How To Germinate Weed Seeds For Hydroponics

Follow these steps to start weed seeds for hydroponics and get your plants off to a healthy start. Starting cannabis from seed is an affordable and fulfilling way to start growing. It all starts with germinating cannabis seeds, followed by creating the ideal warm, humid environment for seedling growth. Giving your seeds (and then the seedings) the best support from the very start, you'll set yourself up for success

How to Start Weed Seeds for Hydroponics

Now that it’s legal to grow your own weed in dozens of states, many people are moving to hydroponics for their seed growth.

There are various benefits to this form of seed germination, but the process has to be done correctly in order to get your cannabis seedlings to form healthily. If you put the time and effort in at the beginning, you’ll create a hydroponic system that does most of the work for you later.

Creating Cannabis Plants From a Hydroponic System

Sure, it’s easier to buy an already germinated seed rather than taking the time to do it yourself.

But the costs add up quickly, whereas germinating cannabis seeds hydroponically yourself gives you a solid return on your investment.

Rather than buying sprouted seeds and adding them to your water system, you can have a successful germination rate. This process also takes away all the disadvantages of the seeds you get in the store.

Why You Need Hydroponics in Your Life if You Grow Cannabis

If you don’t want your cannabis seeds limited to what other people sell, growing seeds is the way to go.

Plus, you can avoid the concern of picking up diseases from store-bought marijuana seeds and spreading them to your young plants.

Once you get the hang of how to germinate cannabis seeds and tend to your hydroponic system, you’ll never want to grow seeds through any other growing medium.

Turning Quality Seeds Into Cannabis Plants

Because the root system in hydroponics never connects to the soil, any seeds sprouted stay safely floating until you’re ready to use your marijuana plants.

So, any sprouts emerging from your system stay healthy and untraumatized.

How do you take a few seeds to germinate, design a hydroponic system, and start growing marijuana yourself?

Here’s all you need to know about germinating cannabis seeds for the maximum yield possible.

Starting Your Hydroponic System

Ready to see how good it feels to watch your cannabis seeds germinate into a young plant?

Sprouting seeds is a simple way to increase your healthy plant yield. You end up with multiple cannabis plants rather than one healthy seed bought from a store.

To ensure you germinate seeds that can successfully grow into a cannabis plant, you need a hydroponic system.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, but the costs at the start will be more expensive than buying a sprouted seed.

Remember, though, that getting a few seeds over time will end up costing more than investing in and creating your own method of germinating seeds at home.

What Every Cannabis Seed System Needs

In a cannabis plant’s life, there are four main components.

As long as you learn these factors and use them in an organized manner, you won’t have to add too much more equipment or do a lot of work after the initial setup.

Germinated seeds in hydroponics don’t need soil growers like your average growing plants do when you use potting soil.

Instead, they just require the essentials: oxygen, water, a light source, and heat. As you start seeds in the system, the proper lighting and the right temperature are crucial.

A Simple Beginning that Anyone Can Do

Let’s begin the process of designing your first greenhouse hydroponic system starting small.

You’ll need a grow tray, some starter cubes, and a humidity dome to monitor the temperature and moisture levels.

Starter cubes aren’t necessary, but they do make a massive difference. They have the ideal nutrient solution, like peat pellets, to help those first seeds sprout.

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Once the young seedling reaches the stage where it’s able to be transferred, you can easily move the planted cubes without disrupting the roots.

This helps prevent root rot from excess water and gives you the maximum yield possible.

Adjusting the Temperature

Within the dome, your grow tray helps your plants grow from feminized seeds into healthy cannabis plants ready for the flowering stage.

For your role, you have to monitor the temperature and humidity. If you see water dripping from the side of the starter cube or dome, there’s too much moisture.

A heating mat under the grow tray helps avoid cold temperatures messing with the starter cubes and the seedlings.

Because even warm water turns cold, this heating mat keeps the grow tray at the ideal temperature to nestle the seeds inside and encourage them to grow.

Finding the Right Light Source

When it comes to adding lighting in the room, you don’t necessarily need more light. You need something that the germinating seeds grow toward.

In the case of cannabis plants, many experts recommend a hydroponic LED grow light system.

Cannabis is a green plant, so it must have the ideal environment to encourage photosynthesis. Seeds sprout naturally when the lighting initiates this process.

