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Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.

One way to avoid sexing plants is to buy feminized seeds (more below), which ensures every seed you plant will be a bud-producing female.

Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take a while, but generally, seeds should germinate in 3-10 days. If it’s been two weeks and a seed hasn’t sprouted, it’s probably a dud and won’t sprout.

Time to germinate

For the typical homegrower, it may be easier to obtain cannabis seeds rather than clones. Growing from seed can produce a stronger plant with more solid genetics.

Many marijuana growers start autoflowers early in the season, and at a different time than a regular crop, so keep the season and climate in mind when growing and harvesting—your plants still need warmth to grow, and rain can give them bud rot. Consider growing in a greenhouse to protect them.

Take two of the paper towels and place them on a plate. Then, place the marijuana seeds at least an inch apart from each other and cover them with the remaining two water-soaked paper towels.

As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.

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

1) Soak seeds overnight in a glass of plain water. They may float on the surface at first but should sink to the bottom in a few minutes. Make sure seeds get good and wet so that water penetrates the outer shell and growth is activated. Do not let seeds soak for more than 24 hours, or they might get too wet, suffer oxygen deprivation and subsequently rot.

Over and under-watering are the biggest obstacles most gardeners face when germinating seeds and growing seedlings. Keep the soil uniformly moist but not waterlogged. Do not let the growing medium’s surface dry for long. Setting root cubes or planting flats on a grate allows good drainage.

Other Tips for Germinating Cannabis Seeds

Jorge Cervantes shares his process for germinating cannabis seeds into healthy sprouts.

6) In a few days, seeds will sprout. Once the germinating cannabis seeds have sprouted and each seed’s white rootlet is visible, use tweezers to carefully pick up the fragile, germinated seeds and plant them. Do not wait for the white rootlets to grow more than 0.25 inches (1 cm) before planting, or growth could slow. Plant each germinated seed with the white root tip pointing downward. Take care not to expose the tender rootlet to prolonged light and air. Cover germinated seeds with 0.25 to 0.5 inches (1-2 cm) of fine, moist planting medium.

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.

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