no additional equipment required (assuming you have paper towels)
requires transplanting the seeds, which risks damage
need to ensure the paper towel stays damp, but not wet
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.
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.
lower cost than using propagator
peat pellets (or rapid rooters) still offer the best chance of success, even without a propagator
less control than with propagator
if using a DIY propagator, requires time to construct
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.
My sprouts are about 2 1/2 – 3 inches tall. They have produced the first and second smooth leaves, as well as the first serrated leaves. They also have the second, tiny serrated leaves coming out. But the initial leaves have turned slightly yellow. I’m concerned that I am, perhaps, overwatering? Any suggestions will be welcomed. (Thanks for the suggestion for moving air. I will try that to strengthen the stems because they will go outside once the threat of frost has passed.)
“When can cannabis seedlings be put under lights or in the sun?” is a common and sensible question that is often asked by novice cannabis enthusiasts after germinating seeds indoors under lights.
When using HID lighting (usually a metal halide lamp), young seedlings should be kept at least 50cm from the bulb.
When to plant your cannabis seedlings outside?
If using normal fluorescent tubes (18-36w), seedlings can be kept within a few centimetres of the light source.
In general, seedlings intended for outdoor growing should be kept by a sunny window for the first week or two after emerging from the soil. When they have grown their second or third set of serrated leaves seedlings are usually hardy enough to flourish in direct sunlight.
If they lean or tip over, I use the soil around them to “mound” around the stem. Makes them wicked thick in maturity.
Not sure whether to grow your cannabis seeds in the sun or under lights? This article explains how much light you need, how to prevent your seedlings from falling over, and when to plant them outside.
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.
Timescales can vary, as it all depends on how ideal your germination environment is (see the golden rules above). Even the worst grower could make a seed germinate, but it may take a few weeks and, of course, increases the risk of a weaker plant.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN CANNABIS SEEDS
Two or three weeks after germination, your young seedlings should be ready for their new home. At this point you have two options; transplanting them into soil pots, or taking on the challenge of hydroponics. You’ll know when the seedlings are ready to be moved because the root system should start to poke out of the bottom of the wool blocks. As long as the roots haven’t begun to engulf the bottom half of the wool block, they will seek out water and nutrients in their new surroundings and continue to grow downwards.
Start by filling pots with a premium-quality soil that has been soaked in water. Many growers also choose to lace the water with a root stimulator. Make a hole roughly 10–15mm deep. This will be your seed’s new home. Remove the seeds from their packet and place them into the pre-dug holes. Loosely cover the seeds, but be careful not to compress the soil above the seed too much. The root will struggle to penetrate solid soil, slowing plant growth. Lightly spray the top of where you placed the seed so that your growing medium stays moist.
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.