How To Germinate Weed Seeds For Hydroponics

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Since hydroponics systems aren't as forgiving as soil, it’s best to start with cannabis strains that have solid genetics. Follow these steps to start weed seeds for hydroponics and get your plants off to a healthy start. Germinate Marijuana Seeds We kind of view this as unnecessary, but have added it in because many people swear by it. The theory is that by weakening the tough hull, it makes it easier for the

The best cannabis seeds for hydroponics growing

However, it’s only recently that more cannabis growers are switching from soil to hydroponics setups. While these soilless methods aren’t super forgiving, they have the potential to produce bigger yields in a shorter time.

Since hydroponics requires a steeper learning curve, new cultivators must carefully consider which strain to grow before experimenting with this growing method. Starting with the right hybrid could save you a lot of headaches as you’re growing your herbs hydroponically.

What are the best cannabis seeds for hydroponics?

Since hydroponics systems aren’t as forgiving as soil, it’s best to start with strains that have solid genetics. While there’s no particular hybrid that’s perfect for hydroponics, beginner-friendly cultivars tend to work well in these units.

In general, when shopping for hydroponics cannabis seeds, look for strains that have a relatively low difficulty. This simple strategy should increase your odds of success.

Northern Lights

  • Often categorized as indica
  • Height: 3.5 – 5 feet
  • Time: 8 – 9 weeks

Blue Dream

  • Often categorized as hybrid
  • Height: 6.5 – 8 feet
  • Time: 8 – 9 weeks

White Widow Autoflower

  • Often categorized as hybrid
  • Height: ~ 2 feet
  • Time: 8 – 9 weeks

Gorilla Glue #4

  • Often categorized as hybrid
  • Height: 5 – 6 feet
  • Time: 9 weeks

Here’s a more in-depth look at the best cannabis seeds for hydroponics and what makes them unique.

Northern Lights

  • Autoflower: No
  • Often categorized as indica
  • Feminized
  • THC: 22%
  • CBG: 1%
  • Height: 3.5 – 5 feet
  • Time: 8 – 9 weeks
  • Caryophyllene, humulene , limonene, terpinolene

Northern Lights is every insomniac’s favorite indica. Not only is this earthy strain celebrated amongst medical cannabis patients, it’s an excellent choice for new cultivators.

Since Northern Lights is considered a full indica variety, it’s quite sturdy and doesn’t grow super tall. Within about 8 – 9 weeks, you should be ready to harvest these dense nugs from your hydroponic unit.

Blue Dream

  • Autoflower: No
  • Often categorized as hybrid
  • Feminized
  • THC: 19.2%
  • CBD: 0.1%
  • Height: 6.5 – 8 feet
  • Time: 8 – 9 weeks
  • Terpenes: Myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, and alpha-pinene

Blue Dream isn’t just a “dream” to toke; it’s pretty easy to cultivate. Indeed, a significant reason this Haze hybrid spread so rapidly has to do with its strong genetics.

As long as you’re comfortable with basic cannabis cultivation, it’s not too challenging to grow Blue Dream in a hydroponics unit. After about 8 – 9 weeks of cultivation, you’ll be rewarded with sweet, colorful nugs that have incredibly well-balanced effects.

The only downside of growing Blue Dream indoors is that it can get pretty tall. Ideally, you should know training techniques like LST to keep Blue Dream’s buds in check.

White Widow Autoflower

  • Autoflower: Yes
  • Often categorized as hybrid
  • Feminized
  • THC: 19%
  • CBD: ≤ 1%
  • Height: ~ 2 feet
  • Time: 8 – 9 weeks
  • Terpenes: Limonene, terpinolene, and beta-pinene

The original White Widow cultivar isn’t too tricky to grow, but using the autoflowering variety in a hydroponics unit is even easier. Since these strains flower without a change in light schedule, they don’t require as much skill as regular cannabis strains.

If you’re new to hydroponics, it’s best to go with well-reviewed auto strains like White Widow. Sure, the final result may not be as intense as the original, but this White Widow has plenty of pungency and head buzz effects. Plus, there’s a greater chance Auto White Widow will absorb a few minor mistakes.

Gorilla Glue #4

  • Autoflower: No
  • Often categorized as hybrid
  • Feminized
  • THC: 21.3%
  • CBG: 0.5%
  • Height: 5 – 6 feet
  • Time: 9 weeks
  • Terpenes: Beta-caryophyllene, limonene, and myrcene

Gorilla Glue #4 is one of a few award-winning strains that seem to perform better in hydroponics units. Arguably, this mainly has to do with GG4’s higher-than-average watering requirements.

