Germinating Marijuana Seeds for a Successful Grow

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About half of Americans currently live in states (or territories) where marijuana is legal, and many areas even permit recreational use. However, the infamously hazy regulations surrounding the sale of marijuana means that it can be hard to just walk into a smoke shop and buy some. 

For many people, the solution is to grow their own cannabis plants. Even though it takes more work, the reward is well worth the effort.

The question is, how can you successfully germinate your own marijuana seeds? This process can seem complicated at first glance, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. To start out with, you should get quality seeds, such as the Skywalker OG seeds from 

By getting the right type of marijuana seeds, you’ll be able to ensure the best chances of success.

What is germination?

Germination is the process of a seed “waking up” as it starts to grow into a plant. With marijuana seeds, germination requires moisture, warmth, and darkness. 

Assuming the seeds are fertile (which they typically are), these conditions will result in the seeds putting out tiny little sprouts, known as radicles, which will later grow into the adult plant. 

The breaking of the seed’s sheath is the beginning of each marijuana plant’s story, and with any luck, you’ll be able to ensure that this story is a long and fulfilling one.

Why learn how to correctly germinate marijuana seeds?

These seeds are fairly hardy, and will do their best to grow under the right conditions – life finds a way, as the saying goes. However, it’s also crucial to ensure that they continue flourishing well after they’ve put out their first sprouts. 

Here are a few benefits of following recommended germination practices:

You’ll be able to tailor the growth of each plant

Hypothetically, you could throw marijuana seeds in some dirt and get a few viable plants. However, a targeted germination and growth process is more likely to give you robust plants that produce plenty of buds.

You’ll save money

Who doesn’t want to save money? Compared to buying cuttings or already-germinated seedlings, growing your own cannabis plants from seeds is significantly cheaper.

You’ll maintain consistency between crops

If you harvest seeds from each generation of marijuana plants, this ensures that the next generation will have the same characteristics. This will let you refine your growing techniques, and get better and more predictable results each time.

You’ll have a higher success rate

When the germination process is carefully controlled and monitored, this gives each seed a better chance of becoming a mature marijuana plant.

Most common types of marijuana seeds

There are a few different types of marijuana seeds to choose from, and it’s important to make the right choice depending on the results you’re hoping for.

Autoflowering seeds

Unlike other types of marijuana seeds, autoflowering seeds don’t rely on a specific light cycle in order to flower. This makes them better for anyone who’s looking for a fast, convenient harvest, especially first-time growers.

Feminized seeds

Only female marijuana plants produce buds, meaning male plants aren’t desirable for anyone who’s hoping for a big harvest. Feminized seeds have been modified to reduce male chromosomes; while they won’t produce 100% female plants, they’ll result in a better female-to-male ratio than the usual 50/50 split.

Regular seeds

These are what you’d expect: marijuana seeds that have zero genetic modifications. They typically result in an even split between female and male plants and can require more care in order to get a decent bud harvest.

How to germinate marijuana seeds

Whether you have all the right equipment, or you want to go the DIY route, it’s fairly easy to germinate marijuana seeds. As long as you follow a few key guidelines, you should be able to enjoy watching your seedlings grow into strong, healthy plants.

The water cup method

This is one of the most basic ways to germinate marijuana seeds, but it isn’t necessarily recommended because of its slightly lower success rate. However, if you want a germination method that involves almost zero skill or guesswork, this is the one for you. 

Place the seeds in a glass of water (preferably filtered or distilled), making sure they’re all submerged. Let them soak for up to 48 hours, after which time they should have sprouted. If any seeds haven’t sprouted after 48 hours, they probably aren’t viable. 

Use tweezers to delicately remove them from the water, and plant them in the growing medium.

The paper towel method

Simply arrange the seeds evenly between two paper towels that are damp, but not soaking wet. Place in a dish, and put the whole thing in a cabinet or drawer – anywhere that’s dark and warm. 

It won’t be long before the seeds start to sprout, so you should check for this every day. You’ll see a tiny shoot breaking through the seed’s shell, but don’t plant the seeds as soon as this happens; you’ll need to wait until the sprouts measure a few millimeters. 

Using tweezers, carefully move each seed (sprout facing downwards) into your chosen growing medium.

The direct sowing method

One of the trickiest parts of germinating marijuana seeds is moving them from their initial location into the growing medium since this can damage the microscopic “hairs” that are located all along the radicle. 

By germinating the seeds directly in the soil, this problem is eliminated. To use this method, start with seedling substrate or a light soil mix in seedling trays or small pots. 

Create a hole about ½ centimeter deep, place a seed inside, and cover. Gently water the soil, making sure you don’t displace the seeds; keep moist until you see sprouts breaking through the surface of the dirt.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the germination method that’s used, your marijuana plants will need the same care – plenty of indirect light, moist soil, warm (but not hot) temperatures, and regular nutrients. By following the right procedures, you’ll be enjoying your home-grown marijuana before you know it.

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