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How to Plant Weed Seeds

February 14, 2020

Growing marijuana plants can be a rewarding and relaxing activity. Much like the way you would care for plants, marijuana also has different requirements and specific caring guidelines. Some beginners find a load of information from various websites which are confusing and overwhelming. It always leaves them wondering how to plant weed seeds in the right way.

There are more than 2000 strains of marijuana and gardeners can choose among Sativa, Indica or a hybrid plant to grow. Depending on the kind of seed or strain that you choose to grow, you must also choose the right kind of environment and soil. There are also various ways to temper their growth and these plants can survive in various garden environments.

What is needed for Marijuana Seeds to Germinate?

After picking out the seeds that you want to care for, and spending your money at a cannabis seed bank it is time to germinate and start growing your marijuana seeds.

Germinating your weed seed requires three factors – darkness, warmth, and moisture. We have created a step by step outline of the most popular method of germinating cannabis seeds. There are also only a few materials needed to start germination.

But before proceeding, make sure that you have older, unchecked seeds or those that are partially dried out. Newer and freshers seeds do not require sensitive germination and they can be planted directly into a growing medium.

The things needed for germination are:

  • Chlorine-free, unbleached paper towels or some other types of tissue paper and napkins.
  • A Thermometer
  • Clean water

These are the steps to follow:

  1. Cut the paper towel in two portions, then fold each portion in half.
  2. Wet the paper towels, but make sure that it is not soaked. All parts of the paper should be damp. In case you have soaked it, squeeze out the extra moisture and make sure that it is not dripping.
  3. Put half of the paper towel on a dish.
  4. Place the seeds on the paper by putting them on their rounded end. Put the seeds at least half an inch apart to avoid the roots from getting tangled when the come out.
  5. Cover the seeds with the other half of the wet paper and ensure that it touches the seeds.
  6. Then, place another dish upside down on the top. Make sure that the dishes you use have a similar size and shape. This will keep them in the dark and maintain a high humidity to moisturize the dried seeds.

This environment is the perfect one for germinating weed seeds. There are several things to ensure for these seeds to start growing. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Keep the temperature of your germinating dish to about 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A great location to keep your dish is the top of the refrigerator. Just ensure that the paper towels never dry up otherwise the seeds will not sprout.
  • Monitor the seeds two times daily until the case of the seed splits. Check for the exposure of tiny roots and shoots. Most viable weed seeds crack up within two days in the germinating dish. Once they have sprouted, they must be handled carefully because they are very delicate.
  • When the root and the shoot are out, the seeds can be transferred to a growing medium. But before you can transfer the seeds, some of the most important things to remember is to ensure that the growing medium has the correct pH for the cannabis seeds and that it grows best in arid soil conditions. Then here are the steps for replanting them.
  • Use a 3 or 4-inch sized pots or use a seedling tray. Fill it up with good quality growing medium with the proper pH.
  • Press the soil lightly down, do not compact it. Make half-inch holes using your finger or a pencil.
  • For planting new or fresh seeds, horizontally put the seed, then cover it with soil then gently tap it down. For planting germinated seeds, put it in a vertical position, make sure that the root tip is facing down and the shoot is facing up.
  • Water the plant using water with a pH level of 6 or 6.5. Avoid using tap water except if it is tested to have the right pH. Make sure to water the plants uniformly. It should not be soggy or logged with too much water. Your pots should not be placed in a tray that can fill up with water. When watering, use a spoon or small cup to water properly instead of pouring in.
  • Place the tray or pots in a warm place. A good place is under lighting with a temperature of 75 degrees F or warmer to hasten germination. However, do ensure that the soil will not dry out or let the pots stand in less than 70 degrees F. If the surface of the soil dries up, always water the pots correctly. Misting the surface with a spray is not effective.

During the germination state, you can use lamps to provide warmth until the first seedlings appear out of the soil. This can happen within 3-7 days after planting the seeds. These seeds have more activity at night, so keep the lamps lit for 24 hours to help the seeds grow out of the soil.

