How Long Does It Take For Cannabis Seeds To Form

A growing number of experts are making a business out of teaching people how to grow their own pot. Here's what to know to get started. Growing your own weed takes time and energy, but when you obtain your first harvest, you’ll know how rewarding it is. Growing weed isn’t hard science, I am trying my hand at deliberately producing seeds for the first time, and have pollinated a couple of branches of my two best females with pollen from a…

As marijuana is legalized in more places, here’s how to grow your own

When it comes to growing his own marijuana, Chris Haynie leaves little to chance.

Inside a grow room in Richmond, Haynie has erected a 42-square-foot tent that houses four marijuana plants, the state’s legal limit for personal cultivation. Haynie’s setup is high-tech: An irrigation system releases moisture on a precise schedule; a motorized LED light timed to mimic the rising and setting of the sun moves along a rail across the top of the tent; and a monitoring system tracks key metrics of plant health, such as the moisture level and pH of the soil, and relays the data to an app on Haynie’s phone. If the system senses urgent problems, he’ll receive a warning text. Haynie’s friends are used to him bolting from a room mid-conversation to tend to his plants.

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Haynie, a bearded 38-year-old cannabis connoisseur who tattooed his thumbs with green ink, is no horticulture amateur. As the co-founder of Richmond’s Happy Trees Agricultural Supply, he’s part of a growing number of experts who are making a business out of teaching people how to grow their own pot. Recent laws in Virginia allow for limited cultivation of marijuana for personal use, and Happy Trees, which Haynie launched in 2019 with Josiah Ickes, 36, specializes in setting up growers to cultivate the plant.

Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, but many states have abolished restrictions, creating a patchwork of rules throughout the country. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing recreational use. Virginia legalized home cultivation in July 2021; under the law, people 21 and older may possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It remains illegal, though, to buy or sell it in any form — including seeds — until 2024, when retail sales are expected to begin.

People still find ways to access seeds. When D.C. legalized the possession of limited amounts of marijuana in 2015, the District lacked the authority to create a legal economic market for sales. So cannabis activists organized seed giveaways throughout the city. At one early event in 2015, lines stretched for blocks.

The regulatory scheme also established what has become an expansive “giveaway market,” in which Washingtonians have used a loophole to provide harvested marijuana as a gift in exchange for the purchase of a legal product. Companies sell cookies, tea or paintings with a baggie of “free” marijuana on the side. One company sells motivational speeches delivered by a person who travels by bicycle.

How Long Does It Take for Marijuana Seeds to Sprout?

Growing your own weed takes time and energy, but when you obtain your first harvest, you’ll know how rewarding it is. Growing weed isn’t hard science, especially if you have previous experience with growing plants, so if you learn the basics the rest will quickly follow.

This article focuses on the germination process of growing weed, and the most common germination methods, as well as some tips for success. Whether you’ve chosen indica or sativa, or regular or autoflowering seeds, germination is crucial to the plant’s growth process and the start of its lifecycle, so keep on reading for some helpful tips and information.

How Do Weed Seeds Work?

Weed seeds are the small oval-shaped fruits of the cannabis plant. They’re covered in a subtle membrane, albumen, which keeps the center of the seed healthy until it’s time for germination. At the center of the seed you can find the embryo from which the new plant grows from. This embryo contains the plant’s genetic code and is the place from where the taproot starts forming.

Similar to other plant seeds, cannabis seeds are the fruit of the pollinated flowers of female weed plants that don’t contain any psychoactive effects. However, they can be consumed as food since they’re the source of a lot of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial proteins.

Pros and Cons of Using Cannabis Seeds

When it comes to cannabis cultivation, germinating cannabis seeds is one of the methods you can choose. This method of cultivation has a lot of benefits, but also a few downsides.

Some of the benefits of cultivating marijuana seeds include:

  • The presence of the taproot from the germinating seeds provides more support in the initial growth stages of the cannabis plant.
  • You don’t inherit pests from the mother plant.
  • As a result of the expansion of the cannabis market, you can choose from a huge variety of high-quality seeds from a lot of seed banks all over the world.
  • Seeds can be stored for a long time without going bad and still germinate.

On the other hand, the downsides when using cannabis seeds include:

  • Having to wait until the plant reaches the flowering stage in order to differentiate whether it’s a male or a female plant.
  • Seeds can take a while before they pop (germinate).
  • Germinating seeds is harder for newbie growers since it requires more skill.

