How To Grow Cannabis Seeds
Growing cannabis seeds requires the right supplies in order to do it properly. Before you begin growing, it is important to make sure you have the right tools and materials. This includes things like soil, containers, nutrients, light, ventillation, and of course, seeds.
Gather all of these supplies and make sure to have them ready before you start growing your cannabis seeds.
Obtain cannabis seeds
When attempting to grow cannabis, the first step is obtaining the right kind of seeds. Cannabis seeds are typically sold legally from seed distributors and medical marijuana supply stores, depending upon your location and laws. Make sure to buy from a reliable source that has a good reputation for quality genetics.
Before you purchase, consider what characteristics you would like in your product such as certain effects, flavors or aromas, or whether you want an Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant or hybrid strain. Once you have narrowed down which type of strains you desire to grow from seed, it's important to research growing conditions for each strain individually in order to determine which ones best suit your environment and desired results.
In addition to purchasing cannabis seeds online, they can also be obtained through other methods such as:
- Obtaining clones from local dispensaries while they are still in vegative growth stages.
- Finding seed stock in already harvested bud plants that have their pollen sacks intact (which can consist of both male and female components).
- Searching for them outdoors (which is not identical with wild weed).
It's important to note that outdoor collection is only allowed in some countries while illegal in others – be sure to check with local/national laws prior engaging any type of activity. In all cases when sourcing cannabis seeds remember its best practice to ensure their quality by purchasing them directly from a reputable seed distributor or medical marijuana supply store.
Choose a growing medium
Choosing a growing medium is one of the essential steps to prepare for growing cannabis seeds. When it comes to grow mediums (or substrates) many are available, however if you want your cannabis plants to flourish you’ll need to be mindful of their individual needs.
Here are a few grow mediums to consider when planting cannabis seeds:
- Soil: The most traditional and economical way of growing, soil remains widely popular amongst small-scale growers. However, if soil isn't rich in nutrients, or too coarse, it won't allow for the healthy growth of your plants and may need fertilizing frequently.
- Hydroponic systems: A nutrient-filled water solution used in place of soil helps ensure uniform absorption rates as well as fast growth. First time growers should avoid this method as it's more complicated and expensive but preferred by experienced growers who want faster flowering times.
- Coco coir/perlite mixes: Popular because they're easy to use, have great absorbency and can easily be pH balanced with lime or an acidic adjustment like hydrochloric acid (HCl). Learn more about the benefits of coco coir/perlite mixes here.
There are many other substrates available so what works best will depend on your preferences and resources. No matter which grow medium you choose, make sure you read up on its benefits as well as any potential risks before launching into your grow project!
Select a container
When growing cannabis from seeds, it is important to choose a container that will be suitable for their development. Some factors to take into consideration when selecting a container include: size, materials, and drainage.
Selecting a properly sized container is crucial for successful plant growth. Smaller containers are appropriate for starting your seedlings but they must be transplanted at the appropriate time and should be large enough to accommodate mature size plants. In general, an 8-inch pot can hold up to 3 or 4 seedlings or one adult cannabis plant. If you are planning on having multiple adult plants in the same container, larger pots (15-20 gallon) are required to ensure adequate room and resources for each seedling or adult plant.
The material of your containers should be considered too. Clay pots are toxic-free and provide good oxygenation however these porous materials may encourage quicker water evaporations so plan accordingly if you intend to use these as your cannabis growing containers of choice. On the other hand plastic pots tend to retain more water which may make them more suitable for certain climates or situations where warm temperatures cause quick evaporation rates however it is best practice still to test different pot types before using them for large grows.
Drainage should also factor into your decision making process when selecting the right potting containers for your cannabis grower needs as it relates back directly related with keeping the roots healthy throughout their life cycle! Drainage in soil allows excess water and air flow through that helps manage nutrient levels and create oxygen around the root zone so ensure whatever potting container you select has several holes located at its bottom surface area that permit drainage – otherwise this’ll lead root rot scenarios which can damage/ruin an entire grow operation if proper attention isn’t given quickly!
