Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to grow a marijuana seed. We’re taking you back to the roots of marijuana cultivation: genetics.
Choosing the correct seed and preserving the key characteristics are vital. The mother plant and male strain contribute to new creations. Seed production helps you make better, stronger, and healthier genetics.
Join us as we cover all the necessary information on breeding. We also explore all the components for success.
Ready to become an expert breeder? Let’s jump in.
Understanding the goal of cannabis seed production
Why learn how to grow a marijuana seed? The goal may differ between people, but the main reason is to create new offspring. Most hybrid cannabis strains you love come from two or more popular cultivars.
Benefits of producing your own cannabis seeds
Producing cannabis seeds for yourself is a rewarding experience. It’s a fun learning opportunity that opens the doors to many possibilities. You may even create a new hybrid that becomes your favorite!
Here are six other benefits of seed production:
- Create new strains with popular traits from two or more parents.
- Preserve growing characteristics from pest, disease, and weather-resistant strains.
- Isolate specific qualities like high potency and delicious flavors.
- Grow plants that are stronger and more resilient to stressful conditions.
- Preserve old or rare genetics that are hard to find.
- Save money by growing several harvests instead of buying dispensary strains regularly.
- Achieve bigger yields with higher levels of cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.
Seed production puts you in control of what you want. It lets you experiment until you find traits that suit you the best.
Differences between growing for bud vs. seed production
There are excellent reasons to grow a marijuana seed. You may have different goals, whether you want buds to consume or strains to cross. A seed-filled harvest may spell disaster for some, but it’s a goldmine for others.
Growing for buds gives you flowers to smoke or blend into edibles and drinks. Seed production is for breeders who want to create new genetics or preserve old ones.
Choosing the right marijuana plants for seed production
Your choice of parent marijuana plants is a vital component of seed production. The new strain’s traits depend on the original characteristics.
For example, the beautiful, potent Purple Kush feminized is a cross between Purple Afghani and Hindu Kush. Both parents pass down their indica genetics with relaxing effects and fruity flavors.
Marijuana is dioecious; you find the male and female parts on individual plants. You need both to complement each other and breed successfully. Getting the offspring you want may take practice. It starts with choosing the right “mother and father.”
Selecting a high-quality mother plant
The female plant is essential for keeping your favorite qualities. It’s easy to identify growth traits and document the best features you want to preserve. Choosing a high-quality mother is critical for breeding top-shelf offspring.
What to look for in a mother plant
Look for the following traits when choosing your mother plant to grow a marijuana seed:
- Growth type and height: Do you want a short and bushy indica or a tall sativa? Choose a strain that suits your cultivation preferences and growing area. Some occupy a lot of room space, while others are ideal for smaller rooms.
- Flowering times: The average blooming period lasts 7–9 weeks, but some strains take longer or shorter.
- Healthy growth stages: Choose a mother plant with healthy germination, seedling, vegetative, and flowering stages. You want crops with strong roots, fast growth, and vigorous bud development.
- Scent and flavor: Everyone has different taste buds. You may prefer a more fruity flavor or a dessert one. Some strains smell earthy and herbal, while others are pungent and sweet.
- Yield: You might want massive yields with enough buds to last you a few months. Other harvests may be smaller but are worth it for the strain’s other traits.
- THC and CBD levels: You may want to preserve a potent mother plant with high THC levels that knock you off your feet. Choose one with more CBD if you prefer pronounced therapeutic effects.
- Resilience: Cannabis cultivation poses the possibility of pests, diseases, or weather-related stress. Choose a strain with high resistance to these issues if you’re concerned about your growing area.
Preserving genetics through mother plants
Mother plants are vital because they decide the quality of your clones and offspring. Preserve genetics by forcing them to stay in their vegetation stage for longer. Doing so gives you a consistent source of clones with identical traits.
Keep the mother plants in an optimal environment at all times. Don’t change the lighting schedule, but maintain consistent nutrient feeding and watering. You may also need to train or prune them to prevent excessive growth.
Healthy mother plants help you preserve the best genetics. You can reap an almost endless supply of clones if you keep them in the vegetative phase.
