Germinate Weed Seeds In Light Or Dark

Discover the most effective ways of germinating cannabis seeds indoors in an easy, fast and affordable way; the best tips and tricks. White cannabis seeds vs dark cannabis seeds. Should cannabis seed germination and growth be affected by seed colour or seed appearance? There are many to consider when germinating cannabis seeds — not only the germination method you choose but also the conditions your seeds require to thrive.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds – Different Methods

A seed is a plant that’s waiting for the right conditions to germinate and grow. This post is designed to teach you how to germinate cannabis seeds as efficiently as possible in order to obtain successful results during this delicate phase.

Table of Contents

Cannabis seeds (or marijuana) germinate when they’re in the right conditions for successful growth. In nature, this process occurs on its own around springtime; moist soil begins to heat up with the increased sunlight and the inclination of the earth. We’re going to give a quick overview of the different methods used when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds.

Under these conditions, seeds germinate in soil protected from direct light and in an airy substrate. Once they’ve germinated they will begin to take root in the soil.

  • Humidity: alongside heat, this activates seeds and softens the protective shell. Once the seed has germinated, it will need moisture to survive.
  • Darkness: roots are incredibly light-sensitive, so they’ll need to be in the dark in order to guarantee germination.
  • Heat: alongside humidity, heat activates seeds and indicates that the conditions are right to begin growing. It’s important to maintain temperatures between 20 and 26°C during the germination process.
  • Oxygen: it’s important to periodically open the container in which you’re germinating your seeds in order to renew airflow and give your plants’ seeds more oxygen.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

There are many different germination methods when it comes to cannabis seeds, from simple to complex processes. In this post we’re going to go through the most common methods used that, when done with a care, can be 100% effective.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds in Paper Towels

Germination in paper towels is La Huerta Grow Shop’s preferred and recommended method due to how efficient and easy it is, as well as being the cheapest method. Cannabis seeds ready to germinate in paper towels

Necessary Materials
  • Absorbent paper towels (kitchen)
  • Two plates or plastic, opaque Tupperware with a lid.
  • Water.
  • Sprayer (optional.
  • Seeds
  • Latex gloves.

We highly recommend using latex gloves during the entire process in order to avoid accidental contamination via fungi or virus.

You can also use Germinator Pro to help you with this process; it comes with everything needed for the germination process, including a thermometer on top of the germinating container.

Steps to follow
  1. Place 6 – 8 paper towels on a plate or in your Tupperware, and pour in small amounts of mild water until they’re covered. Squeeze them softly until they’re moist but not soaking.
  2. Place the seeds on the paper towel “pillow”, keeping them a distance a apart so their roots don’t end up intertwining. The less you touch them with your hands, the better.
  3. Wet another 6 – 8 paper towels, squeeze to remove excess water and place them on top of your seeds.
  4. Place the second plate upside-down on top (or the Tupperware lid) in order to guarantee darkness. You can close the lid entirely or not, depending on how fast the paper dries. Keep in mind that you need to keep the paper towels moist until the last seed germinates. If you close the lid fully, open it once a day to make sure they get more air and to check if they’ve germinated.
  5. Place the seed container in a warm area without direct sunlight, keeping the temperature between 18 and 25°C. At La Huerta Grow Shop we’ve noticed that cannabis seed germinate faster and better when placed over very light heat sources like a router or on top of the fridge, which generate high enough temperatures to stimulate germination.
  6. Observe the process and maintain humidity. If the paper dries up, spray it again until it’s moist. Seeds don’t always germinate at the same time, so we recommend transplanting when the root is between 1 and 15 cm. If you leave germinated seeds in the container for too long, the root may grow too long and make them harder to handle. This initial root is highly delicate; we recommend using latex or plastic gloves.
  7. Transplant your seeds. You’ll need to wash the soil and make a hole as deep as the root; place the seed in with the root facing downwards. This allows the first two leaves to sprout above the surface of the substrate. The substrate should be moist – not soaked – until the plant grows its first pair of real leaves. During this delicate phase, the amount of moisture available is crucial; don’t let it dry out too much, but don’t over-water. We recommend using small amounts of water frequently.

*if you’re using a heater or heating mat, keep in mind that your seeds are in a container and not a flowerpot, so the heat may be excessive.

