Do you want to learn how to plant a marijuana seed? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve prepared this guide on giving your seedlings the TLC they deserve.
Seedlings are infamously fussy, but with our tips and tricks, they’ll be happier than a stoner on a weed farm.
Keep reading as we discuss cannabis cultivation. We unpack everything from watering your canna-babies to troubleshooting potential issues.
Let’s get started.
Understanding the importance of proper seed planting
People typically give the most importance to vegging and flowering. Germinating and planting the cannabis seed can make or break your grow journey. This crucial step forms the foundation for your plants.
How seed planting affects marijuana growth
If you use cannabis seeds with stable genetics, it gives your plants a strong start. Providing them with a proper environment builds a powerful immune system. It protects the plants from diseases and pests as they grow.
If your seedlings are weak, your plants could have many health problems as they grow. They may be prone to deficiencies and diseases.
Why detailed attention to seed planting is crucial
Mastering the art of caring for your weed seeds from germination to planting is essential. It determines the plant’s health.
Studies show that providing mycorrhizae and other beneficial organisms to seedlings is beneficial. It keeps adult plants healthy. It also boosts plant yields and helps them grow rapidly.
Choosing the right marijuana seeds
Poor-quality cannabis seeds generally have trouble germinating. On the rare occasion that they become seedlings, they’re frail and usually die. It’s essential to buy high-quality marijuana seeds. Let’s talk more about it.
Selecting high-quality cannabis seeds
Experienced growers have a good eye for finding seeds with potential. Here’s how to select the best quality ones for your grow project:
Identifying healthy cannabis seeds
Before you learn how to plant a marijuana seed, you should know how to identify a healthy one.
The first giveaway of a quality product is appearance. Healthy cannabis seeds are light to dark brown. They have a turtle-shell pattern and a waxy, protective layer. The shape is comparable to a plump teardrop.
Weed seeds that are light green or white may be underdeveloped. Sometimes, they can be white but still healthy. Toss them if they’re dry and dull-looking or flat.
Healthy marijuana seeds feel firm and don’t crumble easily if you hold them between your fingers. Expired ones fall apart with gentle pressure. Immature seeds are tender and sometimes squishy; they won’t germinate properly.
Choosing the right strain for your needs
Ensure you pick a strain that suits your needs and experience level. Beginners should opt for easy-growing cannabis seeds. They’re not fussy about the environment and require basic TLC.
Sativa strains are excellent for people looking for energizing daytime effects. They uplift you and help keep you focused.
Indica strains are ideal for those looking for relaxing, sedating, and soothing nighttime effects. They’re a popular pick for people using cannabis for pain relief.
People looking for weed that doesn’t have the “high” feeling enjoy high CBD strains. They pack the benefits of cannabidiol, which is a non-psychoactive compound.
Storing cannabis seeds correctly
When you store cannabis seeds correctly, they can last for around five years or more. Here are some factors to consider for storage:
Ideal conditions for seed storage
In nature, cannabis seeds are covered by soil and protected from sunlight. They need to be kept away from light, as it causes them to germinate. When they begin this process in the wrong environment, they run out of nutrients and die.
Maintain temperatures between 42–46°F. It protects the fragile tissues and internal structure of the seeds.
Keep humidity levels between 8–10%. Low ranges invite pests and fungi. Anything over 60% rapidly increases moisture and kills the seeds within 12 hours.
Mason jars are excellent storage containers for cannabis seeds. They seal well and you can add desiccants to maintain stable humidity. The downside is they’re transparent, so cover them with something and keep them in a dark place.
The impact of poor storage on seed viability
If you don’t store your cannabis seeds properly, they become vulnerable to bacteria and mold. Light and temperature fluctuations cause the seeds to germinate. It depletes their nutrient storage because they’re not in an environment conducive to growth.
Preparing for the planting process
Now that you have your weed seeds ready, let’s prepare to plant them.
Assembling your planting materials
Gather all your planting materials. Once your seedlings are ready, they’ll have a comfortable environment waiting.
