Germinating Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
Written by Matt Mernagh
There’s nothing worse after a successful germination than losing autoflowering marijuana seeds after they’ve been placed in soil. Our cup of water method for germination is near perfect, but it’s the next phase where we are losing seeds.
Normally I’d plant seeds in small plastic disposable beer cups that can be cut-a-way for easier transplanting, but autoflowering seeds start in the same container they’re going to finish flowering in. Do not transplant autoflowering plants!
We have little seeds starting in big containers, which can make it difficult to figure out a watering schedule. Flooding soil may drown your seeds, but too little water and they dry out.
In the first 48 hours I’ll place my hand above the spot where the seed is planted and let the water run off. Otherwise there’s a chance all the water will bury the seed deeper in the soil than originally planted. After that I’ll make water circles around the seedling, which by day 3 should be easily seen.
However, there have been times when I’ve had to go through soil looking for planted seeds. I discovered they’ve been unable to break through the surface soil because it’s too wet or they were pushed too deep down into the soil by water. How deep your seeds are planted or lack of does effect your results.
Another issue is light placement. Growers who use CFL lighting don’t have much to worry about when it comes to the possibility of burning seedlings. You can put these lights very close to seedlings without much problems and you’ll want to. Lights placed too far away can cause seedling stretch. High density discharge lights can pose two problems;
Lights placed too far from seedlings will result in stretching.
Lights placed too close from seedlings will result in burning.
On a 20 hour light schedule it’s important to spend time with autoflowering seedlings every 12 hours. Plenty can happen within that time period because these beans grow very quickly – they almost explode out of the soil.
Note, if nothing has happened after 24 hours – even little green nubs – you may want to consider digging them out and finding them. You may discover curl twisted tap roots that couldn’t break soil. On the other hand too little water and seeds will shrivel up right quick.
By checking on seedlings every 12 hours you’ll be able to prevent problems before they become disasters.
The First 48 Hours
Maintain soil moisture (think wet, but not drowning in water).
Adjust lights to ensure seedlings don’t stretch or become burned.
Expect to see sprouts bursting out the soil within 24 hours.
Watch my video on Autoflowering Seeds In The First 48 Hours below…
Matt Mernagh is the author of Marijuana Smoker’s Guidebook: The Easy Way to Identify and Enjoy Marijuana Strains. On sale now from Amazon, Urban Outfitters or iTunes.
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6 Responses to “Germinating Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds”
Matt ive been carching your videos on utube. Can i email u. And send a link to ur thread. I might have it in my subscriptions
Very good stuff here. My question is can I use a watering cube and level it in the soil? (Pellet) etc…. and with an led light low wattage keep close will work?
I just got some autoflower seeds and I planted one without doing the water cup trick or paper towel trick. Well 3 days later and the seed hasn’t popped yet… Is it a bad seed? Should I take it out of the soil and put it in water or is it too late? I’m new to auto flower strains it’s candy cane if that helps
Don’t take it out just yet – seeds can take up to a week to break the surface when you put them directly in the grow medium. Make sure that the soil stays nice and moist, but not wet, it needs to have some aeration or you risk your little seedlings starting to rot.
Do your recommend starting in water to sprout or directly into dirt?
Germinated 2 ak 48 autos from nirvana in florida dirt on 419. Kept moist and dark. Tap roots on 4/22. In Hyponex potting soil under 60 w 5000k cfl. Day 13 today, 4 inches tall with leaves. 4 60w 6500 k on both. No nutes yet. Wish me luck