Seeding Cannabis

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Marijuana Seedlings Now that your marijuana seeds have sprouted, what’s next? How do you care for your little baby marijuana seedlings? Your germinated seeds must be placed in a more suitable How to care for your cannabis seedling When you’re growing cannabis, you want to keep your plants strong and healthy through every stage of the growing process — and that includes the seedling SEED Initiatives is the first U.S. government program to fund equity-centered community investment grants from local cannabis tax revenue.

Marijuana Seedlings

Now that your marijuana seeds have sprouted, what’s next? How do you care for your little baby marijuana seedlings? Your germinated seeds must be placed in a more suitable growing medium if you have started them in paper towels, rock wool or peat pellets.

Seedling containers

  1. Small planters utilize your space better
  2. Small planters grouped together are the most efficient way to use your grow light source
  3. A small container keeps the roots together and is easier to feed and water.

Planting your marijuana seedlings

Place garden soil in your container up to about 1” from the top. Pack l ightly . Make a hole with a pencil, eraser-side down about ½” deep and put in your germinated seeds, root side down and cover with soil. If your seedlings are already in a seed-starter of some sort, simply bury them in the dirt and cover with ¼ to ½” of soil. Water until the soil is damp, not soaking. It is not necessary, but some marijuana growers like to give the young plants some support. Long wooden kitchen matches (minus the head) work well.

Watering and feeding your seedlings

During this phase, feeding or the adding of nutrients or fertilizer will not be necessary unless you have chosen a soilless mix. Watering should be done perhaps twice per day with a misting bottle for the first few days. How often you water will depend greatly on temperature and humidity. Once the marijuana root is better established, you can slowly cut back to watering every 2-3 days. If you are not sure, you can test by placing your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, then add water. It is important to note that the number one cause of early crop failure is overwatering. Wilting or drooping leaves on your plants are a sign that your plant is thirsty. Plants will revive quickly from such dehydration. While many gardeners use tap or well water, the more sophisticated growers use reverse osmosis, filtered or bottled water and adjust the pH (acidity/alkalinity) of the water. If you are using municipal tap water, fill a bucket or a reserve reservoir and let it sit for several days. This allows most of the chlorine present in the water to evaporate. DO NOT water directly on the plant. They are very delicate at this stage and the stem and roots are easily damaged. Water around the seedlings a few inches base of the plant. It is best to water your plants first thing in the morning for best uptake.

Marijuana seedlings lights

Marijuana seedlings require very little light and can be grown under CFLs (spiral compact fluorescents), tube fluorescents, LEDs and the blue light from Metal Halides (MH). Stay away from incandescent lights as they put off too much heat and too little light. The higher the Wattage your light source, the further away it should be from your seedlings unless you are using LED grow lights with good ones running nearly cold. Too far away and the plants will stretch towards the light making them weak and spindly. Too close and the bright light and heat may damage them, except with LEDs. Let us say you are using fluorescents or LED grow lights. It would be fine to place the light a foot above your plants to start and give the seedlings a chance to ‘harden up’. If they react favorably, you may lower the light a little bit each day until the lights are maybe 4” above your plants. Blue light dominant LEDs and full spectrum LED grow lights offer an excellent start, lower electricity costs and very little if any heat. High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights are generally not used for seedlings as they do not require the amount of light that HPS puts out, and more importantly, HPS is deficient in blue light. Blue light is what plants use to point them towards the light source. This is called phototropism. Have fun and good luck growing out your marijuana seedlings!

See also  Outdoor Weed Seeds

How to care for your cannabis seedling

When you’re growing cannabis, you want to keep your plants strong and healthy through every stage of the growing process — and that includes the seedling stage.

The seedling stage can be an especially vulnerable time in the growing process. The cannabis seedling is in need of a lot of TLC to grow into a healthy cannabis plant.

In the seedling stage the cannabis seedling is in need of a lot of TLC to grow into a healthy cannabis plant. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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But what does that TLC look like? What steps do you need to take to support your cannabis seedlings through the seedling stage and as they grow into mature marijuana plants?

Let’s take a deep dive into how to care for your baby marijuana plant so you know exactly how to take care of your growing seedling and make sure it grows into a healthy, mature cannabis plant.

What happens during the seedling stage?

Before we jump into how to care for your cannabis seedling, let’s quickly cover what happens during this grow stage.

The growing process has four key stages: the seed germination stage, the seedling stage, the vegetative stage, and the flowering stage. Once the cannabis seeds germinate and are placed into their growing medium (like a potting mix), they start to root into the soil as the stem grows upward, sprouting two cotyledon leaves, which help the plant absorb light and continue to grow.

As the plant grows, it starts to produce more fan leaves — and those leaves continue to develop the ridged edges that you’ll immediately recognize as the marijuana plant. As more leaves grow, more ridged edges develop until finally, the plant is fully grown with each leaf reaching its maximum number of edges (which can be anywhere from 5 ridges per leaf to upwards of 10).

This stage — moving from germinated cannabis seeds to cannabis plants with the maximum number of ridged edges per leaf — is the seedling stage.

The seedling stage is an incredibly important part of the growing process; because the cannabis plant is still young and fragile, proper care is essential if you want to lay the foundation for a healthy mature plant.

But what does that care look like? What are the key things to know when it comes to how to take care of marijuana seedlings?

Choose the right container

Your cannabis seedling needs space to grow. But too much space and too little space can both create problems for your plant.

If you try to grow your seedling in a container that’s too large, the root system won’t be able to absorb all the water in the soil. If you start growing your seedling in a container that’s too small, the roots won’t have space to extend and will start to wrap around themselves, which will also impact their ability to absorb water.

