Tips for Germinating Marijuana Seeds
- Line the bottom of a ceramic plate with a few layers of paper towels. Wet the towels and drain off the excess water from the plate.
- Place the seeds on top of the towels. Then, place another layer of towels on top of the seeds and first layer of towels. Wet this layer as well and drain off the excess water again.
- Place another ceramic plate on top of the first to create a “clamshell” with the two plates.
- This will create the perfect environment for the seeds to begin germinating. Make sure the towels stay moist, but are not in standing water.
- Place the plates in a warm area, away from direct light.
- Check the seeds every day.
- Sometime between 24-72 hours after making the clamshell, the seeds will begin to show their white root. Once the root sprouts from the seed, place it root facing down, into your preferred growing medium.
- Cover the seed with about a 1/4 inch of soil, but do not plant the seed too deep, as this will not allow access to light and will kill the seed.
- Make sure to keep the medium moist and do not let it dry out (this will kill the seeds quickly).
- Place a florescent type growing light with a “plant-growing” bulb at 6″ above the seed.
Tips for Growing Marijuana
Proper growing conditions:
- 68-75 ˚F degrees is ideal
- 30-45% humidity is ideal
- Keep the lights on for 18 hours until the seedlings have grown to a size you prefer. (This amount of light replicates the hours of natural sunlight in the early growing season when cannabis grows in the wild.)
- Once the plant is a size you like, switch the light cycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off. This cycle will induce the flowering cycle of the plants. It is extremely important that the 12-hour dark cycle is kept completely dark, otherwise you will end up with seeded plants (due to the interruption of the light cycle).
- The plants will stretch upwards usually between 12-18″ depending on variety, so be aware and decide your ideal plant size based upon this information.
- For the flowering cycle, a high pressure sodium light will work best and should be kept 3′ away from the top of the plants.
- It is imperative that unnecessary stress is avoided when growing seeds. Stress such as too dry, too wet, underfed, light cycle interruptions will cause the seedlings to become males, which will be unwanted in your garden.
- Cannabis is a dry/wet cycle plant. This means that it prefers to dry out a bit, then be watered again, and so on. This does not mean that you want the plant to dry out completely, but do let it dry somewhat and then water it. The quickest way to kill a plant is to over water or underwater. Just try the wet/dry cycle of watering and use your judgement. It will be a learning process and will take some time to master.
Sexing Marijuana Plants
The importance of sexing marijuana plants, or identifying the sex, comes with the consumer demand for buds without seeds—also known as “sinsemilla.”
Sinsemilla is robust cannabis produced by female marijuana plants, intentionally kept seedless to obtain a high resin content. This is done through preventing pollination by simply getting rid of the male plants.
Male cannabis plants do not produce desirable amounts of THC and are full of seeds. These qualities are not wanted by most cannabis consumers. In your pack of F1 seeds, you will find males and females. Beginners might find that using a magnifying glass is helpful while identifying the sex of the plants.
Both male and female cannabis plants begin to produce flowers 10-14 days after the plants are in the flower cycle (12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness). The male flower sites will begin to produce pollen only a few days after the flowers begin to develop.
The image on the left shows the development of the male flower at one week of the flower cycle, while the image on the right shows the development of a female flower.
Once you have identified the sex of all of your cannabis plants, simply kill the male plants and compost the green waste. This is time-sensitive due to how quickly pollen is produced after the flowers begin to develop.
At The Farm, we pride ourselves on education. Learning how to grow marijuana is a complex and skilled art. While these tips are meant to help get you started, we suggest investing in marijuana horticulture literature to expand your knowledge further.