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vinegar to soften cannabis seed shell

To improve your chances, use carbonated water and/or add one of these supplements that help with water absorption. Fulvic acid and most boosters also give your seeds a light dose of nutrients.

When your old cannabis seeds don’t want to pop, one of these four techniques could come to their—and your—rescue. Aging seeds are more difficult to grow than fresh ones and we’ll explain what you can do to help germination.


In a life or death situation, surgery may be the only option. Meaning—only do this if nothing else has worked because this technique ruins as many seeds as it saves.

Removing the ridge not only makes it easier for the seed to open, it helps with water absorption.

Scarification, or scuffing the shell, can also help water pass through an older seed’s tough outer shell.

If I expect the seeds to germinate within a few days or weeks, I cover the pots with a sheet of plastic wrap, glass, or clear plastic to preserve moisture, and check daily. When sprouts appear, I remove the covering. I start a lot of seeds, and don’t worry about providing them with bottom heat to speed germination—I just try to keep things simple. If the seeds are likely to take a long time to germinate—some stratified seeds may spend months in a pot before sprouting—I don’t bother covering them and just take care to keep the soil moist.

After seedlings emerge, I use a water-soluble fertilizer weekly to encourage growth. Fish emulsion or any type of fertilizer will work, but I use Peters or Miracle Gro. If the label doesn’t recommend a strength for seedlings, I mix at the ratio recommended for container plants. If the directions specify “outdoor plants” or “indoor plants,” I follow the recommendations for indoor plants. If there is only a recommendation for outdoor use, I cut the amount of fertilizer in half. For my fertilizers of choice, that is about 1 teaspoon per gallon of water.

Water your plants well before transplanting them, and water the garden soil until it’s well-moistened but not sopping wet. Slide the plants out of their pots and into place, firm the soil around each with your fingers, and water with a fine mist. Be sure to keep the soil moist until the plants start growing well.

Soilless mixes help prevent seedling disease

For other seeds, especially many desert dwellers, a period of rain (or synthesized rain, a.k.a. the garden hose or a good overnight soak) may be all that is necessary to burst that seed coat wide open.

Good watering is gentle watering. If you’re watering from above, use a soft, misty spray.

Once the pots are planted, I set them on a cookie sheet or other shallow tray for easy transport to a cold frame or other seed-starting area. The trays also make bottom watering easier. It’s important to keep the seed-starting medium moist to speed germination; I use a very fine mist to water the pots from above, or pour water into the tray and let the pots soak it up from the bottom.

Columbines brighten both sides of my shady, front-yard path. The little congregation on one side came as plants from a catalog, while those on the other were nurtured, by me, from a palmful of shiny, black seeds to a drift of long-spurred flowers. Guess which ones give me the most satisfaction? Maternal pride isn’t the only reward that I get from starting seeds. I’ve also gained a greener thumb and a fatter wallet—a packet of seeds provides 20 or more plants for the price of a single potted plant.

Caveat: Overdoing it will kill your plants.

Clay pot, while looking attractive, absorbs minerals, calcium, and salts from fertilizers and water, and all this clogs its natural porous ability over time. You can use vinegar to bring back the original look and unclog the tiny pores.

The acetic acid present in vinegar is great for controlling powdery mildew. Add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar in a gallon of water and spray on the affected area of the plant.

3. Controls Powdery Mildew

You can use vinegar to soften the outer shell of the seeds, which is a hard membrane that can interrupt the germination process. To ease germination, soak the seeds overnight in a bowl of water with 5-8 drops of white vinegar. This will help the seeds to germinate faster while improving the chances considerably.

The foliage of your indoor plants accumulates dirt over time. Many houseplants also get white spots on the foliage due to hard water high in mineral content. You can get rid of these stains or dust by making a mixture of:

While growing plants like lucky bamboo in glasses or vases, the hard water often results in visible white lines due to mineral deposits. You can get rid of them easily by soaking a cloth in vinegar–rubbing on the mark and leaving it for 5-10 minutes before wiping it off.