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germinate marijuana seeds in light or dark

Offer enough Light for Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis seeds don’t need light when they are germinating. In fact, they require an absence of light. All of the methods below call for darkness.

Once they have sprouted, they will need a lot of light — 18 hours a day, to be exact (though you could even give them 24 hours of light per day).

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

There are several methods for germinating marijuana seeds, each with their pros and cons. We will cover the best methods below, with the first method offering the best chance of success and the last one offering the lowest chance.

These seeds are expensive, so we recommend using the method with the best chance of success, so you reduce the risk of wasting seeds as much as you possibly can.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds In A Propagator With Peat Pellets
You get the highest success rate when you provide the perfect environment for germination. A propagator ensures optimal control over the environment.

Whether using peat pellets or rapid rooters, this method ensures a high rate of success, but it does require the purchase of a propagator and the pellets or rapid rooters.

You can save a bit of money by skipping the propagator and just rigging something up yourself (or not using any type of covering at all), which is what we’ll cover next.

Using Peat Pellets With No Propagator (Or With A DIY Propagator)
If you are on a bit of a budget, you can forgo the propagator and just use peat pellets on their own. You could even make a DIY propagator by simply using some kind of plastic cover.

Pros
lower cost than using propagator
peat pellets (or rapid rooters) still offer the best chance of success, even without a propagator
Cons
less control than with propagator
if using a DIY propagator, requires time to construct

A great DIY solution is to use simple plastic cups, one for each peat pellet. Cut the top off a small plastic drink bottle and place it over the peat pellet with the seed as a dome.

But you don’t need any propagator at all.

Covering the seeds helps keep in the moisture and makes it easier to keep them warm, but it is not necessary. You can just as easily keep the peat pellets uncovered, as long as you ensure they stay moist and are kept in the correct temperature range.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds Using Paper Towels
This is probably the most written about method, but that does not make it the best. It is easy and you won’t need any additional equipment, but it requires handling the delicate seedling.

Pros
very easy
no additional equipment required (assuming you have paper towels)
Cons
requires transplanting the seeds, which risks damage
need to ensure the paper towel stays damp, but not wet

The only thing you need for this method is a paper towel, although I would also recommend using two plates.

For the paper towel, you actually want to use the cheapest brands. More expensive towels are more porous, which makes it easier for the delicate root to get stuck and tear off when transplanting the seedling.

For this method, place a paper towel on a plate and get it nice and wet. Drain off any excess water, though. It should be damp, but there should be no standing water or the seeds can drown.

Put your seeds on one half of the paper towel and fold the other half over them, so that they are covered. Then take the second plate and put it upside down on the bottom one, forming a dark cavern between the two plates for the seed to germinate.

Check once or twice a day to ensure that the paper towel never dries out. If you need to add water, make sure that you always drain out any standing water. Keep the seeds covered and at the correct temperature. They should sprout in a few days.

Once they have sprouted, you’ll want to transfer them to soil or a growing medium. See below for instructions on how to do this.

Germinating Weed Seeds In Soil
This method is the easiest, since you simply let the seeds germinate in the same place where they will grow afterward. Not having to transplant the seed after it sprouts means you don’t risk damaging it causing it shock that will slow growth. The main drawback is a lower success rate.

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Pros
easiest method
no transplanting required
no additional equipment required
Cons
lower success rate than other methods

All you do for this method is poke a hole in the soil or growing medium that is about half an inch deep (1.5 cm). Place the seed in the hole and cover it up. Ensure that the soil or growing medium is moist, but not soaking wet. The temperature needs to be in the correct range as well.

You should see the tap root poking out of the seeds by then. If not, you’ll want to continue germinating the seeds elsewhere, perhaps in soil. If they are submerged in water for more than 24 hours, there is a risk that the seeds can drown.

My Seeds Germinated, Now What?
Once the seeds have germinated, it is time to transplant them into soil or a growing medium. Be very careful not to damage the delicate taproot. Ideally, use tweezers to handle the seeds, to avoid any oils from your fingers doing any damage.

Plant the seeds about 1 to 2 cm deep, so that it does not require too much energy for the stem and first leaves to pop up through the soil.

