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germination seeds

How to germinate cannabis seeds

Germination is the process in which a new plant begins to grow from a seed. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your cannabis garden.

Cannabis seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.

When acquiring seeds, you want to make sure they are matured and that they appear dark brown with lighter accents and a hard feel. You don’t want a seed that feels fresh and looks green, which indicates that the seed hasn’t reached full maturity.

Self-isolating? Order cannabis online with Leafly Pickup or Delivery

Once you have your cannabis seeds, make sure you have the space necessary to allow your plants to grow and be healthy. Don’t pop seeds when you are unsure of your grow space, time availability, or intention with your garden.

Check out these additional resources for more info on cannabis seeds:

What’s the best way to germinate cannabis seeds?

Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. Because of this, there are many methods to germinate your seeds. The most common and simplest method involves the use of paper towels saturated in water.

For this method you will need:

  • Two clean plates
  • Paper towels
  • Seeds

Step 1:

Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The sheets should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.

Step 2:

Take two of the paper towels and place them on a plate. Then, place the cannabis seeds at least an inch apart from each other and cover them with the remaining two sheets of water-soaked paper towels.

Step 3:

To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds (like a dome).

Step 4:

Make sure the area they’re kept in is warm, somewhere between 70-90°F.

After these steps have been completed, it’s time to wait. You can check the paper towels to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they seem to be losing their moisture, you can apply more water to keep the seeds happy.

Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take several days. You know a seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears.

This is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination. It’s important to keep this area sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as the seed begins to split.

Transplanting germinated cannabis seeds

Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium. Small 2-inch pots are a good place to start.

Fill the pots with loose, airy potting soil and poke a hole in the middle about a quarter-inch down using a pen or pencil.

To transfer the seed, use a pair of tweezers to gently pick it up, then drop the seed in the hole with the taproot facing down. Lightly cover it with soil.

Next, you’ll need to water the soil. Initially, use a spray bottle to provide moisture without over-saturating the soil. You want to give the seed water, but over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.

Pay attention to the temperature and the moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy, and within a week or so you should see a seedling begin to grow from the soil.

Germinating seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.

This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones and which to breed with other strong plants to create a seed bank of your own.

Follow these simple steps on the best way to properly germinate your cannabis seeds, and find out how to transplant the seeds to soil after germination.

Seed Germination

Seed germination is defined as the sum of events that begin with hydration of the seed and culminate in emergence of the embryonic axis (usually the radicle) from the seed coat.

Related terms:

  • Ethylene
  • Germination
  • Dormancy
  • Abscisic Acid
  • Seed Dormancy
  • Arabidopsis
  • Seedlings
  • Enzymes
  • Proteins

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Molecular mechanisms of seed germination

Pham Anh Tuan , . Belay T. Ayele , in Sprouted Grains , 2019

1.3 Conclusions and perspectives

Seed germination is a crucial process that influences crop yield and quality. Therefore, understanding the molecular aspects of seed dormancy and germination is of a great significance for the improvement of crop yield and quality. Significant progress has been made in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the roles of plant hormones, mainly ABA and GA, in the regulation of seed dormancy and germination in dicot species; however, this phenomenon is scarcely studied in cereals. Therefore, further study is required to identify the molecular features involved in the regulation of the metabolic and signaling aspects of different plant hormones, and therefore seed dormancy and germination in cereals. In addition, the roles of other regulatory factors, such as epigenetic and posttranscriptional regulations of gene expression in controlling dormancy and germination of cereal seeds remain to be clarified.

A Comprehensive Review on Rice Responses and Tolerance to Salt Stress

7.3.1.1 Seed germination

Seed germination is a parameter of the prime significance, and fundamental to total biomass and yield production and consists of a complex phenomenon of many physiological and biochemical changes leading to the activation of embryo ( Parihar et al., 2014 ). A significant negative correlation generally exists between the seed germination percentage, time for seed germination and level of salinity ( Kaveh et al., 2011 ). During seed germination, salinity results in many disorders and metabolic changes such as solute leakage, K + efflux and α-amylase activity ( Shereen et al., 2011 ). Firstly, salinity reduces moisture availability by inducing osmotic stress and, secondly, creates nutrient imbalance and ionic toxicity ( Munns and Tester, 2008; Rajendran et al., 2009 ). Cell membranes are the hotspots for controlling active and passive transfer of solutes, and regulating plant nutrient uptake ( Munns and Tester, 2008 ). An imbalance of mineral nutrients under salinity stress generally alters the structural and chemical composition of the lipid bilayer membrane, and, hence, controls the ability of the membrane for selective transport of solutes and ions inwards and, the membrane could become leaky to the solutes they contain ( Cushman, 2001; Lodhi et al., 2009 ).

Shereen et al. (2011) conducted experiments to study the effects of salinity on seed germination of six rice varieties differing in salt tolerance by treating them with 0, 50, 75, 100, 200 mM NaCl solutions. The results revealed that salinity caused a delay in germination of rice seeds with 3–6 days of delay in treatments containing 100 and 200 mM NaCl respectively, advocating a strong negative relationship between salinity and seed germination. The rice cultivators exhibiting minimal leakage of solutes showed relatively higher germination under high salinity stress of 100 and 200 mM NaCl compared to the cultivars exhibited higher solute leakage. Similarly, Jamil et al. (2012) investigated the effects of salinity on seed germination of three different rice genotypes and found that the rice cultivars differed in their germination response to salt stress. Increase in salinity from 0 to 150 mM adversely affected the seed germination percentage and significantly delayed seed germination.

Molecular mechanisms in plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPR) to resist environmental stress in plants

18.2.1.1 Role of salinity in seed germination

Seed germination is the first phase of the growth cycle in plants ( Parihar et al., 2015 ). Salinity adversely affects seed germination, excess amount of soluble salt content into the soil reduces the water potential into the soil. As water moves from higher water potential to lower water potential, seeds are unable to take water from saline soil and causes hormonal imbalance ( Khan and Rizvi, 1994 ), reduces protein metabolism ( Dantas et al., 2007 ), nucleic acid metabolism ( Gomes-Filho et al., 2008 ) and ultimately reduces the utilization of seed reserves ( Othman et al., 2006 ). There are some evident that salinity drastically affects the seed germination in various plants like Oryza saliva ( Xu et al., 2011 ), Triticum aestivum ( Akbarimoghaddam et al., 2011 ), Zea mays ( Khodarahmpour et al., 2012 ), Brassicaspp. ( Akram and Jamil, 2007 ). Bybordi (2010) reported that with the increasing salt concentration the rate of seed germination decreases in Brassica napus ( Bybordi, 2010 ).

Scope and Progress of Rice Research Harnessing Cold Tolerance

Partha S. Biswas , . Jiban Krishna Biswas , in Advances in Rice Research for Abiotic Stress Tolerance , 2019

11.2.1 Germination Stage

Seed germination is the most important stage in a plants life cycle. Water, air, temperature and light are all essential for the seed germination process starting from imbibition, activation and succeeding manifestation. Rice seed germination is affected greatly by temperature. Temperatures colder than the favorable range (18–33°C) retards the germination process. Cold temperatures slow down the diffusion process which causes disrupted imbibition and escape of solutes from the seeds. The effect of cold stress is more pronounced at the imbibing phase which is regarded as the most sensitive phase. The exposure of rice seeds to cold stress during this phase causes an increased escape of solutes from the seeds. The standard temperature for rice seed germination is considered to be 30°C. The minimum critical temperature of rice germination is considered as 10°C ( Yoshida, 1981 ). Soil temperatures below 10°C can result in complete failure of germination ( Yoshida, 1981 ). Temperatures below 20°C decrease both the speed and percentage of seed germination ( Yoshida, 1981 ), lower crop stands, and consequently reduce grain yield ( da Cruz and Milach, 2004 ; Cruz et al., 2006 ; Sharifi, 2010 ). Germination speed is related to seedling vigor and it could be a significant determinant of good field performance ( da Cruz and Milach, 2004 ).

Research and innovation priorities as defined by the Ecophyto plan to address current crop protection transformation challenges in France

Jay Ram Lamichhane , . Pierre Ricci , in Advances in Agronomy , 2019

Seed germination and seedling emergence are the most important and vulnerable phases of a crop cycle. A poor quality of seed and sowing conditions have both direct (e.g., the lack of seed germination translates either into the need to re-sowing with further costs or into a reduced plant density thus a reduced yield) and indirect (e.g., lower competitiveness of crops toward weeds and more favorable conditions for the development of diseases) impacts on crop health as it affects seed germination and seedling emergence. Consequently, reducing the exposure of young radicle and seedlings to biotic (soil-borne pests) and abiotic (drought, heat and mechanical) stresses at such a vulnerable stage is of paramount importance via any form of seed treatments or cropping practices. In this regard, the following issues should be taken into account:

To date, our knowledge is poor with regard to the impact of cropping practices and pedo-climatic conditions on the seed quality; do they affect the ecophysiological traits of seeds?

