Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.
You might also find a mature seed that has been physically damaged through poor handling, like rough trimming. In those cases, it probably isn’t worth the effort to try and germinate the seed.
To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds, like a dome.
Time to germinate
Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The towels should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.
The main drawback to growing from seed is there is no guarantee as to what you’ll end up with—if you buy a regular pack of cannabis seeds, it will be a mix of males and females. You’ll need to sex them out (more below) to identify the males and get rid of them, because you don’t want your females producing seeds.
It’s important to keep the delicate seed sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as it begins to split.
Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. There are many methods to germinate seeds, but for the most common and simplest method, you will need:
There are a number of solutions that can be sprayed on female plants to create male pollen sacs: benzothiadiazole, gibberellic acid, silver thiosulphate, silver nitrate, and colloidal silver.
Once the plants have been sprayed with colloidal silver and the pollen is collected, they are write-offs—86 them and don’t smoke them. Giving them a thorough rinse will not work. The colloidal silver is a systemic treatment absorbed into the plant through the foliage and not a topical application. Be safe and bin them.
TECHNIQUE 1: COLLOIDAL SILVER
There are a number of harvesting methods employed to catch pollen.
The easiest and relatively inexpensive way—considering how much money is potentially saved by not growing resource and time-consuming males—is to buy a colloidal silver generator, which is the no-fuss plug and play option. Or, make your own, which is quite straightforward and doesn’t require any special skill.
Colloidal silver is by far the easiest to source or make. It is non-toxic, non-caustic, and can be bought from a pharmacy or easily online. The other solutions can be dangerous, difficult to get a hold of, and expensive—except gibberellic acid, which can be found in nurseries, but is not as effective as colloidal silver. But if you want to watch some freaky plant growth just for the fun of it, give gibberellic acid a try. It is a growth stimulant and makes plants stretch and stretch.
High and stable humidity levels from germination right on through to vegetation increases female development. Similarly, consistent and stable watering routines maintain ideal moisture in the grow medium. Stable moisture exposure in the air and medium promotes females.
In the rush to get buds in the jar sooner, it is always tempting to expose plants to 24hrs of light during the vegetation cycle. The plants may grow larger sooner, but this increases the risks of males developing.
Following these easy-to-maintain tips can maximize female plant development. Stress of any kind is the enemy of marijuana. It is thought that male development increases the likelihood of pollination during times of stress. A single, well-pollinated female can produce hundreds of seeds, perpetuating the species into the next season.
Young plants exposed to an 18-6 day-night photoperiod increases the chance of females. The chance increases further when the day length is reduced to 16 hours. To maximize the possibility, reduce the day period to 14.5 hours of light.
Metal halide lamps are ideal for the vegetation phase of cannabis. They are blue biased in their spectrum and imitate summer light effectively, which is the natural vegetation period of cannabis. When the 12-12 switch is made to promote flowering, switch to a high pressure sodium light. These a red biased in their spectrum and imitate the red-shifted light of autumn.
The other downside of 24hr light exposure during vegetation is poor root development and interrupted gas exchange in the rhizosphere. Root development occurs predominantly at night, and necessary oxygen exchange occurs more efficiently at this time too. Healthy roots mean healthy plants.
Pubescent plants: Maintain humidity at 70% RH. Use a hygrometer religiously to ensure ideal moisture content of the growing medium. Maintaining correct humidity is made easier with a humidifier/dehumidifier unit always at work in the grow space. Continue to monitor the moisture content of the grow medium. Overwatering and overdrying are stress vectors that can encourage males.