Then, the plants capture the light and use it to change the water and the given nutrient solution into oxygen and the compounds you desire.

These little seedlings need intense light, which is found in an LED grow lighting system.

Enough light at the right intensity will ensure you get the maximum yield possible from younger and older seeds.

Sprouting Your Seeds

Now that your environment is set up, it’s time to start the process of germination!

First, take your starter cubes and let them soak in clean tap water. In an hour or so, take two or three seeds and add them to the cube.

You should use enough to ensure at least one germinates, but not so many that if they all do, they’ll be overcrowded. As they begin to grow, any plants that look like they aren’t as healthy as the others can be thinned out.

Move the Starter Cubes

Next, take your grow tray and add an inch of half-strength nutrient solution.

Place the lighting source and mat where they fit best, then add the dome to keep the temperature and moisture at optimal levels.

Add your starter cubes into the tray, add a little water (not too much, you want to avoid root rot), and that’s it!

It will take a few days for seeds to germinate, but you’ll see whether your system is working or not by the fourth day.

Get Ready to Transport!

The seeds are germinating, and you can see roots daintily hanging out of the cube’s bottom. It’s the moment you’ve anticipated since you started your basic hydroponic system.

It’s time to transplant your young plant!

Chances are, it’s only been a month or less, but it can feel like forever as you’re checking and double-checking the plant’s health.

Now, it’s the real thing, and you’re moving your seedling into your actual hydroponic area.

This is the bigger tank or pond where you’re going to hold your nutrient solution and let your plants thrive until you’re ready to cultivate them.

Gently Move the Cube

Once you have a place for the cube, use the paper towel method to hold under the roots as you gently pull it from its grow tray.

There isn’t anything that connects the roots to a soil system, so a wet paper towel is all you need.

The roots are going to need a little time to get used to their new environment.

While they try to absorb the system’s nutrients, you can add a little water to the top or use those wet paper towels to cover the cube.

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As the paper towel dries out, you know it’s time to add a little more moisture. Within a day or two, your new seedlings should be enjoying their hydro system without help, and you can drop the paper towels.

Enjoy Your Hard Work

You’ve taken your cannabis from small, non-germinated seeds to a young, healthy, green plant. From there, you guided it and monitored its growth as it flowered.

Now, it’s time to cultivate the good parts and turn the leftover cuttings into more cannabis seeds.

The return on your investment starts now. Rather than heading back to the store to find more cannabis seeds to germinate, you have everything you need to repeat the process.

Your grow tray is ready to house some more starter cubes. Your light source is still intensely shooting out waves of photosynthesis-inducing light, and your humidity dome is set at the ideal temperature and moisture.

Go ahead and take those new seedlings from the plant you nurtured and turn them into new young plants. You’ll never have to buy your cannabis stash again!

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Grow Guide: How to Start Cannabis from Seed

Starting cannabis from seed is an affordable and fulfilling way to start growing. It all starts with germinating cannabis seeds, followed by creating the ideal warm, humid environment for seedling growth.

Giving your seeds (and then the seedings) the best support from the very start, you’ll set yourself up for success come harvest. Here are the basics to growing cannabis from seeds.

Where to Find Cannabis Seeds

At this point, there are hundreds of different online options for sourcing cannabis seeds . If you are growing indoors, the world is your oyster, as many websites are willing to ship nationally (or even internationally). Plus, if you master the indoor environment, you can recreate perfect conditions for even the most demanding of strains.

For those growing outdoors, try to locate a local breeder who also cultivates outside. These cultivars will be adapted to your unique climate and will likely produce better results.

No idea where to start? Seed Finder is an excellent resource for sourcing specific genetics and breeders in your area. But this is just one place among many in today’s weed-friendly world.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

What You’ll Need:

  • Cannabis seeds
  • Paper towel
  • Plate or tray
  • Ziplock bag
  • Heating mat (optional)

The first step to growing cannabis from seed is learning how to germinate them. Place cannabis seeds on a sheet of paper towel, laid on top of a tray. Dampen the towel with water so it’s wet but not soaking.

Fold the towel in half to cover the seeds, and enclose it inside a Ziploc bag. Place the entire tray on a heating mat, the top of a fridge or other warm area of your house. Cannabis seeds germinate between 71 to 77°F (22–25°C).