In light of the increasing restriction or a complete ban in the use of chemical PPPs (e.g., neonicotinoids in the EU), chemical seed treatments will be less and less practiced over the years. Therefore, there is a need to optimize seed protection through seed coatings using biological, biochemical or mineral substances that help enhance seed germination and seedling emergence in the early stages.

How can we improve the speed of seed germination and seedling emergence? Is a higher rate of seed germination and seedling emergence directly correlated to the overall crop health?

Because most processes related to seed germination and seedling emergence occur in the soil and within a very short time (from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the species and sowing date), understanding of what really occurs during this phase and which factors are involved is a challenging task. How can we tackle this complexity and which tools can be developed and mobilized to this objective?

Importance of small RNA in plant seed germination

Yingyin Yao , . Qixin Sun , in Plant Small RNA , 2020

Brief introduction of seed germination

Seed germination , which determines when the plant enters natural or agricultural ecosystems, is a crucial process in the seed plant life cycle and the basis for crop production. The germination of freshly produced seeds is inhibited by primary dormancy, which helps the seeds equip for environments with unfavorable conditions [1–3] . The seeds will enter a germinating state from the dormant state at an appropriate time when the dormancy is lost through moist chilling (stratification) or after-ripening [4] . Therefore, seed germination is a accurately timed checkpoint to avoid unsuitable weather and unfavorable environments during plant establishment and reproductive growth [5] . Finally, seed germination in crops will affect seedling survival rates and vegetative growth, which are accordingly associated with ultimate yield and quality. Considering agronomic production, crop cultivars must be prepared for rapid and uniform germination at sowing, which will improve the crop yield and quality; however, this selection during crop breeding usually results in weak dormancy, which is one of the factors leading to PHS in the rainy season, which tends to overlap with the harvest season [6, 7] . Hence, to improve crop agronomic performance, the crop cultivars during breeding must be prepared for uniform and rapid germination at sowing while preventing PHS [7a] .

Seed germination is a transit process when an active plant with photosynthesis grows from a quiescent embryo, generated in the fertilized ovule. The process of seed germination includes the following five changes or steps: imbibition, respiration, effect of light on seed germination, mobilization of reserves during seed germination, and role of growth regulators and development of the embryo axis into a seedling. All five of these stages result from a interplay of several metabolic and cellular events, coordinated by a complex regulatory network that includes seed dormancy, an intrinsic ability to temporarily block radicle elongation to optimize the timing of germination. The primary plant hormones including abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA) antagonistically regulate seed dormancy and germination [8–10] . ABA is synthesized during seed maturation and decreased before the onset of germination; it plays key roles in inhibiting germination and establishing and maintaining seed dormancy [11] . In contrast to ABA, GA significantly increases to promote germination by causing the secretion of hydrolytic enzymes that weaken the structure of the seed testa [12, 13] .

Role of Engineered Zinc and Copper Oxide Nanoparticles in Promoting Plant Growth and Yield: Present Status and Future Prospects

N. Priyanka , . Perumal Venkatachalam , in Advances in Phytonanotechnology , 2019

3.1 Seed Germination and Seedling Growth

Seed germination indexes and elongation is the first step that determines the success of crop growth with metal and metal oxide NPs. Plant exposure to NPs causes activation of genes responsible for water channel protein, for better cell growth protein, and for better cell growth by regulation cell cycle; these effects of NPs reflect the improvement of seed germination and growth of the plants. A germination study of A. hypogaea grown under various doses of ZnO NPs treatment, shows highest germination percentages were recorded in A. hypogaea seedlings grown in 300 ppm treatment when compared to the control ( Rajiv and Vanathi, 2018 ). Therefore, these studies indicate that NPs improve seed germination by penetrating into the seed and by enhancing water absorption. It has been reported that the ZnO NS-based nanofertilizer system enhanced maximum plant growth, which reflects the supreme performance of cellular enzymes regulated by nanoparticles. Also, zinc improves the cation-exchange capacity of the roots, which in turn improves the assimilation of basic supplements, particularly nitrogen, which is responsible for higher protein content and regulates plant development hormone level, i.e., indole acetic acid ( Prasad et al., 2012 ). Earlier results suggest that Zn is a highly essential nutrient to seed germination and seedling growth as well as development. Similar growth improvement with an extremely low concentration (30 μg L − 1 ) of NS exposure was observed in Allium cepa by Raskar and Laware (2014) . According to Prasad et al. (2012) , in Arachis hypogaea, there was a significant increase in root length, seed germination percentage, seedling vigor index, and yield at lower dose of ZnNPs than the untreated control seed. Recently, Jabeen et al. (2017) demonstrated that the L. esculentum seedlings were treated with different doses of ZnO-NS to study their effect on morphological parameters such as time of seed germination, germination percentage, the number of plant leaves, the height of the plant, average number of branches, days count for flowering and fruiting time period, along with fruit quantity. Interestingly, the results indicate that bio-fabricated ZnO-NS at optimum dose showed enhanced seedling growth and significantly increased crop yield. Although metallic NPs exposure showed a positive effect on seed germination of tested plants.

Tamarindo—Tamarindus indica

Md. Salim Azad , in Exotic Fruits , 2018

Propagation and Conservation

Seed germination and seedling growth are preconditions for conservation of genetic resources and sustainable uses of different products of specific species which depends on perception of genetic inconsistency, evolutionary forces, and breeding system in tree improvement ( Azad et al., 2014 ). Tamarind is commonly grown from seeds. It can also be grown from vegetative propagation (macrovegetative propagation or micropropagation). Vegetative propagation is useful for conservation of different genotypes. Germination from seed is inexpensive and very important for rural tree breeders. It can be used as root stocks to produce large number of grafted ortet. Tamarind seed germination is influenced by different presowing treatments. Different researchers noticed various responses according to the different methods used. Seed germination required 7–20 days in controlled conditions ( Azad et al., 2013 ). It can vary by seed sources, climatic requirements, and cultivars as well. On an average, it starts to germinate from 13 days of seed sowing. Sometimes it may take 30 days to complete the germination process. El-Siddig et al. (2001) recommended 45 days to allow for maximum seed germination. Azad et al. (2013) noticed 58% seed germination in the control situation, and noticed that presowing significantly enhanced seed germination. They found almost 82% seed germination in cold water treatment (immersion in cold water for 24 h at 4°C) and scarification with sand paper. El-Siddig et al. (2001) noticed acid treatment (immersion of seeds in 97% sulfuric acid for 45 min at room temperature) is an effective method for rapid and synchronous germination of tamarind.

The coppicing ability of tamarind is great. Thus the stem cutting is therefore the cheapest methods for tamarind propagation for small scale plantation. A number of protocols have already developed for rooting of cuttings ( Srivasuki et al., 1990; Swaminath et al., 1990 ). However, Mascarenhas et al. (1987) reported that rooting of a cutting is not successful for this species. Different budding and grafting methods are reliable methods for conservation of specific attributes of specific genotypes ( Swaminath and Ravindran, 1989; Pathak et al., 1992 ). Tamarind can also be propagated by tissue culture but only a few literatures report on it due to the callogenic nature of this species. To overcome these problems, cotyledons, cotyledonary nodes, and shoot tips were successfully used as explants for tamarind tissue culture ( Splittstoesser and Mohamed, 1991 ).

Seed Germination, Mobilization of Food Reserves, and Seed Dormancy

4. SECTION SUMMARY

Seed germination is a series of events that begin with imbibition and end with the emergence of the radicle from the seed coat. It includes the reacquisition by cell membranes of their selective permeability properties, repair and salvaging of DNA and other macromolecules damaged during desiccation, and restarting of the metabolic and synthetic machinery of the embryonic cells. Radicle emergence involves cell growth and rupture of the tissues surrounding the embryo, but typically does not involve cell division. Two hormones, gibberellins and abscisic acid, play contrasting roles in seed germination; gibberellins promote it, whereas ABA inhibits it. Not only are the relative ratios of endogenous GAs and ABA important, but also the sensitivities of seed tissues to these hormones seem to be involved. In tomato, a gene encoding an endo-β-mannanase has been identified. The gene is induced by GA and is expressed pregerminatively in the endosperm cap, but the expression of this gene is not inhibited by ABA. The manner in which these two hormones regulate seed germination is still very much an open question.

