Best Ph For Cannabis Seed Germination

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. Measuring pH for Cannabis Plants has never been easier with these special devices made for easy and simple pH measuring. Models for all kinds of growers.

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.

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.

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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.

Cannabis pH and Watering your Plants

When growing cannabis, and almost any other type of plant, there are various factors that influence how they grow and the quality of the final product such as the quality of the air, water, sun and soil. Any sort of issue with the quality or presence of these parameters will generally produce poorly plants that are likely to catch more illnesses and/or be infested by insects or fungi. That’s why we’re going to be talking about pH for cannabis plants; pH is one of the most determining factors when it comes to feeding cannabis plants and having them absorb everything you give them.

What is pH?

pH is used to measure acidity and alkalinity of a liquid or dissolved solid. pH levels can range from anywhere between 0.0 and 14.0; substances with a pH lower than 7 are considered acidic, whereas those with a pH higher than 7 are considered more alkaline. If the solution is exactly 7.0, it’s pH neutral. A great example of an acidic substance is hydrochloric acid, which has a pH of 0.0, whereas caustic soda (washing soda) is highly alkaline, with a pH of 14.0. Water is the best example of neutral substances, as it tends to sit at around 7.0 pH.

The Importance of Measuring Cannabis pH Levels

When you put a lot of work and effort into growing cannabis in the hopes of obtained the best possible results. pH is an incredibly important factor when it comes to making sure that your plants are absorbing everything you give them via their roots. If your plants’ roots are not being given substances with the right pH, they won’t be able to absorb certain types of nutrients, and in a matter of time they may end up showing signs of deficiencies or excess, as certain types of minerals build up in the growing medium, creating a toxic environment for your plants’ roots while also stopping other nutrients from being absorbed.

If you manage to keep pH levels under check when watering, you still may end up with deficiencies or overwatering, although the probabilities of this happening are much lower and they’ll be much easier to fix if the pH is right.

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What Should pH be for Cannabis Plants

For a cannabis plant to grow to the best of its abilities, you need to keep in mind that pH levels shouldn’t always be exactly the same; depending on the strain grown, the stage in which it is in (germination, growth, pre-flower, bloom), the growth medium and whether you’re growing organically or using minerals, the pH level of your water should vary slightly.

You can grow cannabis by keeping the pH at a constant level, although it’ll need to range between 5.5 and 7.0. This allows for decent results, although you won’t be making the most out of your seeds nor the nutrients you’re using to feed your plants. Plus, you may end up with feeding and nutritional issues further down the line.

These are the ideal pH values for growing cannabis in hydroponic and aeroponic settings including other inert substrates:

  • First weeks: 5.8 – 5.9 pH
  • Pre-bloom: 6.0 – 6.2 pH
  • Real bloom: 6.0 – 6.3 pH

These are the ideal pH values for growing cannabis peat mixes or straight in the ground:

  • First weeks: 5.5 – 6.0 pH
  • Pre-bloom: 6.0 – 6.2 pH
  • Real bloom: 6.2 – 6.5 pH

Adjusting pH for Cannabis Plants

Figuring out how to adjust the pH in your water isn’t that complicated at all. You need to discern between watering using nutrients and only water, and there will be a difference between using automatic watering systems and watering manually.

Using just water

Fill your tank or bottle, let the water sit for a few minutes and then measure the pH in the water using a pH meter. If needed, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your pH Up or Down products. If there is no recommendation, add an extremely small amount to your water tank or bottle, dilute properly and let it sit before measuring it again. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until pH levels are as desired.

Water with nutrients

This process varies depending on the fertilizers used; some brands recommend adjusting the pH before adding their products, whereas others recommend measuring and adjusting the pH after adding them to your water. If the manufacturer has not left any specific instructions, we recommend dissolving your nutrients one by one, mixing thoroughly. Then, you’re going to need to let it sit for a few minutes in order for the pH to balance out. This way you can measure and adjust accordingly without any fluctuations.

Hydroponic watering

When it comes to automatic watering systems, a large tank is usually used alongside an automatic pipe system which usually contains water and nutrients, enough to feed your plants for about one to two weeks. In order to adjust the pH and keep it balanced within the recommended pH value, we recommend using pH and temperature monitors so that you can have an eye on the pH at all times. This allows you to easily and quickly adjust the pH when needed – all you have to do is keep an eye on it and you’ll be able to fix it before anything goes wrong.

Note: in order to avoid taking too long to adjust the pH in your water, we recommend writing down the original pH of your water and then writing down how much product was needed to get it to the right value. This will save plenty of time down the line.

How to adjust the pH in Water |The Best pH for Cannabis

Adjusting the pH in your water can be so simple that it gets complicated if you don’t have the proper tools and they aren’t in decent condition. In order to do this correctly, you’ll need to use a pH meter as well as specific liquid products used to adjust pH upwards or downwards. We’re going to have a quick look at pH meters and liquids used for adjusting pH.

pH meters are measuring instruments that are quite easy to use; most of the time, all you have to do is switch it on and place the sensor end in the water in order to analyze its pH. In order to avoid bad readings and issues with the meter itself, we recommend cleaning it after every use as well as adjusting them when necessary. Also, you’ll want to keep the sensor moist using a maintenance solution.

