Modified on: 27/04/2022
Fast methods for the germination of cannabis seeds (warning: it is forbidden to grow in the UK)
Fast germination of cannabis seeds is one of the many worries of marijuana producers. Start the crops under the perfect period or plan them schematically, as the seeds must germinate quickly (so the plants are not damaged).
Furthermore, for everything to go well, the hemp seeds must be ripe before the grower starts the germination phase.
In this article, we will talk about ripe marijuana seeds and how producers can best germinate them.
But be careful: in the UK, it is forbidden to bring marijuana seeds to germination. The learnings you find below are simply for information, and you can only use them if you are in a country that allows marijuana cultivation.
Ripe marijuana seeds: how to recognize them?
Cannabis seeds ripen after about 4 to 6 weeks of their development (which takes place a few days after pollination). It is possible to understand when they are ready for the next step based mainly on the colour.
During the early stages of their development, the seeds are green and have a reasonably softshell to the touch. As time passes, the shell begins to hatch so that the seeds can fall (or be collected) easily.
With a simple visual check, you can glimpse the colour of the seeds: when ripe they have a colour that can go from dark brown to dark grey.
Besides, their shell is hard and very often has lighter streaks than the primary colour (but not all marijuana seed varieties have stripes). Once ripe, the seeds are ready for germination.
Read also: Do you want to smoke hemp seeds? Here are 3 reasons not to do it!
Cannabis seed germination methods
The weed seeds need well-specific factors to be able to germinate. Here are the ones which lead to an optimal seed germination time, from 2 to 3 days:
- Humidity. The seeds must be in a humid environment, but it is not recommended to leave them to soak for too long. It is possible to soak them for about 24 hours to stimulate the growth of the seedlings, but germination of the seeds in water is not recommended. In fact, after 24 hours, the seeds could rot very quickly.
- Light and warmth. Keeping the seeds under light and warm temperature (not excessive) is a great idea, but don’t go overboard. Spring temperatures, around 20ºC, are perfect.
- Be delicate and be cautious. Marijuana seeds are very fragile during the germination phase, therefore is strongly discouraged touching the white root (the first tick) as it may come off very easily. Besides, growers must be cautious about the direction and depth in which they plant the seeds. Specifically, it is necessary to plant the sprouted seeds at a depth of 1.5 – 2.5 centimetres, pointing the small white root downwards.
After these general steps, here are the 3 main methods of seed germination:
- Germination in peat or rock wool cubes.
- Germinate the seeds on paper napkins.
- Plant cannabis seeds directly in organic soil.
Let’s see them in detail below
Method #1 for the rapid germination of seeds: the use of peat or rock wool cubes.
One of the best ways to germinate hemp seeds is to use peat or rock wool starter cubes, which are sold specifically for this purpose.
When using these materials, cannabis manufacturers place the seeds in a hole already present in the cubes and close the hole by simply pinching the peat, or rock wool, with their fingers. They then regularly add water. Set up the light on the seeds well so that they have enough heat and wait for the seedlings to emerge.
At this point, they can decide to start hydroponic or aeroponic cultivation or to extract the cubes from their base, and transplant them on the ground.
Method #2 for fast seed germination: plant the seeds directly into the ground.
In nature, cannabis seedlings are in the ground, and many farmers choose to germinate the seeds in the same way by planting them directly in the growing medium.
One of the essential advantages of germination in the soil is that you can avoid the shock that the seedling undergoes during transplanting. This way, the plant immediately adapts to its final environment.
In this case, the producer should plant the seeds in a well-moistened soil at a depth of 1.5 to 2.5 cm. Afterwards, he will have to continue watering the earth and fit the lighting so that it is well heated.
Method #3 for fast seed germination: germinating cannabis seeds on paper napkins.
Starting the germination of seeds in paper napkins is a quick, easy and low-cost method ( germinating the seeds in cotton wool is not recommended, as the roots could grow inside the fibres and be damaged during transplantation).
The napkins most used in this case are the ones that are not very porous so that the roots do not go inside the paper.
What growers do?
They wet a paper towel, place the ripe cannabis seeds, fold up the napkin and leave it in a lighted and warm place. Of course, the napkin dries. Therefore, it is necessary to wet it regularly but carefully, avoiding to damage the small and delicate roots.
The perfect germination method for cannabis seeds depends on the grower’s needs. Each producer tries to buy the best marijuana seeds, well ripe and certified and then decides (also based on how they are grown) how to germinate them.
It is also essential to know that seedlings need moisture, light, heat and a lot of care. It is the only way to avoid damaging them and consequently having to eliminate them.