several possible reasons that can lead to the seeds dying before they even open and begin to grow, which we’ll examine here.
Not all seeds have the same resistance to the errors that may occur during the germination process. Just as not all siblings are not all equal, neither are all seeds. By this, we mean that in the case of one seed germinating and the rest of them not doing so, it doesn’t necessarily mean that those that didn’t germinate were not strong or resistant, but simply that they were less so than the one that did germinate. If this occurs, we must ask ourselves why they did not germinate and look for any possible failings in the process.
Death by drowning the seed during germination
We start from the basic premise that the seeds require moisture, oxygen and a suitable temperature for germination; If one of the three aspects is not taken into account, it is quite likely that the seeds won’t end up germinating.
Putting the cannabis seeds in a glass of water and waiting 24 to 48 hours for their germination can be a fatal error for them. Re-hydrating the seeds in water is a good idea as long as they are not out of contact with the air for long, as they will be deprived of oxygen and most of the time they will end up dying; so if we use this method, we only leave them to re-to hydrate in water for a few minutes, although, preferably we will avoid any previous soaking or re-hydration (which in any case is not necessary).
We must maintain suitable levels of humidity for germination
The reason for this is that tap water contains chlorine, which sterilises the water to make it suitable for domestic use. However, this chlorine disappears by evaporation after a few hours, so if the water then gets contaminated, the seed can be attacked by any number of pathogens and eventually die. This example also illustrates why we must always touch the seeds with clean hands; If the seeds are handled with dirty fingers, it can lead a fungal or bacterial infection to contaminate them and severely compromise their development.
The same can happen in other germination media such as jiffy plugs, where the most common mistake is usually not draining away the excess water after re-hydrating the compressed peat. To this error, we can add that of burying the seed at more than twice its own depth, in which case it may not emerge despite having germinated perfectly well, but instead, simply end up rotting due to excess water and lack of oxygen. This error is also frequent in growers who germinate directly in the soil because when they first irrigate, the seed can be washed down into the soil resulting in them being buried too deeply, which makes it difficult for the seedling to reach the surface. It is always better to wet the substrate first, before sowing any seeds.
If you want to sow the seed directly into the soil and do it properly, when growing outdoors you must also act to prevent seed predators. Ants, birds, and many other animals or insects are another common cause of seed failure during germination. In the case of ants, they eat the small, delicate root, leaving the plant unable to develop and condemning it to imminent death.
Placing the seeds between moist serviettes/paper towels is one of the best germination methods for beginner growers. Since you can easily see if the seed has taken root or not. But we must also bear in mind that the germination medium, the kitchen paper, is made of cellulose, meaning it is an organic material that will decompose and rot, just like any product of this type.
Planting the germinated seed is also a crucial moment
It is, therefore, obligatory to change the napkins every day and a half, more or less, to avoid the seeds being contaminated by the pathogens that can appear as the napkins begin to rot. For this reason, we recommend placing the napkins in a deep plate and covering it with another one, leaving a small gap between the two so that air can enter, oxygenate the microclimate that is created during the germination of the seeds and avoiding them rotting.
Seeds dying due to lack of moisture
Just as excess water is one of the most common causes of germination problems, the lack of moisture is equally detrimental to the process.
If outdoor temperatures are around 20 to 24ºC, then we shouldn’t need do much more than start the seeds to germinate and wait for them to open, following the precautions already discussed. But in case of having warmer or cooler temperatures, we must act to raise or lower the environmental temperature for optimal germination, and find the best location for germination to be successful.
If it is winter, the plates holding the seeds are often placed on top of a low heat source to raise the temperature. We must, however, be careful: if this heat source emits hot air, the paper towels will dry out and the seeds will run out of moisture, affecting germination. If you realise this in time, you can re-hydrate the seeds and they will usually recover from and continue to germinate, although it is also possible that there will be consequences that may affect the subsequent development of the plant during its cultivation.
Not long after sowing the seed, we will see our little plant emerge from the soil
If we haven’t noticed soon enough that the seeds have been left without moisture, we can assume that they will have dried up completely, with their consequent death, and this is even more likely if the seeds had already opened up to show the root. This can also happen very easily if we germinate during summer when temperatures are high and humidity is usually very low compared to other times of the year.
Death of the plants during the growth period
The start of the growth period is a very important stage in a plant’s life, so several aspects must be taken into account so that it does not die of any of a number of causes.
One of the most frequent problems is root rot due to excess irrigation and lack of oxygen in the substrate. Up till now, this has been one of the most common causes of plant death during the growth period, especially with beginner gardeners who lack previous cultivation experience. In addition, the likelihood of this happening increases considerably in crops with auto-flowering varieties; we’ll explain what to do here.
When the plant emerges from the substrate, leaving behind its germination stage, it is crucial to take care with any excess water and the lack of humidity in its aerial parts such as leaves, stems and branches.
The proper conditions guarantee good germinación
When the plant is young and only has a very small root, its needs are few, it feeds and drinks very little. If we saturate the substrate with too much water, apart from halting the growth of the root (leading to little or no growth in the aerial parts), it creates the ideal conditions for the small roots to slowly rot. If the plant loses a part or all of its tiny root system in its first stage of life, it is almost guaranteed that it will die within a few days.
If we use a small 0.5L to 1L plant pot for the first part of vegetative growth, before transplanting them to a bigger pot, we will be covering our backs in case of any excess of irrigation, since the substrate will dry out again much faster than in larger pots. For this reason, this issue is very common for novice growers who are cultivating auto-flowering cannabis plants, where the use of 20L pots is recommended from the start.
It is often said that you must irrigate with an appropriate amount of water and nutrients for the size of the plant. As this is often complicated to carry out, as a rough guide we can irrigate the plants with an amount not more than 10 or 20% of the plant pot’s capacity. So, if they are 1L pots we will water from 100 to 200ml as long as it is not an auto-flowering plant.
If the plan is to grow automatic varieties, then during the first two weeks we water with 100 to 350ml per irrigation, every 1 or 2 days. Remember that the substrate must maintain a minimum of humidity to allow the plant to feed and continue to develop normally. If it is raining and the plants are outdoors, it’s a good idea to move or cover them, to prevent the substrate from getting soaked, which could easily lead to root zone problems.
The first stages of growth survived with success!
We hope that this information will be useful and help to stop your seeds and seedlings dying. Don’t hesitate to leave any comments or questions, we’ll be pleased to help.
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.