Choosing the right soil for your seeds
Loamy soil is the best option for growing cannabis. It has the ideal water retention and drainage properties.
This soil helps weed plants easily absorb nutrients and oxygen. It prevents root rot and aids in photosynthesis. Make a loamy mix by combining 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay.
Selecting the appropriate containers
Cannabis plants need perfect-sized containers. If it’s too small, the roots tangle, causing a condition known as “root bound.” It limits structural development and leads to nutrient deficiencies.
If the containers are too big, the soil stays too wet. The roots won’t be able to suck up most of the moisture. Your plants become susceptible to root rot and mold.
When you transplant seedlings to the containers, use a 1–5 gallon pot. For every 12 inches that your plants grow, move them to a container that’s at least five gallons bigger.
Drainage is also essential. Ensure the containers have enough holes and are made of a breathable material. Terracotta and clay are excellent options, as they soak up excess moisture.
Creating an optimal growing environment
Creating an optimal growing environment is essential for bountiful yields and healthy plants. The good news is it’s easy to keep your cannabis greenery happy with a few nifty tricks and tips.
Ensuring adequate temperature and humidity
Marijuana plants have different temperature and humidity requirements during various growth stages.
Seedlings require temperatures between 75–80°F. Relative humidity (RH) levels should be maintained around 65–70%. It’s crucial to stick to these conditions, as they’re fragile and prone to issues like fungi.
During the vegetative stage, plants require an environment conducive to rapid growth. The ideal grow room temperature should sit at around 75–85°F. The RH should be around 60–70%.
In the veg phase, plants develop lots of foliage, so it’s crucial to keep the climate comfortable. High temperatures and humidity could cause dangerously high moisture levels and foster mold.
When the flowering phase begins, temperatures should be at around 65–80°F with RH at 40–50%. Resin production is rife, so keep things on the cooler side and prevent high humidity.
The importance of light for seed germination
Seeds don’t need light when germinating. High illumination levels can cause them to sprout too quickly. They start growing and use up all their nutrients.
When germinating cannabis seeds, keep them in a dry, dark place. Only change their environment when they develop taproots. When they grow their first set of leaves, it’s safe to expose them to light.
Germinating your marijuana seeds
Germination is an essential step in growing cannabis seeds. It’s important to get it right to ensure your plants grow healthy and strong. Let’s talk more about this critical growth stage.
Understanding cannabis seed germination
There are two ways to start a cannabis grow: clones and seeds. Those who opt for clones won’t have to go through germination, but may face other challenges. Germination allows you to care for your plants from scratch.
What is seed germination?
Seed germination involves hydrating the seed after a period of dormancy. It stimulates the growth of a taproot and prepares the plant to begin growing.
The importance of moisture and warmth for germination
Moisture and warmth are two of the most important factors in germination. Together, they boost the process and help the seeds pop.
Moisture from the water makes the seed coat swell. Cannabis shells are infamously hard, and some strains have especially tough skins. Hydration penetrates the hard shells. It stimulates the embryonic cells to awaken and rehydrate.
To awaken the cells of the embryo, oxygen is necessary. The warmth stimulates the plant enzymes to start aerobic respiration and cell division. It provides oxygen and brings the seed to life.
Different methods of seed germination
There are a few common cannabis germination methods. Each one has different success rates, and some may work better for certain strains. Let’s unpack three popular techniques.
Direct soil germination
Planting cannabis seeds directly in the soil is simple. It saves you from the stress of having to transfer fragile seedlings. It’s an easy option, but it can be risky if they don’t get optimum conditions. Here’s how to do it right:
- Spray bottle
- Lamp or sunlight
- Ensure the soil is hydrated well with water.
- Pack the soil into the pots.
- Make a hole about 0.40–0.60 inches deep.
- Gently place the marijuana seed in the hole and cover it with soil.
- Keep the pots under sufficient light.
- The soil should never be dry, so spray the top with water to keep it moist.