Choosing a suitable male plant
The male plant is a bit more challenging to select, but it’s vital for breeding. Females can’t pollinate and produce seeds without them. Ensure a high-quality offspring that maintains valuable traits by choosing an ideal father.
Identifying male cannabis plants
The anatomy of a marijuana plant differs between males and females. Both develop flowers among their branches and stems. The fan leaf stem and primary stalk in the upper sections usually host the first pre-flowers.
The male tends to develop faster than the female. Its flowers resemble small spades (like the card suit). They have small tips and curved ball-like bottoms. They look more like small banana hammocks when they’re mature.
Male plants aren’t as bushy as females, but typically grow taller.
What to look for in a male plant for breeding
You want a healthy male plant that doesn’t display irregular or unwanted traits. Strains with strong, vigorous vegetative growth are ideal. Choose ones that don’t start blooming before you trigger them. They could cause undesirable flowering traits.
We recommend selecting male plants that reach medium heights. Tall strains spend more energy on structural growth than bud production. You don’t want that in your offspring if your aim is high yields of juicy nugs.
Breeding your cannabis plants
You’re now ready to learn how to grow a marijuana seed. Breeding is a fun experience that can produce high-CBD feminized seeds or ones with more THC.
It’s a delicate process, but mastering it is possible with practice. Experimenting also helps you produce the strains you want.
The pollination process
Pollination is the cannabis plant’s way of reproducing. The males develop small sacs containing a fine yellow-like powder called pollen. The wind spreads this substance to females in the wild, but you must do it yourself when breeding.
Timing of pollination
Knowing when to pollinate is vital for achieving successful results. The best time is around three or four weeks into the female plant’s flowering stage. You’ll see yellow-white, hair-like stigmas protruding from the buds.
Males tell you they’re ready when their oval-shaped sacs (anthers) crack open. They do this and release pollen around 2–4 weeks into flowering.
Pollinating the parents at the correct time allows the seeds to mature properly. It also helps to prevent potential problems in your future crops.
How to pollinate your cannabis plant
Pollinating a plant to grow a marijuana seed is straightforward. Ensure there’s no wind in the room when your male plants’ anthers are ready for pollen collection.
Below are two excellent methods of pollination.
- Prepare a sterile, clean room where you’ll place your plants.
- Position the male in the middle and one or more females around it.
- Attach a long piece of string or rope to the main stem of the male.
- Walk away with the string, feed it under the door, and close it behind you.
- Shake the rope for a few seconds so you feel the plant moving at the other end. Be careful not to pull too hard and damage it. You’ll notice the pollen flying out of the plant if the door is see-through or has a window.
- Wait about 30 minutes to an hour before entering the room again. This time allows the pollen to reach the females and settle on them.
- Remove the female plants and place them in a separate growing room.
- Cut off a section of the male cannabis plant containing the pollen sac.
- Place it in a vacuum bag, Ziploc, or air-proof container.
- Store it in a dark, dry, warm place for about a week. This step helps to dry the sacs, so the pollen comes out more easily.
- Shake the bag or container to see if small pollen particles come out of the sacs. You’re ready for pollination if they do.
- Grab a piece of parchment or wax paper and place it on a clean surface. Remember to ensure there’s no wind in the room. Place a micron screen on top, then empty the contents of your container or bag onto it. The pollen will settle on the paper at the bottom.
- Use a small, fine paintbrush or toothbrush to collect the pollen. Apply it to your female plant’s pistils, “painting” them gently from top to bottom. Ensure you pollinate the whole flower.
- Change and clean your clothes, then hop in the shower. You want to remove excess pollen particles that may have gathered on your body.
Alternatively, place a brown paper bag over your male plant’s pollen sacs. Shake it for a few seconds. Take the bag to your female plant and cover the flower area containing the pistils. Shake it again, then leave it for around ten minutes so the pollen settles on the female.
Isolating plants for controlled breeding
Controlled breeding is vital for avoiding the challenges of genomics. It helps prevent excessive pollination or unwanted mishaps and ensures further success.
The importance of controlled breeding conditions
Unexpected fertilization can occur if you don’t control the breeding conditions. Advanced breeders also set up harsher environments to promote higher resistance in offspring.
Exposing your crops to controlled temperature and humidity fluctuations can encourage plant resilience. It helps you identify strains more resistant to diseases like Botrytis and powdery mildew.
