Grow Weed Starting From Seed
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
Growing your own cannabis plant starting from seed is a remarkable journey. Understanding the biology of the plant is one thing, but comprehending how a little miracle bean can turn into a gigantic tree producing flowers that can affect your body and mind is nothing short of an evolutionary miracle. Or rather a co-evolutionary story of plant and human.
Start Growing Weed From Seed
Our favorite thing about growing your own weed starting from a seed , rather than a clone, is that you get to see the full life cycle and enjoy a plant that is unique, just like you. An entirely new genetic makeup will enter the world for the first time, and if you’re lucky, something remarkable might be born.
Raising a cannabis seedling , however, requires some patience, gentle hands, and a smidgen of luck. Thankfully pot seeds are remarkably vigorous because they are what’s called endosperm seeds , which means they have almost pre-formed cotyledon leaves before you even add water. Below is a brief guide on the techniques we have found yield the most success when starting seeds and raising your seedling to a healthy plant ready for transplanting. And, don’t forget, a Pot for Pot’s Complete Grow Kits take the guesswork out so you always wind up with a splendid harvest!
1) Germinating Your Cannabis Seed
To accelerate germination, soak your seed in a small container with lukewarm water and place it in a dark and warm place (like a kitchen cabinet) for 12-24 hours, but no longer. By drenching the seed, it absorbs the water thoroughly, activating the germination process on a physical and chemical level. Doing this helps to loosen the shell as it becomes a little softer making it easier for the embryo to crack it open. When your seed sinks to the bottom, it is ready to be planted, and sometimes the seed will pop out a small taproot. A seed can still be planted though if it does not sink or put out a taproot. When a seed pops a taproot (often called a tail), it becomes more vulnerable and it is better to plant it before this root emerges.
2) Planting Your Weed Seed
We see best results with seedling pellets that are made of a mix of compressed peat moss and coco husk. To expand, soak it in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Using warmer, lukewarm water, instead of cold water, will speed up the time the pellet takes to fully expand. Once your seedling pellet has absorbed enough water and has expanded to its maximum size, gently squeeze to remove excess water. The growing medium should be like a damp sponge that would not leave streaks on the table. Dig a small hole about 1/4 inch deep for your seed. Use a spoon to lift the seed out of its bath. If it has popped out a taproot be careful not to damage it. Gently place the seed into the hole and lightly cover it with dirt from the pellet. Now that you have started the germination process, your seedling will come above ground within two weeks. The older the seed, the longer it takes for it to germinate.
Want an easy-to-use starter kit for Cannabis seedlings? Check out our Seedling Starter Kit, perfect for nurturing your germinated seeds into viable, healthy plants.
3) Weed Seedling Sprouts
Perhaps the most exciting stage, your plant baby will come above ground in 1-2 weeks, with the average popping up in 5 to 7 days after planting. As your seedling comes above the soil, its shell might take a few days to fall off. It’s best to leave it alone, nature has the job covered. If it does not come above ground after about two weeks, the chance of success is dramatically reduced, and it’s best to try again. Even the best seeds have an 85% germination rate. When your seedling comes above ground, it is going to want to see a direct light source.
Save Money – No Tent Needed
Organic Cannabis Soil Recipe
Avoid Common Mistakes
4) Lighting for Your Cannabis Seedling
Marijuana seedlings require a medium amount of light — enough to get energy to grow, but not too much light that to get burned. Leaving your seedling in direct sunlight will cause the leaves to curl, while too little light will cause the seedling to stretch. If growing outside, seedlings want to see a direct light source to stop them stretching. If inside, a sunny windowsill with more than half a day of sunlight works wonders. Otherwise, 24 to 30 inches from a grow light is an excellent supplement. Your seedling should not stretch more than 6 inches at most.
5) Watering Your Cannabis Seedling
For cannabis plants young and old, it’s best to use bottled, distilled, or filtered water as these are without chlorine. If using tap water, let it sit for 48 to 96 hours before watering to dissipate any chlorine. Chlorine can also be eliminated by boiling for 20 minutes. Under normal conditions, after soaking your seedling pellet, it should contain all the moisture your plant needs before it comes above ground. As it grows, it will only need about a shot glass worth of water at most per week to keep the medium damp. Seedlings don’t drink a lot of water, which makes sense given their size. Your plant will do better in a growing medium which is damp but not soaking wet. Overwatering is just as deadly as drying out!
