Cannabis seeds need only water, heat, and air to break dormancy and germinate; they do not need extra hormones, fertilizers, or additives. Seeds sprout The temperature for germinating cannabis seeds is best at 78° F (25° C) because both low and high temperature impairs germination and growth. The best Climate is key to cannabis growing. In this post we analyse the importance of relative air humidity at every growing stage. We’ll define the ideal hygrometric level …
Jorge’s Cannabis Encyclopedia: Seed Germination
Cannabis seeds need only water, heat, and air to break dormancy and germinate; they do not need extra hormones, fertilizers, or additives. Seeds sprout without light in a range of temperatures. Strong, viable, properly nurtured seeds germinate in 2 to 7 days. At germination, the outside protective shell of the seed splits, and a tiny, white sprout (radicle) pops out. This sprout is the root, or taproot. Cotyledon, or seed, leaves emerge on a stem from within the shell as they push upward in search of light.
Break dormancy: Put newly harvested seeds in the refrigerator for a week or two to simulate winter. Remove and germinate. Seeds will germinate more uniformly because they all come out of dormancy at the same time.
Timeline for Germinating Most Seeds:
At 36 to 96 hours – Water is absorbed, root tip (radicle) pops through outer shell and is visible.
At 10 to 14 days – First roots and root hairs become visible.
At 21 to 30 days – At least half of seeds are rooted by day 21. Seeds not rooted by day 30 will probably grow slowly.
Once seeds are rooted, cell growth accelerates; stem, foliage, and roots develop quickly. Seedlings develop into full vegetative growth within 4 to 6 weeks of germination.
Seeds are Prompted to Germinate By:
Water: Soaking seeds in water allows moisture to penetrate the protective seed shell within minutes. Once inside, moisture continues to wick in to activate the dominant hormones. In a few days, hormones activate and send enough signals to pro- duce an initial root tip. The white radicle (rootlet) emerges to bring a new plant into the world. Once a seed is moist, it must receive a constant flow of moisture to transport nutrients, hormones, and water so that it can carry on life processes. Some seeds need lots of moisture to wash out the dormancy hormones in the seed coat, and if they do not get enough moisture, they do not germinate. Conversely, too much water deprives the seed of oxygen, reducing its quality or destroying it. If fragile germinated seeds are allowed to suffer moisture stress now, seedling growth will be stunted. Soaking most seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours is all they need to initiate germination. All the nourishment for a seed’s initial growth requirement is pulled from the fleshy cotyledons, or seed leaves. Water seedlings with low-EC (electrical conductivity) household tap water during the first week or two of life. Supple- mental nutrients are unnecessary and if applied in excess can disrupt internal seed chemistry. Some gardeners prefer to germinate seeds using distilled or purified water that contains virtually no dissolved solids.
Temperature: Overall, cannabis seeds germinate in temperatures from 70°F–90°F (21°C–32°C) and grow best at 78°F (26°C). Temperatures below 70°F (21°C) and above 90°F (32°C) impair germination. Low temperatures delay germination. High temperatures upset seed chemistry causing poor germination. Seeds germinate best under the native conditions and temperature ranges where they were grown.
Air & Oxygen: Sow seeds twice as deep as the width of the seed. For example, 0.125-inch (3 mm) seeds should be planted 0.25 inches (6 mm) deep. Adequate oxygen is un- available for seeds planted too deeply, and tender seedlings have insufficient stored energy to drive through deep layers of soil or crusty hard soil when sprouting.
Agricultural Astrology — Planting by the Moon
Ancient Babylonians and Egyptians planted and harvested based on moon phases in relation to geographic location. The premise is that plants grow better when planted during the appropriate moon phase.
Moon phases cause ocean tides to rise and fall. They also affect the rise and fall of moisture in soil and fluids inside plants. The moon phase influence is said to be the same indoors, outdoors, and in greenhouse-grown cannabis.
Cannabis gardeners who plant by the moon report faster-sprouting seeds that grow into vigorous plants. However, scientific evidence is lacking in regard to cannabis and other plants’ relationship with agricultural astrology.
Seeds need oxygen from the air to germinate. Growing mediums that are too moist (soggy) will cut off oxygen supplies and the seeds will literally drown. Cannabis seeds germinate best when moisture is between 60 and 70 percent.
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Cannabis Air & Temperature for Germination
The temperature for germinating cannabis seeds is best at 78° F (25° C) because both low and high temperature impairs germination and growth. The best conditions are native conditions so if you know what type of cannabis that you are growing, you will be able to better match the optimal growing conditions for that variety.
When your seed has sprouted and is growing then your plant is ready for their vegetative growing environment. They will be better able to handle cooler temperature, more intense light, and lower humidity levels.
Be sure to avoid high temperatures and lower intensity of light levels since this will stunt growth and cause very ‘lanky’ formation of the plant.
