Germinating cannabis seeds is important because it gives the grower an advantage in cultivation and it speeds up the process More than 25 trending marijuana seeds and clones comprise 2022’s latest, greatest takes on Wedding Cake, Kush Mints, GMO, OG Kush, and more. We are unable to process any orders until further notice We are very sorry to inform you that, against our will, we are now unable to engage in any commercial activity. We are working round the
How to germinate all types of cannabis seeds: Three methods
A seed is like an egg in many ways. Inside are very similar components: an embryo, a radicle, a plumule and cotyledons, and outside is a protective shell.
Germination is important because it gives the grower an advantage in cultivation and a faster start. And it makes sure you’re not planting a small rock where nothing will grow out of the ground.
The different types of cannabis seeds
For those who want to cultivate for recreational or medicinal purposes, the female plant is the only one that matters. Only she can produce the flowers we expect at the end of the cycle.
Cannabis is a dioecious plant, that is, it has a female and a male plant. The male flower produces pollen after calyx development, which, when it meets the flowers and pistils of a female plant, will be fertilized, generate a new seed, and guarantee the survival of the species.
Cannabis seeds have undergone several modifications and are currently available in three main categories: normal, feminized, and auto-flowering, also called automatic. Recently, a new category, quick flowering seeds, has gained popularity.
Regular or normal seeds
Regular seeds are mostly chosen by breeders and established growers seeking stable genetics. (Algirdas Gelazius/123rf)
If the cultivator’s desire is to perpetuate a variety or make improvements, he should choose seeds of the normal or regular type. They are created by crossing a male with a female plant.
We call them regular or normal because they develop naturally. This type of seed can produce species of both sexes. Here, the grower has no control over gender. The odds are divided. Regular seeds have a 50% chance of being a female plant and generating flowers, or 50% of being male, which will result in small bags which grow very quickly into clusters of calyxes and flowers with pollen grains, essential for the multiplication of the species.
Regular seeds are mostly chosen by breeders and established growers seeking stable genetics or new cannabis terpenes or profiles by pheno-hunting through regular seeds which become the mother stock for all feminized seeds. Traditional landrace growers continue a long tradition of growing flowers and pollinating their crops which lose commercial value but guarantee sufficient seeds for the next season. Traditional landrace growers are slowly disappearing from the most remote regions on earth due to feminized seeds and readily available hybrids seeds which fetch a higher commercial value.
- Breed and create new strains
- Equal probability of male and female plants
- Create pollen bank
- Sex of the plant is unpredictable
- Male and female plants can be confused by a novice grower
- Pollinating males will seed female plants, resulting in fewer flowers to be harvested by the grower
- Preparation of different grow tents
Feminized seeds are obtained by crossing two female plants. One of them is exposed to a high level of stress. (Shutterstock)
In the late 1990s, with the need to cultivate seeds that guaranteed the appearance of female plants, feminized seeds emerged. As the name implies, they are those that will result in female plants. Males are unlikely to appear unless cannabis is under stress or someone has offered it a “cat for a hare.”
In the beginning, these plants had quality problems or were genetically unstable. Furthermore, they could transform into hermaphrodite plants. Over the years, with improvements and new technologies, feminized seeds have achieved high levels of quality both in production and in taste and final effects.
Feminized seeds are obtained by crossing two female plants. One of them is exposed to a high level of stress until it becomes a hermaphrodite. After crossing them, feminized seeds are obtained.
Another method to get feminized seeds, and perhaps the most commonly used one, is the application of a solution of colloidal silver, a famous and easily found natural antibiotic. The solution placed on female cannabis plants induces the production of pollen, which fertilizes other female plants that will generate feminized seeds.
Feminized plants are photoperiodic plants and depend on hours of daily light to transition from the vegetative phase to the flowering phase. Photoperiod plants allow the grower greater control over the moment when the cannabis starts to flower by maintaining the light hours. Thus, growers can wait as long as necessary to remedy any problem with the plant still in its vegetative state, such as excess water or nutrients, or take clones or cuttings to ensure the survival of your favorite cannabis plants.
Less experienced growers should start with feminized plants until they get some experience. This is more likely to ensure that they are always healthy and within the correct growth parameters.
- Production of female plants
- Ideal for growers who want flowers
- Simplification of the cultivation process
- Not suitable for breeding
- Must be started from the seed
- Can turn into hermaphrodites
Automatic and autoflowering seeds
A few weeks after germination, autoflowering plants start flowering, regardless of the structure or health it presents at that time.(Shutterstock)
After feminized seeds, in 2008, automatic or autoflowering seeds appeared which were bred from Cannabis Ruderalis plants found in areas such as Eastern Europe, Russia, and Alaska. They flower in a shorter time, where there is no need for different photoperiods between the vegetative state and flowering, but they do require more attention.
