Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. There are many methods to germinate seeds, but for the most common and simplest method, you will need:
Make sure the area the seeds are in is warm, somewhere between 70-85°F.
In commercial cannabis production, generally, growers will plant many seeds of one strain and choose the best plant. They will then take clones from that individual plant, which allows for consistent genetics for mass production.
How to germinate marijuana seeds
Cannabis plant sex organs appear on nodes, the points where branches grow off from the main stalk.
Autoflowers don’t need lots of nutrients because they’re small and don’t spend much time in the vegetative cycle. They won’t need as much veg nutrients—such as nitrogen—but will need more bloom nutrients.
Feminized cannabis seeds will produce only female plants for getting buds, so there is no need to remove males or worry about female plants getting pollinated. Feminized seeds are produced by causing the monoecious condition in a female cannabis plant—the resulting seeds are nearly identical to the self-pollinated female parent, as only one set of genes is present.
Autoflowering seeds are also popular with beginning growers. They are easy to grow because you don’t have to worry about light cycles and how much light a plant receives.
Conditions such as physical damage, light cycle, and variations in temperature can cause a marijuana plant to become ‘intersexual.’
If you are a prospective grower, you already know that marijuana plants go through two life stages, vegetative and flowering. You could classify the vegetative stage as a plant’s ‘childhood.’ It is only focusing on becoming bigger and stronger, with no thought given to gender at this stage. You’re unlikely to have an idea of the plant’s gender for six weeks. This is around the time when plants show ‘pre-flowers.’
In the modern era, growers utilize new technologies to feminize seeds and can produce a success rate of almost 100%! You won’t be surprised to learn that it was a little different at the beginning! Early attempts to feminize marijuana seeds involved the use of two female plants. One of them had hermaphroditic tendencies; it was a plant that tended to produce male flowers when exposed to stress.
Unless you are a breeder, a male plant is effectively useless. Too many of them will ruin your efforts to cultivate weed. You can circumnavigate the problem by planting twice as many seeds as usual. After all, you know that you’ll have to cull 50% of the crop. If you go down this route, you still need to identify male cannabis plants as soon as possible.
In contrast, non-feminized cannabis seeds produce a yield where around half of the plants are male, and half are female. Male plants are useful for a breeding program. However, it is heartbreaking to have to throw away 50% of the plants at the end! Moreover, you are wasting a lot of time and space on plants you’ll ultimately have little or no use for.
Immature cannabis seeds, on the other hand, tend to be green and have a soft outer shell that breaks when any kind of pressure is applied to it.
It’s important to only conduct this test if you are planning to germinate the seeds immediately afterwards. The viable seeds that sunk to the bottom of the glass will have taken in water, crossing the membrane of the seed and signalling that it’s time to come to life—activating germination.
Growing Seeds From A Bag (Bagseed)
A quick web search will bring up all kinds of myths about how to tell female cannabis seeds from males. One of the most popular ones comes from a chart showing 5 different seeds that claims that the female seeds have “a perfectly round volcano-like depression at the bottom (from where the seed was attached to the plant).”
This simple and cost-effective method is a great way to tell the good genetics from the bad; they will sink or swim, literally. Seeds that remain buoyant on the surface are more than likely of poor quality and are to be discarded. Seeds that sink to the bottom like a botanical cannonball are probably healthy and should be germinated.
The fact that cannabis seeds can vary in appearance has led some growers to think that the size, shape, or color of a seed dictates its quality.