How To Germinate Weed Seeds For Hydroponics

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds: 4 Different Methods Plus Expert Tips Hydroponics is an ideal method for germinating seeds! An alternative way of growing plants will be to grow plants hydroponically. Hydroponics is a more hygienic and efficient method compared to soil based growing. It also protects your… Follow these steps to start weed seeds for hydroponics and get your plants off to a healthy start.

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds: 4 Methods Plus Expert Tips

How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Method 1: Starter Cubes & Seedling Plugs (Recommended)

One of the best cannabis germination methods is to use specifically-made starter cubes and seedling plugs. These plugs make cannabis germination easy. You simply place the seed in the cube or plug, add water as directed, and seedlings automatically get the perfect conditions for germination.

Each cube or plug already has a hole specifically for you to place your seed. Just stick your seed into the precut hole and pinch the top closed a bit with your fingers. Don’t worry, you can’t mess this part up As long as the seed makes it in there, you should be good.

This is one of the easiest germination methods, and doesn’t leave a lot of room for error. Cannabis seeds and clones can be expensive, and sometimes we have genetics we just can’t afford to lose. When that’s the case, germinate your cannabis with one of the following recommended options to ensure as close to 100% germination rate as possible.

Which Starter Cubes Work Best for Germinating Cannabis?

Rapid Rooters (Highly Recommended For All Setups)

Rapid Rooters are easy to work with – you just stick your cannabis seed in the Rapid Rooter (pointy side down), keep your seed warm and slightly moist, and let the Rapid Rooter do its magic.

Sprouts emerge and roots appear in just a few days.

Rapid rooter starter cubes are suitable for all growing methods, including hydroponics, coco coir and soil. They work for every setup and come from General Hydroponics, a trusted company (the same one used by NASA) which is known for the quality and consistency of its products.

I highly recommend using Rapid Rooters over any other starter plugs. They are less prone to problems and work great with any growing medium (including hydroponic systems).

  • Easy to Use – You Can’t Really Mess Up
  • No Prep or Setup – Open the Package and Go
  • Some of the Best Germination Rates of Any Method
  • Can only get 50+ at a time (General Hydroponics currently does not offer fewer plugs per package)
  • After opening the package, you only have a week or two before they dry out, so if you’re only germinating one or two seeds, you’ll end up having to throw many of the Rapid Rooters away.

There are a few different options for Rapid Rooters, which can be confusing if you’re not sure what you want. The 3 different options for Rapid Rooters are listed here…

Bag of Rapid Rooters

These are round on bottom instead of being a cube, which means they cannot stand up on their own. These are best suited to a hydroponic setup where the Rapid Rooter will be placed directly in the final destination. In our hydroponic setups, we’ve had near 100% germination rates with Rapid Rooters, better than any other seedling cube we’ve tried.

  • Round on bottom (won’t stand up by themselves without support) unless you squish the bottom so it’s flat like this grower did (pic)
  • Great for starting with Rapid Rooter directly in final destination (hydro, soil, coco coir, etc)
  • Get 50 Rapid Rooters at a time
Rapid Rooters Mat
  • Easily break cubes off the mat (already sectioned off with precut holes)
  • Already shaped like cubes with flat bottoms, so they easily stand up by themselves
  • Good for seamlessly transplanting your seedlings somewhere else
  • Get 98 Rapid Rooters at a time
Rapid Rooters Tray

The Rapid Rooters tray is perfect for seeds or clones. Allow your young plants to sit in the tray with water until their roots are well formed and ready to be transplanted to your final destination. The standard size tray fits most humidity domes. You can refill the tray with Rapid Rooters from the bag or mat.

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As you can see in the pictures below, the Rapid Rooter Tray comes packaged up. Once you open the package, you will see 50 Rapid Rooters already set in the tray. The resing place for each Rapid Rooter has a hole on the bottom so water within the tray is wicked up. The top part comes apart from the bottom.

  • Perfect for cloning or starting seeds with a humidity dome (standard 10-inch by 20-inch dome like this one – 7-inch height recommended for cannabis seeds or clones)
  • Easy to transplant to new destination
  • Just add water and seeds, that’s it!
  • Whole tray can be refilled with any type of Rapid Rooters (from bag or mat)
  • Comes with 50 Rapid Rooters, ready to go
Germination Station

One option for growers is to use a tool which has been specifically designed to provide optimal germination conditions like this germination station with heat mat.

You can make a DIY germination station at home by putting a plastic dome over a plate of Rapid Rooters on a heating pad.

There are benefits to the professionally made germination stations as they work very well and are pretty cheap to buy.

Rockwool Cubes (Not Recommended)

It’s often hydroponic cannabis growers who use rockwool cubes since these can be safely placed in hydroponic setups, hold a lot of moisture, and are resistant to mold. Rockwool is cheap and easy to find. It comes in convenient cubes. But it does have some major drawbacks…

Pros of Rockwool

  • Cheap & Easy to Find
  • Inert Medium (useful for hydroponic growers)

Cons of Rockwool

  • Bad for the environment (unnatural material that does not break down)
  • Bad for your health (especially your lungs) – wear gloves and cover your mouth/eyes when handling rockwool
  • Has a pH that is too high for cannabis, so it must be thoroughly rinsed and treated
  • Poor cloning and germination rates
  • Difficult for new growers

Protect yourself! Always use a mask, goggles and gloves when working with rockwool.

If you do use rockwool, it’s recommended you germinate your seeds using another method like the paper towel method, then transplant your seeds to the rockwool cubes after roots have already appeared.

I highly recommend using Rapid Rooters instead for your hydroponic application (or any grow setup), as they are much more user-friendly and tend to get far better germination rates.

Jiffy Pellets

Jiffy Pellets are used in a similar way to rockwool cubes, though these tend to get much better germination results. Jiffy pellets are not suitable for most hydroponic setups where the roots are grown directly in water, but Jiffy Pellets can be directly transferred into soil or coco coir or soil.

  • Good Germination Rates for Soil and Coco Coir
  • Good for Cloning
  • Come in dried pellets, so they can be kept for a long time
  • Not suitable for hydroponic setups
  • Must be soaked to expand each pellet before use

Once the compressed Jiffy pellets have expanded in warm water, gently squeeze excess water from each pellet and you’re ready to go. Treat them the same as Rapid Rooters.

Next: How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Method 2: Plant marijuana seeds directly in growing medium.

How to Germinate Seeds in Hydroponics

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Hydroponics is an ideal method for germinating seeds! An alternative way of growing plants will be to grow plants hydroponically. Hydroponics is a more hygienic and efficient method compared to soil based growing. It also protects your plants from root rot or insects. You can also control the whole system as everything is automated in this growing method.

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.

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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.

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.

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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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