Cannabis Seeds vs. Clones

Compared to cannabis seeds, cannabis clones are an example of asexual propagation, or replicating from a single parent. The cutting is taken from a stable mother plant and is grown into a genetically stable ang genetically identical plant under the right conditions. The benefits of using clones for weed cultivation include:

  • Ensuring that the gender of the new plant is female.
  • Knowing which traits your plant will have.
  • The cultivation process is several weeks faster compared to a seed that needs to sprout.
  • The clone is less delicate than the seed is at the beginning.
  • Growing clones is easier since you only need to “plug and play”, so beginners will find this process easier.

How Are Marijuana Seeds Grown?

You can grow marijuana seeds both inside and outside, depending on the conditions, space, and resources available. Generally, growing marijuana indoors requires a dedicated space and equipment, like fans, grow lights, and heating pads. This method is more private and gives you better control, but at the same time, it’s more expensive and demanding. Growing outdoors is the easiest and cheapest way to grow, provided that there’s enough sunlight – at least 6 hours of light daily. The downside is that you’ll be limited to the growing season even though outdoor marijuana yields a lot more weed because the plants grow bigger. If growing outdoors isn’t an option for you, or you want to grow all year long, you can always invest in some quality lights.

See also  Cannabis Seed Strain Guide

Marijuana plants usually start out as a seed, but some growers use clones as well. Basically, a clone is a cut-off from a plant that’s used to grow another plant. Growing weed from seeds is a little more convenient, especially if it’s your first time growing weed, plus, seeds give a stronger plant.

Before the seeds turn into a beautiful marijuana plant, they need to be prepped for transplanting, or in other words, they need to germinate.

What Is Seed Germination?

Seed germination is the process when a plant starts sprouting from seed and continues growing from there. During the germination process, the food reserves present within the seed are converted into sugars that the plant uses to increase in size, causing its root to start breaking through the shell. This is the first sign that they have germinated.

Once emerged, the root is crucial to the plant’s survival as it provides the necessary nutrients from the environment. After this process, the germinated seeds are ready to be planted in the growing medium of your choice.

The simplest and most common one is soil, but in recent years, hydroponics are also becoming popular – Rockwool cubes and coco, especially. The downside of these growing mediums is that you need to be well-versed in pH levels and maintain the optimal pH and nutritional status of your plant at all times.

Germinating Your Cannabis Seeds

There are three most common germination methods.

Soaking Cannabis Seeds in a Glass of Water

This is the simplest method and it’s especially helpful for older seeds as it helps to wake them up, or even seeds with hard shells. The process is pretty straightforward: you need to fill the glass with lukewarm water and soak the seeds. At first, they should float in the water, and sink to the bottom after a few hours have passed. If some of the seeds don’t sink, you can try pushing them gently to the bottom.

After you’ve soaked the seeds, put the cup of water in a dark and warm place, and leave them for 36 hours at most. The seeds that have started sprouting will have a tiny white root sticking out. If, after 36 hours some seeds have no signs of sprouting, we recommend you put them in a warm and moist place to encourage the germination process.

The Paper Towel Method

This method is probably the most popular one among weed growers. You’ll need a kitchen paper towel and two plates. We recommend you use a nonporous paper towel (usually the cheaper brands), as this will retain moisture for longer. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide:

  1. Moisten two sheets of paper towel and put them on one of the plates;
  2. Carefully place the cannabis seeds over the wet paper towels;
  3. Fold the damp paper towels over so that the seeds are well covered;
  4. Cover with the other plate to create a dark space, but make sure to leave some room for oxygen, i.e. don’t align the plates perfectly;
  5. Check on the seeds often, about every 5-8 hours, and if you notice that the paper towels have dried even a little, spray them immediately to maintain the moisture.

If all goes well, the seeds should take 24 hours to start sprouting, but if they haven’t (this might happen with old seeds), leave them for up to 72 hours and check on them constantly so they don’t run out of moisture. With this method, you’ll need to be patient, as some seeds just need a little more time.

Germinating Seeds in Potting Soil

You can also mimic nature’s way by germinating marijuana seeds directly in a growing medium. This method allows the seeds to sprout in potting soil and continue living there without the need for transplanting. The upside of this method is that the marijuana seedlings will get used to its home environment from the beginning and it’ll be easier to thrive.