Physiological modification of plants through small RNA

Saad Hussain Shah , Muhammad Fahim , in Plant Small RNA , 2020

Seed germination

Seed germination comprises a series of physiological changes in a mature seed (embryo). The process is completed in three steps. In the first step, leakage of solutes and precursors for respiration and protein synthesis from endosperm paves the path for initial changes. In the second step, new proteins and mRNAs are synthesized, and in the third and final step, radicle growth is initiated [58] . The process is controlled and governed by a number of physical and physiological factors. Like all other developmental process, small RNAs play a pivotal role in seed germination.

Initiation of germination is a function of the classic miR156-miR172 pathway. DELAY OF GERMINATION1 (DOG1) enhances the accumulation of miR156 in embryonic tissues during seed development. miR156 is a dormancy promoter, and its concentration does not remain constant during dormancy but continues to decrease as a result of oxidative processes and serves as a countdown timer for seed germination. Interestingly, the concentrations of miR156 are independent of ABA influence [59] . dog1 plant possess lower concentrations of miR156 and hence early germination.

ARF10 and miR160-mediated auxin pathway regulates dormancy and promotes germination [60] . Auxin interacting with ARF10 stimulates the ABA sensitivity of the plant, prolonging dormancy periods. miR160 is a repressor of ARF10 and hence reduces ABA sensitivity and promotes germination. miR159 also regulates ABA sensitivity, indirectly by downregulating the positively regulating TFs of ABA, MYB33 and MYB101. miR159-MYB33/MYB101-ABA forms a negative feedback loop for seed germination. miR159, in response to trigger for germination, blocks MYB33 and MYB101 expression, which in turn reduces ABA sensitivity of plants and facilitates transition from dormancy to seed germination. MYB33 concentrations do not depend solely on miR159, as the concentrations of both of these are independent of each other’s concentrations in seeds.

Seed Germination Seed germination is defined as the sum of events that begin with hydration of the seed and culminate in emergence of the embryonic axis (usually the radicle) from the seed coat.

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marijuana seed identification

Cannabis seeds 101: How to grow marijuana from seed

Cannabis is grown from one of two sources: a seed or a clone. Seeds carry genetic information from two parent plants and can express many different combinations of traits: some from the mother, some from the father, and some traits from both.

In commercial cannabis production, generally, growers will plant many seeds of one strain and choose the best plant. They will then take clones from that individual plant, which allows for consistent genetics for mass production.

If cannabis is legal in your state, you can buy seeds or clones from a local dispensary, or online through various seed banks.

Cannabis seeds vs. clones

For the typical homegrower, it may be easier to obtain cannabis seeds rather than clones. Growing from seed can produce a stronger plant with more solid genetics.

Plants grown from seed can be more hearty as young plants when compared to clones, mainly because seeds have a strong taproot. You can plant seeds directly into an outdoor garden in early spring, even in cool, wet climates.

If growing outside, some growers prefer to germinate seeds inside because they are delicate in the beginning stages of growth. Indoors, you can give weed seedlings supplemental light to help them along, and then transplant them outside when big enough.

Most seeds that you will buy are regular seeds as described above, but here are a couple more types.

How weed seeds work

Cannabis can be either male or female—also called “dioecious”—but only females produce the buds we all know and love. For reproduction, males have pollen sacs and pollinate females, causing female flowers to produce seeds.

Once cannabis seeds are mature, the female plant begins to die, and seeds are either dropped to the ground where they grow into new cannabis plants next spring, or the seeds are harvested for processing into seed oil or food products, or stored so they can be sown in the ground later and become the next generation of plants.

To get the buds found in medical and recreational stores, female cannabis plants are grown in an environment without males—or the males are removed from the area before they release pollen—so the females don’t create seeds. Females can then focus their energies on producing buds and not seeds—this high-potency marijuana is traditionally known as “sinsemilla,” meaning “seedless.”

Some varieties of cannabis can produce male parts alongside female flowers on the same plant, especially if exposed to environmental stressors. These plants are known as hermaphrodites, and sometimes they can self-pollinate to create seeds.

Pros and cons of using cannabis seeds

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

If buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank, growing from seed is the best way to ensure your plants will have solid genetics and start clean, meaning they won’t come with diseases or pests.

Also, buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank will give you a sense of what a particular strain will look and smell like, how it will grow, and how much it will yield at harvest.

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.

Sexing marijuana plants can be a time-consuming process, and if you don’t catch males, there is a risk that even one males can pollinate your entire crop, causing all of your female weed plants to produce seeds.

One way to avoid sexing plants is to buy feminized seeds (more below), which ensures every seed you plant will be a bud-producing female.

You can also minimize headaches and avoid the hassle of seed germination and sexing plants by starting with clones.

How weed clones work

Aside from producing cannabis through seeds, or sexual reproduction, you can also reproduce the plant through cloning, or asexual reproduction. A clone is a cutting that is genetically identical to the plant it was taken from—that plant is known as the “mother.”

Pros and cons of using cannabis clones

Through cloning, you can create a new harvest with exact replicas of your favorite plant. Because genetics are identical, a clone will give you a plant with the same characteristics as the mother, such as flavor, cannabinoid profile, yield, grow time, etc. So if you come across a specific strain or phenotype you really like, you might want to clone it to reproduce more buds that have the same effects and characteristics.

With cloning, you don’t have to get new seeds every time you want to grow another plant—you just take a cutting of the old plant—and you don’t have to germinate seeds or sex them out and get rid of the males.

One drawback of clones is they need to be taken during the vegetative stage of a plant—flower is too late—so if you have a small setup with only one light, it can be hard to keep clones alive while flowering other plants, because the two need different amounts of light.

Another drawback to clones is they can take on negative traits from the mother plant as well. If the mother has a disease, attracts pests, or grows weak branches, its clones will probably have the same issues.

Additionally, every long-time grower will tell you that clones degrade over time.

What are feminized cannabis seeds?

Feminized cannabis seeds will produce only female plants for getting buds, so there is no need to remove males or worry about female plants getting pollinated. Feminized seeds are produced by causing the monoecious condition in a female cannabis plant—the resulting seeds are nearly identical to the self-pollinated female parent, as only one set of genes is present.

This is sometimes referred to as “cloning by seed” and will not produce any male plants. This is achieved through several methods:

  • By spraying the plant with a solution of colloidal silver, a liquid containing tiny particles of silver
  • Through a method known as rodelization, in which a female plant pushed past maturity can pollinate another female
  • Spraying seeds with gibberellic acid, a hormone that triggers germination (this is much less common)

Most experienced or commercial growers will not use feminized seeds because they only contain one set of genes, and these should never be used for breeding purposes. However, a lot of beginning growers start with feminized seeds because they eliminate the worry of having to deal with male plants.

Top feminized cannabis strain families

A lot of classic weed strains that have been around for a while come in feminized form. Some popular fem seeds are:

  • OG Kush
  • Haze
  • Afghan
  • GSC (Cookies)
  • Skunk
  • Cheese
  • Gelato

What are autoflowering cannabis seeds?

Autoflowering seeds are also popular with beginning growers. They are easy to grow because you don’t have to worry about light cycles and how much light a plant receives.

Most cannabis plants begin flowering when the amount of light they receive on a daily basis reduces. Outdoors, this happens when the sun starts setting earlier in the day as the season turns from summer to autumn. Indoor growers can control when a plant flowers by reducing the daily amount of light plants receive from 18 hours to 12 hours.

However, a type of cannabis called Cannabis ruderalis, which developed in extreme northern conditions without much sunlight, will begin flowering once the plant reaches a certain age—they automatically start flowering regardless of the amount of light they receive, hence the name “autoflower.”

Pros and cons of growing autoflower

Because they grow and flower quicker, growers can fit in multiple autoflower cannabis harvests into the span of one regular harvest.

Autoflowers can be started in early spring and will flower during the longest days of summer, taking advantage of high quality light to get bigger yields. Or, if you get a late start in the growing season, you can start autoflowers in May or June and harvest in the fall.

Also, autoflower plants are small—perfect for closet grows or any small grow, or growing outdoors where you don’t want your neighbors to see what you’re up to.

A couple big drawbacks, though: Autoflower strains are known for being less potent. Also, because they are small in stature, they usually don’t produce big yields.

However, potency in autoflowering varieties has increased significantly since their initial introduction, with some breeders crossbreeding the low-THC ruderalis with other more potent varieties.

Tips for growing autoflower marijuana seeds

Autoflowering strains require some preparation, as they will grow quickly and start to flower whether or not you’re ready for them.

