Grow Weed Starting From Seed
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
Growing your own cannabis plant starting from seed is a remarkable journey. Understanding the biology of the plant is one thing, but comprehending how a little miracle bean can turn into a gigantic tree producing flowers that can affect your body and mind is nothing short of an evolutionary miracle. Or rather a co-evolutionary story of plant and human.
Start Growing Weed From Seed
Our favorite thing about growing your own weed starting from a seed , rather than a clone, is that you get to see the full life cycle and enjoy a plant that is unique, just like you. An entirely new genetic makeup will enter the world for the first time, and if you’re lucky, something remarkable might be born.
Raising a cannabis seedling , however, requires some patience, gentle hands, and a smidgen of luck. Thankfully pot seeds are remarkably vigorous because they are what’s called endosperm seeds , which means they have almost pre-formed cotyledon leaves before you even add water. Below is a brief guide on the techniques we have found yield the most success when starting seeds and raising your seedling to a healthy plant ready for transplanting. And, don’t forget, a Pot for Pot’s Complete Grow Kits take the guesswork out so you always wind up with a splendid harvest!
1) Germinating Your Cannabis Seed
To accelerate germination, soak your seed in a small container with lukewarm water and place it in a dark and warm place (like a kitchen cabinet) for 12-24 hours, but no longer. By drenching the seed, it absorbs the water thoroughly, activating the germination process on a physical and chemical level. Doing this helps to loosen the shell as it becomes a little softer making it easier for the embryo to crack it open. When your seed sinks to the bottom, it is ready to be planted, and sometimes the seed will pop out a small taproot. A seed can still be planted though if it does not sink or put out a taproot. When a seed pops a taproot (often called a tail), it becomes more vulnerable and it is better to plant it before this root emerges.
2) Planting Your Weed Seed
We see best results with seedling pellets that are made of a mix of compressed peat moss and coco husk. To expand, soak it in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Using warmer, lukewarm water, instead of cold water, will speed up the time the pellet takes to fully expand. Once your seedling pellet has absorbed enough water and has expanded to its maximum size, gently squeeze to remove excess water. The growing medium should be like a damp sponge that would not leave streaks on the table. Dig a small hole about 1/4 inch deep for your seed. Use a spoon to lift the seed out of its bath. If it has popped out a taproot be careful not to damage it. Gently place the seed into the hole and lightly cover it with dirt from the pellet. Now that you have started the germination process, your seedling will come above ground within two weeks. The older the seed, the longer it takes for it to germinate.
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3) Weed Seedling Sprouts
Perhaps the most exciting stage, your plant baby will come above ground in 1-2 weeks, with the average popping up in 5 to 7 days after planting. As your seedling comes above the soil, its shell might take a few days to fall off. It’s best to leave it alone, nature has the job covered. If it does not come above ground after about two weeks, the chance of success is dramatically reduced, and it’s best to try again. Even the best seeds have an 85% germination rate. When your seedling comes above ground, it is going to want to see a direct light source.
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Organic Cannabis Soil Recipe
Avoid Common Mistakes
4) Lighting for Your Cannabis Seedling
Marijuana seedlings require a medium amount of light — enough to get energy to grow, but not too much light that to get burned. Leaving your seedling in direct sunlight will cause the leaves to curl, while too little light will cause the seedling to stretch. If growing outside, seedlings want to see a direct light source to stop them stretching. If inside, a sunny windowsill with more than half a day of sunlight works wonders. Otherwise, 24 to 30 inches from a grow light is an excellent supplement. Your seedling should not stretch more than 6 inches at most.
5) Watering Your Cannabis Seedling
For cannabis plants young and old, it’s best to use bottled, distilled, or filtered water as these are without chlorine. If using tap water, let it sit for 48 to 96 hours before watering to dissipate any chlorine. Chlorine can also be eliminated by boiling for 20 minutes. Under normal conditions, after soaking your seedling pellet, it should contain all the moisture your plant needs before it comes above ground. As it grows, it will only need about a shot glass worth of water at most per week to keep the medium damp. Seedlings don’t drink a lot of water, which makes sense given their size. Your plant will do better in a growing medium which is damp but not soaking wet. Overwatering is just as deadly as drying out!
Damping off happens when the seedling is in too moist of an environment. The young plant’s immune system is not strong enough to ward off a fungus that results in the plant rotting from the bottom of the stem. When this happens, the plant will bend over and die if not treated. To help fight the infection, lightly spray a 0.5% solution of hydrogen peroxide around the affected area. However, the best option is to avoid this by not exposing your seedling to too much moisture.
6) First Cannabis Seedling Leaves & Hardening Off
The first set of leaves to come above ground are called the cotyledons . These little leaves are packed with energy and will grow to about 1/4 in in size before eventually falling off. Your second leaves to emerge will be single blades and will be serrated, looking like regular pot leaves.
