Germinate Weed Seeds In Light Or Dark

Why is darkness recommended for germination? Doesnt seem to make much sense to me, why would darkness be beneficial to the seed in any way? Just curious. I… Discover the most effective ways of germinating cannabis seeds indoors in an easy, fast and affordable way; the best tips and tricks. A step-by-step guide for successful cannabis germination grounded in science. Reviews strategies for germinating cannabis seeds and offers tips for success.

Germinate seeds under light?

Why is darkness recommended for germination? Doesnt seem to make much sense to me, why would darkness be beneficial to the seed in any way? Just curious. I have some seedlings already but decided to go for a few more plants, so i’ve put the seeds in the pots in the same room, threw some black garbage bags over the pots to avoid some of the light + it add more moisture..

I’ve tried germination using a few methods, nowadays i always plant the seeds directly into the large pots. I’ve noticed that it seems to speed up the development quite a bit. I guess it’s becaue it’s much less stressful. I don’t get those methods of first germinate the seed using paper, then putting it in a cup, then moving it to larger puts etc.. that’s seems pretty stupid and is just a hassle imo, the seed and the seedling should be handled as little as possible i think.

ilyaas123
Well-Known Member

You don’t need a black bag over them, just treat them as any old seed and stick them in dirt and wait for them to pop out. There is nothing different about germination of a cannabis seed compared to germination of any other similar seed i.e. klip dagga, catnip, fruit seeds etc.

You do not need lights to germinate cannabis seeds and if you do then it is not at all going to help speed up the process; I mean, how are lights going to help your seed absorb more moisture and root?

cat of curiosity
Well-Known Member

light kills roots. end of story.

as for germinating, you don’t wait on seeds that don’t germ to sprout. you only plant root tips. for smaller cups, it’s called root building, you get bound in a cup, then transplant larger, to utilize the maximum amount of medium. if you plant in a large container, roots grow to the outside of the pot, then coil, with virgin soil between center and perimeter. big waste, especially if you’re paying for the privilege.

NanoBrainz
Active Member

ilyaas123: I’ll leave the bags on for now, the HPS does dry out the top layer quite fast.. and no, i’m not saying the seed NEEDS light, i know it doesnt. Just wondering why total darkness is always recommended in guides.

catofcuriosity: I’ve heard that too, but a lot of times i’ve germinated seeds in clear plastic cups, the roots has been exposed to my 1200w HPS lights, no problem at all.. The pots i’m using now are of the usual kind (black) and the roots are not exposed to light, but yes it’s possible that light maybe seeks its way through the soil and therefore it could be harmful to the roots..

I usually have 100% sucess rate of germination, so it’s not an issue that some will not sprout. If they don’t no big deal since i always have 2 as back-ups in cups. And yes i’ve also read that it’s important to build a root ball, but i’ve never seen any difference to be honest (i always examine the roots of the finished plants).

ilyaas123
Well-Known Member

Well. At the end of the day it’s all up to you and I can’t force you to do whatever so good luck. Doing what you are doing will not harm your plants but is unnecessary.

NanoBrainz
Active Member

Well my argument was that it seems unnecessary and possibly harmful to go through the paper method, putting it in a cup, transplating (some seems to transplant 2-3 times – very stressful to the plant to say the least). That’s a a real hassle when handling a lot of plants.

But yes, each to his own i guess.

cat of curiosity
Well-Known Member

Well my argument was that it seems unnecessary and possibly harmful to go through the paper method, putting it in a cup, transplating (some seems to transplant 2-3 times – very stressful to the plant to say the least). That’s a a real hassle when handling a lof of plants.

But yes, each to his own i guess.

ilyaas123
Well-Known Member

Agreed, You do it right then you get a 100% success rate and it’s not that hard so it’s almost impossible to mess up on it unless you have really shaky hands or are just purposely trying to kill them before they even get to absorb some light

NanoBrainz
Active Member

yeah never had a plant die on me because of transplant, i just mean it seems like the plant does develop a bit quicker when not under the stress of transplanting several times.. i’m quite sure a lot of the roots are harmed when transplanting, even if very careful, the roots are extremely fragile (newly developed parts)

midnitetoak
Active Member

Find what works for you & stay with it- you don’t have to copy others or do what anyone says to make up your own rules

churchhaze
Well-Known Member

I’m with you 100% on this. I’ve never understood why so many people/guides insist on putting seeds in the dark while germinating. There’s no scientific basis behind this. In fact, for many plants like lettuce, light is required for high success rate and speed.