The paper towel method
The best way to start marijuana seeds is using the paper towel method. It has a high success rate and is easy to follow. It only requires a few basic items that you probably have in your kitchen already.
Here’s how to do it:
- Dampen around 3–5 paper towels.
- Place 2–4 moist paper towels on a clean plate.
- Put the cannabis seeds on the plate one inch apart.
- Cover the plate with one paper towel.
- Keep it in a warm, dark place. You can also put another plate on top to prevent light leaks. If you don’t have a warm area, use a seedling heating mat.
- In 1–5 days, your seeds will be ready for transfer.
Soaking seeds in water
Soaking is one of the easiest germination methods, but it can be risky. Leaving cannabis seeds in water for extended periods may promote mold and rot.
Some argue that excess hydration speeds up the germination process. For old or extremely hard-shelled seeds, this method is promising.
Here’s how to do it:
- Put cannabis seeds into a glass of water.
- Let them soak up the water until they sink to the bottom and roots appear.
- Some people soak their seeds for up to seven days. We don’t recommend exceeding the 24-hour mark.
- If your seeds haven’t popped overnight, use the paper towel method.
Planting your germinated marijuana seeds
Once the seeds split and roots develop, your seedling is ready to transplant. Plant it as quickly as possible. It’ll pop out of its seed casing and start driving its taproot down, so ensure it’s in the growing medium.
The proper way to plant germinated seeds
Let’s discuss the best way to plant your seedlings so they can develop into healthy plants.
Preparing your containers
Seedlings must be put into small containers that won’t store excess moisture. The pots need a propagation chamber to keep humidity on the higher side.
Containers for seedlings must have adequate drainage. Seedlings are prone to root rot and will succumb to cannabis diseases.
How deep to plant your seeds
Planting your germinated seeds too high or low can prevent them from growing. The best depth is about a knuckle deep or around 0.12–0.20 inches. It prevents them from reorienting or drowning.
Properly placing the germinated seed
Be careful when moving them. Use tweezers or earbuds and handle the seedling gently. If you can’t transplant them with care, it’s best to use the direct planting method.
Any damage can put them under a lot of stress. Young cannabis seedlings aren’t equipped to handle stress and will likely die.
Caring for your seedlings in the early stages
In the early stages, caring for your seedlings is a lot like taking care of a baby. They’re extremely fussy about their environment and feeding. Here are some factors to consider:
Watering your seedlings
Seedlings enjoy warm and moist climates. However, they’re prone to mold, so the area shouldn’t be extremely humid or wet.
Seedlings have underdeveloped root systems. They take up most of their hydration via their leaves. Here’s how to water them correctly:
- Fill a spray bottle with water and mist the top of the seedlings 2–6 times daily. Cover them with a plastic bag or dome to trap moisture and help them hydrate better.
- Water the seedlings around the plant about an inch away from the stem. Don’t water too close to the stem. It creates a breeding ground for fungal pathogens like Fusarium and Botrytis.
It’s best to water your seedlings in the morning. It allows them to take up enough water during the day. The light also helps evaporate some of the excess moisture in the soil.
Providing light for your seedlings
Light matters when growing cannabis, but too much of it is detrimental. Seedlings can only handle fluorescent or CFL bulbs. Ensure you install them about six inches away from the seeds.
The seedling’s leaves will develop the cannabis leaf shape (jagged leaves). Once this happens, move the lights two inches closer.
Do this easy test to see if the lights are too close:
- Place your hands in between the light and plants.
- Hold the position for ten seconds. If it’s too hot for you, move the lights about an inch higher.
- Repeat the process until it’s warm but comfortable.
When and how to transplant your seedlings
Your seedlings will show you signs when they’re ready for you to transplant them. When their leaves cover the circumference of the pot, it’s time.
Only transplant if you can remove the seedling and soil easily. Handle them gently and monitor them once you complete the move.
For autoflower seeds or sensitive strains, it’s best to pot them in their final containers. With these cultivars, even slight damage to the fragile roots is irreversible.