To do this, you need to put the seed about ½ inch deep in moist (not wet) soil. Put some soil over the hole to cover it and press lightly. The seed will germinate under the surface and, in about 4 to 10 days, it should slowly spring to the surface.

So, How Long Until They Germinate?

As you can see, the germination of cannabis seeds depends entirely on the type of seed and the chosen method. A rule of thumb is that it takes approximately 24-48 hours for the seeds to start sprouting, however, there can be some exceptions to this rule, of course. Just remember that moisture and warmth are very important and remember to check on the seeds often.

What Do Marijuana Seeds Need for the Germination Process?

Seeds need the ideal environment to break through and start germinating. Seeing as this process is one of the most important steps in growing your marijuana plants, here’s what you need for achieving the best germination rates:

  • High moisture levels – your cannabis seeds need a lot of moisture (about 80%) to help them expand, however, be careful not to add too much water, and always make sure you use clean tap water;
  • Warm temperatures – the marijuana plant is a warm-season plant that thrives in springtime, so ideally, you should put the cannabis seeds in a warm place and maintain the temperature between 68°-72° Fahrenheit or 20°-22° Celsius;
  • Minimal interference – you’ll need to avoid touching the germinating seeds while they’re going through the process because the taproots (cotyledons) are very fragile and prone to breaking. If you must handle them, wash your hands first, or use clean gloves.

Remember that when the seeds are healthy, they will respond well to this basic setup and you won’t need to do or add anything extra to help your cannabis plants grow.

A Few Don’ts for Successful Marijuana Seed Germination

Even though seed germination is a relatively straightforward process, knowing a thing or two beforehand can help you avoid making mistakes and make the most of your seeds.

  1. Don’t let the germination container dry out. Moisture is very important to kickstart the process, but maintaining the moisture is even more important. Whichever method you choose to germinate the seeds, we recommend you check up on them daily to ensure that there is enough moisture. This especially applies when you use a heat source to achieve warmth as it may cause the water to evaporate faster than normal.
  2. Don’t leave the seeds to germinate for too long. This means that you shouldn’t wait for the taproots to grow very large, as they will be very delicate and make the subsequent transplant more difficult for you. Plus, leaving them for too long means that they’ll be exposed to air which puts them in danger of oxidation and further damage. Therefore, make sure they’re about ½ -1 inch long at most.
  3. Don’t plant the seeds too shallow or deep. This is a common mistake that weed growers make, but it’s easy to be avoided. When you plant the seeds too deep, the seedling won’t get enough air and it may suffocate deep beneath the surface. On the other hand, if you sow the seeds too close to the surface, it will result in weak and underdeveloped stems. Your best bet is to plant the seeds at about ½ inch depth.
  4. Don’t germinate seeds in the same container. Cannabis seeds need plenty of room to grow, so if you plant several in the same pot, they will compete for light, nutrients, and space, resulting in little branching and weaker roots. This will, in turn, affect the quality of your plant. So, unless the container is big enough, you should give the seeds enough room to thrive.
See also  Horticulture Of Cannabis From Seed To Harvest

So, How Long Does It Take for Marijuana Seeds to Sprout?

Seed germination is an essential step in the process of growing your own weed. The average time for marijuana seeds to germinate mostly depends on the type of seeds and the germination method. However, the usual time frame is between 24-48 hours. The most important elements that support seed germination together are warmth, moisture, and peace. Finally, having patience and being diligent will help you achieve the best results. And if you’re looking for more info on marijuana grow times, check out our post talking about how long does weed take to grow.

How long for seeds to develop?

I am trying my hand at deliberately producing seeds for the first time, and have pollinated a couple of branches of my two best females with pollen from a male plant that I let grow to maturity in my outdoor garden. My question is how long does it take for the seed to develop to viability? I assume that it is some fraction of the flowering period, but don’t know how much of a fraction.

The branches I picked have fully developed buds with mostly white pistils, but some are starting to turn red. I estimate I have about four to six weeks until the buds are ready to harvest. Is that long enough for the seeds to develop? I can let the pollinated branches go longer if needed.