Since hydroponics plants have direct access to water, there’s less risk of under or overwatering this flower. This easier access to water may also reduce GG4’s heightened risk for hermaphroditism.

Anyone who loves sedative indica hybrids with diesel and chocolate aromatics should add GG4 to their hydroponics plan.

What is growing marijuana in hydroponics?

The term hydroponic refers to cultivating plants without soil and literally means “water-working” coming from the Greek words “hydro” meaning water and “ponos” meaning labor. 3

There are many different hydroponics setups on the market, but none rely on soil as a grow medium. Instead, these systems use water, air bubbles, and store-bought nutrients to supply the cannabis plant’s roots with everything they need.

Some hydroponics systems also use pH-corrected inert mediums to stabilize roots. A few of the most commonly used inert products include clay pebbles, coco coir, and Rockwool. 4

Since the roots in hydroponics systems are exposed, they can absorb nutrients faster. On the positive side, this means plants will grow more quickly as they don’t have soil as a buffer. However, this lack of “buffer space” means there’s less room for error. 5

Here’s an overview of the most popular hydroponics systems for cannabis:

  • Deep water culture: plant roots touch stagnant water in a bucket with an airstone for oxygen.
  • Ebb and flow: water and nutrients from a reservoir push through containers with cannabis at pre-set intervals.
  • Drip irrigation: nutrient-rich water “drips” into cannabis plants’ roots, which are suspended in containers with inert materials.
  • Aeroponics: cannabis strains sit in chambers where they get sprayed with nutrient-rich mist at regular intervals.
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How do you grow cannabis hydroponically?

Growing cannabis hydroponically is similar to using soil, but it requires more diligence on the part of the grower.

No matter which hydroponic system you use, it won’t hide mistakes as well as soil. Hydroponics growers have to be extra careful about factors like pH level, temperature, and nutrient feeding to ensure their girls grow nice and healthy. 6

Generally, hydroponics growers need to maintain a slightly acidic pH in the water at around 5.5 – 5.8. It’s also imperative for ambient temperature to remain between 73° F – 83° F and water temp to be at ~ 68° F. 7

Speaking of water, you’ll need to monitor the water for signs of algae. This is especially true if you’re using Deep Water Culture, since water in this system doesn’t constantly circulate. 8

When using hydroponics, it’s important to invest in macro and micronutrients for your flowers. Since plants can’t absorb as many nutrients from plain water, you’re going to have to add more to your reservoir at regular intervals.

Just be sure to avoid the temptation to overfeed your plants. Yes, hydroponics units need more nutrients, but it’s still better to underfeed rather than risk “nutrient burn.”

Do you need special cannabis seeds for hydroponics?

Some strains may perform better in hydroponics units, but there aren’t “special seeds” for hydroponics. You could grow any cannabis strain you like in any hydroponics setup.

The key determinant for success is your comfort in growing a chosen cannabis strain. If you have a lot of experience with a particular hybrid, chances are you’ll have an easier time adjusting to a new hydroponics system.

Should you grow cannabis with soil or hydroponics?

There are endless debates over the benefits and drawbacks of soil versus hydroponics. However, most cultivators agree that hydroponics has a higher learning curve. So, if you’re new to cultivating cannabis, it’s probably best to master your favorite strains in soil before dabbling with hydroponics.

While hydroponics usually rewards growers with faster and bigger yields, they require more attention to detail. Also, hydroponics are traditionally more expensive to maintain versus a DIY soil grow.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t go straight into hydroponics if you want to take advantage of faster growing times. Just be sure to constantly monitor your grow room’s specs for a successful experience.

Is it worth the trouble to grow hydroponics cannabis seeds?

Hydroponics isn’t as simple as soil growing, but it’s the better option for indoor growers who want a greater ROI. Also, “control freak” cultivators often prefer adjusting variables like nutrients in hydroponics versus soil. If you’re interested in getting the biggest cannabis yields, it pays to learn more about hydroponics growing. While you could still get excellent yields with soil, hydroponics will always reward growers with the fastest and fattest flowers.

How to Start Weed Seeds for Hydroponics

Now that it’s legal to grow your own weed in dozens of states, many people are moving to hydroponics for their seed growth.

There are various benefits to this form of seed germination, but the process has to be done correctly in order to get your cannabis seedlings to form healthily. If you put the time and effort in at the beginning, you’ll create a hydroponic system that does most of the work for you later.

Creating Cannabis Plants From a Hydroponic System

Sure, it’s easier to buy an already germinated seed rather than taking the time to do it yourself.

But the costs add up quickly, whereas germinating cannabis seeds hydroponically yourself gives you a solid return on your investment.