Climate considerations

Many marijuana growers start autoflowers early in the season, and at a different time than a regular crop, so keep the season and climate in mind when growing and harvesting—your plants still need warmth to grow, and rain can give them bud rot. Consider growing in a greenhouse to protect them.

Training plants

Because training happens during vegetative growth, for autoflowering plants, this period could be as short as a few weeks, which means time is limited. Try topping your autoflowers after they have three nodes, and stop once they begin to flower. You will want to prune them lightly.

Go easy on nutrients

Autoflowers don’t need lots of nutrients because they’re small and don’t spend much time in the vegetative cycle. They won’t need as much veg nutrients—such as nitrogen—but will need more bloom nutrients.

What are high-CBD cannabis seeds?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the chemical components—known collectively as cannabinoids—found in the cannabis plant. Over the years, humans have selected plants for high-THC content, making cannabis with high levels of CBD rare. The genetic pathways through which THC is synthesized by the plant are different than those for CBD production.

Cannabis used for hemp production has been selected for other traits, including a low THC content, so as to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. Consequently, many varieties of hemp produce significant quantities of CBD.

As interest in CBD as a medicine has grown, many breeders have crossed high-CBD hemp with cannabis. These strains have little or no THC, 1:1 ratios of THC and CBD, or some have a high-THC content along with significant amounts of CBD (3% or more).

Seeds for these varieties are now widely available online and through dispensaries. It should be noted, however, that any plant grown from these seeds is not guaranteed to produce high levels of CBD, as it takes many years to create a seed line that produces consistent results. A grower looking to produce cannabis with a certain THC to CBD ratio will need to grow from a tested and proven clone or seed.

How to germinate marijuana seeds

Germination is the process in which a seed sprouts and begins to grow into a new plant. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your weed grow.

Marijuana seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.

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:

  • Two clean plates
  • Four paper towels
  • Seeds
  • Distilled water

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Take two of the paper towels and place them on a plate. Then, place the marijuana seeds at least an inch apart from each other and cover them with the remaining two water-soaked paper towels.

Step 3

To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds, like a dome.

Step 4

Make sure the area the seeds are in is warm, somewhere between 70-85°F.

After completing these steps, it’s time to wait. Check the paper towels once a day to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they are losing moisture, apply more water to keep the seeds happy.

Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take a while, but generally, seeds should germinate in 3-10 days. If it’s been two weeks and a seed hasn’t sprouted, it’s probably a dud and won’t sprout.

A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.

It’s important to keep the delicate seed sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as it begins to split.

Transplanting germinated cannabis seeds

Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.

  • Fill a 4-inch or one-gallon pot with loose, airy potting soil
  • Water the soil before you put the seed in; it should be wet but not drenched
  • Poke a hole in the soil with a pen or pencil—the rule of thumb is: make the hole twice as deep as the seed is wide
  • Using a pair of tweezers, gently place the seed in the hole with the taproot facing down
  • Lightly cover it with soil

Keep a close eye on the temperature and moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy. It’s very delicate at this stage. Use a spray bottle to water it—over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.

Within a week or so you should see a seedling begin to grow from the soil.

Germinating cannabis seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.

This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones or for breeding if you want to create a seed bank of your own.

How to sex a pot plant

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.

Because only female cannabis plants produce buds and you want them to focus all their energy on producing buds and not seeds, it’s important to identify and get rid of male weed plants so they don’t pollinate females. If females are pollinated, it will give you buds filled with seeds, making your weed harsh and unpleasant.

Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.

As mentioned above, you can skip the processing of sexing weed plants by growing with feminized seeds or clones.

If growing male and female cannabis seeds, they’ll start to show their sex organs, or “pre-flowers,” after 8-10 weeks from germination.

Cannabis plant sex organs appear on nodes, the points where branches grow off from the main stalk.

Males will have round balls—these will develop into pollen sacs, which will release pollen into the air when mature.

Females will have a round structure with long hairs—these hairs will develop into pistils, which will catch pollen in the air.

Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.

Can I grow a seed I found in a bag of weed?

Finding a cannabis seed in your stash is not ideal, but we’ve all been there before. Although much less common than it once was, it still happens. Sometimes you’ll notice one when grinding down some flower, or you’ll see one pop, spark, and crackle from the heat of a lit bowl.

These are referred to as “bagseeds” and whether or not you can grow one will depend on where it came from.

Is a bagseed good or bad?

Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.

Seeds can also form in plants with genetic disorders or instability, like hermaphrodites—plants that develop both male and female reproductive parts. Generally, stress and genetic disorders are viewed as bad, so temper expectations with any plant you start from a bagseed.

But sometimes you get lucky and find a mature seed in some really nice herb. Strains like the legendary Chemdog wouldn’t be possible without adventurous smokers planting and proliferating the seeds they found in a bag of kind bud.

So don’t discount bud because it has a seed or two in it. While not ideal, it could be the origins of the next great weed strain.

Ask yourself a few questions to decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.

Was the seed found in good weed?

If you don’t like the flavor, effects, or even the look of the bud, then it’s probably not worth growing.

Are you ready to grow?

Growing marijuana takes a certain level of commitment: time, energy, and financial resources, so be sure you can commit to the whole process.

Is the seed viable?

For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.

There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.

  • Tiger stripes—dark stripes on the seed which resemble veins on a leaf are generally good
  • Solid shell—a seed should be able to withstand a little pressure when pinched between your fingers; if it crumbles or cracks, it’s no good

Immature seeds tend to be light in color and have a soft outer shell.

In some cases, even if a seed isn’t completely mature, there’s still a chance it could be viable. But often these are extremely weak, take long to develop, and express other unfavorable characteristics. Growers usually discard weak plants to free up space.

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.

But if the seed you found looks decent, you might as well germinate it and see what sprouts.

Time to germinate

Viable or not, there’s only one sure way to find out if a bagseed will grow. If you’re simply curious to learn and not as concerned with the overall outcome, you can plant a couple of bagseeds outside and see what happens.

If you’re ready for a more serious approach, make sure you have the space for a proper garden and pop the seeds to see what fruit they bear.

Even if your seed sprouts fast and grows vigorously, it still has roughly a 50/50 chance of being female and producing buds, instead of turning out to be a male.

Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.

How to buy cannabis seeds

Cannabis seeds can be found on numerous online seed banks, but note that it is illegal to bring seeds into the US and Customs will seize any cannabis seeds that they find in packages or on a person. In legal and medical states, you may purchase seeds at a dispensary.

Will Hyde and Trevor Hennings contributed to this article.

Want to grow weed from seeds? Learn how weed seeds work, how to sex marijuana plants, and how to properly germinate your cannabis seeds.

Seed identification guide before planting

  • 1. Cannabis Seed Identification Guide: distinguishing viable seeds from non-viable seeds before planting
  • 2. Identification of a seed
    • 2.1. Login
      • 2.1.1. Dark color
      • 2.1.2. Waxy coating
      • 2.1.3. Hard shell
      • 2.1.4. No cracks
    • 2.2. Means of testing cannabis seeds
      • 2.2.1. Test method No.1: seeds floating in water
      • 2.2.2. 2 test method: just before and try to sprout the seed
    • 2.3. How to sprout a cannabis seed
    • 2.4. Male or female ?
    • 2.5. expiration
    • 2.6. Conclusion

Cannabis Seed Identification Guide: distinguishing viable seeds from non-viable seeds before planting

Strong, high quality cannabis seeds will ensure a high quality cannabis plant. So, if and how is it possible to identify whether cannabis seeds are good or not? And how long do these seeds retain their vitality? Answers on seed identification:

Identification of a seed

Most of the cannabis seeds offered for sale in seed shops are of high quality. In most cases, they exhibit high germination rates of at least 95% and sometimes even higher . On the other hand, seeds from an unknown source may well be defective and eventually lead to the growth of a weak and disease-prone plant with slow growth rate and low harvest potential.

Login

You can tell a lot about the health of a seed by looking at it. Here are a few different things you should look for when deciding whether a cannabis seed is good or not.

Dark color

Good cannabis seeds will be brown, black and / or gray. White or green seeds are immature and unlikely to germinate. Your seed should also have scratches or spots all around.

Waxy coating

A healthy seed will have a thin waxy coating around it. This coating seems to have a slight shine.

Hard shell

You should be able to lightly squeeze a seed without crushing. If a seed crushes easily between your fingers, the seed is probably dead or weak and will not grow well.

No cracks

Inspect the entire seed to make sure there are no small cracks or holes. This will likely cause the seeds to not sprout.

Means of testing cannabis seeds

You have a basic guide to distinguish good from bad seeds. Now if the doubt persists, here are several ways to test the seeds.

