Here at Elev8, we want you to get the most out of our products – that’s why we not only provide a quality product, but great advice too, to help you on your way to growing the best plants possible.
How to Germinate Seeds
There are two ways to germinate seeds – the paper towel method or the root cube method (we prefer root cube)
Root Cube Method
If using root cubes, simply soak the cube in PH’d water (5.5-6.5).
Place seeds in the holes in the cubes and push down about a half inch.
Do not use any kind of nutrients as it will burn the seedlings.
Check cubes daily to make sure cubes don’t dry out.
Ambient temperature should be 70-80 degrees F.
Paper Towel Method
Take 3 paper towel sheets and fold them until you have a square about 6 inches on each side.
Completely soak the paper towels and place the seeds on top of the paper towel.
Take 1 more paper towel sheet, fold into a 6-inch square and soak.
Place that paper towel on top of the seeds. Then place wet paper towels in gallon sized plastic bag or place between two plates.
When the tails are about an inch long, bury the tails in drenched soil with the head barely poking through the surface. Once a root is about an inch long, it’s time to pot! But be extremely careful not to break the root. Use a small pot with drainage, or even a plastic cup with holes in the bottom to drain the excess water. Place potting soil in, mix in water to get the soil fully saturated and ready for the seed. With your finger or a thick pen, make a hole roughly the same depth as the taproot in the center of the pot. Now very carefully place the seed in with the root facing down while carefully holding the top of the seedling so it doesn’t fall in. Gently cover with soil but leave the top of the seed barely poking through the top of the soil. Keep the soil saturated for the first couple weeks and don’t worry about over watering in the beginning until the roots are established. Once the roots are established, you can water normally. Start using quarter to half strength nutrients after about two weeks. Again, do not use heat pads or humidity domes at any time in the process.
- Keep the medium drenched for the first week or so until the roots have a chance to establish themselves. Don’t worry about overwatering. After a week or two, start backing off on the amount of water.
- DO NOT let the medium dry out while the seedlings are still young.
- DO NOT use a heat mat. Many times the additional heat will cook the seeds too much.
- DO NOT use a dome for seeds. Domes should only be used for rooting clones.
- DO NOT soak seeds prior to planting. Success with this method is inconsistent.
How to Sex Cannabis
When germinating feminized seeds, each plant has a 99% chance of being female. When germinating regular seeds, you will likely get both male and female plants. All strains are easy to identify but some will show preflowers earlier than others. Once the preflowers progress , all plants showing any male preflowers can be culled.
Once a root is established, it’s time to pot! But be extremely careful not to break the root. Use a small pot with drainage, or even a plastic cup with holes in the bottom to drain the excess water. Place potting soil in, mix in water to get the soil fully saturated and ready for the seed. Make a hole about a half to a quarter inch deep in the center of the pot. Now very carefully place the seed in with the root facing down. Gently cover with soil but leave the top of the seed barely poking through the top of the soil. Don’t worry about over watering in the beginning until the roots are established. Once the roots are established you can water normally. Start using quarter to half strength nutrients once leaves start forming. Again, do not use heat pads or humidity domes.
How to Pot Seeds After Paper Towel Germination
Each seed varies enough genetically that different phenotypes and degrees of vigor will be expressed. If you wish to find the best plant for the purposes of maintaining a mother plant for clones, make sure you take numbered clippings from each plant a couple weeks before changing to 12/12. If possible, wait until each clipping is rooted prior to 12/12. Somewhere in the flower process, you will notice which plant has the best traits. The clone with the corresponding number can now be used as your mother for future generations.
Cannabis naturally has a tendency to hermaphrodite, depending on genetics and environmental stresses. If hermaphrodites are allowed to stay in your grow room too long, they can pollinate the females and create seeds in your buds. Feminized seeds have a tendancy to hermphrodite more often than regular seeds but a grower should inspect every plant in their flowering rooms throughout flowering regularly to avoid accidental pollination regardless of what kind of seeds they are growing.
To eliminate environment stresses, make sure that the rooms are completely dark, with no light leaks whatsover during the lights-off periods of flowering. Also, make sure that your PH is consistent and correct for the medium you are growing in and temperatures are within a comfortable range.
Starting in week 3 during flower, check for pollen balls hanging from a small stem at the nodes. Once buds have formed later in flower, regularly inspect the buds for signs of pollen “bananas”.
It is assumed that most strains can be grown indoors but how can we tell which strains are suitable for outdoor growing? The answer depends on the latitude the plants are grown in because the latitude affects the length of sunlight during the day. The further south the latitude, the longer the flowering season. Generally, anything that flowers in 9 weeks or less can be grown outdoors in most latitudes. The further south the growers latitude is, the more strain options one has due to a longer flowering season. The timing of the rainy season that comes towards the end of flowering in some regions will influence when flowers should be harvested as high humidity can cause bud rot.
Here’s a good tip guide by Leafly for growing in your region