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germinating marijuana seeds

Some varieties of cannabis can produce male parts alongside female flowers on the same plant, especially if exposed to environmental stressors. These plants are known as hermaphrodites, and sometimes they can self-pollinate to create seeds.

One drawback of clones is they need to be taken during the vegetative stage of a plant—flower is too late—so if you have a small setup with only one light, it can be hard to keep clones alive while flowering other plants, because the two need different amounts of light.

How weed clones work

So don’t discount bud because it has a seed or two in it. While not ideal, it could be the origins of the next great weed strain.

This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones or for breeding if you want to create a seed bank of your own.

Also, buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank will give you a sense of what a particular strain will look and smell like, how it will grow, and how much it will yield at harvest.

Lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

When the seedling stems reach two to four inches in height, it’s time to transplant your cannabis into larger pots with more room for roots to spread down and out. After you’ve done this, you’ve successfully germinated your cannabis seeds into proper, young plants.

The downside of water germination is that once they’ve popped, you’ll need to maneuver them into their growing medium manually. This is a delicate process, as germinating seeds are extra fragile, and any harm risks the development of your plants. Make sure to place the seed roots down in the soil when you transfer to a pot.

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The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

To germinate seeds indoors, use any of the methods described above. Within a few days, you’ll have popped seeds ready to transfer to a growing medium.

While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.

First, make sure you use the correct type of soil, either gently fertilized potting soil or a seed starter with a pH level of approximately six (6). The soil contains the right acidity and enough nutrients to strengthen your young cannabis plants for the first two weeks. Be careful not to add more nutrients, or you risk overfeeding and killing your seeds.

Hard Cases

Watering Issues

A shallow flat or planter with a heat pad underneath may require daily watering, while a deep, 1-gallon (3.8 liter) pot will need watering every three days or more. A properly watered flat of rockwool cubes needs water every three to five days when sprouting seeds.

Other Tips for Germinating Cannabis Seeds

2) Remove seeds from the water. Pour water out onto two paper (or cloth) towels on a dinner plate. Fold the towels over the seeds to cover them.

3) Shake matchbox for 10 to 15 seconds to scarify the seeds.

2) Close seeds inside the matchbox.

4) Place the seeds in a warm location (70°F–80°F; 21°C–27°C), making sure they are in darkness. Some gardeners go so far as to set the plate in a vertical position (so taproot grows downward). The seeds can also be set on a grate for drainage and air circulation.