See also  Single Marijuana Seeds

Choosing the right pot is an essential part of caring for your growing plant. You need a pot that’s going to give the root system space to grow, but not so much space that the roots won’t be able to absorb all the water in the soil. You should also make sure the pot has drainage holes to get rid of any excess water that could overwhelm the plant.

Choosing the right pot is an essential part of caring for your growing plant. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Be mindful of how much you water your cannabis seedlings

When it comes to watering your seedlings, you want to give them the water they need to thrive. But too much water can actually have a negative impact on the growth process, so it’s important to be mindful of how much you water your seedlings.

The root system of a seedling isn’t elaborate; the roots are small and don’t need much water to grow. Misting the plants with water once or twice a day should be plenty to give them the hydration they need to grow.

If you’re not sure how much water is too much water, keep in mind that you want the growing medium (AKA the soil) to be damp and moist — not soaked and oversaturated.

Know the signs of nutrient deficiencies

A nutrient deficiency can cause serious issues for your growing plant, so part of proper care is knowing how to spot the signs of a nutrient deficiency.

Nutrient deficiencies can come from a variety of places. “Hot” potting mixes that contain too many nutrients could cause nutrient toxicity. On the other end of the spectrum, under-watering can cause a deficiency in the key nutrients your plant needs to grow.

Some red flags that signal your seedling may have a deficiency in nutrients (or nutrient toxicity) include:

  • Dark coloring (cannabis seedlings should be a vibrant shade of green)
  • A burned appearance on the tip of the leaves
  • A curling on the tip of the leaves
  • Yellowing leaves

If you notice any of these issues with your plant, it could be the result of too many or too few nutrients. You’ll need to adjust your growing strategy to support your plant’s health.

Choose the right lighting

Like any plant, seedlings need light in order to grow and thrive. But not all light is created equal. If you want your seedling to grow into a healthy cannabis plant, you need to expose it to the right type of light.

If you’re growing your seedlings outdoors, they’ll need to be exposed to as much sunlight as possible. Keep them in the sun from sunrise to sunset; the more sunlight exposure they get, the better.

If you’re growing your seedlings outdoors, they’ll need to be exposed to as much sunlight as possible. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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But growing your seedlings outdoors can be tricky. Because you can’t control sunlight, there’s no way to ensure your cannabis seedlings are getting the light they need to grow properly. A cloudy day can prevent your seedlings from getting enough light and throw off your entire growth process.

Growing your seedlings indoors with artificial light gives you more control over the process, making it easier to ensure your plants are getting enough light each day. If you’re growing with artificial lights (compact fluorescent lights that emit cooler, blue spectrum light are especially effective), aim to give your plants 18 hours on and six hours off each day.

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Keep your environment at the right temperature and humidity

Environmental conditions are essential to growing healthy cannabis seedlings, and some of the most important conditions to control are temperature and humidity.

The temperature in your grow environment shouldn’t exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise the seedlings may grow too tall. (You should also plan on lowering the temperature at night to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.)

You should also aim to keep humidity in the grow environment at a higher level, typically around 70 percent. That way, the plants can absorb moisture from the environment to develop stronger roots without getting weighed down by over-watering.

Get out there and grow your seedling into a full-grown marijuana plant

Watching your cannabis seeds transform into seedlings is an exciting part of the growth process. And now that you know how to care for your cannabis seedling, you should have everything you need to transform your seedling into a mature, healthy, and flowering cannabis plant.

SEED Initiatives

SEED Initiatives is the first U.S. government program to fund equity-centered community investment grants from local cannabis tax revenue.

The New Vision

Social Equity & Education Development (SEED) Initiatives is supported by an ongoing $1 million in cannabis tax revenue allocation and a vehicle for single-source monitoring, measuring, and reporting on the city’s cannabis tax revenue.

Portland City Council’s decision to allocate ongoing funding to the SEED Initiatives is one small step toward rectifying past racially-biased cannabis policies and disparate cannabis-related arrests. This commitment has the potential to begin to repair the lasting legal, social, economic, and inter-generational consequences past cannabis prohibition has had on Black and brown communities.

The History

In November 2016, Portland voters approved Ballot Measure 26-180 to impose a 3% local tax on adult-use cannabis retail sales. Since then, over $14 million in cannabis tax revenue has been allocated across various City of Portland bureaus to support street infrastructure improvements; DUII training; drug rehabilitation; criminal justice, expungement and re-entry services; and small business owners from communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.

For more detailed information about the history of Portland’s local cannabis tax, please review these additional resources:

    , prepared by City Budget Office (2020) , prepared by the Cannabis Program (2019)

SEED Grant Fund

In alignment with the Ballot Measure 26-180 passed in 2016, the SEED Grant Fund prioritizes Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and women led/owned small business initiatives and/or projects, programs or services that support economic and educational development of Black and brown communities, which were most impacted by cannabis prohibition.

The SEED Grant Fund supports nonprofit and for-profit entities of any size, including community-based organizations, individuals, firms, teams or consultants. Newly-formed groups or initiatives with fiscal sponsorship from a nonprofit entity are also eligible. Multi-entity collaborations, coalitions and/or consortium efforts are encouraged to apply.

The SEED Grant Fund distributes funding across a range of projects, programs and services within the following designated priority areas, but are not limited to:

  • Education development
  • Entrepreneurship and economic development
  • Social justice

In the 5 cycles of the grant program, the SEED Grant Fund (formerly Cannabis Social Equity Grant) has awarded $4,379,415 through 42 grants.

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