Which side of cannabis seed is taproot on

Seed Germination & Planting

Hi Cori, thank you for writing us! Your question is pretty simple to answer, but sometimes not so simple to do! In short, yes, most growers tend to germinate seeds before planting them into their grow medium of choice.

To be clear, however, germination of seeds is not necessary prior to planting in medium. You can sow seeds directly into the medium and they will also germinate there, but not always with the same success rate. The reason growers choose to germinate outside the grow medium is because it is easier to control the conditions surrounding the seeds. This leads to the second part of your question, which is the best-case practices for germinating seeds – this leads to the harder answers.

There are many different ways to germinate seeds. Probably the best methods involve keeping the practice as natural as possible. The simplest methods use water, warmth and darkness – all conditions the seed would naturally encounter underground. Many folks simply lay some seeds down on a paper towel on a flat plate, cover them with another paper towel, then moisten the paper and place the plate in a warm dark place. A popular hiding spot has always been on top of the refrigerator, while more professional growers employ heat mats that lie flat beneath seedling/ clone trays. Heat mats are an excellent and inexpensive aid for seed germination. Whatever you decide, the temperature should be 10-20 degrees above room temperature, or range between 78 – 90F.

Of course, there are always the tricky strains or the old seeds that are quite fussy and refuse to pop. These seeds require a bit more attention and creativity. Some people prefer to soak the seeds for a short period before placing them in a moist and warm place for germinating. Some people go as far as to use mild chemical solutions to help soften the shell and prod the seeds. Other growers will even use very sharp and sterile razors to carefully slice seed shells or tips to help induce germination. These practices are all risky and should only be used as a last resort.

Once a seed cracks open, the taproot appears. This taproot will become the plants primary root from which all other roots will grow. Technically, the seed is germinated once you can see the white of the taproot. Some grows prefer to wait until the taproot is 1-2 cm long before planting the germinated seed into a medium. Once you are ready to do so, be sure to place the seed about a half-inch below the surface of the medium with the taproot point downward and the seed shell on top. Be sure there is some space for the seed shell to push upwards through the medium, towards the light. At this point, the very young seedling still needs moisture, warmth and a bit of light now to direct its growth in the right direction. The seedling will likely be in this medium and container for a few more weeks before the seedling is ready to be transplanted into a larger container for vegetation.

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Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!

Seedling is growing upside down, taproot is above the soil!

Is your cannabis seedling growing upside down? Has the tap root come above the soil?

If your root is growing straight up like in the picture below, it’s not good. This is most common in seedling plugs. The tender white root tip has a good chance of drying out or being exposed to too much light. You want to strongly consider doing some “plant surgery” to turn this little seedling around to the right direction

The first thing to do is get a new Rapid Rooter. Since your seed already has a relatively long root, cut the plug open lengthwise so you can gently place the seedling inside in the right position without having to “push” down on the seed.

Now gently extract the seed from its original home with a pair of tweezers making sure to touch only the shell and not the root (the root is the most sensitive part)! Now lay the seedling in the middle of your newly split open Rapid Rooter and gently close the plug around it again.

Most seedling plugs will go back into place easily, and you’ll barely be able to tell it’s been opened

Since your seedling has already sprouted and has been in placed into the right growing position, it’ll probably pop its head out within just 12-24 hours! Sometimes you see just the leaves, but occasionally you actually see the seedling push the shell above ground.

When this happens the shell usually falls off on its own as the seedling grows!

When Should I NOT Do Surgery?

Sometimes you can see the young taproot of a cannabis seedling but the situation isn’t as dire. If the root is already pointed in the right direction, it’s probably going to be just fine! But if you’re worried, you can cover up the root until the leaves actually make it to the surface.

For example you could tear a tiny piece off the edge of this Rapid Rooter and gently lay it on top. Or if you were in soil you could sprinkle a tiny bit of soil over the seedling. The seedling will push it off as it grows upward.

This case isn’t so bad because the root is already facing down, in the correct direction. Note: This seedling was just watered, but typically the Rapid Rooter should never look this wet. It should be moist but not shiny.

If you leave it alone, the seed will start to rise up, and open to reveal the seedling’s cotyledons (first, round leaves)

The cotyledons unfurl and then the regular cannabis leaves between to grow. Here’s another view of that same seedling from above only a few hours later. Even though it may have looked a bit weird at first, this seedling is completely normal and will grow just fine from now on!