It also ensures you don’t experience excessive pollination and possible hermaphrodites.
Techniques for isolating male and female plants
Here are some tips for isolating males and females:
- Prepare two different grow rooms, one for males and another for females.
- Grow your plants in pots to allow for easy transportation.
- Remove the males before their pollen sacs break open.
- Use gloves when handling the plants and ensure the environment is clean.
Separating the males and females helps you to pollinate your plants more precisely. We recommend keeping a logbook of your progress. Document the different strains you’ve used and label each plant to avoid confusion.
Cultivating your seed-producing marijuana plants
Learning how to grow a marijuana seed is simple. Seed production occurs between two and six weeks after pollination. Remove the flowers, dry them, then store them after they mature. You may germinate the seeds after about a month of storage.
Navigating the flowering stage
Males produce their pollen sacs a few weeks into bloom. The females keep flowering and growing after pollination. They make more seeds alongside the buds during this period. The new seeds contain the desired genetics of both original parents.
Ensure you set up an enclosed breeding chamber or growing room. No extra light or airflow should enter the space apart from what you provide the plants.
Nutrient needs during seed production
Soil is the best growing medium for seed production. It supports healthy, stable growth and is easier to deal with.
Choose high-quality soil containing the essential micro and macronutrients. Some super soil products contain the vital minerals for the full growth cycle. Ensure the substrate is rich in beneficial microbes. These organisms promote stronger growth and high-quality seeds.
Mother plants need a vegetative feeding schedule. We recommend using a nutrient mix with more nitrogen. This mineral can encourage healthier seed production. Ensure you provide enough to avoid a nitrogen deficiency during flowering.
Light and temperature requirements
Induce flowering by switching to a 12-hour light/12-hour dark cycle. Keep your plants in vegetation for longer to get more extensive growth.
Ensure the temperature and humidity levels are consistent and stable. Warm the pollen to room temperature when you remove it from storage before applying it.
Keep the pollination room at around 75°F, with a relative humidity of no more than 65%.
Identifying and harvesting mature seeds
Identifying and harvesting your plants is essential when learning how to grow a marijuana seed. Removing the seeds at the correct time gives you higher-quality offspring.
Signs of cannabis seed maturity
Seeds grow bigger, and their outer shells start splitting when they mature. They change color from green to dark brown and have brown stripes.
How to harvest cannabis seeds
Harvest your cannabis seeds with great care. This process can be messy, so wear gloves, a mask, and goggles for protection.
Follow these steps for successful harvesting:
- Chop down your plants with care, ensuring no seeds fall off.
- Take the branches to a separate area and place them on a clean table. Wrap them in a nylon silk screen to help collect seeds that may fall off.
- Ensure the room temperature is warm and stable to allow the branches to dry. Leave them until you can remove the seeds from their husks.
- Put gloves on and use tweezers to remove one seed at a time. You may buy a drum machine to help make the separation process easier.
Now it’s time to store your seeds once you’ve removed them.
Storing and germinating your harvested seeds
Storing your cannabis seeds after harvest is easy. It helps to preserve their quality until you’re ready to cultivate your new offspring.
Correctly storing cannabis seeds
Cannabis seeds need optimal conditions to hibernate in. An ideal environment ensures they don’t die or germinate unexpectedly. They need the correct storage temperature, humidity, oxygen, and light.
Ideal storage conditions for cannabis seeds
Keep your cannabis seeds in a dark area with stable conditions. A temperature-controlled room may be better if you live in an area with adverse weather. A dark, warm drawer or cupboard works for short-term storage. A fridge is better for extended periods.
It’s best to keep your seeds in a no-frost fridge or an area you don’t open often. Pack them into a vacuum-sealed container or bag. Place them in an extra box for protection from moisture and humidity changes.
The temperature of your storage area should be around 39°F, or -4 to 5°F in a freezer. Ensure the humidity is 20–30% for short-term, 18–20% for medium-term, and 12–14% for long-term storage.
Don’t touch your seeds until you’re ready to germinate them.
Lifespan and viability of stored seeds
Cannabis seeds last for years in ideal conditions. Keep them viable by storing them in an undisturbed area. The spot should have consistent humidity and temperature. Some people can maintain seed health for five years or longer.
