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germinating cannabis seeds in the dark

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
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
NanoBrainz
Active Member
midnitetoak
Active Member
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.

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.

How to Germinate Marijuana: Germinating my Cannabis Seeds for my FIRST GROW

In this video from my first time growing cannabis, I show you how I germinated my cannabis seeds using the paper towel method.

My seeds are from Growers Choice and are all photo-period.

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds

  1. Soak your seeds in water for 12-20 hours (dark, warm)
  2. Place seeds in a folded, moist paper towel (dark, warm)
  3. wait 24 hours
  4. gently open moist paper towel. Plant seeds taproot down

Soaking your seeds in a glass of water is optional, but I see a lot of people recommending it.

In my first and only experience, soaking the seeds made the seeds pop open and start rooting extremely fast.

Many recommendations say to soak for a day and then leave in paper towel for 2 days. My seeds all germinated prior to paper towel. Your results may vary.

How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds?

Make sure that they are soaked enough but no excess water should be dripping off of them. Place the cannabis seeds in between the 4 paper towels. Each seed should be distanced an inch apart from the other.

2. Place the paper towels in between two plates.

Two plates will create a dome that would block out the light and protect the seeds inside. The temperature around the plate should be around 70-90F (21-32C). Seeds germinate faster if they are kept in a dark container as this mimics the natural light schedule outdoors. The two plates will also help maintain the humidity level during germination. This ensures that there is enough moisture to help the seeds to grow.

3. Monitor the seeds.

If the paper towels appear dry, keep their moisture by spraying them with distilled water a few times. Some seeds will sprout earlier than the others. A great way to know if a seed has germinated is by checking if the seed has cracked open. Remember to keep the seeds sterile during the germination period. Avoid touching the seeds soaked in between the paper towel until their taproot begins to sprout.

4. Transplant the seeds.

If the taproot becomes visible, it is now time to transplant it into the preferred growing medium. Make sure to be gentle during this process as newly-cracked seeds are prone to breakage. The time spent germination might go to waste if the seeds get damaged during transplant.

What Is Seed Germination?

Seed germination is defined to be a process in which plants grow from a seed to a plant. This process influences crop yields and quality.

In imbibition, the early stage of germination , the seeds take up a lot of water. The seed coat softens with the help of an optimum temperature. This stage kicks off the germination process by activating enzymes. The seed will begin to produce proteins and metabolize the food stored inside. Afterward, the radicle emerges from the softer seed coat. The radicle is a part of the embryo that turns into the plant’s primary root. It will start to dig into the soil to find water. Later on, as the radicle and plumule, the first shoot grows upward and pierces through the soil. In the last stage of germination, the cells of the seed become more active, elongates, and divides to support the growth of the seedling.

What Do Cannabis Seeds Need To Germinate?

1. Water
Moisture is one of the key factors needed in germination. Some seeds are too dry and they need a good amount of water. The lack of water during the germination process will keep the seed in a dormant state. This means that the seed will not germinate at all. However, too much water could cause rotting in seeds. The seeds should be moist, but not soaked in water.

2. Oxygen
Oxygen in plants is used for aerobic respiration. Aerobic respiration refers to the process of using oxygen gas to produce energy from food. Oxygen can be found in little air pockets in the soil. However, if the seed is buried too deep, it will be deprived of oxygen. Without oxygen, the seed will not be able to produce its own food. The soil or any medium where you will be germinating your seeds should be aerated and not too packed.

3. Temperature
The temperature could vary depending on which strain of seed is going to be germinated. But the moderate temperature of 77-86F (25-30C) should be enough. Make sure to check the strain that you have and do a little research on the best optimum temperature it would need to successfully germinate.

4. Light/Darkness
Light will act as an environmental trigger. Most seeds need to have a light cycle similar to what is present in nature to begin germination.

Methods Of Germination

1. Starter Cubes and Seedling Plugs
For beginner growers, this is the most recommended germination method. It’s as easy as placing the seed in the cube or plug, adding water, and waiting for the seeds to germinate under perfect conditions. This method doesn’t have much room for error. There are instances that a strain we want to germinate is expensive. By using this method, you are assured that the seed will not go to waste. It’s efficient and economical at the same time.

2. Directly Into Growing Medium
Sometimes, the best way to germinate seeds is through nature. Seeds will grow even if you’d plant them directly in the medium you prefer. One of this method’s advantages is that you won’t need to transplant the seedlings later on before they reach the vegetative stage. This avoids external stresses to affect your seedlings; producing a healthier plant later on.

3. Germination Station
A germination station consists of tools that create a “perfect” environment for the seeds to germinate in. This setup consists of a dome that goes over the planting medium and a heating pad underneath. The dome acts as a tool to control the humidity and moisture in the air. It prevents overwatering as it keeps the environment moist for a time. Meanwhile, the heating pads regulate the heat in the environment, optimizing it according to the plant’s needs.

4. Soak Seeds In Water Overnight
Another way to germinate seeds is by soaking them in lukewarm water. This should be done in a cup overnight. Soaking seeds in lukewarm water is the most effective germination method if the seed has a hard shell or if the seed is old. The seeds will first float and then sink to the bottom of the glass later on. After a few hours, you should be able to see that the taproot of the seeds starts to peek through the shell.

5. Paper Towel Method
As mentioned above, the paper towel method is the easiest method for germinating. All you need to do is soak a few pieces of paper towel, put the seeds in between the layers, and leave the setup in a dark and warm place. It is suggested to use cheap paper towels for this method. Cheap paper towels are non-porous which lets the seeds stay on top and not stick to them. Cloth-like paper towels are not that good for germination as the seed’s roots grow into them instead of laying on top.

Although it is easy to germinate using the paper towel method, it also is risky. Transplanting the seeds from this method to their growing medium might damage the taproots sprouting out of them. Make sure to be careful in transplanting the seedlings to keep everything intact. Try to keep the paper towels moist during the germination process as paper towels tend to dry up quickly. Remember that water is important for the seed’s food production. Checking the setup every 12 hours is suggested to ensure progress.