In this guide, we’ll walk through the cannabis life cycle. When thinking about growing cannabis,… Germinating weed seeds in peat pellets is an easy process that doesn’t require a lot of work Are you thinking about growing cannabis from the comfort of your own home? Here’s everything you need to know about cannabis seed germination.
If you are starting with seeds, you’ll have to germinate them to get the grow started. In this chapter, you’ll learn all about the natural conditions that cannabis seeds germinate under and then we’ll show you a failsafe way to germinate your seeds.
This cannabis seedling emerges 3 days after planted directly in soil
What is germination?
A cannabis seed is just an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective shell and germination is the process of reactivation of metabolic machinery of the seed. The outer shell splits apart and the embryonic plant emerges as a seedling. For cannabis seeds, this process takes between 1 and 7 days.
What makes seeds germinate?
Cannabis seeds lie dormant until they meet the right conditions to begin germination. In tropical conditions, cannabis seeds germinate in the warm rains of early spring. The well-drained soil of the forest floor wouldn’t be waterlogged, but it wouldn’t dry out. The ideal temperatures would be between 70°F-80°F (21°C-26°C), with 60-80% relative humidity. These spring seasonal signals tell the embryonic plant contained in the seed that conditions are right to begin its life cycles. These are the same conditions you will emulate to germinate seeds.
What’s the easiest way germinate cannabis seeds?
Peat moss pellets are pucks of dried peat moss enclosed in a fine netting. As a mostly inert medium that retains water well, peat moss pellets do a great job of mimicking the natural conditions of spring jungle floor.
What you need
Peat moss pellets – Get them online or at local department/hardware stores – they are widely available.
Filtered water – You probably have this in your fridge. pH balance between 5.5 and 6.5.
Cannabis seeds – Learn more about cannabis seeds in our guide
Peat Moss pellets swell to 5x their normal volume when flooded with water
Step 1 – Flood the Peat Moss
Peat plugs come dried and compressed, so you need to flood them with water. Use some warm filtered water from your fridge, rainwater, or distilled water that’s pH balanced between 5.5 and 6.5. Add water until the plugs are saturated, then drain the excess water. The plugs will swell 4-5x their original volume.
Step 2 – Insert Seed
Most plugs or pellets have a small hole in the top. Insert the seed between 1/4-1/2″ (6-12MM) deep and lightly cover with an excess medium.
All emerging seedlings look identical, and most mature plants look very similar. If you start multiple strains at once, make sure to label them. Plastic plant labels can be fixed to peat moss plugs to identify the plant through its life – adding dates makes it a self-contained record.
Step 3 – Wait for it!
The next few days is mostly a waiting game. Put the pellets in a partially covered container to prevent drying out and follow these two simple rules:
DO keep the pellets warm and moist throughout germination, cannabis seeds germinate best in these conditions.
DO NOT flood or over-saturate the pellets after the initial flooding, since this will prevent the roots from getting enough oxygen. Too much water and the seedling will ‘damp out’ and fail.
One easy method to ensure that you get the right amount of water is to use a spray bottle to wet the outside edges. Another is to quickly dip the bottom of the pellets into the water; moisture will wick upwards to the rest of the pellets. Either method will encourage roots to grow outward.
Step 4 – Care for it!
As your young seedling emerges from the seed, you’ll notice that it has a set of ‘built-in’ leaves that don’t look a lot like pointy cannabis leaves. These are the cotyledons, and they are there to help the young seedling bootstrap the photosynthesis process. Young seedlings need light right away – but not too bright for the first few days
Keep the peat pellet moist until the seedling is ready to plant in a growing medium, but never saturate the pellet since that can drown the young plant. Add water from the bottom up by dipping the pellet quickly in water. This will promote rapid root growth as the roots will grow down after the water.
When is it time to plant the seedlings?
You’ll know when it’s time because roots will be bursting out of the bottom of the peat pellet. Plant the pellet in a solo cup sized container using a quality soil mix. Water without nutrients for the first few weeks.