Test method No.1: seeds floating in water

It’s a great test that works for many different seeds – and not just cannabis. Take your seeds and drop them in a cup full of hot water (not too hot) then wait a few hours. If they sink, they are probably good for a crop. If they don’t leak, they’re probably dead and won’t grow.

Note: Do this only if you are ready to germinate your plants. Otherwise, it could hurt your seed.

2 test method: just before and try to sprout the seed

I know it sounds obvious, but it really is the best information .

If you really want to know if a cannabis seed is capable of germinating, put it in the ground .

How to sprout a cannabis seed

This is the first step in the journey from your cannabis nursery to a whole plant. There are several ways to do this. One of the ways is to just plant it in your soil and see if a plant appears. It’s old school, but no one can deny its simplicity. Plant the seed about 1/4 “(inch) deep and wait.

Another way is to put the seeds on a damp paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is damp, but not too wet… If it gets dry, you can add a few drops of water to the paper towel. Leave the paper towel in a dark place. Remember that the time varies between strains. Some may take just 2 days, while others may take longer… Keep checking them once a day.

Male or female ?

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing if a cannabis seed is going to be male or female. And just by looking at it or doing a simple test.

If you want feminized seeds, you will need to buy them from a reputable seed bank. Make sure they say they are “feminized” – if they don’t, the seeds probably won’t, or rather randomly. These are the so-called “regular” seeds

If all you get is a bag seed, the only way to know if it’s going to be male or female is to develop it.

expiration

The seeds have an expiration date. But if you store your seeds properly, they can remain viable for years and years. Moisture, UV degradation and extreme temperatures could affect the quality of your seeds.

If you plan to store your seeds for a long time, be sure to keep them in an airtight container in a dark area. Ideally, seeds should be stored in an air-conditioned area (such as inside your home rather than in a shed or garage). A survey shows that cannabis seeds sealed in the laboratory were still viable after 19 years.

Conclusion

It’s nice to know what to look for, but in the end the best test is just to put it in the ground.

If you use seed bags, you never really know what you will get anyway. If you bought your seeds at a seed bank, you should not worry about it.

Cannabis Seed Identification Guide: distinguishing viable seeds from non-viable seeds before planting

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where to buy pot seeds

A guide to buying cannabis seeds

The first couple months of the year is a great time to start planning your cannabis garden to get a head start on the outdoor growing season, which roughly runs from March to November, depending on where you live.

Navigating the cannabis seed market can be challenging when states have different degrees of legality. This guide will answer your questions on buying seeds so you can be on your way to growing your own cannabis.

Is it legal to buy marijuana seeds?

Marijuana seeds are considered a cannabis product just like flower, edibles, and concentrates. Their legality depends on which state you live in. People living in states with adult-use legalization can buy, produce, and sell seeds within their own state, but seeds can’t cross state lines. People living in states with medical marijuana legalization can only buy seeds if they have a medical card.

Seed banks exist outside of the US and can sell them for “souvenir purposes,” but it is illegal to bring seeds into the US and Customs will seize any cannabis seeds they find in packages or on a person.

Where can I buy cannabis seeds?

Many world-renowned seed banks are overseas in the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and other countries where cannabis laws are less restricted. Seed banks provide seeds from a variety of different breeders.

In states with adult-use legalization or a medical marijuana program, you can buy seeds within your own state, either at a dispensary or through a specific seed company’s website.

How to buy cannabis seeds online

Before you purchase seeds online, you’ll need to figure out what strain you want to grow and what breeder you want to buy from.

Because US federal law still prohibits cannabis, it can be hard to find information on seed banks and breeders. Breeders who have a long history and positive reputation are usually a good place to start. To get an idea of what well-established breeders look like, check out:

Europe

  • Sensi Seeds
  • DNA Genetics
  • Dinafem
  • Green House Seeds

US

  • Southern Humboldt Seed Collective
  • Exotic Genetix

You can also do some research and find an online grow journal that details the whole growing process of a specific strain from a particular breeder. Through these, you’ll be able to look over another grower’s specific notes and see pictures of the final results.

If you grow some seeds and like the results, try growing another strain from that same breeder and see how it goes.

How to buy cannabis seeds at a dispensary

Although this option is only available to people living in states with medical and adult-use legalization, buying marijuana seeds at the dispensary is far more straightforward. However, your options are more limited.

Dispensary staff should be able to give you information on the seeds they’re selling, but keep in mind that a lot of dispensaries focus on selling flower and end-products. It’s a good idea to call ahead and talk to staff to see if they are knowledgeable about seeds and can give you specific information on growing.

How to look for quality genetics when buying marijuana seeds

Breeders talk about “unstable genetics,” meaning that a seed’s origin is unknown. Make sure that when you buy a packet of seeds that it or the breeder who produced them can list where the seeds came from and how they were crossed and/or backcrossed to get the seed that you hold in your hand. If you can’t get a seed’s history, it could be anything and the result of poor breeding practices.

An inexperienced breeder might cross a male and a female one time and sell the resulting seeds as a new hybrid strain, but professional breeders usually put their strains through several rounds of backcrossing to stabilize the genetics and ensure consistent plants that reflect those genetics.

Which strain should I grow?

Even one weed plant can produce a lot of buds come harvest time, so make sure you grow a strain you like. Note strains you enjoy when you pick something up at the dispensary or smoke with friends, and look for seeds of it when you want to start growing.

Some strains are easier to grow than others because they are more resistant to mold and pests, so if you’re new to growing, you may want to try an easier strain to start.

Some strains also take longer to grow than others. Depending on whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, you may want to grow a quicker marijuana strain if you live in a climate that get cold and wet early in the season. For example, indicas are known for having a shorter flowering time than sativas.

All of this information should be available to you when buying quality seeds.

What’s the difference between regular, feminized, and autoflower seeds?

Regular seeds

If you buy a packet of regular seeds, they’ll come with a mix of males and females. A lot of cultivators prefer to grow these because they haven’t been backcrossed—essentially inbred—as much as feminized or autoflower seeds. You’ll need to sex out the seeds once their reproductive organs show during the flowering phase and discard the males—because they don’t produce buds and will pollenate females, resulting in seeded flowers.

Feminized seeds

Seeds can come feminized, meaning you can just put them in soil and start growing for buds. These seeds are guaranteed to be bud-producing females and growing them cuts out the step of having to sex out plants and discard the males.

It also reduces the risk of having a stray male sneak into your crop—just one male can pollinate a huge crop, causing your females to focus their energies on producing seeds instead of buds.

Autoflower seeds

Autoflower plants change from the vegetative to flowering state with age, not the changing of their light cycle. They have a short grow-to-harvest time and can be ready to harvest in as little as 2 ½ to 3 months from when you put the seeds in the ground. The downside is that, typically, they are less potent, but autoflower seeds are great for people who want to grow cannabis but don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it.

How much do marijuana seeds cost?

Cannabis seeds usually come in a pack of 10 or 12 seeds and start at around $40 a pack and go up from there. Some high-end genetics can run between $200 to $500 a pack.

Feminized and autoflower seeds will cost more because more breeding work was put in to creating them and they take less time for the grower to get buds.

How many seeds should I buy? Are they all going to survive?

When you grow any amount of seeds, a percentage of them won’t germinate, even if you get them from a reputable breeder. Always count on a few not germinating or dying off, or roughly 1/4 of the total you put in the ground.

When growing regular seeds, some won’t germinate and some will have to be discarded because they’ll turn out to be males. With feminized seeds, some won’t germinate, but a higher percentage of them will turn into flowering plants because there won’t be any males.

If you want six total cannabis plants to harvest for buds and are growing from regular seeds, start with about 4 times as many, or 24 seeds. Some won’t germinate and some will turn out to be males, and then you’ll want to discard down to the six best phenotypes. If growing feminized seeds, you can probably start with about twice as many seeds in this case (about 12); a couple won’t germinate, and then discard down to the six best phenotypes.

Make sure to always stay within your state’s legal limit of growing plants.

How do I buy strain-specific cannabis seeds?

Strains like Blue Dream, Gelato, and Original Glue have gained in popularity in recent years. Check out these resources on how to buy these types of cannabis seeds:

Pat Goggins contributed to this article.

Navigating the cannabis seed market can be tricky from a legal perspective. Get the answer to your top questions about buying cannabis seeds today.

GWE’s Best Cannabis Banks: Where To Buy Marijuana Seeds Online

We have maintained this list since 2010 with reviews of the marijuana seed sources that we use at GrowWeedEasy.com. These seed banks take online orders and ship cannabis seeds worldwide (including the USA). We only recommend companies with outstanding stealth, reliability, customer service, and seed quality. This certainly isn’t a list of all good seed banks, but these are the seed banks we know and use ourselves.