Prepare the Growing Area
Growing cannabis plants successfully begins with preparing a suitable growing area. The space should provide plenty of sunlight, airflow, and an easy way to monitor the plants while they grow. While outdoor or indoor spaces can both be suitable, one must assess the area and make sure it meets all the requirements for growing healthy cannabis plants.
Let's discuss the necessary steps for preparing the growing area:
Select a suitable location
Selecting the right kind of location or space for growing cannabis from seed is one of the most important parts of proper cannabis cultivation. The place where you choose to grow your plants should offer them adequate protection, as well as plenty of light and air circulation. The temperature should also be consistent, so consider whether or not you will need to install an air conditioner or dehumidifier. Keep in mind that large-scale facilities with high operations expenses may require a larger up-front capital investment than smaller grows due to the extra equipment and personnel needed.
The following criteria should be taken into consideration when selecting a potential growing area:
- Security: Make sure that only authorized personnel have access to the facility, and ensure that it has good lighting and other security measures such as locks on doors and windows.
- Lighting: Marijuana’s photosynthesis process requires plenty of sunlight, so it is important to select an area with optimal exposure to natural light. You can also use artificial lighting such as CFLs and LEDs if natural light is inadequate. If using artificial lights, position them far away enough from each other so that they do not cross each other’s light paths.
- Temperature: The optimal temperature for growing marijuana indoors is between 68°F (20°C) and 84°F (29°C). A lower temperature can damage plants, while a higher temperature may induce flowering prematurely.
- Ventilation and air circulation: Good air movement helps eliminate moisture problems, maximizes carbon dioxide intake for photosynthesis, ensures even temperatures throughout the growing space and promotes greater plant health overall.
- Humidity levels: Ideal humidity levels depend mostly on the growth stage of the plant – keep levels between 40%RH (relative humidity) when plants are vegetative, then lower them by 5%RH every day until they reach 55%RH when flowers begin forming.
Set up a grow tent
Setting up a grow tent is one of the easiest ways to begin growing cannabis and it can provide an ideal environment for plants. Many grow tents are modestly priced, lightweight and easy to set up, making them a great option for budding growers.
Before you select a tent, be sure to consider the size of the area you’re looking to cultivate in. Make sure you have enough room for your plants and all of your equipment. Consider investing in higher end tents with thicker fabric walls, as this will help maintain better climate control within your grow room. Additionally, reflective mylar lining is preferable as it will help direct more light back onto the foliage, creating better yields.
A good grow tent should include a filter/fan system to draw away unwanted odors and carbon dioxide levels from the growing area. Larger grow tents may come with additional vents which provide further air circulation or additional fan/filter capacity that can be configured to run from multiple directions inside the main tent space. Once your tent is set up, you will be ready for the next step: adding LED plant lights appropriate for flowering or vegetative growth stages.
Germination is the process of sprouting a cannabis seed and the start of its life cycle. During Germination, the outer shell of the seed splits and a root starts to appear. This is the first point where the seed interacts with its environment, and therefore, it’s essential to provide the right environment and nutrients for proper Germination.
Let's look a closer look at what's involved in this process:
Soak the seeds
Soaking the seeds before planting is a powerful and effective way to initiate life in your cannabis seed starter. The goal of soaking seeds is to soften the tough outer shell and allow water to penetrate, triggering dormancy to cease and germination to begin.
Using cool-to-lukewarm spring water is best – temperatures should range between 70 and 75 degree Fahrenheit, as any higher may kill the germ at the center of the seed. Since most home water supplies don't always stay in this range, it can be beneficial to use a thermometer when coming up with the right temperature.
After submerging your seeds in a shallow container filled with lukewarm water, wait until all air bubbles from inside float out of each seed (usually 10 minutes). At this time, you can take them out one by one using tweezers or a needle (being careful not to prick your fingers) and start planting on prepared soil or pots if you're an indoor cultivator. Otherwise, you may simply throw them directly into prepared soil in the garden!
