Growing marijuana seeds allows you to connect with your cannabis on a physical level. There is something special about nurturing a seed that will eventually grow into the gratifying bud we all know and love. Growing cannabis isn’t rocket science, but it does take time, patience, and care. If you are curious about how to grow weed from seeds, look no further.
By reading this article, you’ve already shown you care about growing cannabis responsibly. We’ll take a look at the benefits of growing your own marijuana or hemp and the best methods for keeping your plants healthy and happy. Before getting our hands dirty, let’s examine what it takes to grow cannabis.
Is It Easy To Grow Weed from Seeds?
Growing weed from seeds can be easy, but it won’t happen overnight. This cannabis plant may be special, but it still requires the same attention and nutrients that other plants require. While it requires dedication, marijuana cultivation is a relaxing process that anyone can have fun with.
Since a seed’s environment impacts its needs, an Alaskan grower’s experience in winter will differ from one planting their marijuana in Louisiana’s summer heat. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean your environment limits your growth abilities. If you can’t grow seeds outdoors, take them inside!
Advancements in indoor and outdoor growing techniques have made it possible to produce incredible hemp and marijuana no matter where you live. While it may be challenging for someone in Manhattan to maintain outdoor plants, they could still grow bodacious buds just fine as indoor plants.
Cannabis growers have long debated whether indoor or outdoor growing results in better plants. For example, some argue that outdoor flower isn’t as pretty as indoor bud. The truth is, the technology and supplies for both methods have advanced so much in recent years that it’s really up to you.
The benefit of growing your cannabis indoors is that you have the greatest amount of control. Environmental factors like light and humidity are at the mercy of Mother Nature outdoors, but inside you can adjust your grow lights and the moisture in the air as needed.
On the other hand, outdoor operations take far less investment. The natural soil, sunlight, and natural warmth are just what your plant needs to thrive—and best of all, they’re free! The biggest risks of outdoor cannabis cultivation are poor weather conditions, pests, and plant diseases.
Are There Benefits to Growing Weed from Seeds?
One of the most rewarding benefits of growing cannabis seeds is watching something come to life. Your time and commitment will turn a small, unassuming seed into a flowering plant standing several feet off the ground. Another benefit is a constant supply; you’ll never run out of cannabis again!
Taking care of other plant species is rewarding for the same reasons: the thrill of encouraging life and the proven mental benefits that plants promote. Though, marijuana and hemp plants have the added advantage of their flowers, which are packed with useful properties.
Of course, some companies grow top-shelf cannabis using techniques that the average home grower may not have access to. Nevertheless, germinating seeds yourself is a great way to save money, exercise control over your strains, and experiment however you like.
Growing your own cannabis seeds can indeed save you money in the long run, but how long it takes to break even will depend on your initial investment. For those looking to care for a few plants at a time, you can start growing for under $200. In this case, you’ll quickly harvest affordable bud.
If you’re hoping to maintain a larger crop, keep in mind that the early costs will rise. But with focus and patience, you’ll see your initial investment pay off.
Germinating cannabis seeds yourself also lets you adjust the plants however you like. Do you prefer larger, more potent, or more flavorful buds? The more experience you gain in cannabis cultivation, the easier it will be to tweak the seeds’ nutrients, resulting in the perfect cannabis for you!
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How To Grow Weed From Seeds
Anyone can grow cannabis, but not everyone has the patience to grow it correctly. It takes guidance, attention, and time to grow cannabis plants the right way. We’ll supply the guidance, and if you handle the rest, we’re certain your seedlings will grow into strong plants that are packed with benefits.
When we think of growing marijuana, it’s easy to picture rows of beautiful plants surrounded by high-tech equipment. Movies and news outlets often show these professional operations, but all you really need is a pot, soil, nutrients, light, and water (a couple of cannabis seeds might help also).
Soak the Seed
Soaking seeds in water is not technically necessary for growing plants, but it can drastically accelerate the germination process. “Germination” refers to the process of a seed transforming into a plant. When the seed is surrounded by water, its growth hormones are triggered and it begins germinating.
There are two primary techniques for soaking your seeds. The first is to drop the seeds into a cup of lukewarm water and leave them to soak overnight. Lukewarm water should be slightly warmer than your body temperature but not hot (100-110°F).
Make sure you don’t leave the seeds in water for longer than 24 hours, as they could become oxygen-deprived. After 12 hours, you should be able to see the white taproot pierce the seed’s shell. A taproot is an anchor of sorts for germinated seeds, and other rootlets grow out of it.
From this stage, you could transfer the seeds to soil if you choose. Though, some seeds need more time to germinate. If the seed’s taproot is not yet visible or needs to develop further, you can continue the germination process using paper towels.
To finish germinating, transfer the seeds to a dark, moist place. We recommend wrapping them in a dampened paper towel covered by an overturned bowl or plate. The temperature should be 70-90°F, and the paper towels should be medium moist, not soggy (if it drips excess water, it’s too wet).
Some plant seeds germinate quickly, while others take longer, which may make it difficult to get the timing right on a large batch. The second method for germination is to skip the glass of water and start the process with moist paper towels. This is a great method for those who want to have multiple seeds germinating simultaneously.
Plant the Seed
Once the seeds have sprouted — meaning their taproot is clearly visible — you can plant them in a container. We recommend planting your developing marijuana seeds in seedling pellets. These pellets, typically made of compressed peat moss and coco husk, are excellent for nurturing seedlings.
Seedlings are seeds that have just sprouted. Since seedling pellets are rich in organic material, they provide the seedling with all of the nutrients it requires. Seedling pellets (also called peat pellets) come in the shape of flat discs, but they will expand to squat cylinders once watered.