Many people think that it is easier to cultivate, as it doesn’t need to change the photoperiod and the whole cycle happens in an “automatic” way. But not quite. A few weeks after germination, the plants start flowering, regardless of the structure or health it presents at that time. With that, the cultivator has no margin to correct eventual unforeseen events, such as excess or lack of nutrients, pests and diseases, and slow growth due to inadequate parameters.
- No need to change photoperiod
- Fast flowering time
- Lower yield
- Difficult and risky to clone
- Little time for care
Photoperiodic plants have the advantages of greater control by the grower during the plant cycle, a richer THC and CBD profile, better terpenes and higher production. There is also the advantage of producing clones from a selection of mother plants.
Autoflowering plants, on the other hand, have a faster cultivation, more than one harvest can be made during the year and the possibility of cultivation with the light always on.
|Type||Male||Female||Possible to clone|
Sativas, indicas, or hybrids?
Firstly, you need to decide whether you want to use it medicinally or recreationally. Certain cannabinoids are more present in certain genetics.
The differences between indica and sativa plants are quite significant, such as the shape, height and even the effects. Their morphological differences are much greater than those attributed to them in dispensaries and in popular culture, however.
Indica-predominant plants originally obtained from landraces in drier, more arid regions such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have a shorter and more shrubby stature, a greater number of branches and a shorter space between nodes. This makes it a more compact and ideal herb to be grown indoors. They have a shorter flowering time, are easy to grow and especially under artificial light.
Indicas are more resistant to cold, require less water and do not handle high humidity well.
Sativa plants originally obtained from landraces in tropical and higher altitudes have a greater height, a “pine tree” structure, and the space between their nodes is greater.
Flowering times are longer and are usually a little more difficult to grow. They don’t like the cold, are more heat resistant and better suited for outdoor use.
Nowadays seeds that are predominantly sativa or predominantly indica are landraces which are still available from select breeders and keepers of cannabis history. Hybrids are more common and have some characteristics of each variety.
How to check if my seed is ok?
The best seeds have a rounded shape, are big and fat. The closer your seed is to these characteristics, the greater the chances it will germinate. (Shutterstock)
There are a few ways to find out if your cannabis seed is ready to be germinated or not.
You can start by using your senses of sight, touch, and smell to determine if cannabis seeds are good or bad.
To test using vision, you can resort to using a magnifying glass. The best seeds have a rounded shape, are big and fat. The closer your seed is to these characteristics, the greater the chances it will germinate.
Bigger, harder seeds are best. The surface should have a slight sheen.
They are dark in color (usually brown, black, or gray). The darker the color, the more likely they are to grow and produce a better plant. The dark bark means they came from a better-quality plant.
If they are pale, white, or light green, they were picked too early and are probably immature. This means they are not good and are unlikely to germinate. If they are light-colored and dusty, they are probably old and slower to germinate.
Another tip is to check if the seed has light streaks. Good seeds are usually darker and some look like they have tiger stripes and are also referred to as tiger backs.
You can’t always judge a seed by its color alone. It is necessary to know what is inside the seed. If you break a seed and it is oily and moldy, it is spoiled. If it’s black inside, it means it’s fermented and won’t germinate.
Other tests that can be done to verify that a seed is in good condition is the touch test. Just lightly squeeze a seed. If crushed easily, it probably won’t grow well. There should be no small cracks or holes. If they have these characteristics, they probably won’t germinate. They must not be wrinkled or cracked. If they aren’t cracked, you know they’re intact. If it resists the susceptibility test, the seed has a good chance of germinating.
The other test consists of placing the seeds in a container of warm distilled water for two hours. If they sink, they’re good. If they float, they are premature and probably will not grow and therefore are unusable. Healthy seeds are heavy enough to sink or sink once a little water is absorbed.
How to germinate my seeds?
To germinate seeds, four simple elements are needed: humidity, warm temperature, oxygen, and darkness.
Most seeds germinate between 24 and 72 hours, but some may take longer.
There are several methods to germinate a seed. The first and best known is germination on paper (it can be on napkins, cotton, or paper towels). In a pot, place a sheet of kitchen paper, separate the seeds so that there is a few inches between them and add another layer of paper on top. Both sheets should be damp but not soaked. If the paper loses moisture, add a little more water. Once the white root reaches 2-3 mm, carefully transfer the seeds to the pot. Do not close the pot, as oxygen is essential for successful germination. (You may also consider soaking the seeds for a few hours before placing them in the paper towels.)