It’s scary ordering cannabis seeds online for the first time, and it’s really important to make sure you get your seeds from a trusted source! Not only will that help ensure your safety and security, but it also keeps you from getting scammed or ripped off with poor quality seeds or even no seeds!

Learn about cannabis seed banks that deliver to you!
(including all states in the U.S.)

GrowWeedEasy Cannabis Seed Bank List of 2021
This list contains trustworthy seed sources for buying cannabis seeds online

In the USA, ordering the best pot seeds online is just a click away!

Seedsman
https://www.seedsman.com/en/

Located: U.K.
Ships: Worldwide

Pros

  • Free seed promotions & huge selection of strains
  • Choose their “Guaranteed Delivery” option when checking out for guaranteed stealth shipping. This ensures your seeds will get to you no matter what.
  • They only carry strains by reputable breeders, and also breed and grow their own strains in-house. They make it easy to find a strain for your needs and grow space – use their seed selector to find a suitable strain
  • Long-lasting & trustworthy company – Seedsman has been providing cannabis seeds since 2003 and they have made a name for themselves as a professional seed source.
  • Accepts a wide variety of payment options (bank transfer, cash, credit cards, debit cards, checks, postal orders, money orders, Bitcoin – recommended for discounts and nobody but you and the seller can know what you are buying)

Cons

  • Choosing to add “Guaranteed Delivery” to your order combined with the price of shipping can make ordering from this place a little pricey, especially if you’re buying just a few seeds at a time.

MSNL Seeds
https://www.marijuana-seeds.nl/

Located: Seeds Sourced in Holland / Netherlands & Shipped out of UK
Ships: Worldwide

Pros

  • MSNL was founded by a geneticist and only carries hand-selected strains
  • Prompt shipping, extra stealth options and guaranteed shipping available.
  • In business since 1999, and selling cannabis seeds online via their current domain since 2003
  • Accepts a wide variety of payment methods including Cash, Bank Wire Transfer, International Money Order and most major Debit/Credit cards

Cons

  • They only carry their own strains, so they have a relatively small selection. That being said, we’ve typically gotten good feedback on their strains in the forum and email.

The Vault
https://www.cannabis-seeds-store.co.uk/

Located: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK) & Málaga, Spain
Ships: Worldwide

Pros

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Free seeds with every order
  • Big selection but only carries select breeders that fulfill their quality standards. That means all strains are from trusted breeders
  • In business since 2012
  • Prompt shipping, great stealth, and guaranteed shipping that’s cheaper than most seed banks
  • Accepts a wide variety of payment methods including Cash, Bank Transfer, Bitcoin, Check, Money/Postal Order, and most major Debit/Credit cards

Cons

  • Their website can be a little annoying to navigate at times. For example, you can’t get to seed listings from your shopping cart so you need to use the Search bar and find the listing if you want to change the number of seeds per pack.

How Should I Pay for Seeds?

USA residents, please note that international orders will usually not go through if you try to use a standard pre-paid debit or credit card to order seeds unless it specifically says it will work internationally.

Debit or Credit Cards

What do we use to pay at GWE? I (Nebula) personally use a regular credit card every time I order cannabis seeds online. I’ve also used a debit card, too.

I like using a credit card when ordering seeds because in general credit card companies tend to offer better protection for online purchases than a bank. If there ever is a problem with a purchase of any kind, a credit card company will instantly give you a refund, while a bank tends to make you wait while they do an investigation.

Although this has never happened to me personally, when placing an order sometimes a card won’t go through because the overseas transaction has been flagged as suspicious because you don’t typically order things from overseas on that card. If that happens to you, you may need to call your bank to let them know you approve of the order. From what I’ve heard from growers in our growing forum, this seems to be a relatively quick and easy process. You could also always take your card and try somewhere else. It seems like this only happens with certain card and seed company combinations, and sometimes trying another company with the same card will work immediately without contacting your bank.

What About Paypal?

You will rarely see a seed company that offers Paypal as a listed payment option. This is because cannabis seed sales are prohibited by Paypal and a seed company’s account will get shut down instantly if Paypal finds out what they’re selling. However, just between you and me, sometimes if you email a seed company first and ask, they’ll be able to accommodate you with alternate payment options that aren’t offered on their website. But make sure to be cool and don’t ever message a seed company through Paypal so they don’t get in trouble. Always email seed companies through their personal email or website!

Is It Safe to Send Cash?

I personally have never sent cash through the mail. However, I know dozens of our readers and forum members have bought seeds online with cash, and (a little surprisingly to me) they don’t seem to have many problems. If you do send cash, make sure to only use a trusted seed source like the ones listed above, and always wrap your cash in paper so no one can see there’s cash inside through the envelope! It’s probably a good idea to start with a relatively small order, so you can test the system and the company before sending a large amount of cash through the mail! Remember, once it’s lost, it’s lost!

Get your weed seeds! This Northern Light weed plant is showing off the great Northern Light genesWhich strain should I buy for my first grow?

There’s lots of great information about strains online, and via the Seed Finder link above.

My best suggestion is to do a little research on the strain and breeder, and grow a strain that seems interesting or exciting to you. If you’re still not sure, a great option for first time growers is Northern Light, since this strain is potent, stays short, is easy to grow, quick to harvest, and has a relatively low smell compared to most other strains.

But there are lots of strains that are suitable for first-time growers! What’s most important is to choose a strain that intrigues you, that way you’ll be unbelievably excited when you receive your seeds!

What’s the Best Marijuana Seed Bank?

Although there is no “best cannabis seed bank” there are many companies that have been used by hundreds of real cannabis growers like you and proven to be great and consistent sources of marijuana seeds.

The two creators of this site (Sirius and Nebula) live in the US and we rely exclusively on ordering seeds overseas for our own grows. We aren’t commercial farmers. We put together this list of popular seed sources including the ones we order from the most and why. Each of these marijuana seedbanks, seed vendors, and breeders have been put on this list based on their reliability, stealth, strain choice and how long they’ve been in the business. However, there are many other seedbanks and many of them are great! We just don’t personally have experience with them and only want to recommend what we know.

Get the best results by starting with seeds from a trustworthy seed source!

Example of several healthy cannabis seedlings - get the best genetics by starting with marijuana seeds from a trusty breeder!

Safety Precautions For Buying Marijuana Seeds Online

If you’ve never done anything like this before, I bet your heart is racing at the idea of ordering something like cannabis seeds online. Federal law prohibits people from growing cannabis and you are worried. That’s good! It’s good to be careful, especially when it comes to growing weed! But…

Due to current customs laws in America, if your seed package from overseas gets caught in the mail, you don’t get put on a list.

In the USA, ordering the best pot seeds online is just a click away!

First of all, I’m talking from not just my own experience (I’ve been ordering cannabis seeds online regularly since 2008) but also the experience of the thousands of growers from the USA who write in to GrowWeedEasy.com or talk about growing in the forum. For myself and for other growers, on the occasions where my seeds have been caught by customs in the mail, the U.S. customs agents simply toss the seeds and send you the rest of your package with an official looking letter explaining that your seeds were confiscated.

You can get feminized cannabis seeds delivered anywhere in the world, including the USAIf that happens you, the next step is to contact the seed bank so they’ll send you a replacement package. Unless otherwise stated, all reputable seed banks will replace your seeds if they somehow get lost in the mail, and no one gives it a second thought. That’s how routine it is!

Many, many growers order seeds online every day, and to this day there has never been a report of someone in the USA getting in legal trouble for simply ordering cannabis seeds online. You can check me on that! In fact, American citizens have been ordering seeds overseas via mail order from Amsterdam since at least the 1970s, and even though it’s been over 40 years there hasn’t been a case of an American getting in legal trouble simply for ordering cannabis seeds online through the mail!

An American citizen won’t get in legal trouble for ordering cannabis seeds online from outside the country

This closeup shows feminized cannabis seeds that I ordered online from Amsterdam

However, because of the (backwards) way U.S. federal laws work surrounding cannabis, you can get in a lot of legal trouble for selling or sending seeds from one place to another within the USA, even between legal states! That’s why you never see long-term cannabis seed banks located in the U.S.

When marijuana seeds get caught by customs agents during shipping, the seeds get tossed and that’s it. It doesn’t matter what state you’re in, or your local laws. That is simply the way our laws about customs work. On the flip side, a U.S. sender can get in a lot of trouble by sending seeds from one place to the other within the U.S. (though this is still very, very rare).

Sometimes it’s better to hear it from other people, so I encourage you to join our grow forum and ask questions and hear answers from real people. This is a very personal decision, and you need to listen to your instincts, but I believe the evidence speaks for itself!

