In this article I’m going to show you how fast and easy it is to germinate autoflowering seeds with a damp paper towel.
Background information: Autoflowering cannabis seeds are seeds that will grow into beautiful female plants regardless of their light cycle. This makes autoflowers the preferred choice by many growers because they don’t have to worry about planning ahead, or remembering to turn their lights to a 12 hour on 12 hour off cycle! These seeds come from strains that naturally grow shorter and bud quicker than your regular photoperiod marijuana plant – so early bird gets the bud! If you’re not sure what regular vs autoflower means, check out our quick guide below:
Photoperiod Cannabis Seeds: Photoperiodic cannabis seeds need 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness before they begin to bud. These seeds are more likely to develop into tall plants with big buds.
Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds: There is no difference in the number of hours that autoflowering cannabis gets light or dark, but their “flowering” period (which means the time it takes for them to produce flowers) is triggered by a natural drop in growth hormone. Because of this, these strains tend to be smaller than photoperiod marijuana plants with less side branching and tighter nugs.
Germinating Marijuana Seeds
Once you’ve chosen your desired strain from one of our many varieties , place the seeds on top of a damp paper towel.
Next fold the damp paper towel over to cover the seeds. Finally take the folded damp paper towel containing the seeds into a plastic bag (freezer bags or doggy bags are perfect) and put it in a dark place where the temperature is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It should take anywhere from 1-10 days for your cannabis seeds to start sprouting. It is a good idea to check your seeds after 48 hours. If they aren’t ready then check everyday thereafter. A good way to check if the seeds are germinating is by seeing if one end has begun to split, or there appears to be something coming out of that end (like a tiny root!). These new baby sprouts will look like little white tendrils and they’re usually referred to as tap roots . Once you see these white tendrils your seeds are ready to be planted!
After you’re done germinating your marijuana seeds, remember that they should always stay damp until the root comes out. If it starts to dry, just re-moisten with a spray bottle or damp paper towel.
Be careful not to overwater your seedlings when you first plant them in soil. Root rot is how many young cannabis plants meet their end – so keep an eye on them and make sure their soil is moist but not soggy!
Once they’ve developed 2-3 sets of leaves , then you can begin fertilizing with nutrients . It’s important to do this around week 3 because adding nutrients before this point can burn your cannabis seedlings. To get more tips on how to grow cannabis, check out our post on the basics of growing!
If you want to learn more about autoflowering seeds, read up on some of their pros and cons below:
Pros of Autoflowering Seeds They are generally easy to grow- if they receive enough light during vegetative growth they will automatically switch to flowering mode without any intervention from the grower. Their vegetative period is extremely short (3-4 weeks). They are small plants that don’t require a whole lot of space or height for growing indoors. Autoflowers are ready for harvest in around 3 months time from germination. Their bud structure is tight and has a short distance between nodes . This makes for a more efficient use of space inside your grow tent. It’s easier to maintain a constant-but-smaller vegetative growth area with autoflowering plants because they don’t have to be topped or pruned.
Cons of Autoflowering Seeds They stay small – so you can’t grow as many as other types of cannabis plants in the same grow space. The yields are modest as well as not being able to produce very big colas. Autoflowers require more light than photoperiod strains – it takes an average of 18 hours per day during vegetative growth to produce a decent yield from these babies. If you don’t give them enough light they will grow tall and spindly with extremely limited branching. You cannot create the same complex structure of a photoperiod plant when growing an autoflowering strain- sativa strains, in particular, can be difficult to control in this way.
NOTE: Want some autoflowering cannabis seeds from Dutch Passion? You can find Atlantis, Mazar and Lowryder 2 in our online shop!
About Dutch Passion:
Dutch Passion has been selling marijuana seeds since 1987 – and as one of the very first seed banks (if not THE first) they continue to innovate new & exciting varieties as well as develop cutting edge technology for all stages of growth. Check out their huge selection of feminized cannabis seeds & autoflowering seeds for sale.
If you’re looking to germinate your own marijuana seeds with a damp paper towel, check out Dutch Passion’s online guide here . Good luck! And happy growing!