Another method to germinate the seeds is with a glass of water, but it is not as effective as using paper. Place your seeds in a glass of water, preferably at a temperature of 22ºC. After 3-5 days, the seeds will start to open, and the small white radicle will appear. Then, just transfer to the soil already prepared to receive it. This is a simple method and suitable for first-time growers.
The grower can also place their seeds directly in the soil, in which case transplanting is not necessary. It is a safer option due to the fragility of the small root that appears when we germinate in a glass of water or on paper. Put the soil in the pot where your plant will be. Poke a hole to a depth between 10-15mm. Introduce the seed and gently cover it with more soil, but it is not necessary to compress it on top of the seed. Put some water on top to make the soil moist. After 4-10 days the grower will watch the plant sprout as the roots go under the ground.
Remember to always wash your hands and have all materials clean to prevent mold.
How to store my seeds?
Cannabis seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place. They can be stored in drawers and cabinets if there is no great temperature variation in these places. They can also be preserved in the refrigerator or even in the freezer.
Rapid temperature variations are the main problem when storing seeds and can harm genetic integrity.
If storing for just a few days or months, the grower can use a Ziploc-type bag, a glass jar, or an airtight container. If you want to keep the seeds preserved for a longer time, the most recommended method is in a closed vacuum package.
If you are going to keep your seeds in the refrigerator, choose a place further away from the door. That way, they suffer less from changes in temperature when opening the refrigerator.
Remember that by freezing your seeds every time they are thawed and refrozen, they become less viable.
By storing your cannabis seeds correctly and properly, they can last up to 10 years.
Special thanks to Sunshine Coast Genetics for helping fact-check this article.
The world’s best cannabis seeds and clones to grow in ‘22
Good news, America: The nation’s army of weed growers in 2022 is going to fire up hundreds of metric tons of the most explosively tasty, time-stoppingly beautiful bud ever conceived on planet Earth.
Pot law liberalization has triggered a Golden Age of cannabis genetics—putting the loudest, most diverse ganja aromas and effects at the fingertips of gardeners big and small.
Major nurseries like Dark Heart Nursery in Oakland, CA, hold strain openings like fashion shows for the $18.3 billion legal industry. Los Angeles’ Seed Junky Genetics sold $1,000 clones of Super Runtz at The Emerald Cup on Dec. 11—200 of them. Champion breeders like Exotic Genetix have released $900 seed packs with NFT art direct to a rabid fanbase. It all sells out—powering more than 2,278 metric tons of legal US pot production annually.
Leafly’s annual “Best cannabis seeds to grow” synthesizes the quantitative with the qualitative: We pair strain search and menu trend data with breeder interviews, and event and store reporting; plus, we smoke hundreds of flavors, and grow a few pounds.
Leafly News’ product picks are independent, and cannot be influenced by advertising. We’d love to fill our garden with these cultivars—the newest of the new and those re-mixed from the best of the present and past.
Get ready for all the Cakes, Mints, Cookies, Zkittlez, GMOs, and sativas you could spend a lifetime trimming. Whatever you smoke, now is the time to score some awesome seeds so you can pop them by spring, and have a pound laying around by Thanksgiving. This is Leafly’s Best cannabis seeds and clones to grow in ‘22.
Cake and Mints varietals for ‘22
Best-selling Wedding Cake and Kush Mints cannabis families combine in Humboldt Seed Company’s filthy new Poddy Mouth, which is Humboldt Pound Cake x Mtn Top Mint.
Emerald Cup-winning Ridgeline Farms named and endorsed this outdoor-optimized exotic. It can test beyond 30% THC while looking bonkers and smelling like soft, sweet, minty fuel. Sheesh!
For ’22, Humboldt Seed Co. has 85 regular, feminized, autoflower, or combo seed products, from 45 strains, in six states. They’re emblematic of how West Coast breeders own the strain game, thanks to decades of experience, plus baseball field-sized farms to test out thousands of new varieties at once.
There are so many tasty mint and cake strains out there this year.
See also: Mint a pound with Tiki Madman’s mints crosses like Apple Fritter Bx or Gelatti Mints, available online; in California, get clones of Purple City Genetics’ Gush Mints crosses, or Hendrx Nursery’s Candy Chrome No. 5 (Runtz x The Menthol).
