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how to grow weed seeds in a cup

Germination Cannabis Seeds

You bought beautiful Premium Pro Seeds from Suzy Seeds and of course, you want to get started. First, you have to germinate the seeds. Below, I will discuss my favorite way how to germinate cannabis seeds extensively, but also suggest other good methods. Suzy Seeds exclusively sells feminized cannabis seeds, so you don’t need to remove male plants, which applies also to autoflower cannabis seeds. It’s good to know that a cannabis seed does not need light to germinate. What is important, though, is a humid environment and an ambient temperature of around 20 °C. In general, there are three ways to germinate cannabis seeds: – In a cup of water – On a damp surface – In soil. My favorite way to germinate the seeds is to put them in a cup of water and then between a damp paper towel. This goes well in 99% of the cases. How long does it take cannabis seeds to germinate in general? Or how do we germinate autoflowering seeds? The time depends on the strain or type of seed, but autoflowering seeds germinate in the same way and time as feminized or regular cannabis seeds. That is why I will more extensively describe this first way.

We recommend not to touch the seeds or the seedlings with your hands. If you do anyways, make sure your hands are clean and if possible use plastic gloves.

Suzy’s favourite germination method

Maintain an ambient temperature between 20 and 25 °C, otherwise, the seeds will not or at least not optimally germinate. Fill a cup with water and put the cannabis seeds in it. Get the seeds out of the water after 12 to 24 hours and spread them on a plate between two layers of damp paper towel. Put the plate in a dark and enclosed place. It’s important to make sure that the paper towel remains damp. I moisten the paper towel every 6 to 12 hours. Do not use too much water. The seeds only need to be damp. Within 48 to 72 hours, the seeds should pop open. But be patient, because it can take longer (6 days at the most). When the root becomes visible (the white sprouts as you can see on the picture above), you need to plant the germinated seeds. If you do not plant them in due time, the root can be damaged.

Suzy’s Tip: Try your germintion method on a couple of seeds (maximum 3). This way, you can test if your method works well. Often a wrong germinating method is used and the seeds don’t germinate. Do you want to germinate your seeds in a different way? Continue reading.

Germinating cannabis seeds in a cup of water

Maintain an ambient temperature of at least 20 °C, otherwise, the seeds will not or at least not optimally germinate. Fill a cup with water and put the cannabis seeds in it. After 3 to 5 days, the seeds should pop open and a tiny root should come out. As soon as the sprout is 2 to 3 mm, you can carefully get the seeds out of the water and plant them in the soil. Planting the germinated seed has to be done with lots of care and attention. Put them 0.5 to 1 cm in the soil with the root down. This way, the root (the white sprout) will more easily grow downwards.

Germinating cannabis seeds on a damp surface

Maintain an ambient temperature of at least 20 °C, otherwise, the seeds will not or at least not optimally germinate. Put the cannabis seeds on a surface that holds moisture, like wadding, paper towel or tissues on a saucer. Moisten the surface well, but avoid making it too wet. The moisture evaporates quickly at room temperature, so check during the period that the seeds will germinate if the surface is still damp enough. You can also cover the seeds with damp wadding or tissues and another saucer on top. Because of the moisture that gets into the seeds, they are activated and start to germinate. As soon as the germ is 2 to 3 mm, you can carefully get the seeds out of the water and plant them in the soil. Put them 0.5 to 1 cm in the soil with the root down. This way, the root will more easily grow downwards.

Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Germinating cannabis seeds in soil/compost

Direct germination of marijuana seeds in the soil is a commonly used method. You don’t have to handle the fragile plant, so it is not disturbed in its growth process. However, the chances that the seeds will germinate are lower than when applying the other methods. When using this method, it is important to use good soil. You can inform yourself about the different types of soil at your local grow shop. Maintain an ambient temperature of at least 20 °C, otherwise, the seeds will not or not optimally germinate. Put the cannabis seed about 1 cm deep in the soil. Cover the hole with some soil and gently press. The soil needs to be light so that the plant can easily grow to the surface. Solid soil is hard to penetrate for the roots and will cause a delay. The seeds will germinate under the ground and will come to the surface after 4 to 10 days.