What to Avoid When Planting Weed Seeds

Some people who are new at planting marijuana seeds tend to be too eager or too keen to see how the seeds are doing. In their eagerness, they miss out or overdo something that can be harmful to the seedlings. So here are some of the things to avoid to ensure that your weed seeds do not die.

  • Do not create a humidity dome or a mini-greenhouse to fully cover your seeds
  • Do not use a heating mat that is too hot
  • Do not cover the pots with plastic
  • Do not rush germination and avoid peat pellets
  • Do not use the wrong type of soil
  • Do not fertilize the seedlings
  • Do not use too much or too little water
  • Do not keep your germination room dark and cold
  • Do not keep your plants in cold outdoor temperature or exposed to frost
  • Do not use the wrong pH level of water
  • Do not use water with chlorine or with bad quality
  • Do not spray seedlings with organic tea/pesticide/water

Choose the Right Cannabis Seeds

Soon as the final rains of winter wear off, it is the best time to plant and grow weeds. After the legalization of marijuana in several states, more people have shown an interest in growing and cultivating marijuana plants.

Those who have just started will wonder on the various strains of marijuana available. Choosing the right kind of seeds is essential for you to know the right kind of soil and caring environment that the plant will need.

The Type of Effect you Want

Consumers and those new at planting marijuana seeds are usually given two main choices, the Indica dominant strain or the Sativa dominant strains. There are also options available for those looking for hybrids or crossbred strains.

Indica-strains are associated with relaxation while the Sativa-strain tends to have a mild high. The effect can vary from one person to another so choose the high that you want based on the samples you have tried out. You might also like the crossbred or hybridized versions like the LA confidential seeds.

What is the Level of Difficulty in Growing?

Not everyone venturing out to marijuana cultivation has a green thumb, but if you can grow tomatoes and have it bear good fruits, then you can probably grow good marijuana. Various environmental conditions must be considered when growing good tomatoes. The same can be applied to consistently grow healthy marijuana plants.

However, different marijuana strains have different levels of tolerance for inadequate conditions. Some strains are easy to take care of and they are fun to grow. But other strains require more attention to nutrients and environmental conditions to get the best results. If this is your first time, go for the super-easy to grow types of strain.

Height and Space Requirement

Marijuana plants can grow from tiny seedlings to about 6 or 8 feet high plants if the root system allows. Consider the space and height requirement when preparing your growing space. You can determine the size of the plant-based on its genetics, pruning, root size and training.

Most Sativa plants are taller with longer and heavier buds. Indica, on the other hand, are shorter in height but are bushier with big pine cone-shaped buds. The size of your plants will be based on the root system which can be restricted by the space of your growing medium.

In most cases, these plants are pruned for the right shape and height. If you have limited vertical space, plants can be trained to grow in specific ways such as using netting techniques to keep them from their natural vertical growth.

The Kind of Climate You Have

Plants should be grown outdoors as nature intended. But most marijuana growers prefer to grow and propagate their plants indoors. This is because more marijuana can be produced in a small space by maintaining a climate-controlled environment than when it is planted once or twice in a season outdoors. The white Lightning strain is proven for indoor hydroponics.

Planting indoors will need significant investments with regards to climate controls, plant maintenance, and energy costs. On the other hand, an outdoor grower has to consider the micro-climate of their area including the privacy of the growing area.

Other things to consider are the total hours of sunlight, hillside, shades, open space, rainfall, wind and other variables which will affect the mean temperature in your location. All these factors should come into play when choosing the kind of seeds to plant.

Make sure to pick weed seeds that can adapt to your growing conditions. While any type of cannabis seeds can be grown indoors or outdoors, there are specific strains like the black destroyer strain and the strawberry ice strain that are better in certain conditions.

Length of Growing Season

Different marijuana plants have different lengths of the growing season and this must also be considered when still choosing weed seeds. Some plants are ready to be harvested in just eight weeks after flowering.

And some plants take up to 14 weeks to be ready. You may want to pick out seeds that will be ready for harvest in the allotted time for the season outdoor or indoor. If picking out Sativa-strains, remember that they can take a while in flowering and some strains refuse to finish before the winter sets in.