BTW, I collected the pollen in a small paper bag, then placed the bag over the branch with the lip of the bag cinched tightly closed on the branch. I then gave the bag and branch a good shake to thoroughly disperse the pollen inside the bag. I will remove the bag in a few days.

james murphy
Well-Known Member

depends on genetics . a full 4 wks is what i roughly go by..i dont count day i look at the seed hull and the seed itself to know wen its truly ready

undercovergrow
Well-Known Member

you can remove the bag now, i’d think. i usually figure by 35-40 days, but since you probably have a lot of potential for seeds given the method you used, i’d just let her go the full flower time and give her time to finish making all the seeds. good luck on your breeding project.

nuevo
Well-Known Member

Thanks for the feedback. I will report back how the breeding projects works. Forgot to mention that the male strain is donkey kong, and the females are blue snowdog and oregon greens, all from Oregon Green Seeds. I will have to come up with some new names for the crosses if the seeds turn out. Maybe something like blue donkey dog and oregon kong.

undercovergrow
Well-Known Member

you’ll need to keep thinking on the names well, oregon kong isn’t that bad.
definitely report back and let us know how you’re project is going along. do you plan on popping your new seeds right away?

dirtpower
Well-Known Member
Tim Fox
Well-Known Member
MonkeyGrinder
Well-Known Member

There’s the paintbrush method as well for pollen.
Just let those girls go until fully mature. You’ll get those big fatty mature watermelon looking seeds. You can let the buds finish and harvest them no problem while leaving your seeded ones to get fat. You’ll only reward yourself by waiting it out if it’s needed. Also you can/should rig something up under the seeded branches to catch ones that fall out. The little bastards will pop out. Hit the floor and bounce around all over the place.

EverythingsHazy
Well-Known Member

Whatever you decide to name it, you should add “F1” to the end. It’s a good breeding practice that many other plant cultivators take very seriously. Since we don’t have any official strain naming system with the use of single and double quotes, specifying the generation if it is under f4 is good practice.

Something like: Oregon Kong (F1)

If more breeders got into this habit, over time, we could see some serious progress.

As for how long to let the seeds mature. Wait until they are dark with even darker stripes, and basically falling out on their own. If you have to pluck them out, they might not be mature, and you’ll ave wasted a perfectly good seed. You should be able to give a mature seed a firm squeeze between your thumb and index finger without it crushing. If it crushes, it probably wasn’t viable anyway.

nuevo
Well-Known Member

Whatever you decide to name it, you should add “F1” to the end. It’s a good breeding practice that many other plant cultivators take very seriously. Since we don’t have any official strain naming system with the use of single and double quotes, specifying the generation if it is under f4 is good practice.

Something like: Oregon Kong (F1)

If more breeders got into this habit, over time, we could see some serious progress.

As for how long to let the seeds mature. Wait until they are dark with even darker stripes, and basically falling out on their own. If you have to pluck them out, they might not be mature, and you’ll ave wasted a perfectly good seed. You should be able to give a mature seed a firm squeeze between your thumb and index finger without it crushing. If it crushes, it probably wasn’t viable anyway.

Thanks for the input. Is there a guideline somewhere for seed breeders to use as far as a naming convention goes? I have been gardening for a number of years, and the names of things seems to be pretty arbitrary. I get vegetable seed catalogs every year, and haven’t noticed the use of a F1 designation. At some point, I would like to really get into the breeding aspect, as that is a part of the business that really appeals to me. I grow some pretty dank weed, and think sharing some seed stock would be a great way of passing on some of my green thumb.

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EverythingsHazy
Well-Known Member

Thanks for the input. Is there a guideline somewhere for seed breeders to use as far as a naming convention goes? I have been gardening for a number of years, and the names of things seems to be pretty arbitrary. I get vegetable seed catalogs every year, and haven’t noticed the use of a F1 designation. At some point, I would like to really get into the breeding aspect, as that is a part of the business that really appeals to me. I grow some pretty dank weed, and think sharing some seed stock would be a great way of passing on some of my green thumb.

I’m not sure if there is a unified guideline, but I know at least some kinds of growers (a lot of vegetables esp.) are very finicky about labeling the generation as well as if they are “open pollinated”, which means you didn’t take measures to prevent pollen from other plants making it’s way to the seed parent. Open pollinated plants risk more variation due to possible multiple parent combos.
Some other plant growers use double quotes (“) and single quotes (‘) to designate if something is an official registered cultivar, or just somethign someone made.