They will become several inches in length. During their growth your first actual set of leaves will appear. These are typically three blades. Around this time is when your plant is “hardening off”. You will notice that the stem will start to develop a thicker skin and harden off. As the leaves of the plant get bigger, they can gradually handle more sunlight, so move it into more direct light– the more light the better!
7) Transplanting Cannabis Seedlings
About 10 days after germination, when the baby cannabis plant has hardened off, roots will start emerging from the bottom of your seedling pellet and the plant is ready to be transplanted into a bigger pot. Be very careful not to damage the roots during this stage. Any stress will slow its growth.
Dig a small hole in your bigger pot for the seedling, sprinkle some rooting booster in the bottom of the hole then carefully plant the whole seedling pellet holding your weed baby.
Now bury so the base of its stalk is level with the topsoil. Give it a watering to set the roots in the ground, then hold off watering until you pick up the pot and it feels light in weight.
Are you ready to transplant your seedlings? Shop our best selection of Cannabis starter growing kits from small to large pots.
8. Separating the Girls from the Boys
At about 4-6 weeks into your plant’s growth , you’ll be able to determine the sex of the plant. You’ll want to separate and dispose of any male plants. This is an important step for growing marijuana because the female plants are more potent and valuable. You also don’t want male plants to compromise the growth of your female plants.
Why Do You Only Want Female Weed Plants?
Only female marijuana plants produce THC buds that are high in potency. You want to make sure your Cannabis plants are all female. If you have a male plant, it can fertilize the other female plants, and they will work to produce seeds instead of flowers and nugs.
It’s essential as a grower to know the difference between a female and a male plant so that you can remove the male plants before they contaminate your crop . Unfortunately, you have a 50/50 chance of getting a male plant when growing a plant from a seed from a nug.
There is a massive market for seeds that will only grow into female plants. But even these seeds are not a 100% guarantee you’re going to get a female plant. To ensure a good crop, you’ll want to germinate and plant many marijuana seeds and then separate the females from the males when the plants begin to show their sexuality.
How to Tell if a Weed Seed is Male or Female
As your plant matures sexually, it will develop between its nodes. Nodes are the area of the plant where the branches connect to the plant’s stalk. The distinguishing characteristics that will help you identify your plant’s gender:
- Male Plants : Small pollen sacs will cluster in the nodes.
- Female Plants : Stigmas will develop in the nodes. The stigmas can catch the pollen of male plants. Stigmas have hair-like veins that will extend from the sacs in the nodes.
- Hermaphrodite Plants : These plants have both the stigmas and pollen sacs in their nodes. These are female plants that develop both sex organs when exposed to a lot of stress.
Once you can identify the sex of your plants, you’ll want to remove the male or hermaphrodite plants because they can negatively affect the harvest of your female plants. That’s why it is crucial to germinate and grow several cannabis plants to this stage to ensure you get at least one healthy female plant.
9) Grow Weed Plant, Grow!
Suddenly, before your very eyes, the plant will transform. She will grow in height and branch out, putting off leaves and a network of branches. It is your job as the grower to meet her needs so that she can reach her full potential. With a good grow kit, this means as much light as possible and lightly watering only when she is thirsty.
This is considered your marijuana plant’s vegetive stage. The goal in this stage is to keep her healthy and allow the plant to grow as big and strong as possible so that she can hold many, many flowers.
Our complete grow kits include everything you need to go from seed to your very own supply of high grade medical cannabis.
Most Common Pests In Cannabis: Thrips
Thrips are little bugs that bite your plant to suck out their contents, leaving a shiny spot on them.
- 1. What are thrips?
- 2. What do thrips look like?
- 3. Where are they found?
- 4. What do thrips do?
- 5. Thrips symptoms
- 6. How to prevent them
- 7. How to deal with them?
- 8. In conclusion
Thrips are small long bugs that attack all kinds of plants. In cannabis, thrips reproduce in the tissue of the plants and also feed on the sap, leaving white shiny spots on the leaves and can end up killing your plant.
1. What Are Thrips?
Thrips (also known as tobacco thrips) are tiny elongated insects that feed on the liquid inside cannabis plants, they can be found all over the world and attack almost all plants, not only cannabis. They’re a big worry for growers because they carry viruses that can be transmitted to plants.
2. What Do thrips Look Like?
Thrips are 0.6mm long when in the early stages and can reach up to 1.5mm when adults. Adults can also grow wings and antennae. Their color can also change, depending on where you live and in which stage of their life cycle they’re in.
They can be white or yellowish when young and will change into a darker color, turning brown or black as they grow. It actually is kinda hard of to spot them unless they’re adults, at this stage, you will be able to see them walking on your cannabis.