Optimizations & Alternatives
Germination Heat Mats
Germination heat mats are just like heating pads, but they don’t get as hot and are water resistant. These are especially useful for germinating seeds in colder conditions.
One of the best ways to simulate tropical climates is to use an enclosure to conserve moisture and heat. You can make your own from cheap plastic containers, or buy a special purpose kit made for peat pellets. Used along with a germination heat mat, you can easily set up a tropical jungle climate anywhere.
If you want professional results with no hassle and complete stealth, try a professional grow-box.
Can I germinate seeds in paper towels?
Yes, you can germinate marijuana seeds in moist paper towels. Just put a damp paper towel down on a plate or other container and spread the seeds around. Add another damp paper towel or fold over the existing towel to cover all the seeds. You will need to keep the paper towels damp at all times throughout the germination process – a spray bottle can really come in handy for that. Covering the seeds with another plate or plastic will prevent it from drying out too quickly, just make sure that there is still some airflow for when the seedling emerges.
After a few days, the seed will crack and the embryonic cannabis plant will start to emerge. Once you see a solid root begin to emerge, you will need to transplant it into your growing medium. While this approach might be slightly faster than the other methods we’ve shown here, we don’t use this method because of the risk to the plant and main root during transplanting.
Can I germinate seeds directly in the growing medium?
That’s how it works in nature and it’s easy to do. Use a solo cup sized container filled with soil or coco and place the seeds about 3/4 inch (~ 2cm) deep. Keep the medium moist but not wet until you see the seedlings emerge between 3 and seven days later. The reason we recommend peat moss over directly planting in soil is that it is easier to control moisture levels in peat plugs due to the texture and qualities of peat. Experienced growers often sew directly into the growing medium.
Many farmers use rock wool cubes for starting clones and germination, particularly hydroponic growers. While these work well and are economical, they come with drawbacks. We recommend that new growers begin with peat pellets.
How long does it take to germinate?
From the time that you place your seed into the germination medium, you should start to see the emerging seedling within 2-5 days. Cannabis seeds germinate faster when they are kept at the correct temperatures, between 70°F-80°F (21°C-26°C), with a 60-80% relative humidity. Cooler temperatures will slow the germination process or stop it altogether. Germination is usually complete, and the plant is a young seedling within seven days. If you warm the seedlings with a heat mat, they can emerge in as little as 24 hours.
Should I germinate with nutrients?
Germinating plants don’t need any nutrients; it can burn their new leaves and roots. That’s why it’s best to grow seeds in an inert medium, like peat moss pellets or a paper towel. Young seedlings don’t need nutrients until they are a few weeks old.
Do cannabis seeds need light to germinate?
Not really, but they need light within the first day or so of emerging from the seeds, so it’s a good idea to germinate with a light source. Light sources also help increase the temperature, helping the germination process. Sunlight, fluorescent or low powered LED grow lights are all great options.
What if the seed gets stuck on the seedling?
They usually loosen and come off after a day or two. If it doesn’t come off, you can try to separate them. The easiest method is to find the direction of the crack and use a pair of tweezers to ‘help’ the seed continue cracking. Be careful that you don’t clamp the seed down or you can clip the folded embryonic leaves.
Next up, read our seedling care guide to learn how to care for your new seedling.
How to germinate cannabis seeds in peat pellets
Not all germination methods are equally successful. Some will disappoint you, while some can surprise you in quite a positive way. One of those methods that tends to provide awesome results and is quite simple and easy to achieve is germinating cannabis seeds in peat pellets.
Before we head onto the actual process of germinating marijuana seeds in peat pellets, let’s check out what the benefits of using jiffy peat pellets are and why you should choose this method of germination.
What are the Benefits of Peat Pellets?
If you’re not yet sure whether this method is suitable for you, check out some of the main benefits of using peat pellets to germinate your seeds below!
- They are easy to work with.
Peat pellets are super easy to work with. They are lightweight and highly compressed and they transport quite well. They can be planted into small and large containers or directly into the ground.
- They are the full package.
Peat pellets are a container and a medium all in one. They meet all the requirements your seeds need to grow with a consistent quality. They require less labor, less water and provide faster and better germination.