Contemporary GSC and Gelato strains
Strawberry, fuel, and cookies terpenes with a new level of exotic bling make Cherry Cosmo an early star of 2022. Highly regarded breeder Exotic Genetix has folded Cookies upon Cookies in his Baker’s Dozen strain (Milk & Cookies x Rainbow Chip). His Jan. 25 release of Baker’s Dozen crosses includes Cherry Cosmo (Red Pop x Baker’s Dozen), which promises an explosive, cosmic, indica-hybrid space trip.
Exotic Genetix’s breeder Mike (aka “Mr. Stimmy”) has a massive series of indoor grow rooms to experiment—constantly ratcheting up the definition of “Zaza.”
- Stank House
- Gas Basket
- Purple Pineapple
“He throws away plants that other breeders would kill to have in their garden,” said seed seller Luscious Genetics, in a Leafly interview. “That level of discernment is superhuman. He just knows his shit.”
There’s so many phenomenal GSC genetics out there.
See also: Compound Genetics Exotic² (Red Pop x Apples & Bananas); Ethos Genetics’ End Game R2; Seed Junky Genetics’ Jealousy crosses, like Zealousy; or Cookies+Compound Genetics Lemonchello 28 x Jet Fuel Gelato seeds; Wyeast Farms’ line of creamy, sweet, spicy, cinnamon-tinged Horchata crosses; Capulator’s Booty Clapper; and Lovin In Her Eyes’ Spanish Moon S1.
Cookies+Compound Genetics serves piping hot seed packs in ’22. (Courtesy Cookies)
Zkittlez’s hottest progeny
Rainbow Belts 3.0
Grab some Cup-winning, hyper-giddy, candy-aisle terpenes for ‘22. Breeder Archive Seedbank has mastered the genetics of Rainbow Belts and Moonbow, and thus the future of Zkittlez flavors.
The smell? “Zkittlez plus limey, candied, petroleum-fumed dank,” Archive Seedbank stated in an email announcement.
The effect? Bright, neon flavor meets intense, face-melting, OG power.
“I’m always looking for that sweetness in the strains that I love to smoke,” said Ellen Holland, author of 2021 book “WEED: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis.” “I really like the zkittlez and that uplifting, bright, bergamot, fruity flavor that it brings to the crosses of zkittlez.”
Archive Seeds breeder Fletch knows the hash heads need resin, too. Rainbow Belts 3.0 seed packs contain “Dry, sandy resin phenotypes that are packed with Gobstopper, Blue Sour Patch, tropical Zkittlez overtones.”
Get your debit card ready. Rainbow Belts 3.0 (Rainbow Belts #20 x Moonbow 112 F2 #60) 12-packs of regular seeds go on sale Feb. 1 at Archive Seedbank and select sellers.
Tropical candy terps get even louder with Terphogz Geneticz cross of Z3 and Papaya—Zazaya. Lip-smacking, Hi-Chew flavor meets high-key glee in this next-level flower designed for hashmakers. Keep a close eye on these influential hash strain designers, as the broader market coasts on their wake, said Luscious Genetics co-owner David.
“Growers are looking at a plant and taking into consideration trichome head size and gland size because extraction is such a large portion of revenue,” he said. “The bigger the trichome, the thicker the stalks—they know it’s going to yield more extract.”
I mean, you stick with the Terphogz when you can. I do, anyways.
Ellen Holland, author, ‘WEED: A Connoisseur’s Guide’
“It’s going to be super-tasty—the smells going to be really intense on those ones—because they have so much more resin,” said Holland. “I mean, you stick with the Terphogz when you can. I do, anyways.”
The Terphogz team backcrossed the original Zkittlez with Hindu Kush to start their Z3 line—which includes Cakez (Z3 x Ice Cream Cake) and Grapefruit Zruntz (Zruntz x Grapefruitz). We’re hearing about feminized Terp Hogz seeds for spring ‘22.
See also: Masonic Seed Company’s Wilmint; Bloom Seeds’ Rainbow Guava; Clearwater Genetics + Tiki Madman project’s Devil Driver; and Swamp Boys Seeds’ Guava Now N Later (Now N Later x White91 x Guava Jelly).
Savory terps of today
Meat Breath crosses
Savory terps have gotten more acrid, funky, weird, and potent in 2022 to counterbalance all the sweet dessert strains. We’re here for it.
The modern savory terp movement has built a home base around GMO Cookies, OGKB, Mendo Breath, and their offspring.
“Anything GMO is going to get gigantic,” said Luscious Genetics.