3. Where Are They Found?
Thrips on cannabis plants will try to hide anywhere they can, especially under the fan leaves, crevices and anywhere they get cover from direct sunlight and from you. It can be hard to spot the actual thrips but before they become adults you will clearly see symptoms all over your plant.
4. What Do Thrips Do?
Cannabis thrips use their tiny mouths to puncture the cannabis plant in different spots, this allows them to suck out the liquid. This will cause the leaves to start yellowing and with time they’ll be completely brown and dried up, although this is not a huge deal (if dealt with early).
Thrips can carry viruses that affect cannabis plants. Considering they puncture the plant multiple times, your plant can easily get infected, get sick, and die. On top of this, thrips reproduce in the tissue of the stems, leaves, or flowers, damaging every part of your cannabis plant, including the precious flowers.
5. Thrips Symptoms
When your plant gets attacked by thrips, you’ll start to see small black dots on the leaves and stems, these are their excrements and not thrip damage.
You’ll also start to see silver or bronzes spots all over your cannabis plant which is where they are feeding, this is a sign of the leaves starting to dry out, after some time, they will be completely dry and will brown and become extremely brittle. That’s why it’s essential to deal with thrips as soon as you see the first signs of thrip damage or thrips on marijuana plants.
6. How To Prevent Them
The best way to prevent thrips on weed and thrip damage is to disinfect your growing space after each cycle and renewing the soil in case you have them in your soil. A good way to prevent them is to use yellow or blue sticky cards in your grow room, thrips are attracted to them and will get stuck and die before they can reproduce.
Another good tip is to avoid overwatering and overfeeding, especially nitrogen, which these bugs love.
7. How To Deal With Them?
As with all other bugs and pests, thrips on weed plants can be dealt with:
- Neem Oil
- Some insecticidal soaps and;
- Any organic insecticides.
Apart from store-bought products, you can also mix of 90% water and 10% alcohol. If you’re dealing with a grave thrip infection, here are a couple of stronger chemical products you can use in marijuana thrips treatment.
Alternatives For Thrip Treatment
|Main Chemical Compound||How to apply|
|Rotenone||10 ml per liter of water|
|Pyrethrins||20 ml per liter of water|
|Potassium Soap||15 ml per liter of water|
As usual, follow the instructions on the product you’re using, and a lways make sure you start applying the organic insecticides before you move on to the stronger products. This way you avoid damaging or shocking your cannabis plant.
If you identify thrip damage in one of your cannabis plants, it’s better to remove it from the grow room to prevent infecting the rest of the plants.
There are a few other options for dealing with thrips. These include:
Fatty acid salts or insecticidal soaps are a great option when combatting a thrip infestation. They work by softening the hard outer shell. This causes the insect to degrade and eventually die and makes them more susceptible to other treatments such as Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth comes in two grades and is the remanents of fossilized shells that are safe for humans to touch but are sharp and pointy at the microscopic level. This sharpness causes rips and tears in the outer shell of insects and can be placed around the base of each and every cannabis plant in your crop. It can also be spread at doorway and window entry points, at the opening of your grow tent or greenhouse, and can help in reducing the number of thrips in just a few days.
Neem oil comes from the pressed fruit of the Need tree, which is indigenous to the Indian sub-continent. This works as a great preventative tool, but can also help cut the number of thrips once an infestation has been identified. Mix up a combination of 500mls of water, a tablespoon or so of Neem oil, and a few drops of insecticidal soap in a pressure sprayer and cover the whole plant (although don’t touch budding sites if the plants have already started to flower). This can be done from the first week of the vegetative cycle all the way up to the last 2 weeks of flower.
This should be used as a last resort, as they are extremely harmful to the bee population. While they do break down quickly over just a few days they should still be used only after all forms of prevention have been used.
This is an organic treatment option and made from the fermentation of one certain soil bacteria (actinomycete Saccharopolyspora Spinosa). It kills the thrips after they ingest it, and can be applied through a foliar spray or through the feed water. Spinosad products have a half-life of about 24 hours once mixed with water, so only mix up as much as you need for that day otherwise it will go to waste.
8. In Conclusion
Even though thrips are relatively harmless to your cannabis plant if caught early, the viruses they carry can seriously hurt your plant. Also, a combination of good genetics, a good growing environment, and happy and healthy plants is a good way to prevent pests. If you’re looking for a resilient strain, we recommend our new Gorilla Cookies Auto .
I got 134g off this gal growing in 3 gal pot with 24 hours of light. i’m stoked with the result! Smells like diesel. Was a great grow overall.
She is extremely resistant to harsh climates and pests. As we always say, the best way to prevent bugs is by checking the underside of the leaves and soil every day, and keep a close eye for thrip damage!