The Following Is A Guide On Successful Seed Germination:
- Disposable red solo cup shot glasses (or a small sterile cup of any kind)
- Bottled water, room temperature
- Disposable gloves or tweezers, optional
- Shoe box, optional
- Pots (solo cup sized or 4×4″ square pots)
- Medium of choice (Soil, coco coir, etc)
- Fill the sterile, unused cup with room temperature bottled water. Drop the seeds into the cup, being careful not to contaminate the water with your fingers or anything else.
- Place the cup in a dark, temperate space. We recommend taking a shoe box, poking some holes in it, and setting the cup of seeds into the shoebox. Leave the seeds in a space that is warm but not hot (anywhere in the 70-80F range is great), if possible. Temperatures can affect germination dramatically. If it is too cold, germination rates go down. If it is too hot, not only is it a breeding ground for bacteria (so keep those fingers out of the water!), but it can negatively affect germination rates also.
- Leave the seeds in the water until the tap root is 1″ long. Do not touch the water as the bacteria on your hands can quickly cause issues. We strongly suggest you do not try to pot the seeds until the tap root is 1/2″ long at a minimum; your success rates will go up with a stronger tap root. Allow 7-10 days as every seed can germinate at different rates. Once you have a healthy taproot emerging, it is time to pot!
- Fill a small pot with your medium of choice (for the sake of this tutorial, we will use soil as our medium). We use a 4×4″ square pot. If you are planting auto seeds and are trying to avoid transplanting, you may want to use a peat pot, which will disintegrate when you eventually put it into a larger pot of soil. We don’t recommend trying to pot seedlings into large pots unless you are experienced because it is very easy to overwater them in a large pot.
- Water the soil lightly where the seed will be placed. Do not soak the whole pot with water as the seedling will have no chance to suck all that water up and will likely rot and/or die. Airflow to the rootzone is critical.
- Poke a hole in the soil that is about 1.5″ deep, give or take. This is where the seedling will be placed.
- Gently remove the seedling from the water with clean/gloved hands or tweezers, being cautious not to touch the taproot, if possible. Examine the seed and notice that the crack in the seed is V-shaped. If you look closely enough you may see where the first set of leaves will emerge from. Note this as it is important. Orient the seed in the soil so that the first leaves are facing upward. If you can’t see the spot where the leaves will emerge, that is okay. They will emerge from the top of the “V” so the seed should be placed into the soil with that in mind, regardless of which way the taproot is shooting. The taproot will naturally go down once potted. Gently push the soil to cover the taproot and almost all of the seed. The very top of the seed should just barely be visible. It is okay to dust the top of it with soil, but it shouldn’t be buried deep in there.
- Set the pot out of intense, direct light. A T5 would be about as strong as you’d want to go in these beginning days. Once the seedlings have popped up from the soil and are starting to grow up, put them under whatever grow light you intend to use. Keep a close eye on your water levels. They will suck up water quite slowly at first so be very careful not to overwater them, while also ensuring they don’t dry out entirely as they will shrivel up and die quite fast. At this stage, less water, more frequently is better, as a general rule of thumb.
Best of luck everyone, and never hesitate to reach out with any questions! Happy growing!
NOTE: Seeds purchased through Brotanical Gardens are intended to be souvenirs/collectibles ONLY. Please do not attempt to germinate seeds if you live in a state in which germination is illegal. Brotanical Gardens assumes no liability for what you do with your purchase after it’s in your possession.