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how to germinate marijuana

Sexing marijuana plants can be a time-consuming process, and if you don’t catch males, there is a risk that even one males can pollinate your entire crop, causing all of your female weed plants to produce seeds.

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

Pros and cons of using cannabis clones

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

Ask yourself a few questions to decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.

To get the buds found in medical and recreational stores, female cannabis plants are grown in an environment without males—or the males are removed from the area before they release pollen—so the females don’t create seeds. Females can then focus their energies on producing buds and not seeds—this high-potency marijuana is traditionally known as “sinsemilla,” meaning “seedless.”

Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.

Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds. The soil protects the fragile roots from any interference, and soil is, after all, where a cannabis plant would grow in the wild.

Monitor your soil every day and keep it moist. Within four to seven days, you should see tiny stems sprouting from the soil.

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Gently water the soil with a spray bottle and situate your pots under a fluorescent lamp. Keep seeds away from the windowsill, as the temperature is too volatile for germination. In general, you’ll want to keep the temperature in the range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whether you’re planning an indoor cultivation or outdoor grow, it’s best to germinate your seeds indoors. It’s easier to maintain proper temperature, light exposure, and moisture inside, and you can protect your seeds from the elements. Indoor germination, whether using soil or paper towels, will ensure your cannabis seeds have the best chance for survival.

So, you’ve decided to grow your own cannabis plants. You purchased a pack of seeds, assembled cultivation materials, cleared a space in your garden, and are ready to grow your first cannabis crop . With everything in hand, it’s time to begin the very first step of cannabis cultivation : germinating seeds.

Germination is the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Some seeds have a very hard outer shell (testa) and are difficult to germinate. Such testy cases can be softened or scarified to allow water to penetrate. To scarify, line a matchbox with a piece of fine-grain sandpaper or emery board. Put the seeds in the matchbox and shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the seeds and make sure they have been scuffed a bit. Just a little scuffing will allow water to enter and set germination in motion.

3) Drain the water from the dinner plate by tipping it to the side.

Watering Issues

Other Tips for Germinating Cannabis Seeds

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.

2) Close seeds inside the matchbox.

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

The gardening season is booming in North America, and it’s high time to start some tiny seeds that can grow into potent plants, says Jorge Cervantes, veteran marijuana cultivator and author of “The Cannabis Encyclopedia”.