- They are eco-friendly.
Using peat pellets means growing in a medium that’s safe for the environment since its biodegradable, unlike other popular choices like rockwool.
Step-by-Step Guide to Germinating Marijuana Seeds in Peat Pellets
Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of using peat pellets to germinate your cannabis seeds, let’s go over the entire process step-by-step so you can consistently record higher and faster levels of germination and get a more consistent quality and results.
Jiffy pellets have easy to follow instructions, particularly suitable for novice growers. Here are the main steps you need to follow when germinating marijuana seeds in peat pellets:
Step 1: Get your container and your pellets ready
While you can use any type of container, ideally you should get a pellet tray that acts as a pellet holder and can typically contain up to 25 pellets per tray.
Make sure your pellets don’t overlap and have small borders between each so they can extend as they soak up the water.
Step 2: Cover with water
Pour water onto the tray to expand the pellets. Use warm water (up to 95°F/35°C) to help them expand faster. While you can use both tap or distilled water, we recommend using distilled or purified water so as not to expose the seeds to harmful substances which can be found in tap water, such as certain minerals. Keep on pouring water as they soak it in, allowing them to rise up and fully extend. Repeat the process as long as it takes until your pellets have fully risen and are ready for planting. Once they do, remove all of the excess water from the tray and head onto the next step.
Step 3: Place your seeds
Once the pellets have fully expanded, take your seeds and place one in each pellet. Place them in the middle at about 3/8 of an inch (1cm) or so. Don’t put them in too deep as this will prevent them from sprouting.
Once you plant the seeds, cover them with the excess peat from the sides and cover the tray with a lid or a plastic wrap. If you decide to purchase the specialized peat pellet tray, you’ll see that it comes with a humidity lead that goes on top, so use that one to cover your tray.
Step 4: Continue watering
You will need to water the pellets in around a week after planting your seeds. Just make sure not to water them from the top down as this can disturb the germination process. Keep your tray by a window or a warm, sunny spot and just wait for the seeds to sprout in a few days.
Step 5: Transplant
After about two weeks your seeds should be ready for planting. Then, you can plant each pellet directly in the soil or in a pot, depending on your preference.
As you can see, germinating weed seeds in peat pellets is an easy process that doesn’t require a lot of work. However, if you still have some unanswered questions on the subject, we hope this list of some of the most commonly asked questions on the subject can help answer some of your dilemmas.
Is there a certain way to plant cannabis seeds in peat pellets?
Yes, there is. To make sure you get the best results, you’ll want to place your seeds about 3/8th of an inch (1cm) deep, as if you plant them deeper within the pellet, they may not sprout.
Can I germinate autoflower seeds in peat pellets?
Absolutely! Germinating autoflower seeds in peat pellets is a simple and easy process and it follows the same steps as germinating any other marijuana seeds.
How many days does it take to germinate a cannabis seed?
Once planted, the seeds should start to sprout within two days, but it may take up to a week. Once they’ve sprouted you can remove them from the tray and plant them in soil at any point after they’ve sprouted, although we recommend waiting for a week or two to make sure they are ready for planting.
What if I don’t have access to peat pellets?
While this is quite an effective and sustainable way of germinating seeds, there are a few other ways you can use to achieve the same results. Germinating marijuana seeds in water is also a perfectly viable and safe option and can provide excellent results, which is great when you don’t have pellets at your disposal and are looking for an alternative solution.
Germinating Marijuana Seeds: Step by Step Guide
The life of any plant begins with germination , making this process the most important in your plant’s life. You will undoubtedly come across many different methods for germinating your marijuana seeds when conducting your online research. Some may be successful, but others will disappoint you. The following guide will provide you with an effective list of practices and critical information home marijuana growers can utilize to help ensure they’re preparing the best crop possible to produce some smooth, enjoyable hits.
Please continue reading to find out everything you need to know about cannabis seed germination. And if you’d like even more information on the wonders of growing cannabis from the comfort of your own home, please consider exploring the top-quality grow kits provided by our cannabis industry experts at a Pot for Pot today , along with their range of expertly written educational articles.
