In commercial cannabis production, generally, growers will plant many seeds of one strain and choose the best plant. They will then take clones from that individual plant, which allows for consistent genetics for mass production.
Autoflowers don’t need lots of nutrients because they’re small and don’t spend much time in the vegetative cycle. They won’t need as much veg nutrients—such as nitrogen—but will need more bloom nutrients.
Cannabis seeds vs. clones
Once cannabis seeds are mature, the female plant begins to die, and seeds are either dropped to the ground where they grow into new cannabis plants next spring, or the seeds are harvested for processing into seed oil or food products, or stored so they can be sown in the ground later and become the next generation of plants.
To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds, like a dome.
There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.
Nutrient deficiencies can come from a variety of places. “Hot” potting mixes that contain too many nutrients could cause nutrient toxicity. On the other end of the spectrum, under-watering can cause a deficiency in the key nutrients your plant needs to grow.
Like any plant, seedlings need light in order to grow and thrive. But not all light is created equal. If you want your seedling to grow into a healthy cannabis plant, you need to expose it to the right type of light.
Environmental conditions are essential to growing healthy cannabis seedlings, and some of the most important conditions to control are temperature and humidity.
Know the signs of nutrient deficiencies
But what does that TLC look like? What steps do you need to take to support your cannabis seedlings through the seedling stage and as they grow into mature marijuana plants?
A nutrient deficiency can cause serious issues for your growing plant, so part of proper care is knowing how to spot the signs of a nutrient deficiency.
The seedling stage can be an especially vulnerable time in the growing process. The cannabis seedling is in need of a lot of TLC to grow into a healthy cannabis plant.
The growing process has four key stages: the seed germination stage, the seedling stage, the vegetative stage, and the flowering stage. Once the cannabis seeds germinate and are placed into their growing medium (like a potting mix), they start to root into the soil as the stem grows upward, sprouting two cotyledon leaves, which help the plant absorb light and continue to grow.
When growing autoflowers, we recommend planting them directly in their final pots. Because of their short life cycle, it’s best to avoid putting autoflowering strains through any kind of unnecessary stress, including transplanting. While the exact pot size you use will vary depending on the strain you’re growing and the size of your grow space, most auto growers use pots between 5–15l.
Cannabis seedlings like warm, humid conditions. Unfortunately, pests and diseases also love these conditions. Keeping things extra clean and growing your seedlings in a propagator can help prevent an infestation.
THE RIGHT POTS FOR AUTOFLOWERING CANNABIS SEEDS
When sourcing your seeds, be sure to actively search out the right strain for you; your experience and skill as a grower, budget, grow equipment, preferences in taste and effect, and whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors will determine which strain will yield the best results for you.
If you’re growing feminized seeds, transplanting isn’t as much of an issue since these plants have time to recover from the stress. Using Easy Start germination pots, you can support robust health right from the beginning. You’ll want to transplant your seedlings just before they start outgrowing their starter pots. We typically recommend transplanting once they’ve grown sets of true leaves that spread out to cover the full circumference of their current container.
During the early stages of their lives, cannabis seedlings get all their energy from stores inside the seed. As their roots develop, they can absorb water via their leaves. Once your plants have developed their first sets of true leaves (that is, leaves with at least 5–7 fingers), they are no longer considered seedlings and are officially vegging.