Here are a few tips to stimulate germination and not damage the fragile roots.
There are several ways to germinate cannabis seeds where permitted by law.
First and foremost is germination in blotting paper. This is practical and quick and guarantees results in a few days.
So why does it seem to be discouraged?
Let’s see what it is and what its limitations and alternatives are.
What is germination in a paper towel?
Germinating cannabis seeds using the scottex method is undoubtedly one of the most popular methods. The reason may be that it is easy to find the necessary material and simple to implement.
But what is it all about in detail? Let’s see it together.
Apart from recovering the marijuana seeds, of course, is to find a plastic box that lends itself well to the cause.
Ideally, it should be small to medium-sized and have a lid. It is essential that the box retains moisture inside and that the seeds stay warm. The lid should also have small holes to allow a minimum of air circulation.
Now that you have found the ideal box, you can proceed to the next step: choosing the blotting paper to use.
This may sound silly, but it is not. The paper towel you choose will contact the delicate sprouts, and it is better for everyone if it does not expose them to chemicals that the young plant would absorb. For this reason, I advise against using paper towels with designs or coloured writing on them. It is also better that it is not too thick or firm, as it may hold the roots too tightly and compromise the transplanting phase.
Now you are ready to start. First, take a dozen sheets of blotting paper, cut them out so that they do not form creases when placed inside the box and moisten them with a few drops of water.
The sheets must be well impregnated with water over their entire surface without being over-soaked. Use a sprayer if necessary.
Avoid over-watering and risk stagnant water formation, which would expose your seeds to mould and fungus. As for the water you use, choose low in lime, such as drinking water, and make sure it is at room temperature.
You can now place your cannabis seeds inside the box, leaving enough space to prevent sprouts and roots from becoming entwined and easily broken when you transfer them.
But where should you store your seed box now to make sure that you encourage and do not hinder germination?
The ideal is to keep it in warm areas of the house, preferably near a heat source. At this stage, the temperature is the most critical environmental factor. Light is not decisive, and you don’t need to worry about this, at least until you have obtained your seedling.
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Why is germination in paper towels not recommended?
The primary reason why this method is generally not recommended is straightforward. As we said, there is a possibility that the rootlets and sprouts will cling too tightly to the paper, creating a real danger of being irreparably damaged when it comes time to transfer them to the pot.
There is also another reason for this, which is easier to avoid but still risky. The plastic container, unlike potting soil, is unable to drain excess water, exposing the seeds to stagnation which is far from healthy. It is not difficult for mould to form in these conditions, which will force you to throw everything away.
How to germinate cannabis?
So how do you proceed if you want to grow marijuana plants from seed?
Here are the methods favoured by those who have already successfully grown them.
- According to the majority, it is preferable to plant the seeds directly into the growing medium and have them germinate already in the soil. Let’s see how.
Simply insert the seed about half a centimetre deep and cover it with soil. At this point, you need to make sure that it is in a warm and sufficiently humid environment (20° C will do) and wait for it to germinate, watering the soil so that it is moist but never soggy. Too much water will cause the seed to rot instead of allowing it to germinate.
It is also good to know that seeds at this stage do not need the addition of any nutrients or fertilisers: a little water will be more than enough, at least for the first couple of weeks.
The risk is to burn the plant before it even becomes one.
- Alternatively, the rockwool germination method also seems to be very popular.
This method requires a little more care but looks pretty safe for the roots.
Once the seeds have been placed in the rockwool cubes, they are moistened and placed in a mini-greenhouse or on a tray. After a few days, the sprouts will already be visible.
If you choose this option, make sure you soak the stone wool cubes in water with an acid pH before placing the seeds. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the moisture status of the cubes, which tend to dry out very quickly.
- Finally, let’s talk about germination in peat, a fibrous organic compound available in convenient discs.
This method is perfect for germinating cannabis seeds. Once you have purchased the discs, you proceed by moistening them and making a small hole in the outer envelope, into which you place the seeds.
The advantage of this method is that the disc can be placed directly into the pot with the sprouts, thus eliminating the risk of damaging the roots at this stage.
On the other hand, it is not sure that the wrapper will dissolve once in the ground, thus constituting a trap for the plant’s root system. In short, this is a significant risk!
Read also: Cannabis and dopamine: how do they interact?
In conclusion, why should we avoid germinating in a cassette? What alternatives are there?
The paper towel germination method is undoubtedly prevalent and is not complicated to implement. Moreover, it does not require any special equipment: all you need is some paper towels (preferably wholly white) and a plastic container, even a recycled one.
However, this method has its limitations. The main risk is that the rootlets will be trapped in the paper fibre and break off during transfer to the pot.
In addition, the plastic does not allow normal drainage of excess water, exposing the seeds to the risk of rotting or drowning in harmful stagnation.
Fortunately, there are various alternatives, such as germinating in peat discs, rockwool cubes or directly in the growing medium.
The latter seems to be the safest, as it does not require the transfer of the cannabis buds, a delicate and risky step for young plants.
Hoping that this brief discussion has satisfied your curiosity about this technique, we take the opportunity to invite you to visit our SensorySeeds store.
You can find the best genetics of collectable autoflowering cannabis seeds in our online shop and many more. We are waiting for you!