How to germinate cannabis seeds?

Important to the Pilchard's Crew:

There are several methods for the germination of cannabis seeds. Some work well, others not so much. Even though we know it is popular, we do not recommend a water jar for pre-wetting, since many seeds cannot tolerate such lack of oxygen during germination. The following text describes our favourite. We explicitly point out here that germinating cannabis seeds is a criminal offence in many countries, including our home Spain. Fortunately, Pilchard's Crew is international - so of course we have experts in Canada, California or Austria who can use our products legally and share their experiences with you here. 

In all countries where germination is not legally possible, we clearly advise against it. Do yourself a favour, move to some place where it is allowed and live in peace over there. 

 

Goal of germination process:

The goal of the germination process is to produce seedlings as strong and stable as possible. Note: The more stable the environment (temperature / humidity), the more comfortable the seedling will feel. To be able to control the environment ideally, small plastic or glass greenhouses work best.

Germination of cannabis seeds in four steps

  1. Fill the 0.25-1 liter pot lightly with soil, not to the brim. It is important to leave a few cm of space between soil and brim.  This will allow you to counteract any rapid growth. It is not necessary to tighten the soil. Through watering, the soil will gradually collapse anyway and thus compact itself independently. 

  2. Sink the seed in the center to a depth of 3-5 mm and cover it with soil so that no light falls on the seed. 

  3. Add a zip of water or better spray the inside of the greenhouse with water (pH 6.2-6.5) . Place the greenhouse in a dark place. After that, plants mostly need their peace. Do not stress them by checking all the time but give them two days of rest.

  4. After 48-72 hours the first seedlings should appear. Now, the greenhouse will come under the light. Do not forget to ventilate from time to time, simply remove the lid briefly. If nothing has come to the surface yet, spray the inside of the micro greenhouse with water once more and give them another day or two - now you should achieve germination rates of >90%.

Expert tips:

Humidity & Temperature:

The two most important factors in the germination process of seeds are temperature and humidity. The temperature should be constantly between 22°C and 25°C, the humidity above 95%. 

 

  • Too low / too high humidity / low temperatures lead to sometimes dramatically delayed growth. 
  • Humidity too high can cause mold on the plant and medium, as well as an upshoot in size. The plant grows up a few cm because it can absorb more water from the humid air. If the growth is too fast, the plant may snap off. 
  • Inside a tent, use a humidifier to control humidity. 
    • Must-have: Hand humidifier

Duration of germination process:

In a stable environment with the above variables, cannabis seeds germinate in 48-72h. Older seeds can sometimes take up to a week. With proper storage, the germination of fresh seeds should be guaranteed for up to five years or more.

Plant nutrition during germination:

During the germination process, several nutritional options are available. Our recommendations are:

Mycorrhiza - symbiotic fungus occurs everywhere in nature, attaching itself to the root surface, this becomes larger, thereby increased nutrient uptake. Healthy fungus leaves no place for unhealthy fungus. Fungus feeds on sugars (carbohydrates the plant gives off during photosynthesis) - conversely nutrients to plants, best with organic fertilizer (eg biobizz).

Root stimulator - Root stimulator is not a fertilizer, only stimulates the growth of the roots. Therefore, do not use exclusively but in combination with the applied fertilizer. Always apply rootjuice with the last time repotting, this will reduce stress for roots.

Soil - Do not use seedling soil but start immediately with Light Mix (EC 0.8 - 1.2).

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