As long as you have solid records, and can answer anyone who has questions about stability/lineage, you’ll be a huge step ahead of most cannabis “breeders”, including commercial ones.

DesertGrow89
Well-Known Member

Thanks for the input. Is there a guideline somewhere for seed breeders to use as far as a naming convention goes? I have been gardening for a number of years, and the names of things seems to be pretty arbitrary. I get vegetable seed catalogs every year, and haven’t noticed the use of a F1 designation. At some point, I would like to really get into the breeding aspect, as that is a part of the business that really appeals to me. I grow some pretty dank weed, and think sharing some seed stock would be a great way of passing on some of my green thumb.

Post fertilization most seeds take roughly six weeks to ripen. To test them, squeeze seeds between your fingers, if most seeds aren’t broken with firm pressure, harvest them.

jellero
Well-Known Member

i have a female charlottes web i bred with a pure afghani for pain. thinking the afghani is going to be good for muscle pain and the c. web for nerve pain. i have both.
the name may be a problem. jersey girl? jp

nuevo
Well-Known Member

First check of seed condition. The first pic shows the seeds and flower from the first bud trimmed off about two weeks ago. Second pic is buds trimmed a couple of days ago. Seeds from first bud not mature and unlikely to be viable. Will check second set of buds in two weeks. Will be getting a lot of seeds in the end because two entire plants were pollinated, not just the two branches I dusted. If anyone would like to have some viable seeds cheap, send me a pm. If in the Portland area, will share some bud too.

nuevo
Well-Known Member

The naming of this new local strain is based on the travails of an unsecured outdoor grow that was forced indoors. The momma and daddy plants started as seeds, and were transplanted outdoors after germing indoors until about mid May, after a week or so of 12/12 lighting to picks out the girls. I didn’t intend to transplant any boys, but one got through my inspection.

They were growing with great vigor when they got hacked by some immature pot thieves. With apparently no experience for how these special ladies were destined to grow into very special plants, they climbed into my back yard and into my garden. I had a little grouping of rocket chunk girls just starting to bud out nicely with lots of trikes, and my unwelcome visitors topped all three along with a few of the best branch tips.

I had four other plants outside that didn’t get hit that first night, and I immediately potted up the three smaller girls into 5 gallon plastic pots, and proceeded to start moving the pots into the house at night, very much a literal pain in the ass. The largest plant was too big for a pot, so it got left in the ground. It turned out to be the daddy plant.

I was able to keep a pretty good routine moving the plants, in the house at night and out in the sunshine every morning. As those of you in the northwest know, we got plenty of sunshiny days this summer..

Unfortunately, my nemesis returned one night when I forgot to move the plants inside.

nuevo
Well-Known Member

I missed moving the plants one night, and the creeper came back around and topped two of the three potted plants, and broke off several branch tips of still immature flowers. A few night later I forgot again and got hit. Finally, I got into the daily habit of never missing putting the pots in at night, but all three plants lost their tops and nearly all of their branch tips to the Creepers. I was left with three pretty good size plants still though, but highly stressed by now. All three plants started shedding sugar and fan leaves leaves, but the buds were growing up to be pretty good, firm little nuggets all over every branch.

About this time, the only plant left in the ground was growing into a massive male plant, standing over eight feet tall with a main trunk about two inches in diameter. This is the plant I used to dust the ladies. There was so many pollen sacs that when I finally cut the daddy plant completely down, the ground below was covered in a yellow dust. Since I was putting the potted plants outside each morning, I am guessing that pollen blown from the daddy plant ended up pollinating the entire plants, not just the branches I had dusted earlier..

Now I have two true mommas with lots of pretty buds swelling up with seeds. If I am able to finish these beauties with good, viable seeds, I will have seeds of two different crosses. I am predicting good results from my little breeding project, and soon there will be two new strains from the west end of the gorge.

The daddy plant was blue snow dog, and the mommies are donkey kong and oregon greens.

The blue dog x oregon green is hearby named Hackleberry Creep (F1). It will sneak up and hit you in the head, leaving a hole where your brains leak out.

The blue dog x donkey kong cross will be known as Daddy Donkey Dog (F1), or 3D for short. 3D will cause mind bending semi-hallucinatory visions with a little deep thinking on the side. Best used with some Pink Floyd or Rush.