Sexing: Choosing Females or Going for Naturals?

Marijuana plants can be males or females. When you buy the seeds, you will be given an unknown mix of both sexes. Some growers kill the males as they grow and turn their attention to the females.

Unfertilized female flower buds are very potent. Within a week after inducing flowering, it can be determined whether you get a female flower or a pollen sack male. Male plants pollinate female plants to produce seeds. The plants must be quarantined until their sex is determined to prevent accidental pollination. In most cases, male plants are destroyed and females are kept to finish.

Although sex can be done completely on all-natural gardening, there are feminized seeds available as well. The seeds are treated chemically to change genes and guaranteed to sprout a female plant. The downside of using feminized seeds is that genetics become unstable and you will not be able to use the plant to make new seeds.

Germinate Cannabis Seeds Like A Pro

There is not much requirement in germinating seed, but pro growers make sure that the following things are in order:

  • Warmth – Marijuana seeds need the kind of springtime warmth for germination. It should not be the scorching type hot otherwise it will die. The seed should awaken from its slumber to finally germinate and sprout roots and shoot.
  • Moisture – Marijuana seeds should never, in any case, be left to dry out. Whichever method you use, be sure to keep it moist.
  • Darkness and Peace – After the process of germination has been initiated, you have to wait for a few days for the roots and shoot to come out. Check twice a day.

Once the seeds have sprouted, you can proceed with the germination method of your choice. But you should never let the sprouts dry out and you should avoid touching them.

The taproot and shoot are very fragile and can easily snap off, thus extra care is needed when handling them. Now there are four common germination techniques that marijuana pro planters are using.

Each grower has their own opinion on what is good and what is not. But the majority would agree that these four techniques are better than the others. Whether you’d be growing weed indoors or outdoors, it is best to start plants indoors and just replant them twice to promote better root growth. After germination, you can initially plant the taproot in a plastic pot and move it to a bigger container after several days.

Jiffy Pellets and Starter Plugs

Starter plugs or mats are one of the most common tools newbies use for germinating marijuana seeds. If you are someone who counts on germinating seeds even without research, this is the best way to start. Using starter plugs lets newbies off the guessing game on the whole process of germinating weed seeds and they also avoid the extra handing process of germination.

Starter plugs are also referred to as rapid roosters. It has holes that are designed specifically for weed seeds. You just stick the seed in the hole and pinch it together with your finger. Water the plants thoroughly and that’s it. This method can be used with different types of growing mediums.

When it comes to using Jiffy pellets, things are a bit more complicated. This method is best if you will be growing on soil or coco coir. Jiffy pellets are shaped like a hockey puck, but as soon as they are submerged in water, they expand and become a full-sized incubation space for the weed seed. They are used similarly with a starter plug once they have expanded.

These two methods are easily available in most garden stores and through online stores. You can also find alternative means but these two ensure that new growers will be able to succeed at germinating their precious seeds and proceed with their project.

The Paper Towel Method

This method has long been used by gardeners as a tried and tested method for germinating seeds. Even novice gardeners can do this easily as it comes with simple and straightforward steps.

First, dampen the two pieces of paper towel and place the cannabis seeds between the sheets. Then place it on a dish and cover with another dish to keep the moisture inside. Keep adding water over the next few days to keep it moisturized.

Healthy seeds will take around two to four days to sprout. If it takes longer, there might be some problems with the seed so it is best to throw them away. Check the seeds at least twice a day and be careful in handling them as the tiny roots can be very fragile. When the time comes for you to transfer them into individual pots, do not forget the most important thing – Always plant root down.

Soaking Seeds in Water

Another method of germinating seeds that have long been used by gardeners is the soaking method. This works well with harder cannabis seeds and it is easier to check than the paper towel method. Simply soak the seeds into a glass of room temperature water. Keep it soaked for about 32 hours only. Longer than this period may drown the seeds before they germinate.

The seeds will start to sink once they are hydrated. This is normal and it also helps separate the good seeds from the bad ones. Some eager seeds can even sprout while soaked in the glass.