There are 3 ways to germinate cannabis seeds: In a cup of water, On a damp surface, In soil. My favorite method of germination is to put them in a cup of water.

How to Germinate & Transplant Cannabis Seedlings

Marijuana Seedling Germination & Transplant Guide

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how (and when) to transplant your new cannabis seedlings so they grow as fast as possible!

Did you know that seedlings in solo cups often grow faster than seedlings started in big containers?

Example of many small cannabis seedlings in solo cups - starting in small containers gets seedlings to grow faster at first!

The reason some growers transplant their plants instead of starting them in their final container is that seedlings usually grow faster during the first few weeks of their life if you start them in something small like a solo cup. The growing medium dries out much faster in a smaller container, which means your seedling roots are always getting access to lots of oxygen at all times. It also makes it more difficult to overwater your plants!

If you start seedlings in a solo cup, you should try to transplant to a bigger pot around the time the leaves reach the edges of the cup. This seedling is ready for transfer!

This young cannabis plant in a solo cup is ready to be transplanted - you can tell because the leaves have reached the edges of the cup

If seedlings get too big for their cups before transplanting to a bigger container, you may accidentally limit your plant’s root space. This slows down growth and can cause puzzling deficiencies! So if you do start in small containers it’s important to transplant your seedlings on time to avoid letting them become rootbound!

“Rootbound” seedlings are often droopy and may display odd symptoms that are hard to explain. If seedlings are rootbound you’ll see during the transfer process that the roots have wrapped all the way around the outsides of the container, preventing the plant roots from doing what they need to do. Try to transfer to a bigger pot before this point!

This seedling is droopy no matter what the grower does, and the reason is because it is rootbound and needs to be transplanted to a bigger containerExample of the roots from a rootbound seedling, notice how they

For many growers, it’s simpler to start plants in their final containers. Although your seedlings may grow slightly slower at first, you never have to worry about transplanting them. You also avoid the possibility of shocking them during the transplant process.

That being said, if you want the fastest growth from your seedlings and don’t mind transplanting, starting in small containers like solo cups may be the way to go.

The truth is, your seedlings will thrive whether you start in a big or small container as long as you take good care of them! Neither way is the “best” method; it’s more a matter of personal preference.

How to Transplant Seedlings

1.) Germinate Seeds with Paper Towel Method

Before you can start transplanting, you need to germinate your seeds. I recommend the “paper towel” method for germination because this method is easy and hard to mess up! Learn About Other Ways to Germinate Seeds!

  1. Place your seeds inside a folded wet paper towel, and place it between two paper plates (or regular plates) so that they don’t dry out.
  2. Check on your seeds every 12 hours but try not to disturb them. When they’ve germinated, you’ll see the seeds have cracked and there are little white roots coming out.
  3. They should germinate in 1-4 days, though some seeds can take a week or longer (especially older seeds).
  4. Keep them warm if possible. One thing you can do to get seeds to germinate a little faster is to keep them in a warm place (75-80°F). Some people use a seedling heat mat but in most cases that’s unnecessary.

These seedlings were sprouted using the paper towel method!

Example of several cannabis seedlings sprouting after being germinated using the paper towel method!

Once your seeds have germinated, gently plant seeds in a solo cup about an inch deep, roots down.

Make sure to cut plenty of holes in the bottom of the solo cup first, so water can drain out the bottom easily!

Add your potting mix to the solo cup. Dig a small hole about 1-2″ deep and gently place your sprouted seed, root down, into the hole you made. Lightly fill around and cover with soil. You’ll see a seedling emerge a day or two later!

Example of a happy young cannabis seedling

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the paper towel germination method!

Paper towel method germination cheat sheet!

2.) Allow leaves to grow to edges of the solo cup

Your seedlings will take off in a day or two, and soon it’ll seem like they’re growing more and more each day!

Once your seedlings have grown enough that their leaves have reached the edges of the solo cup, it’s time to transplant to a bigger container!

These seedlings are begging to be transplanted to bigger pots (especially that big one on the bottom!)