Store them in a vacuum-sealed mylar bag with desiccant material like silica gel. It helps to maintain dryness and avoid moisture. Ensure the seeds don’t come into contact with the material, which will harm them.
Germinating your harvested seeds
You must ensure proper germination to grow a marijuana seed successfully. It entails encouraging it to sprout its taproot, setting the stage for healthy growth.
Testing seed viability
The best way to check if a weed seed is good is to conduct a float test.
Place the seed into a glass of water at room temperature. Wait for around 10–20 minutes. The seed is healthy and viable if it sinks to the bottom. It’ll float at the top if it’s not.
Methods for germinating marijuana seeds
The best method of germination is using a paper towel:
- Place your seeds on a moist paper towel sitting on a dinner plate. Ensure they’re at least an inch apart from each other.
- Cover them with another moist paper towel and add an extra plate.
- Move them to a dark, warm, and dry area.
- Wait around one to five days for the seeds to sprout their taproots. You may transplant them when they do. Keep in mind that some may take up to ten days to pop.
Other methods also exist, like direct soil germination or water sprouting. We recommend the paper towel approach for the best results.
Troubleshooting common issues in seed production
Cannabis seed production doesn’t come without problems. Sometimes you may need to troubleshoot seedling issues or fix non-pollinated plants. Avoid complications by following the correct techniques and ensuring stable conditions.
Dealing with common seed production problems
The most common issue in cannabis seed production is inbreeding. It happens when the offspring gets an undesirable trait from two related parents.
Backcross the new strain with an unrelated father to “outbreed.” This process should create a better cultivar without the previous issues.
Unwanted pollination can also happen in plants you don’t want to breed. Solve this issue by separating your crop and ensuring you practice controlled breeding.
Identifying poor seed production issues
Poor seed production occurs if the plant doesn’t pollinate. Unstable or incorrect humidity levels can cause failed breeding attempts. Fluctuations in moisture and temperature decrease the viability of pollen when storing it.
Solutions for increasing seed yield
Ensure you give your mother plants the correct nutrients in the right amounts. More nitrogen and vegetative nutes can also help boost seed production.
Apply more pollen to future female plants if your current crop doesn’t pollinate or produce enough seeds. You can tell if they’re fertilizing when the bracts grow bigger with a seed inside. The white pistils will also turn darker and shrivel up.
Become an expert marijuana breeder & grower with The Seed Fair
Are you ready for successful breeding now that you know how to grow a marijuana seed? Anyone can produce new strains with the correct techniques and enough practice.
Remember to select parents with the desired traits you want. Ensure the male and female aren’t similar and don’t display unwanted characteristics. Keep your breeding and growing room separate, and always maintain a clean area.
The rewards of cannabis seed production
Cannabis seed production is a rewarding experience that offers many perks. It may become your favorite activity after several successful attempts.
Preserving and creating unique genetics
Cannabis seed breeding allows you to preserve your favorite genetic traits. You can continue a strain line if it’s rare to come by or if you want to save money.
Seed production lets you create unique offspring different from their parents. You still have the opportunity to maintain all the best characteristics.
The satisfaction of growing your own cannabis from seed
Growing your own cannabis plants from a seed you created is a satisfying experience. It gives you a feeling of achievement, unlike the one you get from standard cultivation.
Learning how to grow a marijuana seed also gives you control over the results. Grow strains with more THC or CBD, combined flavors, or specific growth traits you want.
Further resources for cannabis seed production
Do you want to extend your knowledge of cannabis seed production? Check out these popular resources below.
Recommended book and online community resource for cannabis breeders
The Cannabis Breeder’s Bible is an excellent book for producing premium seeds. It features high-quality images, informative guides, and interviews with successful breeders.
Rollitup is an extensive community of cannabis growers, breeders, and consumers. It includes many resources on successful breeding techniques and fun strains to cross.
Shop at a trusted seed bank for the best marijuana genetics
The best way to learn how to grow a marijuana seed is to start with high-quality genetics. Browse our shop to find over 1,000 premium strains that suit various preferences. Become an expert breeder with The Seed Fair today.