Make sure the soil is moist and the seeds are kept at the correct temperature of 68° to 82° F (20° to 28° C). Your little plants should pop out of the soil within a few days.

At this point, the seeds will want light, and lots of it. Even if they are still beneath the soil, you can go ahead and turn on your grow light.

If you do not have a grow light, there are a number of different types you can consider. For seedlings, fluorescent lights or LED light bars (like the veg/clone bars from Secret Jardin) are ideal, unless you are germinating a lot of seeds at once. Then you might want to consider a larger Plant LED grow light.

Best LED Grow Lights For Starting Seeds
The best LED grow light for seedlings is the AIS led GROW LIGHT. It was specially designed for seedlings. The main drawback is that it is made to cover a 2 by 4 foot area. If you only have a few seedlings, this light will be overkill.

LED bars are the best LED lights for seed starting when you don’t have enough seedlings to fill a 2 by 4 foot area. These bars from Secret Jardin are a great choice. They are inexpensive and give off enough light to get your plants through the seedling stage in no time.

HPS Or MH For Seedlings
You can put seedlings under HPS or MH light, but I would only suggest this if you already have the lights. It is more cost effective to use LED or fluorescent lights.

The only time MH or HPS really makes sense is if you keep your plants in the same space from seed to harvest, i.e. you do not have a separate area for seedlings.

Metal halide light is better for seedlings than HPS light, since they need cooler light with more blue light than red.

When To Put Seedlings Under MH or HPS
You can turn the grow light on once the seeds have sprouted and they are in the soil or growing medium. Even if the plant is still not visible, the heat from the grow light will actually help warm the soil, which encourages the plant to grow.

About AIS :

AIS LED is a leading LED lighting supplier with innovative green technology. We are specialized in the manufacturing of innovative, next-generation LED lighting solutions such as E27/E40 LED corn bulb, LED street lights, PL G24 LED lights, PL G23 LED bulbs, portable LED work lights, LED Flood lights,R7S LED bulb, LED stadium lights and so on. AIS LED is committed to providing high-quality, sustainable, green lighting solutions to the world LED lights market.

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How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

A marijuana plant is cultivated in one of two methods, from growing seeds or using clones. Growing your marijuana plants from cannabis seeds has many benefits and it is worthwhile to learn how to germinate cannabis seeds. Many growers view growing from seeds as being a purer method than using clones and let’s face it, harvesting the lovely ladies we nurtured from birth is rewarding. Germinating, also called “popping”, is the first step to enjoying your own weed garden.

Benefits of Germinating Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis seeds allow growers to cultivate cannabis plants with a fresh batch of genetics, with DNA code that has not been exposed to disease and a poor growing environment. Growing with seeds typically yields more than a clone, as seeds produce a tap root which gives the plant anchor for better support and a better nutrient and water uptake system. Beginners might have an easier time learning how to germinate cannabis seeds as clones can be tricky, a bit delicate and could have inherited disease or pests.

Cannabis seeds are also much easier to find, a good quality cannabis seed bank will offer a wide selection of quality cannabis seeds. Whereas, finding quality cuttings from a vegetating mother plant can be difficult, and not within the limits of the law depending on where you get it from and where you live. Seeds can also be stored for a while in the refrigerator until you are ready to germinate, clones must be used immediately or they’ll die.

Growing from seeds might add a little time to your full harvest cycle but can definitely be worth the effort. Ultimately, the choice is subjective but we feel that growing from quality cannabis seeds is highly rewarding.

How to Prepare to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Before you want to start the germination process, follow these tips for greater success:

● Keep seeds cool, damp and dark – make sure you’ve been storing your seeds in a sealed bag, in a damp, dark place like the refrigerator (approximately 55 degrees F) in a bed of rice. Take them out when you are ready to plant them, this is similar to the temperature change cannabis plants are used to when going from winter to spring and helps to promote successful germination. Seeds do not germinate so well in light as too much light will harden parts of the seed by decomposing carbonic acid gas, expelling oxygen and fixing the carbon which can prevent vegetation.

● Label your containers – no matter what method you choose, get some labels or tape and markers to write the strain and dates on your containers.

● Moisture – seeds require moisture to expand and break through the shell.

