Why is it important to know about germinating marijuana seeds? It’s the most critical process in your plant’s development—the point where its life begins. The procedure gives it the foundation to grow into a healthy crop that produces high-quality smokable buds.
Cultivators use many methods to help their cannabis seeds sprout—some that cost almost nothing to implement. We share popular ways to sprout cannabis seeds to help you start.
As every individual is unique, choose the ones that suit your goals and try them out before deciding what works best. Seed selection is also vital, as selecting the right one for your objective and the growing environment makes a huge difference in your results.
Let’s look at the available phenotypes before exploring the techniques in detail.
Germinating autoflower vs photoperiod strains
While knowing how to germinate is crucial, one of the first decisions to make is to choose between autoflowering and photoperiod strains.
Generally, autos are easier to cultivate, and they grow faster than the latter, which produce higher yields but require more care. The key difference between the phenotypes is how they transition into the flowering stage.
Although the germination process remains the same, let’s look at the distinct traits of both phenotypes that greatly influence your plants’ growth.
Sprouting photoperiod cannabis seeds
Photoperiod cannabis has one main distinguishing feature—its vegetative and flowering stages depend on the hours of light it receives. Cannabis seed germination can take anywhere between 1–10 days to sprout roots, depending on the strain.
Outdoor plants rely on nature to signal when it’s time to bloom. They stop growing and start to produce buds in the fall when the days get shorter.
It’s possible to extend your indoor plant’s vegetative phase by giving it at least 18 hours of illumination indoors. Use an 18/6 light schedule to keep it developing until you decide to let it start blooming. To trigger its flowering process, shorten the cycle to the optimal 12/12.
Controlling moisture is critical, while illumination is essential to keep your plants in the flowering stage.
Photoperiod cannabis requires uninterrupted hours of darkness when they bloom. Any disruption, such as light coming from nearby street lamps, can potentially cause the following problems for your plant:
- Reverting to the veg stage
- Displaying hermaphroditic traits
- Producing lower-quality yields
- Failing to flower
Sprouting autoflowering cannabis seeds
Knowing how to sprout a weed seed of the autoflowers phenotype is the same as photoperiods. What distinguishes them from the latter is that female auto plants begin blooming based on age, not on the number of light hours.
Autos are an excellent choice for beginners. You don’t need to worry about managing the light schedule. You just have to give plants the standard care and wait to harvest smokable buds.
Autoflowering strains have shorter life cycles, so they develop quicker than photoperiods. Due to genetics from a ruderalis cultivar, plants are also robust and thrive in harsh weather conditions besides blooming automatically.
When dealing with autoflowers, these are essential factors to note:
- There’s no control over plants’ growing and flowering phases.
- Plants are usually much smaller due to a short vegetative stage that takes 3–4 weeks, independent of the light schedule.
- Avoid high-stress training techniques, such as cutting and topping, as your plants won’t have sufficient recovery time. Do it only if you have experience.
- The strain isn’t suited for breeding.
- Compared to photoperiods, autos offer lower average yields.
Germinating feminized vs regular seeds
Before buying a packet and learning how to germinate cannabis seeds, it’s essential to understand the difference between regular and feminized. Here’s a brief description of each:
Sprouting regular cannabis seeds
Regular cannabis seeds are pure—from male and female plants. Growing these seeds results in a 50/50 chance of getting crops of both genders.
Growers choose regular strains because they’re excellent for breeding. These cultivars retain their parents’ CBD and THC traits almost perfectly. When cloned, you get the same marijuana plant across your crop.
Regular weed seeds thrive and can potentially produce a higher yield if you re-pot them twice in their lifetime.
Sprouting feminized cannabis seeds
Feminized cannabis seeds are perfect for new growers. Follow our germination guide, and you’re off to an excellent start. This type of seed only develops into bud-producing female plants.
Cultivating feminized seeds is fuss-free, as you don’t have to identify and separate the genders. Give them nutrients and a proper growing environment, and expect to collect a bountiful harvest of nugs.
Are my seeds viable?
How do you tell if your seeds are good? Fresh-feeling seeds or those that are too green are underdeveloped. White or pale-green seeds may have difficulty sprouting. Generally, viable seeds are brown with stripes on the side. Their shells also feel dry and hard.
These physical features don’t guarantee the outcome of the sprouting process. An excellent way to know if they’re viable is to put them to the test. Seeds that pop are up to the mark.
It's essential to use high-quality marijuana seeds, as, given the proper care, they develop into healthy plants, producing excellent buds.
To improve your success rate, follow a tried-and-tested cannabis germination method. Knowing how to store marijuana seeds is essential to preserve them if you’re not ready to start the process.
Exposing them to heat, light, high humidity, or water may affect their ability to sprout. The ideal storage space should be cool, dry, and dark, with stable temperatures.