Cannabis seeds are often dark brown with stripes. However, the stripes are actually the result of a coating. If you rub the coating off, you will have a more pale, tan-colored seed underneath. Some seeds never really grow a good coating. It’s a good sign if a coating is there just because it means the seeds weren’t handled too much, but some of my best plants have come from tan seeds. These are all viable cannabis seeds, displaying the variation of colors you might run into.

Several Sour Diesel Cannabis Seeds = although they are different colors, these are all viable cannabis seeds.

A big tip for ordering cannabis seeds online

Be Patient! In my experience ordering cannabis seeds from overseas, they generally arrive at my house in the US about 1-4 weeks after my initial order. It’s normally pretty quick, but it can take longer. I had a package go missing once, and they sent another. I got the replacement, and then a week later the original one showed up, a full 6 weeks after it was shipped!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if it’s only been a few weeks, try to be patient and not worry because packages can get caught up. But if it’s been more than 2 or 3 weeks definitely contact the seed bank with any questions! They have experience with this and will be able to help you!

So what should you be worried about when it comes to security? Telling People!

When it comes to ordering seeds online, you have a lot of wiggle room as far as law enforcement is concerned if you live in the US or the UK. In these countries ordering seeds online is really a non-priority and the government is going to leave you alone about it. While they will go after growers they will not go after people just for ordering seeds.

Don

So that’s a really important distinction you need to remember. When it comes to growing security, seeds by themselves may be technically illegal but you will never get in trouble for merely possessing seeds. It’s not worth anyone’s time to go after you for that.

What you need to be worried about is making sure no one knows you’re actually growing cannabis, that you currently have live cannabis plants in your house. That is what the government and law enforcement (as well as thieves) actually care about. They don’t want to knock down the door of anyone who may have ordered seeds, and instead put their resources into people who have been reported to be growing live plants.

Telling someone about your plants is hands-down the number one reason growers get caught – they told someone, whether it was a friend, a stranger, or even a family member, and that person (often meaning the best) told someone else, who told the wrong person…

How to Really Not Get Caught…

Don’t tell your friends that you’re growing! This may seem like it’s common sense, but this is the number one most common reason cannabis growers get caught, because they told a friend who told a friend who told the wrong person. Hundreds of seeds get confiscated every day, but no one gets in legal trouble.

Don’t worry about seeds getting caught in the mail; worry about a friend or family member finding out! No matter how much you trust someone, you can never trust someone else as closely as yourself. Never ever tell anyone you grow your own weed, for any reason. It’s tempting to brag about your awesome growing skills and top-shelf bud, but you never want to even hint that you know how to grow to anyone! If other people are talking about growing marijuana, bite your lip and act dumb!

Remember: If you can’t trust yourself not to tell anyone, how can you trust them not to tell anyone else?

Although it’s important to keep your marijuana grow hidden, keeping it a secret is even more important!

Example of a stealthy marijuana grow room hidden behind a secret door (the purple light is from the LED grow lights)

If you have done your research and are now considering purchasing cannabis seeds online, then you may be surprised to learn that it is actually very reliable and safe to buy your marijuana seeds online from a reputable seed bank. Some seed banks will even take payments from Paypal if you contact them first!

Healthy growing marijuana seedlings

Have you decided you want to see a marijuana leaf growing in real life? Have you dreamed of seeing a real live marijuana plant growing in your home?

Ordering weed seeds online from a seed bank will allow you to purchase feminized seeds (all-female marijuana seeds) and will also let you pick the exact strain to match your size and time requirements.

Having only female weed seeds is a huge advantage for the small grower who won’t be breeding new strains and may have limited space and doesn’t want to have to waste time and energy on throwing away half their cannabis plants at the flowering stage because they ended up being male cannabis plants.

Easy access to buy incredibly potent cannabis strains is another great reason many growers choose to buy weed seeds online.

Grow your own pretty top-shelf buds with quality genetics

Common Question: Where do I buy marijuana seeds in the USA?

You have only a few real options:

  • Use random bagseed that you find
  • Know someone who will sell, trade or give you seeds/clones
  • Buy seeds of specific marijuana strains online

Marijuana seeds grow into beautiful marijuana seedlings like this

It’s surprisingly easy to buy marijuana seeds online at a cannabis seed bank, marijuana breeder, or other vendor

Before anyone can start growing marijuana they have to first get their hands on marijuana seeds or clones.

Marijuana seeds are often the easiest for new growers to start with because, unlike marijuana clones, they don’t require access to someone who is already growing marijuana plants. When you see your first tiny little weed leaf you will know it was all worth it!

USA Residents Please Note:
For USA residents, international orders will not go through if you try to use a pre-paid debit or credit card. This used to be a way to add security to your order (purchase a pre-paid card in cash, then use that to make your online order) but these cards no longer work with any international order due to a change in laws that occured in 2012. However, there are lots of safe options to get marijuana seeds in the USA.

If you’re trying to figure out which cannabis seed banks deliver to the USA or another specific part of the world, you can find those answers in the list on this page!

The tips and advice in this article about buying marijuana seeds online are only meant to be used by those who can legally buy marijuana seeds and grow marijuana according to all applicable laws. We are not lawyers and are not able to provide any sort of legal advice. We do not in any way recommend that you use this information to buy pot seeds if it is not legal for you to do so. Please do not proceed to use any of this seed sales information if you will commit a crime by following the steps outlined in this article, even if you are growing for pain relief, medical research, or another reasonable purpose.

GWE's regularly updated list shares the best and most reliable marijuana seed banks that ship worldwide. Plus USA residents: learn how to safely order cannabis seeds online!

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white rhino seeds for sale

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White Rhino

White Rhino

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White Rhino from Green House Seeds is a mostly Indica, feminised cannabis strain created by GHS to please all Indica lovers.

It comes from the cross between Afghani, Brazilian and Indian genetics, growing compact and with very short internodal distance. It develops bushy structure, thus being perfect for the SCROG technique, although it also performs well in SOG setups.

This variety needs around 9 weeks of bloom to ripe, yielding up to 900gr/m2. Outdoors, it is harvested by early October in the northern hemisphere, yielding up to 1200gr/m2 with good conditions.

The effect is intense and highly medicinal, especially to treat insomnia and sleep disorders. The flavour is sweet and fruity, very long lasting.

Buy White Rhino (Green House seeds) at Alchimia Grow Shop

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Bleeding Heart Seeds

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Bleeding heart seeds sprout easily but are sometimes difficult to source. Sometimes called lyre flower for the shape of their petals, the bleeding heart (Dicentra spectablis or Lamprocapnos spectabilis) is widely grown throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 9 for its graceful sprays of pink or white flowers. The flowers add subtle color to shady outdoor areas in summer before fading and giving way to long, pea-like seed pods in late summer or early autumn.

Bleeding heart plants grow best from divisions, but they will also grow from seeds. However, the seeds need a lengthy period of pretreatment to break their dormancy and prompt germination.

Gathering Bleeding Heart Seeds

Bleeding heart flower plants bloom in late spring and early summer, producing 1- to 2-inch-long, heart-shaped flowers along delicate, dropping branches. The flowers fade and are replaced by slender green seed pods in late summer, and each pod contains shiny black seeds. Bleeding heart seeds are ready to gather when the pods swell and look like pea pods. Wear gloves when gathering the seeds because all parts of the bleeding heart plant contain poisonous alkaloids, warns North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service.

Bleeding heart seeds germinate most reliably when sown fresh, so don’t wait too long after gathering the seeds to sow them. Break open the pods and pop out the seeds. Each seed has a fleshy white structure on the outside that doesn’t need to be removed and will not inhibit germination. Sheffield’s Seed Company recommends soaking bleeding heart seeds for 12 hours to aid germination.

Starting Bleeding Heart Seeds

Bleeding heart seeds need periods of warm and cold stratification to break their dormancy. The plants have incredibly delicate roots and do not transplant well, so it is best to sow the seeds in a pot of soil where they will grow for one or two seasons rather than starting them in small pots and attempting to transplant them later. Nursery pots with several drainage holes at the base and a volume of 1 gallon work well for starting bleeding heart seeds.

Fill a 1-gallon pot with very moist seed-starting compost to within 1 inch of the top. Sow two or three bleeding heart seeds per pot at a depth of 1/8 inch. Put the pots outdoors in a very warm location, or indoors on a propagation mat set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 days to warm-stratify. Keep the soil moist during the stratification process. After 30 days, move the pots to a cold location, such as inside a refrigerator, for 60 days.