Plant the seeds
Once you have your cannabis seeds, it’s time to get started growing. It’s important to remain patient and take preparation steps before planting the seeds in order to ensure a healthy crop. Before beginning germination, it is vital to first clean and sterilize all of the tools you will be using. To start the germination process, fill a bowl or container with room temperature distilled water and soak the seeds overnight.
After they have been submerged overnight, you can then prepare a small planting tray filled with pre-moistened potting soil or coco coir. Once your planting tray is prepared, you will then place one seed in each of your holes about 1/4 inch deep into the soil medium. Make sure that the pointed end of each seed is facing downwards and cover lightly with either potting mix or coco coir. In order for your cannabis plants to start their life cycle outdoors in an Earth-friendly manner without the use of electricity, this is known as ‘direct sowing.’
Once placed in their holes and covered lightly with soil mix or coco coir, it’s important to gently water them well so that they are completely soaked but not flooded as too much water can also stunt or even kill off your delicate young plants. You should see tender root tips emerging within 24-48 hours after sowing depending on seed variety, soil moisture levels and air temperature at which they were planted at. After this point make sure that they have plenty of light exposure throughout the day—although direct sunlight might be too intense for them at this stage—and keep them properly watered until their first leaves begin emerging from the surface showing true gender (male vs female) characteristics usually visible only within 3 – 4 weeks from germination date.
Vegetative growth is an important part of the cannabis growing process as it sets the stage for flowering. During vegetative growth, the cannabis plants will grow in size, establish a strong root system, and form healthy stems, leaves, and branches.
This phase can be accelerated by providing the proper nutrients, lighting, and environment. Understanding this stage of growth and how it affects the final product is essential for a successful harvest.
Provide adequate lighting
Ensuring that your cannabis plants receive adequate lighting is essential to ensure proper vegetative growth. Lighting should be provided for 12-18 hours every day, with darkness and rest over the other 6-12 hours. The optimal period of light depends on the strain and photoperiod of the cannabis; autoflowering strains will typically require 18 hours of light per day and take 9 weeks from seed to harvest. Photoperiodic strains require 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness (generally referred to as 12/12) to flower, which can take anywhere from 6-9 weeks depending on the strain.
Indoor growers often use high pressure sodium lights (HPS) or metal halide grow lights along with reflectors or light movers to spread light evenly over their entire canopy area. Make sure not to place your lights too close to seedlings or young plants, as heat could cause damage.
Outdoor growers rely on the sun, aiming for roughly 8-10 outdoor sunlight hours daily in order for their plants to reach maximum potential by harvest time; however, shade can be beneficial during hot summer days in order to prevent heat stress and leaf burn. Shielding young plants and seedlings from too much direct sunlight can also help prevent damage. Additionally, supplementary lighting such as LED lights or fluorescents may be used outdoors at night so that your plants do not experience a full dark period if needed.
Monitor temperature and humidity
The vegetative growth stage of cannabis plants is perhaps the most important stage in their development. Adequate temperature and humidity are important to its proper growth, both of which should be monitored to ensure ideal conditions for your cannabis plants.
Temperature: It's best to keep the temperature between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21-29°C) during the day, with a 10 degree drop at night. Cannabis prefers slightly cooler temperatures, so try to keep it on the lower end if possible.
Humidity: Humidity is important for cannabis plants while they’re in their vegetative phase. Relative humidity levels should remain between 40-70% during this period, but try not to exceed 70%. Lowered humidity levels during flowering can also cause problems, but this is typically not a concern yet during vegetative growth.
By monitoring the temperature and humidity around your cannabis plants you can ensure proper vegetative growth of your plants as well as get them off to a strong start come time for flowering and harvesting.
Feed the plants
In addition to proper watering, your cannabis plants need additional nutrition in the form of fertilizers. Feeding your plants with liquid or solid fertilizers or compost tea helps boost vegetative growth and flowering. You should be careful not to overdo it though, because too much fertilizer can lead to nutrient burn or lockout, which can stunt the plant’s growth and even kill it.