What Does it Mean to Germinate Cannabis Seeds?
Germination is the natural process by which a particular organism grows from a spore or seed. In this case, the term is referring to the sprouting of a cannabis seedling from a seed , which can be encouraged by help from the cannabis grower. Germinating your seed is the first crucial step in the cannabis growing process, and it can be surprisingly simple with the right tools. Even though the process of getting a seed to sprout and bear a healthy plant is a challenge for some growers, it doesn’t have to be when you start with a grow kit from a Pot for Pot. With our help, your plant will sprout and start growing in no time!
What to Understand About Germination and Endosperm
The first thing to understand is that seeds come naturally equipped with their own starting food- endosperm. It plays an essential role in ensuring your plant reaches its full potential. As a seed begins to sprout, this starchy blanket around the embryo provides nutrients to a growing plant. If it doesn’t seem like a lot, don’t be fooled- there’s enough starch there to feed humans.
That starch is only part of what you’ll need, however. You’ll also need to provide specific temperatures to germinate your seeds. Ideally, you’ll want to keep the temperature around 25 degrees Celsius (77 F) for the best results.
What Happens During Germination?
The process of germination is when plants start to sprout from their seeds, and it’s relatively the same throughout the plant kingdom. A little bit of moisture makes the tiny plant inside crack open its outer shell and sprout upwards while pushing its root downwards. Once it’s cracked through the shell, you’ll need to give your little babies a bit of water and some love for the fun to begin.
Your seeds will need the right conditions to break through their shell and continue to grow, however. Otherwise, they may take longer to germinate. Our seedling starter kit can help you create those perfect conditions. It makes sure your seed has just the right amount of water (so that it stays moist, but not too wet). Once it has germinated and grown enough to sprout its third set of leaves, simply move your young plant into the a Pot for Pot fabric pot for continued healthy growth.
It’s best to germinate seeds indoors where you can better control the temperature. Seeds are more likely to sprout in a warm and stable environment.
How to Sprout Marijuana Seeds
Marijuana plants start as a seed . That tiny thing resembling a pebble is a whole plant securely stored with a supply of food to support itself for a few days. In the germination process, the food converts into sugars, which the plant uses to cut the shell and develop its root. Identifying a healthy seed is, therefore, the first thing that you need to do.
The sprouting process is the foundation of your marijuana plant, so do not take this step lightly. Other than starting with a high-quality seed, you need to ensure that your conditions are optimal. It is challenging to optimize the natural mediums, which is why a medium such as Jiffy Pellets comes in handy.
Different Ways to Germinate
There are many ways to germinate seeds, but we recommend using peat pellets. Not only is it the safest way to start your seeds, but it’s also the easiest. Jiffy is hands down one of the best brands of peat pellets on the market , and if you are thinking about germinating using peat pellets, this is the way to go. This method is great for avoiding the risk of damaging new roots. We’ll get into more detail about the wonders of Jiffy Pellets in a later section of this article. But first, let’s explore the benefit of peat pellets in general, along with some other mediums growers can use to facilitate effective cannabis germination.
Peat pellets are comprised of decomposed vegetable matter which your plants will absolutely love. When you add water, it expands, creating a nutrient-dense medium that is a good replacement for soil. When the roots are visible, you can transport the whole pellet into a Top Soil mix with fortified a Pot for Pot Superb Soil so it can continue developing without accidentally causing root damage.
Basic Mediums for Marijuana Germination
There are many different germination methods, and results will vary. Here are some basic ways to sprout your seeds :
Sprouting marijuana seeds in regular soil is a common practice. Soil is a natural medium and can protect the seeds as they develop their fragile roots. For this option, be sure to start with the right type of soil for marijuana. Use a seed starter or fertilized potting soil with a pH of around 6- 6.5. Soil has both minerals and spores that support growing marijuana plants. Soil can have too many nutrients for fragile seeds so take care when doing this method that your soil isn’t too hot.