Dark vs white cannabis seed germination test

One common question from growers is whether white cannabis seeds or dark cannabis seeds have different germination rates. When you compare cannabis seeds you may have noticed that the seeds are rarely identical. Instead you may see a range of different sizes and colours. The differences in size, colour and appearance often produce debate among growers. Why do the cannabis seeds look different and do these differences result in slightly different growth characteristics in the plants which grow from them?

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Dark vs white cannabis seeds germination

In the video below you can see a germination comparison. On the left hand side, you can see 9 white Think Different autoflowering seeds. On the right hand side there are 9 dark coloured Think Different seeds.

The autoflower seeds all came from the same batch, meaning that they were produced from the same parent genetics under the same conditions. Seeds were chosen simply on the basis of their appearance. 9 white cannabis seeds and 9 dark coloured Think Different seeds were selected. They were planted in moist (but never soaked) soil and a time lapse video was made.

Note that the white cannabis seeds on the left hand side were the first seeds to germinate, with 8 out of 9 seeds sprouting pretty quickly. In the end all 9 seeds germinated on both sides, which was a 100% score. In terms of white seeds vs dark seeds (cannabis), there was no difference in the germination rates.

Does the colour of your cannabis seeds really matter?

The time lapse video shows that the colour of your cannabis seeds doesn’t have any impact on their germination rates. The colour of the shell casing is simply not an indication of the type of genetics contained inside. Nor is the colour or appearance of the exterior of the cannabis seed a good indicator of any other property, such as the future plant sex, size or potency. Only the genetic material inside the cannabis seed really determines the types of result that you can expect.

Black cannabis seeds germination test results

The dark cannabis seeds (on the right hand side in the video) showed the same germination rate as the white cannabis seeds (left hand side). However, the white cannabis seeds appeared to germinate a little bit faster than the dark cannabis seeds.

White cannabis seeds germination test results

Can white cannabis seeds germinate? One curious result from the white vs dark seeds cannabis video was that the white cannabis seeds appeared to germinate slightly faster than the dark cannabis seeds. This is interesting, since the seeds all contain the same Think Different autoflowering genetics from a recent cannabis seed batch.

One suggestion is that the white cannabis seeds may have a slightly softer shell, allowing the white cannabis seeds a slightly faster germination. The experiment was repeated twice more. On each occasion, the seed germination rates were the same, but the white seeds tended to germinate faster.

Related:
The best ways to germinate cannabis seeds

Why are some cannabis seeds white and some black?

Even cannabis seeds produced from the same branch of a plant can have quite different appearances. Size, as well as shape and colour can vary. Some cannabis strains can produce seeds that have certain appearance characteristics. White Widow seeds, for example, can often be very small and pale. Frisian Dew seeds can have a slightly grey colour.

There have been many theories about how the size, shape and colour of cannabis seeds can affect the plants which they eventually produce. In reality, it’s the cannabis genetics inside the seed case which really determines the results that you can expect. The shell of the seed and the markings on it are purely cosmetic and don’t give any clues to the results you can expect.

In the years before Dutch Passion invented feminised cannabis seeds, people would often try to predict which seeds would produce female plants. Of course, this was impossible. But it didn’t stop people going to great lengths, even measuring the weight of individual seeds in an attempt to derive some knowledge from the seeds physical appearance/size.

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What does the appearance of cannabis seeds indicate?

Is the colour of seeds a cosmetic difference only?

Some dark cannabis seeds have black lines on them (tiger prints), giving them a distinctive appearance. Other seeds have no significant patterns or markings on them at all. Dark black cannabis seeds can be occasionally seen.

You may also see light vs dark cannabis seeds produced from the same plant. But it’s important to note that cosmetic differences between the seed casing is not a factor which defines how the cannabis seeds grow or germinate.

The genetic material in the soft plant tissue inside the seeds is what really determines the type, size, sex and potency of the cannabis you will eventually grow. These genetics, along with the environment you provide, will control the terpenes, cannabinoids, yield and potency of your eventual cannabis harvest.

Why are some cannabis seeds white and some black? It’s just the way that nature has evolved. Seeds from all kinds of plants and trees show similar variations in their appearance.

What should you look out for in a cannabis seed?

Rather than looking at the appearance of a cannabis seed, you should focus more on the quality of breeding which has gone into the seed. Some growers think that only the largest, tiger-striped cannabis seeds will go on to produce the best plants. Yet some strains will never produce seeds like that.

