Care and Protection: How to Safely Plant Marijuana Seeds

You’ve probably read plenty of content about how to grow marijuana that discusses the vegetative and flowering stages. However, finding useful information on how to plant weed seeds isn’t quite as easy.

Never fear! This detailed guide covers everything you need to know about picking the right cannabis seeds, germination, and navigating the seedling stage.

Select a Germination Method

In terms of how to germinate weed seeds, there are several ways to go about the process. Regardless of the method you select, remember that seeds require oxygen, water, and the right temperature to germinate. You also need to handle the seeds with care, ensuring that you don’t touch the taproot when it emerges.


There are five germination methods worth considering:

You can read about all of the above in our detailed guide to germinating cannabis seeds.

What Is Germination?

Germinating marijuana seeds involves getting them to sprout. You’ll know when this occurs because you’ll spot a small white tendril that bursts out of the seed, better known as the taproot. It is your marijuana plant’s very first root, and every other root created by your plant during its life cycle sprouts from it.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds

For the most part, growers tend to choose either the paper towel method or else they plant the seed directly in the growing medium. We’re going to examine the direct planting method of germinating cannabis seeds in quick bullet point form:

  • Put soil in a growing pot and create a hole that’s about 0.5 to 1 inch (around 1.25 to 5cm) deep
  • Place the seeds in the holes and cover them loosely with soil
  • Ensure that the soil is moist but not soaked by watering it gently
  • Keep the growing medium warm by using a heating pad if you can
  • Wait! It can take between 4 and 10 days to see the seedling sprout

Choosing the Type of Seeds

You don’t need to make things complicated when picking your marijuana seeds. There are three main types, which I will discuss further below.

Autoflowering Seeds

As you can probably guess by the name, autoflowering seeds begin the flowering process automatically once they reach maturity. They are a great option for novice growers because there’s no need to change the lighting schedule to ensure they move seamlessly from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage.

Moreover, these seeds are capable of developing with only a few hours of light each day. Also, they aren’t affected that much by light pollution, so interrupting the dark period won’t cause too much damage.

Breeders create autoflowering seeds by crossing feminized or photoperiod seeds with a cannabis strain that has the Cannabis Ruderalis lineage. Consequently, the life cycle of such plants is shorter than average. Indeed, you can expect your autoflowering plants to be ready for harvest less than 12 weeks after germinating the seeds.

One downside is that autoflowering plants don’t produce as much usable bud as plants that come from standard seeds. However, you can compensate for this by planting more crops each year.

Photoperiod Seeds

The term “photoperiod” relates to light scheduling. Thus, photoperiod marijuana seeds rely on specific light cycles to move from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage. Plants that grow from such seeds are highly sensitive to light cycle changes. You can expect them to begin flowering once the amount of light received decreases.

If you buy these seeds, it’s best to ensure the plants get between 16 and 18 hours of light each day. When you want them to start flowering, switch to a 12:12 (12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness) schedule, ensuring that nothing interrupts either one.

Feminized Seeds

This is the most popular marijuana seed type. These seeds are genetically mutated to ensure they only ever produce female plants. The modification ensures that the seeds can’t create male chromosomes, and in the modern era, reputable seed banks sell feminized seeds that produce female plants around 99.9% of the time.

If you’re an aspiring marijuana grower, it pays to have as much knowledge as possible. This means you should learn to differentiate between male and female cannabis plants. Nonetheless, it is wise to use feminized seeds if you’re a novice or intermediate grower to make sure your cannabis garden isn’t compromised by male plants.

Regular Seeds

These seeds are created by crossing a female marijuana plant with a male. As a result, there is an equal chance of the seed producing a male or female plant. You can’t ascertain the plant’s sex until the flowering stage, which means a nerve-wracking wait!

The thing is, growers generally want female plants since they produce the desired intoxicating bud. By contrast, males produce pollen that can cause havoc with a cannabis crop. If the pollen from a male plant fertilizes a female plant, it produces flowers that are laden with seeds. Even worse, they contain far less THC than normal.

Therefore, it’s normal for growers to remove male plants from their cannabis gardens and destroy them. However, some people may keep male plants because they pass down genetic traits to their offspring, ensuring a more diverse array of strains.

Nonetheless, if you’re growing marijuana to enjoy the end product, you may want to avoid regular seeds if possible.

Important Steps When Planting Marijuana Seeds

Once you’ve selected your cannabis seeds and germination method, there are a few things to consider to ensure success.


Moisture and Temperature Levels

Your marijuana seeds require warm temperatures and a moist environment to germinate properly. Until the seeds emerge from the growing medium or crack, keep the temperature at around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, you can drop it to the 75–80 degree mark.

Also, it’s best if the relative humidity (RH) stays between 70% and 90%. Finally, the less you handle the seed, the better.


When your marijuana seeds reach up through the soil, you must ensure there is adequate light. Experienced growers tend to light up their seedling trays up to 24 hours before they expect the seeds to come out. Alternatively, invest in a cannabis growing light that provides a minimum of 300 micromoles of light.


Weed nutrition begins at an early stage! When the first real leaves appear on your seedlings, begin feeding them. However, you have to be careful when using commercial fertilizer because overdoing it can cause nutrient burn.

Air Circulation

By now, the relative humidity in the grow room should have dropped to around 70%. You want to avoid creating an excessively humid environment. When exposed to too much humidity, your seedlings could become more susceptible to bacterial attacks. You can keep the RH level under control by having a fan running within the room for better air circulation.


Don’t be fooled by their diminutive stature; your seedlings need lots of growing room. If they sense other plants nearby, they’ll start growing more vertically. This means you’ll end up with tall plants that don’t produce nearly as big a yield as you hoped for.

Timing Your Pinching Technique

You can “pinch” your seedlings to encourage them to grow more horizontally. However, if you get the timing wrong and do it too soon, you’ll negatively impact growth. In extreme cases, you could kill the plant! As such, you should wait until you see a minimum of six pairs of lateral shoots before engaging in cannabis pinching.

Height Control

Some growers may want to control the height of their marijuana plants via mechanical height control. This process involves brushing seedlings by hand on numerous occasions daily. When done correctly, you’ll end up with short plants with thicker-than-average stems.

Planning for Transplantation

Eventually, it will be time for your marijuana seedlings to leave the proverbial nest. At this stage, you must transplant them to a different location where they have more room to grow. It is an essential part of the growing process; fail to do it in time, and you could significantly hinder the progress of your crop.

Summary of How to Plant Weed Seeds

Once you have finished planting cannabis seeds, the journey has only just begun. Even though the cannabis seedling stage comprises a relatively small percentage of the complete life cycle, getting it right is essential if you want your plants to produce a worthy bounty at harvest time. Follow the tips above to ensure your cannabis plants get off to the best possible start.

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