Water is another method for sprouting a marijuana seed. Soak seeds in a cup of water in a dark place for 24 to 48 hours. Plant after 48 hours whether or not the seed has sprouted a tail or not. The advantage of using water is that you can ensure adequate moisture for germination. The plant will also have an easier time breaking its shell compared to when it is in a soil medium. It is really important that your water is chlorine free and ideally pH neutral to slightly acid. (with a pH of 6.5- 7.0)
This mineral wool comes from volcanic rock and other materials such as limestone and basalt. To make this material, the ingredients are heated into molten lava and rapidly spun into threads. These threads then undergo compaction, curing, and finally, cutting.
While Rockwool is a suitable environment for germination, you’ll need to adjust it a bit for growing marijuana. First, you’ll need to add fertilizers- around 600 parts per million. You’ll also need to reduce the pH, which is too high to support sprouting. It’s also a bit dangerous to use, so please wear gloves and protect your mouth and eyes while handling it.
Would you like to save money and reduce the number of trips you need to take to your local dispensary to stock up on marijuana? Consider trying out the potential of your green thumb by investing in one of our top-quality cannabis growing kits today.
The Best Marijuana Germination Medium: What to Know About Jiffy Pellets
For the best results, you need a precise understanding of how to get started growing your marijuana plant. As stated a few sections above in this article, choosing Jiffy Pellets as your initial medium is probably the best way to go. Every a Pot for Pot kit includes a Jiffy Pellet, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing it separately, and if you run out, you can order some refills or one of our expansion kits .
What is a Jiffy Pellet and How Does it Work?
A Jiffy Pellet is a natural, biodegradable growing medium conveniently available as little compact discs that help sprout seeds into seedlings. Jiffy Pellet composition includes peat moss, a mesh, and other ingredients such as lime, fertilizer, and ammonium to help seedlings grow.
Jiffy Pellets are both a container and a potting mix for sprouting seeds. Peat moss is a medium that’s rich in organic materials, and the mesh securely holds the peat moss in place. Using Jiffy peat pellets either indoors or outdoors is an effective method to grow healthy and robust marijuana plants.
To use a Jiffy pellet, water it first. Then, place your marijuana seed a bit below the surface level. When the plant is strong enough, transplant the entire pellet to a larger pot.
What are Jiffy Pellets Composed of?
To help you better understand the advantages that Jiffy Pellets can provide to your seed germination efforts, let’s take a moment to explore the various beneficial components they contain and how they work to benefit your plants.
Technically, a Jiffy peat pellet is a small disc made of compressed material. However, Jiffy pellets enlarge up to seven times their original size when you add water , creating a suitable environment for the sprouting process. The fine netting keeps the Jiffy pellet ingredients in one place as your seed sprouts. Said ingredients include:
Peat is an organic medium that provides plenty of nutrients for sprouting seeds. It is made from sphagnum peat moss, which has a high water-holding capacity as a result of its fluffy and light texture. Peat provides excellent root aeration, making it easy for roots to grow without interference.
Lime, Ammonium, and Fertilizer
Jiffy pellets are primarily made from peat moss. However, peat moss on its own is not ideal for sprouting seeds. That’s why they also include lime, which raises the pH of the medium. Jiffy Pellets have a pH of 5.5, compared to peat moss’s 4.4.
Jiffy Pellets also include fertilizer that provides seedlings with all their required nutrients for the first 1-2 weeks. You won’t need to add anything else as your seed sprouts. After transplanting, you can apply fertilizer, if desired.
How Big are Jiffy Pellets?
Jiffy pellets come in diameters of 24 mm, 33 mm, 41 mm, and 70 mm. The sizes vary to cater to the various needs of different seedlings. The larger Jiffy Pellet sizes are convenient to handle and are ideal for marijuana.
How to Germinate With Jiffy
Jiffy pellet instructions are easy to follow and will take you less than 20 minutes to set up, ensuring you’ll be able to start your cannabis seed germination project quickly and easily without wasted time or effort.
Choose Your Container
The first step is to place your pellets in a container. Ideally, you can use a Jiffy pellet tray. Ensure they do not overlap and leave a small border for water retention.