Time spent researching your cannabis seeds and cannabis seed supplier is time wisely spent. Look for a seed supplier with a good track record in cannabis breeding. Preferably look for a cannabis seed supplier that has been around for a long time with a few cannabis cups and plenty of online reference grows for you to check out before you spend your cash.

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Knowing whether you prefer e.g. a Kush, a THC rich vs CBD rich strain, a fruity strain or a Skunk strain is a good place to start. If the array of cannabis seed choices can seem overwhelming, the following article may help you select the best strain for you.

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How to choose the best cannabis strains for you

Once you have the best cannabis seeds for you, it’s worth ensuring you get maximum germination rates with a good germination method. The preferred Dutch Passion way to germinate cannabis seeds is with moist (but never soaked) cotton pads. If you spot any issue during the growth of your cannabis seeds, we highly recommend to refer to our illustrated guide featuring the key nutrient deficiencies and excesses symptoms and how to cure them.

White cannabis seeds vs dark cannabis seeds

We hope the germination video is a useful illustration of the fact that there is little useful information that can be conveyed by the colour or darkness of a cannabis seed.

Each cannabis strain can produce subtle differences in the size and appearance of their cannabis seeds. You can even expect to see differences between cannabis seeds produced from the same plant. Don’t worry about trying to read too much into cannabis seed appearance. Instead, do your research carefully and select the best cannabis seeds for your particular needs and your specific grow situation. Enjoy growing and good luck!

Care and Caution When Germinating Cannabis Seeds

For growers looking to produce top-shelf cannabis, it all starts with the seeds. Rich Hamilton explains there’s far more involved than simply burying a seed in a pot of dirt.

There are many to consider when germinating cannabis seeds — not only the germination method you choose but also the environmental conditions your seeds require to thrive. These conditions include temperature, light exposure, moisture, and oxygen levels. Get any of these wrong and it could spell the end for your grow before it even begins.

Cannabis seeds can be very delicate and temperamental even when germinating in the perfect conditions. You can understand why you should approach this task with best-practice knowledge and caution.

To try and give your seeds the best chance, we are going to look at some tips and methods to help you get better results, first time, from your germination efforts.

Firstly, what is germination? Well, germinate means “to bring to life.” Germination is the first part of a plant’s life, the growth or shooting of a seed into a seedling and then hopefully a plant.

Cannabis seeds germinate via epigeal germination which sees the cotyledons (seed leaves) pushed upward and out of the soil as the plant begins to grow. For germination to occur, several natural elements and conditions must be present in the correct ratios. Let’s have a look at them.

Water — This is needed to start the germination process as the seed is dry, holding only five percent water and needs to absorb a lot more to begin the germination process. Seeds store starch, oils, and proteins and when germination begins, hydrolytic enzymes are activated, releasing the stored supplies and giving the plant just enough of the right chemicals to get it started. Water is also needed to expand the seed’s shell and soften it, allowing it to split for the beginnings of the plant to emerge. The hardness of a cannabis seed shell can vary quite a lot. If your seed is ripe and mature enough for germination, then you shouldn’t have any problems. A more immature cannabis seed, however, will have a more rigid shell and may fail to germinate.

Oxygen — Seeds need to breathe, but without oxygen the seed may drown or suffocate. Overwatering can suffocate your cannabis seeds preventing oxygen from getting to them, so keep them moist but not soaked. Don’t overwater your seeds — use a spray mist rather than pouring water directly onto them.

Temperature — Ideally, your cannabis seeds will germinate best at their “sweet spot” between 70-75°F. If you germinate a cannabis seed outside this range, then it can negatively affect the plant’s growth and health in the future. When temperatures are too cold, it can ultimately stunt germination so keep seeds away from any drafts, open windows, or fans.

Light conditions — Cannabis seeds germinate best in dark conditions. During germination, your cannabis seed is working to develop its first root (the radicle), and roots (unsurprisingly as they exist underground) do not like light! It is therefore vital to keep your cannabis seeds somewhere dark until transplant. But as soon as germination occurs and your new seedling develops leaves, it will need to be exposed to light to start the vital task of photosynthesis. Now that we understand what your cannabis seeds need, let’s explore the most popular methods used to germinate them.

The Glass of Water Germination Method

You can leave your cannabis seeds in a glass of mineral water in a dark environment until the radicle/tip of the root shows.