Necessary Air (Oxygen) for Germination
The last basic necessity for seed germination is air so if a seed is allowed to be in a very moist, soggy growing medium, it will cut off all oxygen supply to the seed.
Another common way seeds get deprived of oxygen is planting them too deep in the medium, this is because the moisture and depth of the seed will cause a lack of oxygen and your seed will not thrive.
Cannabis seeds come provided with enough food within their shell for them to be able to germinate and break through the soil. But, if seeds are planted too deep in the ground, they will not have enough energy for them to be able to break through soil that is too deep.
A good rule of thumb for planting cannabis seeds is to plant them about a quarter of an inch (0.25 inches or 6 mm) deep.
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What is the optimum humidity level for each stage of cannabis growing?
In order to start growing in the best possible conditions, it is adamant to understand the meaning of this technical term. Relative air humidity levels give us information on the concentration of water vapour in the air.
It is important to realise that air humidity is closely connected to air temperature, as hot air is more humid than cold air.
That’s why an air conditioning unit dehumidifies and cools the air at the same time.
When air humidity levels come close to 100%, the air is not capable of retaining the excess moisture, which leads to condensation in the shape of small droplets of fog, morning dew, or rain.
For instance, if the temperature of your grow space is 30ºC, with a relative humidity of around 33-35%, and the temperature suddenly plummets to 10-12ºC, the humidity level can quickly reach 100%.
This can become a critical situation at the end of the flowering period if the ‘dew point‘ is reached. This is a parameter that reflects the cannabis flowers’ humidity level. Bad management of the relative humidity levels of your grow space, caused by abrupt temperature variations, could lead to the appearance of mould in your buds.
Air circulation for cannabis growing
So what is the most favourable humidity level for each growing stage?
Here we show you the ideal humidity levels for every growing phase of your cannabis grow.
Germination / beginning of the cuttings’ rooting period
It is really important to maintain a relative humidity of 80-90% in your mini greenhouse during this phase. This applies to seeds that have just sprouted and also to young seedlings (0-10 days old). These still don’t have a strong radicular system and are therefore pretty fragile.
They require high moisture levels so they can concentrate all their resources on the development of a strong and vigorous root mass. The correct day temperature should be 25-26ºC, and 21-22ºC at night.
Young seedlings and 10-day-old clones
At this point, the required hygrometric conditions should range between 70 and 80%, with similar temperatures to those in the initial stage.
The moisture level for this phase needs to be quite high as the root mass is not very vigorous and actually non-existant in the case of the young seedlings. That’s why it’s necessary to point all technical parameters towards this objective.
It is essential to maintain the correct relative humidity as cuttings will start to develop their first roots between 12 and 20 days after having been planted in the growing medium. This is a crucial point for the appropriate evolution of these young plants.
At this stage the young seedlings, derived from seeds or cuttings, will have developed a radicular mass that is significant enough for them to feed through and therefore reach their maximum potential before being transplanted to a new pot for further development.
Establishing new climate conditions at this stage is vital as the aim is to achieve a reasonably high humidity level, but slightly lower than at the beginning. A good balance should range between 60 and 70%.
Temperatures must be kept between 22-28ºC during the day and 18-22ºC at night. These conditions guarantee the plants’ well-being and facilitate good metabolic function, as well as overall optimum development.
At this point, the radicular system is strong enough for the plant to absorb a higher amount of nutrients and develop a much more resistant immune system.
At the start of the flowering period, when the ‘stretching’ or the final growth boost occurs, plants need specific climate conditions for this transitional phase.
As this is still a transition period in which plants progressively end the veg phase, the humidity level needs to be set at 50-60%. It is also essential that the temperature remains between 20-26ºC both day and night.
This prevents thermal shock and guarantees that plants will be ready to produce those delicious flowers. It is vital that their well-being is taken care of so they can concentrate all their resources on their final objective: quality and quantity. These measures are valid for the first 3 to 4 weeks of flowering, depending on the strain.
In the second part of the flowering phase the humidity level must be reduced to 40-50%. In the two to three final weeks it’s preferable for this figure to be closer to 40%.
This is absolutely essential, particularly if you’re growing strains that are sensitive to mould or that produce dense flowers.
If you follow our guidelines, chances of botrytis hitting your flowers will be slim. As far as temperature goes, we advise you to stick to 18-24ºC during the day and 17-20ºC at night.
This way you’ll be able to control your flowers’ dew point, which is crucial in order to prevent fungi and avoid ruining all your hard work.
Brian Worms After completing my studies in International Trade and Marketing in France, I’m more interested in the world of communication today. Blogger, grower and real cannabis toker for more than 20 years, always looking into the rarest and finest cannabis genetics. My passion for cannabis is so deep that it’s become something of a lifestyle now… My work is like a dream come true.
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