Raising a seedling, however, requires some patience, gentle hands, and a smidgen of luck. Thankfully pot seeds are remarkably vigorous because they are what’s called endosperm seeds, which means they have almost pre-formed cotyledon leaves before you even add water. Below is a brief guide on the techniques we have found yield the most success when starting seeds and raising your seedling to a healthy plant ready for transplanting.
To accelerate germination, you are going to want to soak your seed in a small container with lukewarm water and place it in a dark and warm place for 12-24 hours, but no longer. By drenching the seed, it absorbs the water thoroughly, activating the germination process. Doing this also helps to loosen the shell as it becomes a little softer making it easier for the embryo to crack it open. When your seed sinks to the bottom it is ready to be planted, and sometimes the seed will pop out a small taproot. A seed can still be planted though if it does not sink.
Starting From Seed
For young plants, it’s best to use bottled water as it has no chlorine added. If using tap water, let it sit for 24 hours before watering to dissipate any chlorine. Chlorine can also be eliminated by boiling for 20 minutes. Under normal conditions, after soaking your seedling pellet, it should contain all the moisture your plant needs before it comes above ground. As it grows, it will only need about a shot glass worth of water at most per week to keep the medium damp. Seedlings don’t drink a lot of water, which makes sense given their size. Your plant will do better in a growing medium which is damp. Overwatering is just as deadly as drying out.
Starting from seed is a remarkable journey. Understanding the biology is one thing, but comprehending how a little miracle bean can turn into a gigantic tree that can affect your body and mind is nothing short of an evolutionary miracle. Or rather a co-evolutionary story of plant and human.
We like to use seedling pellets that are made of a mix of compressed peat moss and coco husk. To expand, soak it in water for 10 minutes. Once your seedling pellet has absorbed enough water and has expanded to its maximum size, drain off any excess water. The growing medium should be like a damp sponge that would not leave streaks on the table. Dig a small hole about 1/4 in deep for your seed. Use a spoon to lift the seed out of its bath. If it has popped out a taproot be careful not to damage it. Gently place the seed into the hole and lightly cover it with dirt from the pellet. Now that you have started the germination process, your seedling will come above ground within two weeks. The older the seed, the longer it takes for it to germinate.
Seedlings are very sensitive and do not take kindly to growing mistakes like improper humidity and moisture levels. Both could spell the premature end for your seedlings.
If you really want to reuse your old soil, you need to amend it with fresh nutrients. Before that, you need to make sure that your soil is free of contaminants.
The RQS Starter Kit comes with everything you need to give your cannabis seeds the best and safest start in life. It comes with a propagator and lighting, Easy Start seedling pots, perlite, and beneficial bacteria to encourage germination and growth. It even includes three popular cannabis seeds, so you can start right away! When your seedlings have reached 2–3cm, you can cut up the pots and easily transplant your seedlings into their growing medium.
6. OVERWATERING AND OVERFEEDING
Good soil for cannabis has a light, airy structure, preferably with some perlite mixed in. This ensures adequate drainage and allows roots to grow unhindered. Cannabis won’t do well in soil that is too dense.
Cannabis is generally an easy plant to grow, but this doesn’t mean that mistakes don’t happen. As a matter of fact, even experienced growers get things wrong from time to time. But, by learning about common growing mistakes and how to avoid them, you can look forward to plenty of fat buds waiting for you at harvest time.
A common reason for heat stress is when your grow lights are too close to the plant canopy. If you spot signs of light burn, such as curled, wilted, and brown leaves at the top of your plant, move your lights further away.
If you’re growing outdoors, air circulation shouldn’t be a problem; but then, there are other things to watch out for. For one, you’ll want to protect your plants from thieves. You can do so by planting companion species to hide your crop and mask the smell. You can also select cannabis strains that naturally remain short and hidden from view. Find out more about stealthy outdoor grows in our blog on how to protect your cannabis plants from thieves.
A couple big drawbacks, though: Autoflower strains are known for being less potent. Also, because they are small in stature, they usually don’t produce big yields.
Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.
As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.
Finding a cannabis seed in your stash is not ideal, but we’ve all been there before. Although much less common than it once was, it still happens. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower, or you’ll see one pop, spark, and crackle from the heat of a lit bowl.
If growing outside, some growers prefer to germinate seeds inside because they are delicate in the beginning stages of growth. Indoors, you can give weed seedlings supplemental light to help them along, and then transplant them outside when big enough.