See also  Do All Weed Seeds Grow Buds

One experiment that’s repeated a lot with lettuce seeds is having a sequence of pulses, either 660nm (R) or 730nm (FR) followed by dark, and what they determined was only the pulse at the end of the sequence mattered. If the last pulse in the sequence was red, most of the seeds would germinate, and if the last pulse was far red, most would fail to germinate.

For example, if your pulse sequence was [R, FR, R, FR, R], it would be equivalent to [R] since R was the last pulse in the sequence and all the seeds would germinate.

Light helps lettuce seeds germinate, so why would it inhibit cannabis germination?

With pot, light seems to contribute little to germination success however.

Theory aside, I’ve always germinated in the light for years and see no reason not to. I feel like the plant wants to start its life off in the day, and not have an extended period in the dark as its first experience.

Why is darkness recommended for germination? Doesnt seem to make much sense to me, why would darkness be beneficial to the seed in any way? Just curious. I have some seedlings already but decided to go for a few more plants, so i’ve put the seeds in the pots in the same room, threw some black garbage bags over the pots to avoid some of the light + it add more moisture..

I’ve tried germination using a few methods, nowadays i always plant the seeds directly into the large pots. I’ve noticed that it seems to speed up the development quite a bit. I guess it’s becaue it’s much less stressful. I don’t get those methods of first germinate the seed using paper, then putting it in a cup, then moving it to larger puts etc.. that’s seems pretty stupid and is just a hassle imo, the seed and the seedling should be handled as little as possible i think.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds – Different Methods

A seed is a plant that’s waiting for the right conditions to germinate and grow. This post is designed to teach you how to germinate cannabis seeds as efficiently as possible in order to obtain successful results during this delicate phase.

Table of Contents

Cannabis seeds (or marijuana) germinate when they’re in the right conditions for successful growth. In nature, this process occurs on its own around springtime; moist soil begins to heat up with the increased sunlight and the inclination of the earth. We’re going to give a quick overview of the different methods used when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds.

Under these conditions, seeds germinate in soil protected from direct light and in an airy substrate. Once they’ve germinated they will begin to take root in the soil.

  • Humidity: alongside heat, this activates seeds and softens the protective shell. Once the seed has germinated, it will need moisture to survive.
  • Darkness: roots are incredibly light-sensitive, so they’ll need to be in the dark in order to guarantee germination.
  • Heat: alongside humidity, heat activates seeds and indicates that the conditions are right to begin growing. It’s important to maintain temperatures between 20 and 26°C during the germination process.
  • Oxygen: it’s important to periodically open the container in which you’re germinating your seeds in order to renew airflow and give your plants’ seeds more oxygen.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

There are many different germination methods when it comes to cannabis seeds, from simple to complex processes. In this post we’re going to go through the most common methods used that, when done with a care, can be 100% effective.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds in Paper Towels

Germination in paper towels is La Huerta Grow Shop’s preferred and recommended method due to how efficient and easy it is, as well as being the cheapest method. Cannabis seeds ready to germinate in paper towels

Necessary Materials
  • Absorbent paper towels (kitchen)
  • Two plates or plastic, opaque Tupperware with a lid.
  • Water.
  • Sprayer (optional.
  • Seeds
  • Latex gloves.

We highly recommend using latex gloves during the entire process in order to avoid accidental contamination via fungi or virus.

You can also use Germinator Pro to help you with this process; it comes with everything needed for the germination process, including a thermometer on top of the germinating container.

