Marijuana plants consider planting more than one seed in just one pot. This is advisable especially if you have little growing space. A common question I get by email is, "How many seeds should I plant in each hole or cell?". It's a good question with a great answer — read on to find out! After the two seedlings grow out, you have a tough choice: Separate them or pick one to keep!
How Many Marijuana Seeds Can You Grow in One Pot?
The answer may be too obvious for many, but still many people ask this question a lot. It may be due to the fact that these people only have a small space for growing marijuana. If this is the case, they would want to maximize the use of the space they have by asking how many marijuana seeds can be planted in just one pot. It’s a pretty understandable question, really. However, the answer may disappoint some people. That is because only ONE seed can be planted in one pot. If you want to learn further about the reason behind this rule then you should keep reading.
One seed per pot
Again, you could only plant one marijuana seed in one pot. There are many reasons behind this. One is that many things could go wrong if you plant multiple marijuana seeds in just one pot. While it really does make sense when you think about it, think about the amount of growing medium and space you would save, right? But, it will cause you more harm than good in the long run.
Multiple seeds per pot
In theory, you could indeed plant multiple seeds in one pot provided that your pot is ginormous. But if it is not the case and you have just one regular pot, this is not advisable. This is because the multiple seeds that you plant on one pot will fight for root space once they start growing. And this is a major no-no because this will result to stunted growth and weak plants.
They would also be fighting for nutrients in the soil or in the growing medium as well. Planting multiple seeds in a pot is not the same as planting multiple seeds in one garden in an outdoor growing setting. These outdoor marijuana plants have all the rooting access they need because the soil they are planted on is not limited to the confines of a pot.
Also, when you plant more than one seed in a pot, you are not sure whether all these seeds are female. Therefore, if there are any males in the bunch, you run the risk of sexing or pollination. This will result to breeding instead. So if your goal is to harvest smokable weed in the near future, never plant multiple seeds in one pot.
However, if you are into breeding marijuana plants then you might be okay to consider planting more than one seed in just one pot. This is advisable especially if you have little growing space. This is actually a good idea since having several plants close by will increase the chances of pollination and breeding. But if you do this, you just have to make sure you don’t cram too much of them in one pot or you will still risk stunted growth and dying out of your marijuana plants.
How Many Seeds to Plant Per Hole, Pot, or Cell?
I recently got an email from Sally with a familiar question. It’s the same exact question that I had when I was a beginner gardener and wondered how to start seeds:
“I’m sure this is a silly question, but I always see it recommended to plant more than one seed per hole. But why? I just got a seed starting kit with some seeds and want to make sure I’m using them efficiently. Can you help me out?”
It’s a great question, Sally! Understanding the answer to this question will improve your understanding of gardening and seed starting in general, because the answer hinges on an important concept: seed germination.
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Answer One: Seed Germination Rates
Not all seeds are created equal. Some plant species have higher germination rates than others. Even within a single plant type, some of the seeds are older than others, causing the germination rate to go down.
Imagine you’re growing arugula and the average germination rate is 90%. If you plant a 72 plant starter tray with one arugula seed per insert, you can expect only 65 of those plant inserts to actually germinate (72 x 90%).
Now imagine you plant three arugula seeds per insert. Each of these seeds has a 10% chance of failing, so the probability of them all failing is 10% x 10% x 10% = 0.1%. This means that you are 99.9% likely to have the seeds in that cell germinate. So in a tray of 72 inserts, it would be extremely unlikely you would have any seeds not germinate — barring other factors that affect seed germination.
In short: Planting more seeds per hole increases chance you have perfect germination rates.
Answer Two: Seedling Selection
Just like not all seeds are created equal from a germination standpoint, not all seeds germinate equally. Sometimes you have a seed that shoots off like a rocket and becomes too leggy. If this was the only seed in your insert, you’d be forced to use it.
By planting 2-3 seeds per cell, you allow yourself to luxury of choosing the seedlings that look the strongest. All you have to do is determine which one you like the most, then snip off the other seedlings to kill them.
Exceptions to The Rule
Like most things in gardening, there are always exceptions to this rule of 2-3 seeds per hole.
If you’re planting large seeds like cucumbers, melons, or pumpkins, you should only use one seed per hole. However, you can still plant seeds close together and then thin them out once they’ve established themselves. You just want to avoid crowding these large seeds together so you don’t mess up the germination process.
If you’re growing certain herbs (cilantro, dill, basil), you can get away with planting multiple seeds per hole and leaving them all there as they germinate. These plants can handle being planted right next to each other and basically become one larger, bushier plant.
Now that you know how many seeds to plant per pot, you have a deeper understanding of seed germination in general. For more on seed starting, please check out the simple seed starting for hydroponics guide.
“Twin” Cannabis Seedlings
Twin tap roots can sometimes emerge from one cannabis seed. This is sort of like your seed having twins, because each new root has the potential to form into a separate plant! It’s not incredibly rare to get twins, but it is pretty neat to see it happen in person!
When this seedling sprouted, it had two taproots coming from the same seed
When the leaves appeared, there were two distinct seedlings – you can see another tiny set of leaves behind the main sprout!
In this case, I decided to kill the smaller sprout, but you can also gently and carefully separate the two seedlings and transplant one into a new home.
Examples of “twins” being born
From this grower, “When I got the seed it looked really deformed.”
If you grow two seedlings together in one container, their roots will become entwined and one plant will usually dominate, stunting the other one. But if you give each plant their own home, they can both thrive!
After the seedlings grow out, you have a tough choice: Separate them or pick one to keep!
In this case, the grower decided to save both!
In its new home!
It grew so fast it ended up getting rootbound in just two weeks!
A few days later after being transplanted to a new container, the plant is healthy and growing strong. At this point it’s a little under 3 weeks from separation of its “twin”