If cannabis is legal in your state, you can buy seeds or clones from a local dispensary, or online through various seed banks.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
Cannabis seeds vs. clones
One drawback of clones is they need to be taken during the vegetative stage of a plant—flower is too late—so if you have a small setup with only one light, it can be hard to keep clones alive while flowering other plants, because the two need different amounts of light.
Cannabis plant sex organs appear on nodes, the points where branches grow off from the main stalk.
The main drawback to growing from seed is there is no guarantee as to what you’ll end up with—if you buy a regular pack of cannabis seeds, it will be a mix of males and females. You’ll need to sex them out (more below) to identify the males and get rid of them, because you don’t want your females producing seeds.
When the first few millimetres of root have emerged from a germinated seed, each one should then be carefully transferred to a small container of growing medium (soil, coco-fibre or rockwool).
Seedlings intended for outdoors should be acclimatised to direct sunlight by placing them on a windowsill inside the house and increasing their exposure to direct sunlight by an hour or two per day.
This article explains how to correctly germinate your cannabis seeds, covering everything from optimum temperatures, to potting your seedlings and transferring them outdoors (or inside under lights).
Step 3. Potting – How to germinate cannabis seeds
Place another few layers of moist tissue on top of the seeds, again allowing excess water to drain off.
New seedlings should be given access to bright light from the time they emerge. Care should be exercised in the first week or two, as seedlings are still quite delicate.
Check the seeds every day to ensure that the tissue does not dry out. Spray the tissues with water if necessary.
Place the cannabis seed, root first, into the hole and cover with a small amount of growing medium – just enough to block light, not enough to obstruct the seedling when it emerges.
You will need to invest in a few pieces of unique equipment, but by using stone wool blocks, you can create a perfect utopia for germinating cannabis seeds. Soak the stone wool blocks in the same way you would a soil medium. The wool will retain the moisture and prevent the need to water during the early stages of germination. After the wool blocks are soaked, stick them in a plastic tray that also has a lid. Large cake tubs are ideal.
Probably one of the most common methods of germination. The kitchen towel method comes in several iterations. Some growers use cotton wool pads or absorbent pieces of paper. For this guide, we will be using kitchen towel as it is readily available and holds moisture relatively well.
The soil pots will need small holes (roughly 10–15mm deep) for the newly germinated seeds to be placed into. Once the seeds are secure, you will want to place a fluorescent light 13–15cm (5–6 inches) away to encourage growth. Finally, don’t risk overwatering your seeds at this early stage. Use a plant mister to make sure they stay damp but not soaking wet.
PLANTING DIRECTLY INTO SOIL
Often overlooked, it is all too easy to assume that the vegetative and flowering stages of cannabis growth are the most critical parts of the plant’s life cycle. However, with the chance of failure high unless you know what you’re doing, poor planning when it comes to germination can make or break your next grow. Giving your cannabis seeds the best possible start on their journey to bulging buds is a surefire way to encourage a healthy and robust plant.
Regardless of where you get your seeds from, it is best to give them a slight (and delicate) inspection before planting. Most of the time, all seeds will germinate; however, poor-quality seeds will produce a weaker plant. Unfortunately, that is something you will not find out until well into the vegetative and flowering stages.
Place one sheet of damp kitchen towel on a flat surface. Space your seeds a few centimetres apart before placing the second piece of kitchen towel over the top. You need to ensure both pieces are damp, not wet. Once again, when the white root tips reach 2–3mm, move the seeds (carefully) to soil pots. Use the same guidance found above for planting techniques.
Small, fragile, and in desperate need of a helping hand, there are several ways you can germinate your cannabis seeds. All methods have varying degrees of success, with both advantages and disadvantages. It is important to note that even with advanced growing expertise and top-of-the-line equipment, you may still end up with a few failed seeds. This is a natural part of dealing with a living organism. At Royal Queen seeds, we only sell feminized cannabis seeds, so there is no need to worry about removing male plants.