Steps to follow
  1. Place 6 – 8 paper towels on a plate or in your Tupperware, and pour in small amounts of mild water until they’re covered. Squeeze them softly until they’re moist but not soaking.
  2. Place the seeds on the paper towel “pillow”, keeping them a distance a apart so their roots don’t end up intertwining. The less you touch them with your hands, the better.
  3. Wet another 6 – 8 paper towels, squeeze to remove excess water and place them on top of your seeds.
  4. Place the second plate upside-down on top (or the Tupperware lid) in order to guarantee darkness. You can close the lid entirely or not, depending on how fast the paper dries. Keep in mind that you need to keep the paper towels moist until the last seed germinates. If you close the lid fully, open it once a day to make sure they get more air and to check if they’ve germinated.
  5. Place the seed container in a warm area without direct sunlight, keeping the temperature between 18 and 25°C. At La Huerta Grow Shop we’ve noticed that cannabis seed germinate faster and better when placed over very light heat sources like a router or on top of the fridge, which generate high enough temperatures to stimulate germination.
  6. Observe the process and maintain humidity. If the paper dries up, spray it again until it’s moist. Seeds don’t always germinate at the same time, so we recommend transplanting when the root is between 1 and 15 cm. If you leave germinated seeds in the container for too long, the root may grow too long and make them harder to handle. This initial root is highly delicate; we recommend using latex or plastic gloves.
  7. Transplant your seeds. You’ll need to wash the soil and make a hole as deep as the root; place the seed in with the root facing downwards. This allows the first two leaves to sprout above the surface of the substrate. The substrate should be moist – not soaked – until the plant grows its first pair of real leaves. During this delicate phase, the amount of moisture available is crucial; don’t let it dry out too much, but don’t over-water. We recommend using small amounts of water frequently.
See also  How Much Weed Can You Get From One Seed

*if you’re using a heater or heating mat, keep in mind that your seeds are in a container and not a flowerpot, so the heat may be excessive.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds – A Step by Step Guide

Germinating cannabis seeds is one of the most exciting parts of the whole grow. It is almost magical to summon new life from a dormant seed; however, it can be very frustrating when things don’t go well. In this article, I explain how to germinate cannabis seeds successfully. I begin by reviewing the science of germinating cannabis seeds. I then describe several common cannabis germination strategies and share some cannabis germination tips and tricks. At the end of the article, I provide my step-by-step guide to germinating cannabis seeds. Be sure to watch my Germination Tutorial on YouTube!

Germination will always be exciting, but it does not need to be intimidating. There are many ways to germinate cannabis seeds successfully. Understanding the science and the shifting needs of the developing plant will allow you to choose the germination strategy that is right for you.

The Science of Germinating Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis seeds are among the easier seeds to germinate. They are large dicotyledon seeds that store a reasonable amount of energy for early life. Furthermore, cannabis seeds do not have any significant seed dormancy factors to overcome. If they are viable seeds they will germinate easily when exposed to the correct conditions.

Seeds become Sprouts During Germination

This may sound obvious, but it is important to consider because seeds and sprouts are different. When the cannabis seed is still a seed, it is resilient and does not depend on ideal conditions to survive. However, sprouts are different. As soon as the seed cracks open and exposes the radicle (tip of the root) it becomes a sprout. As a sprout, it becomes much more sensitive to external conditions. Whereas the seed only needs warmth and moisture to germinate; the radicle on a sprout needs warmth, moisture, oxygen, and darkness to survive and grow.

Germination Stage 1: Imbibition

The seed’s journey to planthood begins by getting wet which starts the process of imbibition. Imbibition is similar to rehydration. When wet, the testa or seed coat of cannabis seeds imbibe water which causes them to swell and soften. The force of water entering the cells in the testa physically ruptures the seed coat and allows the radicle (root tip) to escape. The imbibition of water also activates the metabolic activity within the seed protoplasm.

Warmth is Required for Metabolic Activity

The metabolic activity within the seed will only activate if the temperature is in the appropriate range. Like other seeds, cannabis seeds will not successfully germinate if the temperature is too low or too high. Room temperature is warm enough to allow germination, but warmer temperatures enable more metabolic activity and faster germination. The ideal temperature range to germinate cannabis seeds is 80-86 F (27-30 C).

Germination Stage 2: Respiration

Seeds carry stored energy to help power metabolic activity and growth until the plant can begin photosynthesis. However, just like humans and other animals, plants must engage in respiration in order to convert that stored energy into active energy that the plant can use. During the earliest stages of metabolic activity as the seed awakens from dormancy, the respiration is anaerobic or without oxygen. However, the sprout needs to quickly begin using oxygen in aerobic respiration to continue to survive and grow.

As metabolic activity resumes, the sprout will begin to grow. Cannabis seeds store most of their energy in their cotyledons in the form of starches and proteins. The plant uses energy from aerobic respiration to digest these starches and proteins into simple sugars and amino acids, which it mobilizes to grow the radicle (root tip) and hypocotyl (stem).