Rather than buying sprouted seeds and adding them to your water system, you can have a successful germination rate. This process also takes away all the disadvantages of the seeds you get in the store.

Why You Need Hydroponics in Your Life if You Grow Cannabis

If you don’t want your cannabis seeds limited to what other people sell, growing seeds is the way to go.

Plus, you can avoid the concern of picking up diseases from store-bought marijuana seeds and spreading them to your young plants.

Once you get the hang of how to germinate cannabis seeds and tend to your hydroponic system, you’ll never want to grow seeds through any other growing medium.

Turning Quality Seeds Into Cannabis Plants

Because the root system in hydroponics never connects to the soil, any seeds sprouted stay safely floating until you’re ready to use your marijuana plants.

So, any sprouts emerging from your system stay healthy and untraumatized.

How do you take a few seeds to germinate, design a hydroponic system, and start growing marijuana yourself?

Here’s all you need to know about germinating cannabis seeds for the maximum yield possible.

Starting Your Hydroponic System

Ready to see how good it feels to watch your cannabis seeds germinate into a young plant?

Sprouting seeds is a simple way to increase your healthy plant yield. You end up with multiple cannabis plants rather than one healthy seed bought from a store.

To ensure you germinate seeds that can successfully grow into a cannabis plant, you need a hydroponic system.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, but the costs at the start will be more expensive than buying a sprouted seed.

Remember, though, that getting a few seeds over time will end up costing more than investing in and creating your own method of germinating seeds at home.

What Every Cannabis Seed System Needs

In a cannabis plant’s life, there are four main components.

As long as you learn these factors and use them in an organized manner, you won’t have to add too much more equipment or do a lot of work after the initial setup.

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Germinated seeds in hydroponics don’t need soil growers like your average growing plants do when you use potting soil.

Instead, they just require the essentials: oxygen, water, a light source, and heat. As you start seeds in the system, the proper lighting and the right temperature are crucial.

A Simple Beginning that Anyone Can Do

Let’s begin the process of designing your first greenhouse hydroponic system starting small.

You’ll need a grow tray, some starter cubes, and a humidity dome to monitor the temperature and moisture levels.

Starter cubes aren’t necessary, but they do make a massive difference. They have the ideal nutrient solution, like peat pellets, to help those first seeds sprout.

Once the young seedling reaches the stage where it’s able to be transferred, you can easily move the planted cubes without disrupting the roots.

This helps prevent root rot from excess water and gives you the maximum yield possible.

Adjusting the Temperature

Within the dome, your grow tray helps your plants grow from feminized seeds into healthy cannabis plants ready for the flowering stage.

For your role, you have to monitor the temperature and humidity. If you see water dripping from the side of the starter cube or dome, there’s too much moisture.

A heating mat under the grow tray helps avoid cold temperatures messing with the starter cubes and the seedlings.

Because even warm water turns cold, this heating mat keeps the grow tray at the ideal temperature to nestle the seeds inside and encourage them to grow.

Finding the Right Light Source

When it comes to adding lighting in the room, you don’t necessarily need more light. You need something that the germinating seeds grow toward.

In the case of cannabis plants, many experts recommend a hydroponic LED grow light system.

Cannabis is a green plant, so it must have the ideal environment to encourage photosynthesis. Seeds sprout naturally when the lighting initiates this process.

Then, the plants capture the light and use it to change the water and the given nutrient solution into oxygen and the compounds you desire.

These little seedlings need intense light, which is found in an LED grow lighting system.

Enough light at the right intensity will ensure you get the maximum yield possible from younger and older seeds.

Sprouting Your Seeds

Now that your environment is set up, it’s time to start the process of germination!

First, take your starter cubes and let them soak in clean tap water. In an hour or so, take two or three seeds and add them to the cube.

You should use enough to ensure at least one germinates, but not so many that if they all do, they’ll be overcrowded. As they begin to grow, any plants that look like they aren’t as healthy as the others can be thinned out.

Move the Starter Cubes

Next, take your grow tray and add an inch of half-strength nutrient solution.

Place the lighting source and mat where they fit best, then add the dome to keep the temperature and moisture at optimal levels.

Add your starter cubes into the tray, add a little water (not too much, you want to avoid root rot), and that’s it!

It will take a few days for seeds to germinate, but you’ll see whether your system is working or not by the fourth day.

Get Ready to Transport!

The seeds are germinating, and you can see roots daintily hanging out of the cube’s bottom. It’s the moment you’ve anticipated since you started your basic hydroponic system.

It’s time to transplant your young plant!