● Temperature – keep the temperature around 72°F (20-22°C) which mimics springtime. *never place your germinating seeds in the windowsill.

● Humidity – the best humidity for seeds to germinate is around 70 to 90%

● Handle with care – treat your germinating seeds like the new babies they are to avoid accidentally breaking delicate structures.

Just follow these tips and remember that germinating seeds requires minimal interference to start their life’s journey. Within a matter of anywhere from 3 to 10 days, you’ll see your sprouts and be ready to plant into your growing medium.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds: Most Popular Methods

Germinating cannabis seeds can be started indoors or outdoors, although starting indoors can give your seeds a better chance of survival. If germinating outdoors, small plants are exposed to pests, mold, wind, and extreme temperature changes. Newly germinated seedlings are quite vulnerable and must be kept safe, which is easier to do indoors.

The three most popular methods for germinating cannabis seeds are the:

1. Soak In Water Method
2. Paper Towel Method
3. Plant In Soil Method

1) Soak in Water Method to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Some people find success by soaking their seeds in water with 20% Hydrogen Peroxide for about 12-18 hours then putting directly into soil. You can do this to combine the soak and plant in soil methods, or check for sprouting within 48 hours and then plant.

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1) Use distilled water – Use a small, 8 oz. cup of either distilled or reverse osmosis water with 20% Hydrogen Peroxide at room temperature.
2) Drop your seeds into the cup – label it and check them every 8 hours.
3) Swirl around the water – this encourages the seeds to sink to the bottom.

You should begin to see sprouts, what looks like tails, coming out of the seed casing within about 12 to 18 hours. Once you see the beginning of the tap root emerging from the seed, carefully remove from the water and plant into your growing medium with the root facing downward. Water the soil, coco or grow medium with distilled water for the first few weeks.

2) Paper Towel Method to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Using the paper towel method is simple, requires common products you have at home and has a high rate of germination. For this method you’ll need:

● Paper towels
● Distilled water
● Two clean plates, a sealed container, or a zip lock bag

1) Wet a paper towel – use distilled water or reverse osmosis water at room temperature.
2) Fold it twice – and place your seeds on the wet towel.
3) Keep seeds dark, warm and humid – place the paper towel either in between two covered plates, in a covered container or in a Ziplock bag.
4) Spray with water every few hours. Do not forget to keep your seeds moist! Your seeds will not sprout if left unattended on a dry napkin.

When you see your seeds open up and show the first sign of a tap root, get ready to plant into your growing medium (peat, coco, soil). Plant your seed with the root facing downward.

3) Plant in Soil Method to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Some people have success planting their cannabis seeds directly into quality, potting soil. The key here is to use only fresh, never before used potting soil. If you try to reuse soil that had been used to grow other things the soil is already devoid of precious nutrients.

1) Fill your containers with quality soil – fill your pots or seedling trays with fresh potting soil and tamp down the top.

2) Plant twice as deep as the seed is wide – you don’t want to dig a deep hole to place the seed in. Simply indent with your finger about 1/8 to 1/2 of an inch.

3) Water thoroughly for the next few days – give your containers a good soaking without disrupting the seed. Use a gentle soak method and water until you see water coming out the bottom of the container to make sure they’re good and soaked. You don’t want your containers continually, excessively soggy but you can’t let them dry out either. *use only distilled or purified water for the first few weeks until you can transition to a nutrient solution.

4)Cover loosely with saran wrap to help keep moisture levels up. Remove once the seedlings emerge from the soil.

You should soon see green sprouts popping through the soil. Remember that you do not need to, and should not, provide light to your germinating seeds. Seeds require darkness, the right temperature and humidity to germinate. Once your seed sprouts, you can begin to add lighting although young cannabis plants are not yet able to process high-intensity light. It’s best to start with a lower wattage light like LED or CFL lighting, something like a blue (cold) spectrum light is good for this young age to promote vegetative growth.

Mosca Seeds offers a wide selection of quality cannabis seeds to get you started on growing your own cannabis garden. Whichever growing method or medium you choose, starting with quality cannabis seeds bred with experienced and trusted breeding genetics will yield you the best result. Check out our seed bank to choose the quality cannabis seeds of your choice and follow these tips to successfully germinate your cannabis seeds.