Damping off happens when the seedling is in too moist of an environment. The young plant’s immune system is not strong enough to ward off a fungus that results in the plant rotting from the bottom of the stem. When this happens, the plant will bend over and die if not treated. To help fight the infection, lightly spray a 0.5% solution of hydrogen peroxide around the affected area. However, the best option is to avoid this by not exposing your seedling to too much moisture.
6) First Cannabis Seedling Leaves & Hardening Off
The first set of leaves to come above ground are called the cotyledons . These little leaves are packed with energy and will grow to about 1/4 in in size before eventually falling off. Your second leaves to emerge will be single blades and will be serrated, looking like regular pot leaves.
They will become several inches in length. During their growth your first actual set of leaves will appear. These are typically three blades. Around this time is when your plant is “hardening off”. You will notice that the stem will start to develop a thicker skin and harden off. As the leaves of the plant get bigger, they can gradually handle more sunlight, so move it into more direct light– the more light the better!
7) Transplanting Cannabis Seedlings
About 10 days after germination, when the baby cannabis plant has hardened off, roots will start emerging from the bottom of your seedling pellet and the plant is ready to be transplanted into a bigger pot. Be very careful not to damage the roots during this stage. Any stress will slow its growth.
Dig a small hole in your bigger pot for the seedling, sprinkle some rooting booster in the bottom of the hole then carefully plant the whole seedling pellet holding your weed baby.
Now bury so the base of its stalk is level with the topsoil. Give it a watering to set the roots in the ground, then hold off watering until you pick up the pot and it feels light in weight.
Are you ready to transplant your seedlings? Shop our best selection of Cannabis starter growing kits from small to large pots.
8. Separating the Girls from the Boys
At about 4-6 weeks into your plant’s growth , you’ll be able to determine the sex of the plant. You’ll want to separate and dispose of any male plants. This is an important step for growing marijuana because the female plants are more potent and valuable. You also don’t want male plants to compromise the growth of your female plants.
Why Do You Only Want Female Weed Plants?
Only female marijuana plants produce THC buds that are high in potency. You want to make sure your Cannabis plants are all female. If you have a male plant, it can fertilize the other female plants, and they will work to produce seeds instead of flowers and nugs.
It’s essential as a grower to know the difference between a female and a male plant so that you can remove the male plants before they contaminate your crop . Unfortunately, you have a 50/50 chance of getting a male plant when growing a plant from a seed from a nug.
There is a massive market for seeds that will only grow into female plants. But even these seeds are not a 100% guarantee you’re going to get a female plant. To ensure a good crop, you’ll want to germinate and plant many marijuana seeds and then separate the females from the males when the plants begin to show their sexuality.
How to Tell if a Weed Seed is Male or Female
As your plant matures sexually, it will develop between its nodes. Nodes are the area of the plant where the branches connect to the plant’s stalk. The distinguishing characteristics that will help you identify your plant’s gender:
- Male Plants : Small pollen sacs will cluster in the nodes.
- Female Plants : Stigmas will develop in the nodes. The stigmas can catch the pollen of male plants. Stigmas have hair-like veins that will extend from the sacs in the nodes.
- Hermaphrodite Plants : These plants have both the stigmas and pollen sacs in their nodes. These are female plants that develop both sex organs when exposed to a lot of stress.
Once you can identify the sex of your plants, you’ll want to remove the male or hermaphrodite plants because they can negatively affect the harvest of your female plants. That’s why it is crucial to germinate and grow several cannabis plants to this stage to ensure you get at least one healthy female plant.
9) Grow Weed Plant, Grow!
Suddenly, before your very eyes, the plant will transform. She will grow in height and branch out, putting off leaves and a network of branches. It is your job as the grower to meet her needs so that she can reach her full potential. With a good grow kit, this means as much light as possible and lightly watering only when she is thirsty.
This is considered your marijuana plant’s vegetive stage. The goal in this stage is to keep her healthy and allow the plant to grow as big and strong as possible so that she can hold many, many flowers.
Our complete grow kits include everything you need to go from seed to your very own supply of high grade medical cannabis.
How Many Cannabis Seeds Per Pot?
If you have ever wondered how many cannabis seeds per pot, look no further. One seed is all it takes to grow one plant so even if you see plants that look like as if they were bushes it is all just one seed. Regardless of the apparent size of the plant, all growers know that only one cannabis seeds per pot is required.