It is suggested that you follow a feeding schedule using an all-purpose feed that has balanced macro- and micronutrients. Generally speaking, cannabis plants require more nitrogen during the vegetative stage and more phosphorus during the flowering stage. It’s important to check your soil before adding any fertilizer; if nutrients are already available in sufficient amounts, there is no need for additional feeds.
When and how much you should feed depends on a variety of factors such as soil type, nutrient availability, lighting intensity, strain type and so on. As a general rule of thumb, use liquid fertilizers every one to two weeks at roughly half strength during vegetative growth for best results. Additionally you can give your plants regular ‘tea’ feeds (fermented tea made from compost) as an extra booster between full strength feeds – but only if your plant can handle it without being burnt!
The flowering stage of cannabis growth is the final stage after vegetative growth before harvest. During this stage, the plants will begin developing flowers or buds, rich with the cannabinoids and terpenes that make cannabis such a popular product. It's important to understand the basics of flowering in order to get the most out of your cannabis plants. Let's take a look at the flowering stage in more detail.
Reduce the light cycle
As your cannabis plants approach the flowering stage, the light cycle needs to be altered to encourage them to produce buds. An easy guide is to give plants 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of light each day. This can be accomplished by using a timer on your grow lights and ensuring that the entire room is completely dark and free from any light leakages when lights are switched off.
To trigger flowering, you should also reduce the light levels in your grow room or tent as much as possible. Keep in mind that plants need enough light during this stage in order for them to continue thriving, so do not reduce your lighting too much – especially if you are growing indoors with artificial lighting sources like HID bulbs or LEDs. You can also purchase reflective materials such as Mylar or white paint to help bounce more photons around inside your space and increase the efficiency of your lighting setup.
Once cannabis plants have received an adequate amount of uninterrupted dark time, they will begin developing buds within one to three weeks depending on strain and other environmental factors like temperature, soil type and humidity level. During this period, you should carefully monitor the development of flowers for signs of discoloration, wilting or nutrient deficiencies; doing so will help ensure that buds are mature and ready for harvest when the time comes.
Feed the plants
Once your cannabis plants have begun flowering, provide your plants with the appropriate nutrition to promote healthy growth. When flowering, it is important to ensure your plants are receiving a high phosphorus and potassium diet. This means adding a bloom booster or cannabis fertilizer for flowering to the regular watering routine.
During this stage of vegetative growth, your cannabis should be receiving feedings that are higher in phosphorus than nitrogen or potassium (commonly referred to as P-K balanced nutrients). As the cannabis plants enter the flower cycle, their requirements switch and they require much more phosphorus than nitrogen. Cannabis fertilizers designed especially for marijuana flowering accommodates this need by providing an abundance of phospherous as well as potassium and other necessary trace elements that aid in development during this time.
For best results, use only fertilizers designed specifically for marijuana flowering (e.g., bloom boosters) usually denoted by labels such as “bloom” or “flowering” on the front of their packaging. Many regular garden fertilizers often utilized in other vegetable gardens do not provide enough phosphorus while having too much nitrogen – which can stunt growth at a crucial time or stage of development!
Monitor the buds
Growing cannabis seeds correctly requires a good monitoring system. This includes keeping an eye on the plant’s buds. As the cannabis plant starts to go into its flowering phase, you’ll need to pay extra attention as the buds will start to sprout and appear. The size, shape, and color of the buds can be a great indicator of how well your cannabis can grow.
For optimal growth, it’s important that you monitor your plants regularly, making sure the temperature is within the correct range (between 68-80F). In addition, ensure that there is enough ventilation and sunlight coming into your space so that there is no risk of pests or other problems during this stage.
In terms of monitoring your buds directly, pay attention to their size and shape – they should be light green in color with tightly packed trichomes; if they appear dry or yellowish then success isn’t guaranteed. Additionally, check for any rot or signs of mold – if present then throw out those seeds immediately! Finally, monitor for smell: If it smells overly skunky or pungent then your plants may not grow as expected either.
By carefully checking for any potential issues now you can set yourself up for success when harvesting – ensuring maximum yield and satisfaction from those delicious marijuana buds!