The cannabis seedling stage can be one of the most nerve-wracking and palpitating times. The plant is fragile and vulnerable, and it may look like it’s about to deteriorate from moment to moment. Inexperienced growers often have no idea what to prepare for and follow their instincts, only to discover the outcome doesn’t align with their expectations.
If you’re feeling overly anxious about this crucial time, remember that seedlings only need minimal care, attention, and advance planning. There are many strategies to follow to ensure that your plant lives, grows, and produces a healthy yield. It’s not a difficult chore, and even easier to tell when something isn’t working well. But if you’ve never started cannabis plants from scratch, you should first understand the essential procedures for a strong seedling.
Healthy seeds and suitable strains
The first step in your cannabis journey starts with choosing quality seeds and a strain that meets your needs.
With such a wide range of options when it comes to cannabis strains, choosing the perfect one for yourself might necessitate figuring out your expectations from your cannabis experience, as well as some thorough research. For instance, you should look into the blueberry strain if you seek something that will alleviate pain, reduce anxiety and stress, and treat your sleeping disturbances or insomnia. It is one of the most commonly used strains due to its pleasant, sweet, and fruity flavor and the ease with which it can be grown indoors or outdoors. Due to its uplifting, relaxing, and calming qualities, it is often used to alleviate pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and help with sleep disorders or insomnia.
The first step to finding your favorite cannabis strain is determining the effects you want to experience and what you want to treat. If this is your first time learning about cannabis at-home growth, look for something manageable. How do you know if the cannabis seeds are healthy and top quality? There are no hard rules to follow; only to ensure you choose a reliable provider with experience in the domain that prioritizes the quality and healthiness of their offered cannabis seeds.
The germination process, or stage where the seeds are sprouted, is recognized as one of the critical steps to the healthy development of a harvest. The process begins when the dormancy stage of the seed is over, and it starts taking in water to help the embryo expand. Simply put, this step represents the moment your seeds become seedlings. The baby plant develops quickly until it reaches cell division, relying on the germinated seed until it can nourish itself independently.
Novice cannabis farmers frequently dispute their plants’ growth rate, wrongfully assuming that they should grow more quickly than they actually do. Nonetheless, seedling development typically takes two to three weeks, so a few additional or fewer days should be fine. Considering you’ve used high-quality cannabis seeds that facilitate at-home growth and are suitable for your growing style, you shouldn’t worry if the way your seedlings germinate doesn’t resemble other harvesters’ experiences.
The suitable germination technique depends on the type of cannabis seed used. Therefore, researching the different cannabis seeds will prove extremely helpful in your journey.
Other factors to take into account
Seedlings come with specific needs regarding the following:
- Temperature. Seedlings prefer daytime temperatures of 20–25°C and nighttime temperatures of 4–5°C lower. If your seedlings grow curled up at the edges, they might suffer from heat stress. Cold temperatures, consequently, can impede the seedlings’ capacity to transport and nourish with oxygen, water, and nutrients.
- Light. Light is a critical factor for seedlings. Under too much light, their leaves can get crinkled and burned. On the other hand, when exposed to insufficient light, they might stretch to get closer to a light source.
- Humidity. Humidity levels at around 40%-60% are ideal to ensure your seedlings’ development isn’t hampered. Anything lower or higher can cause your plants’ growth to stagnate.
Containers and pots
Cannabis growers have resorted increasingly more to breathable fabric pots in recent times. Plants need plenty of air circulation to proceed quickly to achieve a mature, rich harvest. These are suitable for both seedlings and developed plants, allowing roots to oxygenate and the root zone to thrive. Meeting all the necessary conditions will allow a healthy and quick growth of your cannabis plant.
Here are some other critical considerations when searching for the ideal container or pot for your seedling:
- Drainage. Root rot and fungal pathogens can develop in containers without drainage or holes where excess water can be released.
- Pot size. The pot should be proportional to your seedlings. For instance, placing tiny seedlings in unnecessarily large pots can present the risk of overwatering.
- Feminized cannabis seeds. After the seedlings outgrow their starting pots, you can transplant them. You can begin this procedure with germination pots designed for starters.
- Autoflowering cannabis seeds. Generally, 5 to 15L pots offer sufficient space for your seedling to thrive. Autoflowering cannabis seeds have a short life span and are usually easy to move into final pots.
A commonly met practice is to use 12L pots when transplanting seedlings. However, it’s not always necessary to jump on large-size pots. It would help if you thought about the strains and cannabis seeds you’re using, as well as whether you want to grow multiple seedlings in a single huge pot.
Common concerns also exist.
Your seedling may be sluggish due to a variety of reasons, among which the following are the most common:
- Utilizing cannabis fertilizer ahead of time.
- Nutrient deficiency or toxicity
- Too little or too much water
- Poor quality seeds
- Poor quality soil.
At this stage, patience is vital. The initial germination process differs from plant to plant and is often lengthy. The moment your plant begins germinating, you’ll see it doesn’t resemble the typical leaves you may have first envisioned. A different aspect doesn’t signal anything abnormal; seedlings first grow some cotyledons in an oval shape before the large, healthy leaves grow.
Regardless of the speed of the growth process, you need to be very gentle and patient with your seedlings and remember that experiences differ from one another.