Check back every day for signs of life. If your seeds are viable, they should sprout within a week. If you are still waiting for a few to emerge after a week, toss those and begin again. If no seeds have sprouted, your seeds are no longer viable.

Ed Rosenthal recommends soaking seeds for 12 hours before germination. His formula uses water, a cannabis rooting solution and hydrogen peroxide.

This solution is a good option for commercial and large scale growers, as it reduces the risk of fungal infection and encourages rapid sprouting. Compost tea is another excellent option for a natural alternative.

Ideal Conditions for Cannabis Seeds and Seedlings

What You’ll Need:

  • Germinated Cannabis Seeds
  • Potting Mix (or Root Riot Plant Cubes )
  • Propagation Tray with Dome

Once germinated, you must carefully move these tiny seeds into the soil or soilless growing medium like Root Riot Plant Cubes. When you start cannabis from seed, the aim is a warm and relatively humid environment.

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Starting Cannabis With Soil

If using soil, choose an organic potting mix suitable for seeds and starts. Water soil mixture before use, and fill potting containers that have a drainage hole. Avoid pellets that are commonly sold at garden centers, as they don’t retain moisture well, and it’s challenging for cannabis roots to break free of the netting.

Using a popsicle stick, tweezers or a toothpick, lower the germinated seed into a premade hole roughly two the three times the height of the seed. As you gently fill in the hole, be careful not to damage the sprout.

Starting Cannabis for Hydroponics

For hydroponics, you’ll want to use Rockwool cubes or Root Riot Plant Cubes. These come pre-cut into perfect starter plugs, often with a hole in the middle for the seed.

Before use, soak the cubes in water and rooting solution until they are wet but not dripping. Gently lower the germinated seed into the hole using a popsicle stick, tweezers or a toothpick. Be extremely careful not to damage the early sprout.

Whatever option you choose, keep the seedlings at a consistent temperature: 68 to 77°F (20 to 25°C). Depending on where you live, a heating mat may be necessary. Use a propagation tray with a clear dome to trap the humidity in, but open up once a day to encourage a bit of airflow.

Lighting Requirements for Cannabis Seedlings (& How to Eliminate Stretch)

Seedlings and starts require 16 hours of light a day and eight hours of dark. You can even bump this up to 24 hours a day, and the seedlings will continue to eat it up.

What kind of grow light do you need for this early stage of development? Not the same capacity you’ll need for veg and bloom. Higher wattage types of HID lights (Metal Halide and High-Pressure Sodium) are far too powerful for sensitive seedlings.

Most growers use a simple LED grow light or a CFL fixture. Ed Rosenthal recommends 40 to 60 watts per square foot.

While these may not be entirely enough for veg and bloom, they produce enough light for seedlings without the added heat. This means you can place the lights close to the tops of the seedlings.

Place lights as close as possible to the tops of the starts, without raising the temperature over 77°F. You want seedlings to get enough light without burning them.

The goal is to avoid early stretching in your small cannabis seedlings. Healthy seedlings are short and wide, not tall and skinny. Stretching is when the sprout reaches tall for the light without putting out leaves.

Typically, under outdoor conditions, plants remain short for the first few weeks as they focus energy on building structure and root development. Stretching inside demonstrates the seedling is not getting enough light. The light source is either not intense enough or too far away.

When to Transplant Cannabis Seedlings

The primary goal for starting cannabis seeds in small pots is to encourage healthy and strong root development. Once the seedling has three to four sets of leaves, begin checking root development. This will likely be three or more weeks after germination.

Another telltale sign it’s time to transplant is when you notice roots begin to creep out from the drainage holes. If working with Rockwool, a key indicator it’s time to transplant is when the roots begin to outgrow the cube. A plant’s growth trajectory slows down if it is root-bound. If the roots have consumed the available space, it’s time to move up a size.

Cannabis Seedlings From Germination to Transplanting

Starting cannabis from seed gives growers access to a much larger genetic pool than what you can find locally from a clone supplier. Plus, if you’ve got the time to invest, it’s a much more affordable way to grow cannabis. Finally, if you are already set up with a veg and bloom room, you have everything you need to get started from seed.