Depending on the seed strain, you should generally see something happening within one to five days. Why mineral water? Well, depending on where you live, your tap water can vary immensely in terms of chemical composition and pH. The ideal pH for water when germinating is pH 7. Anything outside of this can have adverse effects on your seed. Using mineral water is a cheap and effective way of keeping a stable pH environment. If you use tap water, however, leave it to stand for 24 hours first. The tap water needs a chance to settle and dissolve any chemicals that are present and may be harmful to the seeds.

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You can use an air stone and pump to oxygenate the water whilst it stands for 24 hours. By doing so, you will reduce the chance of the seeds drowning and helping to dissolve any unwanted chemicals at a faster rate.

The Paper Towel Germination Method

Using a paper towel to germinate your cannabis seeds is both reliable and straightforward. You should find that 90 percent or more of your cannabis seeds will germinate when following this method correctly.

Take a sheet of premium paper towel and fold it in half, then place the seeds to the left of center. If you are germinating more than one seed, then you can use the same piece of kitchen towel but do not let the cannabis seeds touch each other. Now fold the kitchen towel in half again so all the seeds are covered up and then saturate it with water.

Mineral water is excellent to use, or if you are going to use tap water, then follow the recommended process for the glass of water method as previously discussed. Now leave the kitchen towel on a plate in a dark place as the roots will hopefully begin to develop soon and they do not like the light.

Humidity levels are equally important and keeping the seeds in the paper towel will keep the humidity levels where they should be. Keep the kitchen towel moist at all times and do not let it dry out. If you have been successful, it should take about two to four days for you to see until the radicle begins to emerge.

It is best practice to place the moist kitchen towels between two clean plates. Doing so helps to stabilize temperature and humidity and block out any light. The plates should be face-to-face, with the germination towel in between. Once a cannabis seed starts showing signs of successfully germinating, you can easily remove them whilst leaving the others, which may not yet have germinated, undisturbed.

Direct Germination Method

Germinating “directly” is where you place the cannabis seed directly within a pellet or block of a medium of your choosing. You can germinate your seed within a soil or coco pellet, however, I would recommend choosing a one-inch rooting sponge or stonewool cube.

You can use a soil pellet, but the risk here is that soil already contains a certain level of minerals and elements that could cause an imbalance in your seed, affecting its development later on in life.

For seeds in their natural environment, there can be double, triple, or a hundred times more plants growing in the soil at any one time. From those plants, thousands of seeds are dropped for germination and of those thousands, only half may germinate, even under natural conditions.

We are trying to grow our seeds under controlled conditions and in much smaller numbers. The margin for error, therefore, is much smaller. Using a rooting sponge is an excellent alternative for germination as it eliminates any risk of deficiencies or toxicities you may otherwise experience when using a natural medium such as soil at this early stage.

The direct method of germination can be hard to control as you must wait until the seedling first shows itself out of the chosen medium to know whether it has been successful or not.

As the cannabis seed is buried within its medium, you cannot check on it during the process to see if it has begun the germination process. As a result, this process can take much longer than the methods already discussed.

If you are germinating “directly” then firstly you should moisten your medium by misting it with a spray bottle. The cannabis seed will then need to be carefully inserted into the chosen medium and be surrounded by its encasing environment to keep any light out.

Now that you have chosen your method and you have successfully germinated some seeds. What now? How do you know when you should transplant? If everything goes according to plan with your germination efforts, you will see the radicle/root tip of the cannabis seed breaking through the shell. This new root is the first sign germination has occurred. It is best to transplant each seedling when the radicle is around three times the length of the seed.

A rooting sponge is a perfect choice for transplanting as it is compatible with whatever medium or system you use later. Rooting sponges are also an excellent choice for those who are looking to sell their seedlings.

Rooting sponges and stone wool blocks make for more robust root systems. It can take longer for the roots to break through, but when they do, they will be stronger.

When you are transplanting the seed, it must be placed radicle first into its new home, quickly, gently, and precisely as it only has a minimal amount of energy to survive and develop into a seedling. Once your seeds are transplanted, they should go into a propagator, ready for the start of the growth phase of their lives. Your cannabis seed holds all the potential to give you the vibrant, robust, healthy plants, and bountiful yields you desire.

Taking the time and care to get your seeds off to a good start should be a no-brainer. Knowledge is power if you want to be a better grower, so think of the learning process just like a seed itself. Nurture it, cultivate it, and you will soon harvest success.