Water Your Jiffy Pellets
You can use tap water or distilled water. Keep in mind, tap water may have chlorine, which is harmful to your plant and can cause it to dry out faster. However, you don’t have to buy distilled water to prevent chlorine problems. Evaporate the chlorine by pouring your water, and let it rest for some time. Use very warm water, around 95oF, to help the pellet expand faster.
Plant Your Weed Seeds in the Jiffy Pellets
Place the seed in the middle of the enlarged pellet. Don’t place the seed too deep, or it will not sprout.
Cover Your Seeds
To avoid moisture loss, use a plastic cover – this usually comes with the pellets. You can also use plastic wrap. If you don’t have a Jiffy pellet dome, you will need to water again after around seven days. Avoid dropping water from the top; otherwise, you will disturb the developing seeds.
Transplant Your Plant into Some Soil
The seeds are usually ready for transplanting after two weeks. To do this, simply make a hole in the soil and place your pellet directly in that spot.
An Alternative to Jiffy Pellets to Consider
Coir is a popular alternative to Jiffy pellets , with Coconut Coir leading the trend. This material is made from coconut husks. If you choose this medium, use a coir Jiffy Pellet tray to hold it. Coir has water retention capacities similar to peat, but not as good, and it is more airy which means you will want to water it more often and make sure it is compact.
Coir also repels insects and is reusable , so it can help you if you choose to expand your growing operations to include more cannabis plants.
What to do After Germination
After your seeds have germinated, they need to go into a pellet so the roots can spread out and grow. You may be wondering just how far in the jiffy pellet the seeds should be planted once it has germinated. You’ll want to drop the seed about a half-inch to an inch. If the seed has not sprouted, it’s okay to place it in the jiffy pellet – as long as it has soaked for at least 12 hours, but no more than 24 hours. If it has sprouted, drop the white root downward, so that the head of the seed is about an inch below the surface.
Damping-Off With Hydrogen Peroxide
Once your seed becomes a tiny plant, it’s now known as a seedling. This is great, except that seedlings are very delicate. You’ll want to be on the lookout for the number one seedling killer: damping off. Damping-off occurs when something (such as fungi or other diseases) causes the nutrients in your plant to stop being transported properly. The stem becomes mushy and falls over, and your plants will die young. The risk increases when there is minimal direct sunlight and air circulation, combined with warm temperatures and high humidity.
Eventually, your plant will be able to protect itself, but until then hydrogen peroxide is an excellent solution to this problem before it can begin. Hydrogen peroxide provides oxygen to the soil and reduces the chances of fungus spores developing.
To effectively prevent damping off, combine 1 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide with 2 cups of water. Use this solution to water the plants. Or you can soak the seed in 1% hydrogen peroxide before planting.
Frequently Asked Questions: Marijuana Seed Germination & Jiffy Pellets
Before signing off with this article, let’s take a few more moments to cover some key points included in this article to ensure you understand the basics of everything you’ll need to know when advancing forward in the seed germination process. We’ll also cover the answers to a few common questions new home-growers may want to address before getting started.
Germination is the process of seeds developing into new plants
All weed seeds need water, oxygen, and proper temperature in order to germinate.
It takes 1-2 weeks for weed seeds to germinate
We love jiffy pellets. They mimic the plant’s favorite natural medium; good soil.
The Bottom Line: What a Pot for Pot Can do For You
Germination can be tricky, but not if you have the right tools. The quality seedling starter kit from a Pot for Pot makes going from seed to seedling fairly effortless. It’s included in all our kits, or you can purchase it on its own. Simply select the seeds and provide some love and we’ll provide everything you need to grow healthy plants.
Do you enjoy an occasional marijuana smoke break but want to avoid costly trips to the local dispensary every time your bud stash starts to run low? Consider growing your own marijuana from the comfort of your home with one of our top-quality cannabis growing kits.
Learn how to cultivate marijuana. Find the best marijuana growing advice for seed germination, cloning, pruning, trimming, and curing to help maximize your yields.