Troubleshooting common seed planting problems
If you grow high-quality cannabis seeds, you usually won’t run into any problems. It’s important to monitor your seeds and seedlings to ensure they’re on the right track.
What to do if your seeds don’t germinate
If your seeds don’t pop, don’t freak out, as you can typically solve the problem. In some cases, the cannabis seeds are the issue.
Checking for common germination problems
If your cannabis seeds don’t pop, they could be bad or old seeds. You can use the float test to check. Put them in a glass of water for a few hours. If they sink, they’re more likely to germinate. The ones that float may be time-wasters.
Marijuana seeds are living organisms and die if stored incorrectly. They typically fail to pop if they’re exposed to light or high humidity. Store them in a sealed, dark container and put them in the refrigerator for long-term use.
Check the origins of your cannabis seeds. Buying from a reputable seed bank will likely render positive results. Professionals take care to ensure seed quality and stability. You’re also able to check reviews from customers so you know what to expect.
Trying a different germination method
Some germination methods don’t have the best success rates. They may cause more damage, and you could throw away quality seeds.
The water-soaking method is the most problematic. When people leave the seeds to soak for days on end, problems arise. Cannabis seeds need oxygen, and when sitting in fluid for days, they suffocate and drown.
Don’t wait too long if the germination method you’re using doesn’t seem to be working. Try the paper towel method for the best results. Alternatively, plant the seeds directly and allow them to pop naturally.
Dealing with seedling issues
Seedlings are super fragile, so dealing with any issues can be stressful. It’s important to spot problems early on and act fast.
Identifying and solving common seedling problems
Overwatering is one of the common seedling problems. It causes droopy, yellow leaves. When left untreated, crops become anaerobic (lack oxygen). It renders them susceptible to harmful pathogens.
Add extra holes and water only when necessary. The best soil to grow marijuana should have excellent drainage. It should never be soaked. Mix perlite into the medium to reduce fluid retention.
Underwatering causes the same symptoms. The leaves are yellow and droopy, but the soil feels dry and crumbly. Add coco coir to retain water and keep the soil moist.
Heat stress is also a common seedling problem. The leaves feel crispy and turn inwards like taco shells. The soil is also extremely dry and cracked. Check the temperature and humidity and do the hand test to adjust the lights.
The importance of quick action in seedling care
Seedlings can die quickly if you don’t treat problems fast. Once an issue like overwatering is left untreated, they drown or become food for pests and fungi. It’s crucial that you monitor their health and take action.
Reap the rewards of properly planting marijuana seeds
Follow our guide on how to plant a marijuana seed and you’ll be well on your way to reaping big, fat juicy buds. With a little TLC and our expert tips, your growing journey will be silky smooth.
Setting the stage for a successful grow
Cannabis seedlings are fragile and require consistent monitoring and care. It’s essential to pay attention to their environment and act fast at any sign of a problem.
They may recover from most issues, but it affects their size, structure, and immune system. It gives you weak plants and harvests.
Keep them well-fed with sufficient light and water. Monitor the temperature and humidity to prevent heat stress and mold.
The satisfaction of growing your own cannabis from seed
Nothing feels better than harvesting buds grown with your hard work. The effort it took to care for your cannabis seeds will pay off when you’re puffing on your potent stash.
Further resources on cannabis seed planting
Are you keen on delving deeper into the world of cannabis cultivation? We’ll leave you with some of the best resources to sharpen your growing skills.
Recommended guides and books
One of the best growing books is Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible by Jorge Cervantes. It’s a true page-turner filled with diagrams, photos, and easy-to-follow instructions.
An excellent guide is True Living Organics: The Ultimate Guide To Growing All-Natural Marijuana Indoors by The Rev. It details every step involved in setting up a grow area. It also talks about maintaining an organic marijuana garden.
Seed banks and community resources for cannabis growers
The Seed Fair has all the resources you need. Check out our blog for articles on cannabis cultivation written by expert growers. We unpack everything from watering cannabis to harvesting plump buds.