Cannabis Sprouts need access to both water and air

Seeds can be completely submerged in water during the first part of imbibition. However, if they are completely submerged after the radicle is exposed then the sprout will die from lack of oxygen. As soon as the seed cracks open and exposes the radicle it needs to have access to oxygen for aerobic respiration. This means that it needs some contact with air. However, it also needs continuous contact with water. To achieve the best results in the sprout and seedling stages it is best to use a grow media that will trap both air and water. As I explain below, paper towels work well for this during the early sprout stage and germination media like Jiffy Pellets or Rockwool cubes are perfect for young seedlings.

See also  Delta 8 Weed Seeds
Germination Stage 3: Orientation

At this stage of germination, the plant must orient itself to grow properly. The radicle must push down into the soil or media and the hypocotyl must push the cotyledons (first leaves) up out of the soil or media. Both gravity and light help orient the plant to grow in the proper direction.

Apply Light but Keep the Radicle in the Dark

Cannabis seeds do not require darkness to germinate. However, the radicle is sensitive to light. Bright light will stunt the radicle and can lead to a failed germination. When seeds are germinated in paper towels it is best to keep the sprout in total darkness until the radicle is about half an inch long (about 1.25cm). However, as the cotyledons emerge from the seed casing, they will be looking for light to indicate the direction they need to grow. Therefore, when the radicle is longer than half an inch it should be placed in media which will protect it from light. Once the radicle is safely in the media, light should be applied to the top of the media to signal the direction of growth for the cotyledons.

Germination Stage 4: Photosynthesis

During the germination stage the plant relies exclusively on stored energy from the seed. This energy is limited, so the plant must quickly begin producing its own energy through photosynthesis. The young plant works to establish its radicle in the media and push the cotyledons up into the light to begin photosynthesis. Once the cotyledons open and receive light, the plant will begin photosynthesis. At this point, germination is complete, and the plant can start producing its own sugars, starches, proteins and fats.

Nutrients for Germinating Cannabis Seeds

The nutrients and supplements that we provide to our plants are not their food. Nutrients and supplements support photosynthesis. Therefore, they are not needed until the plant has begun photosynthesizing. Indeed, adding nutrients to the water used for imbibition can actually inhibit germination. It is best to use plain water at a neutral pH (7.0) to imbibe the seeds.

Once the cotyledons are open, the plant can use very small doses of nutrients. However, it is easy to overdo it and burn the plant. When and how to begin fertilization depends largely on the media that you are growing in. If you are growing in coco or other inert and unamended media, be sure to read “How to grow cannabis seedlings in coco coir”.

Cannabis Germination Strategies

There are many viable ways to germinate cannabis seeds. Different germination strategies may be more suitable for different growers. Therefore, before explaining my step-by-step guide to germinating cannabis seeds, I will review some of the more popular germination strategies.

Soaking Seeds

Many growers begin germination by soaking seeds in water. This allows for faster imbibition of the seed because it is surrounded by water. It is a safe strategy to follow as long as you remove the seeds from the water before the seed actually cracks open. If you soak seeds, you should use plain (low EC) water with a neutral pH (7.0). Filtered or distilled water is best.

The Paper Towel Method

This seems like a make-shift hack, but wet paper towels provide an excellent air/water ratio for germinating seeds. They also allow you to precisely control the temperature of the seed/sprout during germination. As a result, using paper towels can speed the germination process considerably.

The paper towels should be fully saturated with water, but not dripping wet. I like to fold the paper towel so that there are two layers below and above the seed. You can then place the paper towels in an air-tight container to prevent them from drying out. I use pyrex containers. If you use a plastic bag, just make sure that you trap some air in the bag (don’t squeeze all the air out). The radicle does need some air, but there will be plenty, even in a sealed container. Place the sealed container someplace warm and cover it to protect the radicle from light.

The main drawback to the paper towel method is that it is possible to damage the young sprout when you transfer it to media. There are some easy practices to mitigate this risk. First, use cheap, single-ply paper towels. This prevents the radicle from growing between the plies. Second, place only one seed on each paper towel. This allows you to pick up the whole paper towel and avoid touching the sprout when you transplant to media. Finally, don’t keep the seeds in paper towels for too long. Once the root has grown to about 0.5in or 1.25cm, it is time to transplant it to media.