The easiest way to water your seedling pellets is by placing them in a tray. If you don’t have a tray, a baking sheet or plate will also do the trick. Water the tray until half the pellets’ height is covered.
Within 5-10 minutes, the pellets will expand. There will likely be a netting surrounding the pellet, but there’s no need to discard it unless otherwise directed (most often, it is biodegradable). After the pellets have expanded, tear a small hole on the top of the netting and use a toothpick to create a shallow hole.
As you make the hole, reserve any pellet soil that you displace. Set your seedlings inside the pellet, and cover them with the reserved soil. Cover the tray (a plastic lid is typically provided in seedling pellet kits), and keep the seeds in a warm place that is not in direct sunlight.
Sprouting Above Ground
Even though your seedling has made it this far, it’s best not to touch the plant during its early development stage as it could stunt its growth. If your seedling has well-developed roots but has not yet broken through its soil, it will likely sprout in one to two weeks. Older seeds may need more time.
There could be several reasons your seed hasn’t sprouted after two weeks. If you planted it too deep in the pellet soil, it might struggle to break through the layers of dirt. Gently shaking the soil could loosen it up, allowing more air to fuel the seed’s growth.
A seed that hasn’t sprouted may have had issues in its germination process. Perhaps the tap root did not grow properly, or the seed was left in water for too long and died. If you’re certain the germination was not the issue, you may need to wait a bit more than two weeks before it sprouts.
Once the cannabis seed sprouts, you may notice that its shell is still attached. You may want to make sure the plant grows properly but resist the urge to peel the shell off. The shell will fall within a few days, and the only thing you need to worry about is getting the seedling some light!
Lighting & Placement
Whether you’re growing indoor or outdoor cannabis seeds, lighting is one of the most important factors for a plant’s health. Seedlings need a medium amount of light, which means they could get burned if left in direct sunlight. Outdoor plants should have some shade to cut down on excess heat.
Indoor growers can place their seed in a sunny windowsill or roughly 18 inches away from a growing light. The light will help the seed germinate and open its first set of leaves. A seedling’s leaves will remain green until they receive light.
Use caution if you want to keep your plants on a windowsill. While this is generally a good place for non-direct sunlight, it depends on your location relative to the sun. If the sun is directly facing your plant, the glass can sometimes act as a magnifying glass.
Fortunately, there’s an excellent tool for determining whether your cannabis plants need more sunlight: the plant itself! “Stretching” refers to a plant growing taller to expose its leaves to more sunlight. Plants should not stretch more than six inches in their seedling phase.
If the plant does not get enough vitamin C, it will stretch its stalk without developing the rest of itself (this is known as a leggy seedling). Eventually, the plant will topple under its own weight, so make sure the seedling gets more light if you notice excessive stretching.
Your plant will let you know if it’s getting too much light through yellowed leaves or burned spots. A burned seedling’s leaves show patches that may be brown, tan, or discolored. A healthy and well-lit seedling is green with stretching kept below six inches.
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Watering Your Seedlings
Seedlings want good, refreshing water to replenish their nutrients and help them grow. The EPA requires treated tap water to have chlorine, which is great for people’s health but toxic for plants. We recommend using bottled water that does not contain chlorine to water your cannabis seeds.
If you’d still prefer to use tap water, there are a few ways you can remove the chlorine from it. Since it is a volatile chemical that easily evaporates, leaving out a glass of water for 24 hours can remove the chlorine. Some water filters may also remove chlorine, but you’ll want to double-check the label.
Other methods for removing chlorine from water include UV lights and boiling the water for 20 minutes. Once you’ve got seed-safe water, add a shot-glass amount weekly, or enough to keep the soil moderately damp. Since seedling pellets germinate seeds efficiently, they do not require much water.
Overwatering a seed is just as dangerous as dehydration. The best way to determine whether your plant has enough water is its soil. Dry soil should get an extra shot-glass of water.
Leaves & Hardening
Your seed is now officially a seedling, and you’ll quickly notice its stem begin to thicken and harden. This is to provide a good foundation for the plant’s first set of leaves called cotyledons. After the cotyledons have shed the seed husk, they will grow to 1/4 inches in size before falling off.
The cotyledons’ purpose is to soak up as much energy as possible for the developing plant. They fuel the burgeoning roots, which are beginning to fully cement themselves in the soil at this stage. Once the roots are set, the first true leaves open, and the plant can be moved into direct sunlight.
Check on your seedling pellets every day to see whether they have sprouted. Don’t add any water to the pellets unless it is bone-dry to the touch. Once the seedlings break through the soil, hardened, and roots are visible around the netting, move the pellets directly into a container of potting soil.
The best growing medium for your plant depends on your region and the seed’s strain, but regular potting soil is generally acceptable. Think of transplanting your cannabis like moving into a bigger apartment. Your green buddy needs plenty of room to stretch out its strong roots.
Transplanting is a delicate process. Even though your plants are getting stronger at this point, they are still in a vulnerable stage of development. Avoid touching the plants themselves, instead, handle the pellet, soil, or pot. Stress can inhibit a maturing plant, so make sure you move slow and steadily.
Once the plant is in its pot, water the seedling. Skip the next week of watering to give the roots a chance to take hold of the new soil. And those are the basics of growing weed from seeds!
Whether this is your 500th or first time planting cannabis seeds, it is always an inspiring and meditative process. From seed to full-fledged cannabis plant, growers get to control the development of a substance that they or others will eventually use. Stay patient and have fun because when we take care of our cannabis, it takes care of us!