Thug Pug Genetics breeder “Gromer” comes out of early retirement this winter with Meat Breath crosses, another successor to Peanut Butter Breath. Divisive and unforgettable, this is the modern analog to old-school Cheese or Cat Piss.
“There’s something intriguing about pungent odor, especially if it’s related to an existing bodily musk. We’re drawn to that,” said Luscious Genetics.
Humboldt Seed Co.’s Nat Pennington has come around to pungent garlic terps, he said. “It’s funny because I was resistant at first. Of course, you try GMO and you understand.”
“If you’re in that savory category, that’s gonna be probably stronger and more fuel forward and gassy,” said Holland.
Need more stank? See also: Humboldt Seed Company’s Garlic Budder (GMO x Fortune Cookies); Swamp Boy Seeds’ Maconga (White Uchem x GMO/TK Skunk); Archive Seedbank’s Show Time (NorCal Cat Piss x Dosidos); Rebel Grown’s Double OG Chem S1.
Super stellar sativas
Super Lemon Pupil
Enough with the dense, dark, sedative Cookies strains. Give us longer, lighter, brighter sativas, too, in ‘22.
Got a foggy garden? Sativas can be more mold-resistant and far more unique than the next version of Gelato, Holland said. “They don’t have as gigantic of buds and don’t get problems like mold on the inside you can’t even see, or a caterpillar crawling halfway through it.”
“If you’re going to grow it yourself it might be easier to start with something that has a more sativa-leaning profile,” Holland.
Mass Medical Strains is a proud, old-school sativa lover, and has proclaimed 2022 the #yearofthehaze. First in their string of releases: Super Lemon Pupil—a Franco Loja-selected cut of Super Lemon Haze crossed to Mass Medical’s Star Pupil.
Super Lemon Pupil buds get big but stay mold-resistant. (Courtesy Mass Medical Strains)
Lemon, lacquer, European haze, and citrus will perfume your grow room. It’s super zippy—with a very sharp and uplifting profile.
“The power of the Haze mixed with the vibe of the Pupil is simply perfection,” Mass Medical Strains wrote to Leafly. “Effects can border on psychedelic, inspiring new ways of thinking and enhanced perception and awareness.”
Ready for a spirit journey? Mass Medical also touts Thug Pug collaboration Anaphylaxis (PB Breath x Deadly Sativa). “If you are struggling with anxiety or depression this one might be best avoided, it could be tough to handle unless you feel ready for the intensity.”
Mass Medical Strains award-winning, powerful Anaphylaxis (PB Breath x Deadly Sativa) (Courtesy Mass Medical)
There’s way more landrace, or legacy, strain work out there. See also: Aww yeah, Hendrx Nursery’s Santa Cruz Blue Dream x Old Dave Skunk; Archive Seedbank’s Island Girl, combining Dosidos to a mix of Malawi, 95’ NL5, Haze F2, Sensi Star, and Molokai Frost; and Masonic Seeds’ Wilson the World landrace uses the hash-dumper strain Wilson to bulk up to Kishkak, Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, or Saipan.
Here’s a high-yield, farming-friendly, modern sativa for the hash heads. Raspberry Parfait is raspberry and vanilla yogurt-flavored yoga fuel. Humboldt Seed Co.’s unique sativa-dominant cross of Truffula Tree x Shiska Berry bursts with long sesquiterpenes, giving it extra-robust shelf life, and making for phenomenal extracts.
Humboldt Seed Co. did a Raspberry Parfait extract collaboration that they hope will take home an Emerald Cup in 2022. You can take home Raspberry Partfait seeds from California stores.
Our ‘22 motto is: “Smoke the weed you want to see in the world,” and man, we’ve missed Strawberry Cough.
Major clone seller Dark Heart Nursery agrees. This year they’re bringing out Starberry Cough—a Kyle Kushman-selected cross of the fruity euphoria of Strawberry Cough with the energizing rush of Stardawg.
The cross gives old school Cough some modern bling, terps, and yield, marrying the sweetness of strawberries with the gasoline of Chemdog. Dark Heart Nursery clones are available at licensed California retail stores.
OK—we’re leaving out some legendary breeders and essential new crosses, but we don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Look out for more 2022 Leafly seed guides focused on autoflowers and high-CBD strains, and heck, maybe even pure throwback nostalgia strains. (Anyone got some solid Blue Dream or Urkle cuts? Asking for a friend.)
We are unable to process any orders until further notice
We are very sorry to inform you that, against our will, we are now unable to engage in any commercial activity. We are working round the clock to resume normal activity as soon as possible, but we still don’t know when we’ll be able to operate normally.
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