For young plants, it’s best to use bottled water as it has no chlorine added. If using tap water, let it sit for 24 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. Overwatering is just as deadly as drying out.
Our favorite thing about 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.
Perhaps the most exciting stage, your baby will typically come above ground in 1-2 weeks. 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.
4) Lighting for your seedling
Seedlings require a medium amount of light in which it has enough to grow but not too much light that it gets 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, 18 in away from a growing light works excellently. Your seedling should not stretch more than 6 in at most. We’ll cover lighting in more depth in a later blog.
Starting from seed is a remarkable journey. Understanding the biology is one thing, but comprehending how a little miracle bean can turn into a gigantic tree that can affect your body and mind is nothing short of an evolutionary miracle. Or rather a co-evolutionary story of plant and human.
Raising a 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.
To accelerate germination, you are going to want to soak your seed in a small container with lukewarm water and place it in a dark and warm place for 12-24 hours, but no longer. By drenching the seed, it absorbs the water thoroughly, activating the germination process. Doing this also 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.
Commercially – grown marijuana or those grown by seasoned growers are typically regular flowering cannabis plants. More specifically, they are called photoperiod cannabis. These are the giants of the pot world– with the potential to grow 16 feet (or taller) and harvest 10 pounds of dried pot off a single plant.
Once the cannabis plant is a few feet tall, or about 30 days after she pops out of the dirt, she starts her flowering cycle. Autoflowering cannabis is typically ready to harvest in 80 days from seed– regardless of its light schedule. This means the autoflowering cannabis growing season is year-round! Autoflowering cannabis seamlessly integrates into your growing environment. Make it easy on yourself and go this route.
This species of cannabis starts her flowering cycle when she starts receiving equal hours of sunlight and darkness. This means if you are growing this type of pot indoors, the plant needs to consistently receive 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to release the necessary hormones to begin flowering. This is why many people that grow photoperiod cannabis indoors opt for grow tents or dedicated grow rooms.
Autoflowering Cannabis vs. Photoperiod Cannabis
By far, the easiest and cheapest plant to grow for beginner cannabis growers is autoflowering cannabis . It comes from the species Cannabis ruderalis . This type of cannabis flowers, as the name suggests, automatically.
When learning to grow autoflowering weed strains, the number of factors that can go wrong dramatically decreases compared to photoperiod cannabis. If your goal is to grow a single cannabis plant, then the number of locations you can grow without risking your crop increases with autoflowers. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a $1000 grow tent setup to grow some good cannabis – all you need is sunlight and good water.
This guide was written for cannabis enthusiasts who want a no-fuss way of growing healthy cannabis plants without the tents, timing, and grow lights. It’s a small step towards greater accessibility for marijuana home growing. So flip a middle finger to big corporations, break up with your dispensary, and step into the world of DIY weed growing at home OG style. Growing sticky, smelly cannabis buds is easier and way more rewarding than you think!
Steps for Growing a Small Weed Plant
Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
If growing male and female cannabis seeds, they’ll start to show their sex organs, or “pre-flowers,” after 8-10 weeks from germination.
Time to germinate
Cannabis used for hemp production has been selected for other traits, including a low THC content, so as to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. Consequently, many varieties of hemp produce significant quantities of CBD.
Females will have a round structure with long hairs—these hairs will develop into pistils, which will catch pollen in the air.
Most seeds that you will buy are regular seeds as described above, but here are a couple more types.
Also, buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank will give you a sense of what a particular strain will look and smell like, how it will grow, and how much it will yield at harvest.