How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds?

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds?

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds?

1. Soak paper towels in distilled water.

Make sure that they are soaked enough but no excess water should be dripping off of them. Place the cannabis seeds in between the 4 paper towels. Each seed should be distanced an inch apart from the other.

2. Place the paper towels in between two plates.

Two plates will create a dome that would block out the light and protect the seeds inside. The temperature around the plate should be around 70-90F (21-32C). Seeds germinate faster if they are kept in a dark container as this mimics the natural light schedule outdoors. The two plates will also help maintain the humidity level during germination. This ensures that there is enough moisture to help the seeds to grow.

3. Monitor the seeds.

If the paper towels appear dry, keep their moisture by spraying them with distilled water a few times. Some seeds will sprout earlier than the others. A great way to know if a seed has germinated is by checking if the seed has cracked open. Remember to keep the seeds sterile during the germination period. Avoid touching the seeds soaked in between the paper towel until their taproot begins to sprout.

4. Transplant the seeds.

If the taproot becomes visible, it is now time to transplant it into the preferred growing medium. Make sure to be gentle during this process as newly-cracked seeds are prone to breakage. The time spent germination might go to waste if the seeds get damaged during transplant.

What Is Seed Germination?

Seed germination is defined to be a process in which plants grow from a seed to a plant. This process influences crop yields and quality.

In imbibition, the early stage of germination, the seeds take up a lot of water. The seed coat softens with the help of an optimum temperature. This stage kicks off the germination process by activating enzymes. The seed will begin to produce proteins and metabolize the food stored inside. Afterward, the radicle emerges from the softer seed coat. The radicle is a part of the embryo that turns into the plant’s primary root. It will start to dig into the soil to find water. Later on, as the radicle and plumule, the first shoot grows upward and pierces through the soil. In the last stage of germination, the cells of the seed become more active, elongates, and divides to support the growth of the seedling.

What Do Cannabis Seeds Need To Germinate?

1. Water
Moisture is one of the key factors needed in germination. Some seeds are too dry and they need a good amount of water. The lack of water during the germination process will keep the seed in a dormant state. This means that the seed will not germinate at all. However, too much water could cause rotting in seeds. The seeds should be moist, but not soaked in water.

2. Oxygen
Oxygen in plants is used for aerobic respiration. Aerobic respiration refers to the process of using oxygen gas to produce energy from food. Oxygen can be found in little air pockets in the soil. However, if the seed is buried too deep, it will be deprived of oxygen. Without oxygen, the seed will not be able to produce its own food. The soil or any medium where you will be germinating your seeds should be aerated and not too packed.

3. Temperature
The temperature could vary depending on which strain of seed is going to be germinated. But the moderate temperature of 77-86F (25-30C) should be enough. Make sure to check the strain that you have and do a little research on the best optimum temperature it would need to successfully germinate.

4. Light/Darkness
Light will act as an environmental trigger. Most seeds need to have a light cycle similar to what is present in nature to begin germination.

Methods Of Germination

1. Starter Cubes and Seedling Plugs
For beginner growers, this is the most recommended germination method. It’s as easy as placing the seed in the cube or plug, adding water, and waiting for the seeds to germinate under perfect conditions. This method doesn’t have much room for error. There are instances that a strain we want to germinate is expensive. By using this method, you are assured that the seed will not go to waste. It’s efficient and economical at the same time.

2. Directly Into Growing Medium
Sometimes, the best way to germinate seeds is through nature. Seeds will grow even if you’d plant them directly in the medium you prefer. One of this method’s advantages is that you won’t need to transplant the seedlings later on before they reach the vegetative stage. This avoids external stresses to affect your seedlings; producing a healthier plant later on.

3. Germination Station
A germination station consists of tools that create a “perfect” environment for the seeds to germinate in. This setup consists of a dome that goes over the planting medium and a heating pad underneath. The dome acts as a tool to control the humidity and moisture in the air. It prevents overwatering as it keeps the environment moist for a time. Meanwhile, the heating pads regulate the heat in the environment, optimizing it according to the plant’s needs.

4. Soak Seeds In Water Overnight
Another way to germinate seeds is by soaking them in lukewarm water. This should be done in a cup overnight. Soaking seeds in lukewarm water is the most effective germination method if the seed has a hard shell or if the seed is old. The seeds will first float and then sink to the bottom of the glass later on. After a few hours, you should be able to see that the taproot of the seeds starts to peek through the shell.

5. Paper Towel Method
As mentioned above, the paper towel method is the easiest method for germinating. All you need to do is soak a few pieces of paper towel, put the seeds in between the layers, and leave the setup in a dark and warm place. It is suggested to use cheap paper towels for this method. Cheap paper towels are non-porous which lets the seeds stay on top and not stick to them. Cloth-like paper towels are not that good for germination as the seed’s roots grow into them instead of laying on top.

Although it is easy to germinate using the paper towel method, it also is risky. Transplanting the seeds from this method to their growing medium might damage the taproots sprouting out of them. Make sure to be careful in transplanting the seedlings to keep everything intact. Try to keep the paper towels moist during the germination process as paper towels tend to dry up quickly. Remember that water is important for the seed’s food production. Checking the setup every 12 hours is suggested to ensure progress.

Best Practices In Germinating Seeds

1. Keep Sprouted Seeds Hydrated
During the germination phase, it is important to have consistent moisture. To keep moisture within the environment, you can use plastic domes, wet paper towels, or trays. Cover up the area where the soil is exposed so that the moisture does not evaporate quickly.

2. Keep Things Warm
Seeds germinate in temperatures that are not too cold and not too warm. It is best to check the recommended temperature for each crop to find out what will work best. Using incandescent bulbs or heating mats could regulate the temperature in your plant’s environment.

3. Assume All Seeds Are Viable
Seeds, regardless if they are pale-green or dark, will germinate given the best conditions possible. There is no proof that seeds should be in a rock-hard or crushable state for them to be considered a bad seed.

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