After 32 hours, take away all the seeds which did not sprout, and dispose of them. Place the sinkers in paper towels to proceed with the paper towel method. This will help slow the seeds which sprouted to break from their soak and continue to keep them moist. Those that sprouted in the water soak and the paper towel are now ready to be planted.

Planting the Seeds Directly

This method is a lazy grower’s technique. It is going straight-up planting the seeds directly in the soil or some soil substitute. This can be risky for amateur growers who are unaware of the importance of pH soil levels, humidity and nutrient requirements. However, some people have successfully grown healthy marijuana plants by planting the seeds jokingly.

While direct planting may not be the best approach, it still has plenty of benefits. First, there is less risk of touching the taproot and you don’t have to undergo the ordeal of transferring the taproots into individual pots.

So, if you are growing the seeds in the soil, plant them at about one inch deep in moist soil. It will also be helpful to have some lighting or heating bad to keep things warm for the first few days. The same approach can be used if you prefer a soilless medium for growing your marijuana plants.

Transplantation of Germinated Marijuana Seeds

Transferring germinated weed seeds is a process that can be challenging for newbie growers. There is the tenement rule of not touching the taproot for they are very fragile.

It is also of utmost importance that you plant them properly and that the root is facing down to ensure that it will proceed with the growing process. If you have used the starter plug or you’ve planted the seeds directly, there is no need for transplantation. Here are some things to keep in mind when it is time to transfer your seeds.

No Touching of the Roots

The tiny taproot of the weed seed is very sensitive and it can be easily damaged. And while it is possible to move the seeds using your fingers, it might be safer to use a pair of tweezers to handle the seeds better and transfer it to individual pots or in the soil.

Plant Directly Below the Surface

Place the seeds root down into the starter plug or on a pre-poked hole in the soil. The soil must be moist but it should not be saturated. The seed should just sit on the surface and still visible.

Wait Patiently

Most seeds almost instantly sprout above the soil surface. You can see two little leaves to start with. Other seeds may take some more days to appear. Be patient at this point. If nothing happens after ten days, it might be best to start over. Seeds that failed to sprout during this period no longer guarantee to become productive cannabis plants.

Replanting for Healthy Growth

Some growers will directly plant the seedlings in the final container. However, this is not recommended for two reasons. First, it will be harder for the plant to get oxygen when it is surrounded by too much growing medium.

May also lead to a weaker root system which will cause slow development and stunted growth for your plants. Another reason is that tiny plants in a huge container can easily drown. So it is ideal to replant your marijuana seedlings in three steps.

  • Place the seedlings in a disposable cup that is filled with growing medium and has holes on the bottom. Let it grow to have more leaves for a few days.
  • Transfer the plant into a bigger container for the roots to develop and become stronger. You can use 1 to 3-gallon pots for this step.
  • Then, when the plant has grown slightly bigger, you can transfer it to your final container.

It is advised to replant earlier to avoid having a “root-bound” plant. This happens when the plant is left for too long in the starter container and the roots have grown too large for the small space. It will asphyxiate the plant and it might die. If you notice the plant absorbing water within the day, it might be time to transfer it.

Replanting or transferring the plants can be a stressful phase for the gardener and the plant. To make things slightly easier, here are some points to remember:

  • Use a plastic knife to separate the whole plant from the container. Never attempt to remove the plant by pulling out the plant by the stem.
  • Create a hole in the middle of the new container and make sure it has enough room to accommodate the root ball. The hole must be the same size as the previous container to fit everything.
  • Before attempting to transfer the plant, make sure that the growing medium in your final container is well-moist, it should not be dry or soggy.

If the thought of transplanting your weed seeds sounds tiresome and challenging for you, then you can always plant directly in the final container. But do expect slightly slower growth and make sure you watch out when you water the plant.


Taking care of marijuana seeds are similar to common gardening. There are environmental factors to consider to ensure that the plants will grow to be healthy and productive adult plants.

The trickiest part of learning how to plant weed seeds is on the germination and transplanting it. This is can be challenging especially for new growers, but once you get the hang of it, you will surely start enjoying this rewarding activity.

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