Chances are, it’s only been a month or less, but it can feel like forever as you’re checking and double-checking the plant’s health.

Now, it’s the real thing, and you’re moving your seedling into your actual hydroponic area.

This is the bigger tank or pond where you’re going to hold your nutrient solution and let your plants thrive until you’re ready to cultivate them.

Gently Move the Cube

Once you have a place for the cube, use the paper towel method to hold under the roots as you gently pull it from its grow tray.

There isn’t anything that connects the roots to a soil system, so a wet paper towel is all you need.

The roots are going to need a little time to get used to their new environment.

While they try to absorb the system’s nutrients, you can add a little water to the top or use those wet paper towels to cover the cube.

As the paper towel dries out, you know it’s time to add a little more moisture. Within a day or two, your new seedlings should be enjoying their hydro system without help, and you can drop the paper towels.

Enjoy Your Hard Work

You’ve taken your cannabis from small, non-germinated seeds to a young, healthy, green plant. From there, you guided it and monitored its growth as it flowered.

Now, it’s time to cultivate the good parts and turn the leftover cuttings into more cannabis seeds.

The return on your investment starts now. Rather than heading back to the store to find more cannabis seeds to germinate, you have everything you need to repeat the process.

Your grow tray is ready to house some more starter cubes. Your light source is still intensely shooting out waves of photosynthesis-inducing light, and your humidity dome is set at the ideal temperature and moisture.

Go ahead and take those new seedlings from the plant you nurtured and turn them into new young plants. You’ll never have to buy your cannabis stash again!

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Germinate Marijuana Seeds

We kind of view this as unnecessary, but have added it in because many people swear by it. The theory is that by weakening the tough hull, it makes it easier for the tender seed to emerge. Some gardeners use a nail file to put a small nick in the marijuana seed; others use sandpaper to thin and scratch the hull.

Peat pellets or Jiffy pots and Rapid rooters

These can be found at most garden centers in home improvement or large department stores such as Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc. These are thin wafers filled with peat (Jiffy Pots) or composted bark (Rapid Rooter) and a fabric outer layer that plump up considerable when wet and only cost about 10 cents apiece when bought in bulk though most are sold with a plastic humidity dome. From experience, these are the most foolproof method we have yet to use and have a high success rate. Simply wet the wafer and after it expands, push the marijuana seed in the center just until it is no longer visible. Then place the pot in the humidity dome and wait. Several days after the sprout appears, put the peat pot in the medium of your choice. Success can be high with this method. Rockwool cubes used for germination Rockwool is made out of spun melted rock or mineral fibers. They hold moisture quite easily and may be used in the same manner as peat pellets. Because they are slower to dry out, a humidity dome is usually not required. Starting the seed off in Rockwool is an excellent method of germinating marijuana seeds especially if you are going to use hydroponics for growing. One of the best characteristics of Rockwool is it contains a lot of air and is generally a nice start to your seeds life. Try and use 1 inch X 1 inch cubes, soak the cubes with water then squeeze a little excess water out, place the seeds (sideways) into a small hole in the top, pinch the hole together or cover with more Rockwool, then place the Rockwool cubes in a tray container. You can fill the container with water later on and the Rockwool will suck it up using capillary action. Try and use good quality spring water, it can be the cheap stuff, or rain but it is better than water from the faucet which might be outside the pH required by marijuana. Place the tray in a warm dark spot to germinate. After a day or so you will see the seeds crack open and the roots take hold in the medium. You can then transplant the entire Rockwool cube over to the main hydroponic system.

How to look after marijuana seedlings

Your marijuana plant will start to grow very quickly after germination. It is very fragile when it is small and sometime growers put a humidity dome over the top of them which protects and keeps them warmer but make sure there are holes drilled into the dome so that some air can make it in. Keep the seedlings away from draughts and use a very diluted nutrient mix when watering. Pot it up to a bigger pot once it has established itself and filled the pot or container you started it in.

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Final notes on marijuana seed germination:

No matter which method you use, the temperature requirement is the same. Optimal is about 75º to 80ºF (24º C to 26.8ºC). Going above 90º F (32.2º C) can damage the seedling. Seedlings may still germinate as low as 65º F (18.3º C), but will take longer. Germinating marijuana seeds is quite easy, so why do people struggle so? Too wet, too cool and too much handling are the main culprits. Many growers swear by the use of distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) filtered water. We have just about the hardest tap water in the USA, yet never have any problems. Use purified water if it makes you feel better, but personally we see no need to. If you are or want to be a serious grower, keep different weed strains separate from each other. Be sure to label your seeds with which strain and date before you start germination.

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