Bleeding heart seeds germinate at very cool temperatures, ranging from 40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the pots in bright, indirect light and keep the compost moist. According to Texas A&M Department of Horticulture, bleeding heart seeds germinate in three to four weeks when kept at temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove all but the most vigorous seedling.

Growing Bleeding Heart Seedlings

Bleeding heart plants grow best in part shade with moist, fast-draining and fertile soil, according to Cornell University Home Gardening. Position the pots outdoors under cool, light shade with shelter from drying wind and direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but let the surface dry out between waterings to prevent fungus. Feed the plants with a little fish emulsion diluted in water in early spring to encourage dense growth. Water well after feeding to push the nutrients deep into the soil.

Growing bleeding hearts indoors or in a cool greenhouse during the winter months may be necessary in some colder climates, but they will overwinter outdoors with no trouble in milder areas or in sheltered locations in the garden. Bleeding hearts transplant best after they die back and go dormant in late summer or early autumn. Transplant the plants into a permanent bed or container in the autumn of their second or third year.

Bleeding Heart Seeds. Bleeding heart (Dicentra spp.) grows well in lightly shaded areas in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness plant zones 3 though 9 and makes an excellent perennial for rock or wildflower gardens. Plants bear small, pendant flowers in shades of pink, yellow, rose and white. Common bleeding heart …

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Free cannabis seeds

Enter your email address below for free seed alerts

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Free cannabis seed alerts FAQ:

Chris Cannabis

Free Seed Alerts admin Chris

How often do I get and send out free seed alerts?

Whenever a good deal comes in I send out the alert right away so you don’t miss out. On average I’d guess that would be 1 or 2 a month. Some months I get and send out more. Some months nothing worth alerting you for comes across my desk. I only send out alerts for good deals. Deals that are worth my time to send and your time to read.

Is it safe to be on this list?

The short answer is yes. This is a closed and exclusive list. Your email address is shared with no one. If you unsubscribe you are gone. Totally gone. If you want back on the list you will have to re-subscribe because I won’t have your address anymore.

So from my side your information is safe and secure.

Get a good email address

However, having said that, a lot of common email providers do spy on you. If you want to be off the surveillance radar, use a private encrypted email service. You can get an account for free. Two private email providers I use are Tutanota and Protonmail.

Also make sure you use an email that you check fairly often because free seed deals usually only last for a couple of days, a week at the most. If you are late seeing the alert you will miss out. Nothing I can do about that.

Are the seeds really free?

Yes, they are really free. This is not some spamy click-bait list.

However, to get free cannabis seeds you will be required to take some action like make a small purchase, or enter a competition, or do a review, or whatever.

If you are looking for marijuana seed banks to send you free seed simply by giving an address to send them to, that ain’t ever going to happen. Why not? Because any seed bank that sent out seeds for free to anybody who wanted them would be out of seeds in less than 24 hours and be left with a big shipping bill to pay!

Most free seed deals work something like this – buy 10 seeds and get an extra 10 seeds for free. There are variations. Sometimes it can be a picture competition, or a review request. But regardless, it is always a give and take situation.

Here’s an example of my latest experience of a free seed deal

The other day I took advantage of a Seedsman offer and ordered 10 Sensi Seeds for a very god price. I got back 26 seeds in total:

  • 10 Sensi Seeds Early Pearl (which I ordered and paid for with Bitcoin getting a 20% discount on an already low price)
  • 3 Auto Kush seeds for free
  • 3 White Widow feminized seeds for free
  • 3 Alaskan Purple feminised seeds for free
  • 2 Black Domina feminized seeds for free
  • 2 Super Skunk feminized seeds for free
  • 2 Orange Barb feminized for free
  • 1 “Lucky Dip” seed for free

Free cannabis seeds are available from several quality seedbanks, if you know where to look. Check out our review of the best free marijuana seed deals.

Seedsman Promotions

Here at Seedsman we are delighted to offer you the best promotional discounts, free seeds and competitions with great prizes. For exclusive deals and promotions please sign up to our newsletter, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr.

*Please note that Promotions and Discounts can not be used in conjunction with one another – in other words, you can not use more than one promotion/discount on your order at any time.

Pay By Bitcoin
Click to see how to get 25% + Get Up To 4 Free Seeds

Paying by Bitcoin on Seedsman.com is the safest and most rewarding way to pay on our website. Why not take a look at our brand new tutorial on how to pay by Bitcoin now.

Get 15% Off Your First Bitcoin Order

Available for the first Bitcoin order you place after this promotion starts.

Get 15%-25% Off Every Order

Get 15% off every single subsequent Bitcoin order you place.
Get a further 10% off when you spend €200+ & pay by Bitcoin.

Get Up To 4 Bonus Free Seeds

Get at least 4 free seeds when you spend €50 or more & Pay by Bitcoin.

Pay By Visa/MasterCard Get $10

Unlike most online Cannabis Seeds businesses, you can buy Bitcoin with Credit/Debit card from the biggest companies like Visa & MasterCard.
Using Bitcoin Made Easys recommended exchange, you can receive a further $10 worth of free Bitcoin if you spend more than $100 (make sure you use the sign up link found on their website).

Payment Bundle – Get 4 Lucky Dip Seeds – 2 Strains x 2 Seeds

Love quality genetics from top reviewed breeders? We are currently giving away a lucky dip of 2 strains x 2 seeds to everyone who spends over €50 and pays by Bitcoin. In addition to this, you will receive the free seeds available with every other promotion. This means you could get up to 7 free seeds when you spend €50 and up to 10 free seeds when you spend €100!

All promotions are available on online orders only, while stocks last. If a free seed becomes unavailable Seedsman reserve the right to substitute this seed for a similar seed of the same variety.

Free Seeds With Every Order
Click to your choice of freebies when you spend €30+

Buy any cannabis seeds and get up to 6 free seeds in our special Seedsman Freebies Promotion!

You can select either a regular, feminized or autofem set of freebies in your cart. The more you spend, the more free seeds you get.

This promotion will run until stocks last – should we run out of stock of a free seed you will be given a similar seed chosen by us.

These freebies will be automatically added to your basket, you can find out how to change your freebies below.

To change your freebie just log into your account, add products to your cart (you need to spend €30+ or €60+) you can then scroll down to the “Promotional Products” area where you can then use the dropdown to change your bundle.

Free cannabis seeds offers, promotions and competitions at Seedsman. New offers every month. Check it out!

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how to plant marijuana seeds after germination

How to germinate cannabis seeds

Germination is the process in which a new plant begins to grow from a seed. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your cannabis garden.

Cannabis seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.

When acquiring seeds, you want to make sure they are matured and that they appear dark brown with lighter accents and a hard feel. You don’t want a seed that feels fresh and looks green, which indicates that the seed hasn’t reached full maturity.

Self-isolating? Order cannabis online with Leafly Pickup or Delivery

Once you have your cannabis seeds, make sure you have the space necessary to allow your plants to grow and be healthy. Don’t pop seeds when you are unsure of your grow space, time availability, or intention with your garden.

Check out these additional resources for more info on cannabis seeds:

What’s the best way to germinate cannabis seeds?

Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. Because of this, there are many methods to germinate your seeds. The most common and simplest method involves the use of paper towels saturated in water.

For this method you will need:

  • Two clean plates
  • Paper towels
  • Seeds

Step 1:

Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The sheets should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.

Step 2:

Take two of the paper towels and place them on a plate. Then, place the cannabis seeds at least an inch apart from each other and cover them with the remaining two sheets of water-soaked paper towels.

Step 3:

To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds (like a dome).

Step 4:

Make sure the area they’re kept in is warm, somewhere between 70-90°F.

After these steps have been completed, it’s time to wait. You can check the paper towels to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they seem to be losing their moisture, you can apply more water to keep the seeds happy.

Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take several days. You know a seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears.

This is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination. It’s important to keep this area sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as the seed begins to split.

Transplanting germinated cannabis seeds

Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium. Small 2-inch pots are a good place to start.

Fill the pots with loose, airy potting soil and poke a hole in the middle about a quarter-inch down using a pen or pencil.

To transfer the seed, use a pair of tweezers to gently pick it up, then drop the seed in the hole with the taproot facing down. Lightly cover it with soil.

Next, you’ll need to water the soil. Initially, use a spray bottle to provide moisture without over-saturating the soil. You want to give the seed water, but over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.

Pay attention to the temperature and the moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy, and within a week or so you should see a seedling begin to grow from the soil.

Germinating seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.

This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones and which to breed with other strong plants to create a seed bank of your own.

Follow these simple steps on the best way to properly germinate your cannabis seeds, and find out how to transplant the seeds to soil after germination.

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