How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Seeds Are Dormant
Seeds are natures way for offspring to wait for ideal conditions to take place before initiating the growing cycle.
Cannabis seeds typically have only 9% moisture (if typically sun drying is practiced) or as low as 5% while dormant with minimal respiration

Germination Process of a Seed
Absorption of water stimulates germination
Embryo synthesizes gibberellin (plant hormone) in response to water uptake
Aleurone (protein) layer synthesizes amylase (enzyme) in response to gibberellin
Amylase mobilizes energy reserves: hydrolyses starch to maltose. Maltose is converted to glucose and respired to release ATP (energy)

Consistency is Important
Once the environmental condition ranges are determined, it is critical that they are maintained for the duration of the germination process.

Quality Seeds
This is the start to any chance at a good germination/emergence
Getting seeds from a source that also provides a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) can be well worth it

Temperature: 78⁰F-82⁰F (25⁰C-28⁰C)
90⁰+F (or 32⁰+C) will kill the seeds

Moisture Level: 90% Relative Humidity
90% Relative Humidity

Air: 10%
Remember seeds need to respire and take in oxygen
There should be some air pockets (no matter the substrate used) to prevent the seeds from downing.

Planting Depth: 1/8” to ¼” (3mm-6mm) deep
Many different ways to measure, the key is consistency and having a tool to speed up the process.

Light: 150-300 PPFD/PAR
PPFD = Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density
PAR = Photosynthetic Active Radiation
While not needed for the germination process, it is a good idea to have a light source over the plants so upon emergence the seedling can immediately start photosynthesizing
Keep the light diffused to avoid burning newly emerged seedlings

Seed Soaking?
Some growers will put seeds in water before planting for a predetermined soak time

Others will go straight to planting them

A short soak (2-4hr.) is a good idea as this will help with water infiltration and also allow growers to cull out seeds that float

Floating seeds often have an air pocket which indicates a poor endosperm which will directly reduce germination/emergence rates

Plain Water or Treated Water
Seeds should just be soaked in clean water.

There is not need to add fertilizers (even if only small amounts) to the soaking water.

Some will add kelp to help provide small amounts of hormones if older or poorly stored seeds are being used.

Cannabis Seed Germination Summary
Start with quality seeds that have a COA
Temperature: 78⁰F-82⁰F (25⁰C-28⁰C)
Moisture Level: 90% Relative Humidity
Air: 10%
Planting Depth: 1/8” to ¼” (3mm-6mm) deep
Light: 150-300 PPFD/PAR
Water: Filtered

Do Not…
Use a paper towel to start the seeds for later transfer, this is a poor idea due to the increased likelihood of damage to the fragile radicle.

How Long Will It Take?
Germination is typically in 2-7 days
Emergence is to be expected to be in 3-10 days
*Quality seeds in consistent conditions in the stated range will fall in the lower end of the expected rage.

Where will you germinate your seeds?
While the general germination process is the same, what you intend to place the seeds on will have different specifics.

Pro: favorable for seed germination
Con: disposal can be an issue

Soilless Medium
Pro: easy to get
Con: can be messy

Direct Seeding
Pro: No need to transplant
Con: Needs specialized equipment

Which growing substrate would you select?

Link to Lecture Slides:

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