Liquids used to reduce or increase the pH in nutrient solutions contain either acidic or alkaline ingredients, which can be organic and/or mineral. Plus, depending on the manufacturer, some pH adjusters can be specific for the growth period or for the bloom phase.

Mineral pH adjusting products are generally made using the following ingredients:

  • Nitric acid: depending on the ratio, you can use this to increase or decrease pH levels, plus it’s perfect for the growth period thanks to its high Nitrogen count.
  • Phosphoric acid: this is used to lower the pH and it’s ideal for the flowering period thanks to its high phosphorus content, although it can also be used in the growth period.
  • Potassium hydroxide: this is used to increase the pH in water. Thanks to its high potassium content it can be used in the growth and flowering periods.

Organic pH adjusters tend to contain the following components:

  • Humic acids: these acids increase the pH in your water and can be used during the entire growing period, although we recommend using it during the growth period as humic acids can actually decrease THC yield.
  • Citric acid: this is used to decrease pH and it can be used during the entire growth and flowering process.

The main difference between organic and mineral pH adjusters is that the minerals tend to harm any natural life in the soil, so you need to rebuild it after every use. Organic products don’t have the same reaction, although you’ll need to use slightly more product than mineral products in order to get the desired levels.

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Cannabis pH Meter Types

pH Testing Drops

This type of pH measuring kit is one of the easiest kits to use; all it contains is a vile, liquid reagent, and a color chart. In order to figure out the pH in your water, all you have to do is fill up ¾ of the vile using the water you want to analyze. Add in a couple of drops of the liquid reagent, and then place the lid on the vile straight away. Shake thoroughly for a few seconds and then text the color using the included color chart – this allows you to figure out the pH in your water.

We highly recommend keeping in mind that this type of reagent liquid can only be used in water without any nutrients or additives, as it will end up giving a false reading in such cases.

pH 600 ECO Milwaukee Meter

This is one of the most used pH meters on the market when it comes to indoor and outdoor growing rooms, as it’s the most affordable one and it provides good results. It’s a great way to get started when it comes to growing cannabis if you’re on a budget. You’ll need to calibrate it by using a calibration liquid – first, adjust it to 7.0 pH and then adjust it down to 4.0 pH. In order to adjust the pH to your calibration liquid, you need to turn the small screw that it has while checking the screen to make sure you’re adjusting it right.

The only downside to this meter is that you’re going to need to keep the sensor clean and humid/moist by using a pH meter maintenance liquid – if not, your meter will most likely start producing erroneous results when compared to other meters. You’ll also need to take into account that this device is not water-resistant, so do not let it fall into the water when using it.

ADWA pH AD-100 Meter

This pH meter is slightly more sophisticated than the previous model; as well as offering precise data, it can also adjust itself automatically when using pH 7.0 and 4-0 calibrators, which come included. It also has an automatic temperature compensation feature, which makes for much more precise measurements. This particular model is much stronger and more trustworthy as times goes on, although just like with any other meter, you’ll need to keep it humid and in good condition to avoid bad readings. The only inconvenience here is that it isn’t waterproof; all you need to do is place the tip of the sensor in the water.

ADWA pH AD-11 Meter

This AD-11 ADWA meter is a semi-professional model that, apart from precisely measuring the pH in your water thanks to automatic temperature compensation, also indicates the temperature of the water and can emerge unscathed if dropped in the water. This doesn’t mean that it’s entirely waterproof, and you still need to use the sensor part when measuring pH values. These water-resistant ADWA meters are quite prone to sensor issues, as they’re quite delicate, but you can easily get your hands on a replacement sensor. This allows you to keep one on hand just in case it breaks and your plants are at a delicate period.

In order to calibrate it, you’ll need to hold the ON/OFF button for a few seconds while it’s on until the letters CAL come up on the screen. Next, the meter itself will let you know what calibration liquid is needed – first, you have to use pH 7.00 and next you’ll need to use pH 4.00. In order to keep it in decent shape, you’ll need to clean it after every use and use maintenance solution when storing it to keep it working well and for much longer.

Guardian Bluelab Monitor

The Guardian Bluelab Monitor is, without a doubt, the most sophisticated, professional and precise pH meter found in this post; it’s a pH, EC and temperature meter that works continuously; it’s a great idea for hydroponic and aeroponic grow set-ups, as these types of grows tend to need a lot more control when it comes to the water used.

In order to use this continuous pH, EC and temperature meter correctly, all you have to do is place the monitor at head-height so that you can easily take a look at it, and then you’ll need to adjust the pH and EC in your water, depending on your plants’ needs and the period that they’re in. It also has a visual alarm system (a blinking light) that lets you know when the pH or EC in your nutrient tank aren’t at the right values, allowing you to correct almost any fluctuation instantly.

When you use any type of continuous pH monitor, you’ll end up saving loads of time when it comes to watering, allowing you to make the most of your cannabis plants’ potential. Keep in mind that the sensors can be replaced in case one of them breaks or is worn – you can easily replace them. In as far as its calibration system, it’s super easy – only the pH sensors needs to be calibrated in the exact same way as the rest of pH meters on the market. We recommend cleaning the sensors after every grow and storing them in maintenance liquid.

In order to learn more about the pH meters for growing cannabis plants in this post, you can go straight to their product page by clicking on their picture, allowing you to visualize the product better thanks to their concise, simple descriptions that make them incredibly easy to understand. Plus, we stock many more models that you can have a look at!