This happy little cannabis plants in solo cups are ready to be transplanted to bigger containers ASAP!

Transferring to a bigger container at this stage will prevent your seedling roots from becoming rootbound and “choking” themselves because they get all wrapped around the outside of the soil. The outside circling of the roots prevents the plant from using water and nutrients properly, so you often end up with droopy seedlings and hard-to-explain nutrient deficiencies.

3.) Transplant seedlings to a 1, 2 or 3-gallon pot (then to an even bigger final container if you desire)

Instead of pulling the whole plant out of the container, sometimes you can just cut away the solo cup when you plan on transplanting. This is one of the advantages of starting in disposable cups – it makes transplanting easy and stress-free. You can also gently run a butter knife around the outside to help loosen the soil, turn it upside down and pat out the seedling, soil and all!

Transfer seedling into a new container by digging a hole the size of a solo cup, and gently placing your seedling in the new hole without disturbing the roots at all if possible, like this!

Transplant seedling from a solo cup into a bigger pot

How to Avoid Transplant Shock

The process of transplanting from one container into a bigger one can shock your cannabis plants, especially if you wait too long to transplant.

You don’t want cannabis transplant shock!

This marijuana plant is in transplant shock

You can help avoid causing your cannabis plants stress during transplant by following these principles:

If you follow all these steps, you may notice that your plant doesn’t show any signs of stress at all!

Now you just allow plants to grow!

This vegetating cannabis plant is in a smart pot

4.) Transplant to an even bigger container if desired

Example of a grow room with tons of happy, vegetating cannabis plantsIf your cannabis plants double in height while still in the vegetative stage, you may want to consider transplanting them into an even bigger container for the best results. The final size of your cannabis plant is constrained by the pot size. If you keep your plants in small pots, they simply won’t grow as big as they would in bigger pots.

If you’re trying to keep plants small, small containers can actually be a good thing. But if you want to grow bigger plants, you need to give their roots enough space to “spread out” 🙂

What Size Final Container?

A general guide is to have at least 2 gallons per 12″ of height. This isn’t perfect since plants often grow differently, and some plants are short and wide instead of tall, but this is a good starting rule of thumb.

So if your final (desired) plant size is…

2-3 gallon container

4-6 gallon container

6-8 gallon container

8-10 gallon container

10+ gallon container

Go Bigger If You Need to Spend Time Away From Your Cannabis!

If you plan on being away from your plants for more than a day or two during the grow, it can’t hurt to go up a size or two. The bigger the container, the less often you need to water. So even if you get slightly slower growth in a too-big container, you will definitely be able to spend more time away from your plants without having to water them!

5.) You’re Done!

That’s it. You’re done transplanting your weed plants!

Now you just need to worry about taking care of your plants until you’re ready to start flowering/budding. Remember plants will usually double (or even triple) in size from when you first initiate the flowering stage!

Transplant cannabis plants into their final container

Note: You can skip transplanting if it seems like too much work for you. Just make sure you’re careful not to overwater small plants in too-big containers. Once plants start growing vigorously, you don’t need to worry as much about overwatering. Learn more about common seedling problems.

Should I start in a solo cup or in a bigger pot?

I think it’s a matter of preference. Just as a quick summary: It’s easy to give too much or too little water to a very small seedling in a big pot. With a solo cup, you just soak the grow medium and the roots get a lot of both oxygen and water at all times because the medium dries out quickly. The downside is you have to transplant a seedling as soon as the leaves reach the edges of the cup, or its growth starts slowing down. Also, if you’re not careful you could possibly shock the plant during transplant.

Seedlings started in solo cups take less room in the grow space, and tend to grow a little faster! But if you’re careful about watering plant in a big container, you can get seedlings to grow almost as fast without having to worry about transplanting.

Example of many beautiful marijuana seedlings which have been started in solo cups

I’ve done it both ways and each method will serve you well. In the end, don’t stress too much. Your seedlings will come out fine as long as you pay attention to them 🙂

Learn how to germinate and when to transplant your seedlings so you get the fastest growth. This step-by-step tutorial includes pictures plus hints and tips!