So you know how many cannabis seeds per pot, but you want to know what will happen anyway?
If you use more than one or many cannabis seeds in a pot, the cannabis plants will begin to compete against each other for nutrients, so the smallest cannabis plants (which sometimes may be the best phenotypes.) will get wiped out by the bigger cannabis plants.
If you are growing from regular cannabis seeds they could also cross-pollinate resulting in buds with cannabis seeds in them. It sounds simple enough but if the buds have seeds inside them, the potency of the strain can be reduced up to 30%. Each cannabis seed is a plant and they need their own space to grow and thrive, as well as to produce bigger and better buds. Remember that more than one cannabis seed per pot is too many.
You might find our FAQ Submission How Many Marijuana Seeds To Grow A Plant? useful!
How to Choose Cannabis Seeds for Healthy Plants
So you’ve decided you want to grow cannabis. One of the most important and earliest decisions you’ll make is which seeds to use. A good seed contains the essential ingredients for a healthy, potent plant. Learning how to choose cannabis seeds doesn’t have to be complicated – learn the basic facts here.
How to Choose Cannabis Seeds: Buy or Grow?
Seeds are only produced by female cannabis plants after a male plant pollinates them. To grow your own seeds you will need the female plants that produce the seeds, as well as a male plant to fertilize the female plants. It’s as simple as placing the male plant near the female plant you want to fertilize. Seeds will appear in about 4-6 weeks. This can be a complicated process, with a lot of uncertainty, so many people choose to purchase feminized seeds instead.
Male vs. Female: Does it Matter?
Seeds can be male or female, but most people only want to grow female seeds. Why? Because female plants are the plants that produce buds. Most seed companies sell “regulars,” which contain male and female seeds. However, they also offer only female seeds, referred to as feminized seeds. There is a big price difference between the two, but its worth it to spend the extra money to make sure that you are working with feminized seeds so that you do not waste your resources growing male plants that don’t produce the results you want.
Choose Your Benefits
Think about the effects that you would like your cannabis to have when consumed. There are two main categories of cannabis – indica and sativa. Sativas produce an energetic, creative feeling in users. Indicas reduce anxiety and inflammation but often leaves users feeling tired.
How to Spot a Healthy Seed
Healthy marijuana seeds are dark brown, black, or some combination of both. We’d recommend you don’t use green seeds. Green seeds usually aren’t yet mature enough to sprout. Both bigger and smaller seeds will work. Indica seeds tend to be bigger-sized than sativa seeds. Another way indica and sativa seeds differ is in their patterns. Seeds that are brown and black are most likely indica, while the seeds that are a single color are generally sativa.
Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid
Cannabis sativa plants will grow tall and thin. They take longer to mature than indica plants. Sativa plants tend to have bigger yields than indica plants. Indica plants are shorter and more bush-shaped and tend to produce fewer buds than sativa plants.
For many years, people had to choose between the benefits of indica or sativa. But you can also grow hybrid plants, which blend the qualities of sativa and indica into one plant. Hybrids usually are dominant one way or the other – indica or sativa – but also produce the effects of the other kind of plant.
Another thing to consider, especially if you are a novice grower, is that indicas take less time to mature than sativas. Indicas are considered a hardier plant that can withstand more stress so they are more forgiving to novice growers who tend to make a few mistakes on their trial run.
Whether you grow your seeds or purchase them, you should take a few precautions to keep them safe until you are ready to grow them. If done correctly, you can store marijuana seeds for several years and still use them to grow healthy cannabis plants.
Seeds should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place. Do not expose seeds to sunlight or they may sprout. Do not expose seeds to moisture or they may sprout as well. Seeds should be stored at room temperature. Exposing the seeds to extreme cold or heat could damage the seed so that it can never be used.
How to Choose Cannabis Seeds for Success
Don’t get overwhelmed. There are a lot of options when it comes how to choose cannabis seeds! The best way to learn is just to get started.
If you choose to purchase seeds, start with a cheaper strain. Expensive doesn’t always mean better. Some of the old faithful strains are very potent. More complicated, newer, expensive hybrid strains can flop more easily. You don’t want to have spent too much money on seeds for your first plants. Choose a strain that people have been growing abundantly for many years so your first grow cycle is as problem-free as possible.
Want more information on how to choose cannabis seeds and more business tips? Check out the resources provided on our blog or podcast!