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Most of the Time Seedlings Take Care of Themselves!

When you see your seedling looks like this, where the part of the root exposed to the surface already looks green like a stem, you don’t need to do anything.

After germination, the tip goes down and stays white, and the other side that’s contained in the shell tries to work its way up, and that part of the stem turns green. Sometimes it looks like the root is going upside down because it appears that it’s not strong enough to be able to push the seed up.

As long as the tip of the root stays wet the seedling will be fine! The “root” is the same as what is going to become the stem. If it appears green it means that part of the root is already in “stem” mode and isn’t sensitive to the light.

If you just wait a little everything will have righted itself Here’s that seedling 12 hours later…

12 hours after that, the leaves have completely emerged!

If you hadn’t been watching you wouldn’t even have known anything happened!

Taproot from seed: Point it up or down?

I haven’t grown from seed in years but I have some Humboldt Seed Co Blueberry Muffin seeds that are just cracking and showing a taproot. I had always thought that the proper way to start a seedling in soil was to plant them just below the surface with the taproot facing up and then they did a cool flip after the taproot exposed itself above ground and reversed direction.
The HSC website says “Gently place the seeds into the soil with the white taproot facing down.”
Which way is better?

churchhaze
Well-Known Member
SoMe_EfFin_MasS_HoLe
Well-Known Member

For you to even have to ask this question makes me think you have never grown. Next time instead of making a post of a question try using the search button first. It will save you from embarrassment and others wont have to answer a question that’s literally been asked a few thousand times.

Pedestrian
Active Member

I honestly tried the search function first before asking. None of the keyword searches like “starting seeds”, “germination”, etc gave me relevant results. I’ve been spoiled for the last few years having access to DHN clones at a few different CA dispensaries. Sorry to have disturbed your wonderful life with my seeming foolish question. Perhaps this question which has been asked a “few thousand times” led to somebody trying an A-B comparison? I would love to be pointed toward that.

Renfro
Well-Known Member
Flash63
Well-Known Member
Logan Burke
Well-Known Member
Kingrow1
Well-Known Member

In most studies the repositioning of the seed after the taproot showed led to delayed germination due to gravitopism.

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In rockwool the best seed position is sideways with seed shell spilt horizontal, in soil it dosent matter, if you germinate outside a medium it would be foolish to bury the tap root facing up.

There is nothing to be gained from soaking seed qpqrt from a quicker germination due to quicker seed saturation – once saturated all growth rates are the same for soaked or not.

Paper towels are pretty much a waste of time – soak 12-24 hours then plant

Logan Burke
Well-Known Member

With autoflowering strains, repositioning an already sprouted seed can seriously stunt their growth and leave you with a runt of a plant. This has happened to me a couple times, and because I do DWC I always have to place into rockwhool into the netpot w/ hydroton before the tap root grows through the bottom, or else even the stress of grinding that exposed tap root against the hydroton has stunted my auto’s before.

xtsho
Well-Known Member

I don’t germinate but instead put seeds directly into soil. I plant them on their sides. I think the same would be the correct way for a pre-germinated seed.

cock roach
Active Member

I planted mine pointed in up ? They came up so …..don’t know. Maybe it don’t matter, they will come up? I planted them straight in the medium in a 5gal. bucket.

McFrosticles
Well-Known Member

If the root has just popped out you want it pointing up, if it’s came out and curled you want it pointing down. That’s how seeds naturally orientate themselves: root pops up, curls round and works its way down.

Its no big deal either way as it will correct itself, however it wastes energy curling then recurling downwards, how this affects the plants development I don’t know

Axion42
Well-Known Member

No shit? Did not know that. I dont grow from seed too often, but when I do I use rockwool and I haven’t always had the best results. I’ll give that a shot next time.

dandyrandy
Well-Known Member
Kingrow1
Well-Known Member

No shit? Did not know that. I dont grow from seed too often, but when I do I use rockwool and I haven’t always had the best results. I’ll give that a shot next time.

troll the whole net and youll find this method for rockwool born out of grower frustration at getting seeds to sprout in that tiny little hole.

far as i can remember it is the optimun position for the root to go down and the seed shell not to get stuck going upwards so basically it sheds its shell much easier.

I dont use rockwool anymore or id be using only this method – requires no pre germination in rockwool and tou can also just soak the block, lay the seed near the hole and the tap root will grow out the seed and shoot directly down the hole meaning you dont even need to plant the seed