This one is for beginners. The greenest of green thumbs.
You’ve decided to grow from seed. Nice. However, picking seeds is tough. There are so many to choose from, where do you even start?
Let’s do a little basic breakdown of your options.
- Normal (photoperiod)
- Feminized (photoperiod)
- Feminized autoflower
Cannabis seeds in their natural state are 50% male and 50% female. In order to produce a flower, which is the bud that we all desire, you need a female.
How do we tell the boys from the girls? You have to grow them to find out. Not only do you have to get em going, you have to grow them for a while because this is not immediately obvious. If this isn’t something you’re into discovering, now or ever, you can jump ahead to #2 (feminized) if you’d like. In the meantime I’ll continue along here for those of you who are still with me.
Normal Cannabis seeds are classified as photoperiod. This means that for the beginning of their lives they require a good 18 hours of light a day to encourage happy, green growth and then require a switch of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to induce flowering. At this point it will become very obvious if you have a make or female plant. If you’re doing this inside, you can regulate your lights with a timer, if you’re growing outside you have to wait til nature does it for you in the fall. Hence the nickname Croptober.
If you’re looking for a good plant to clone, this is where to start. They often have better genetics because they haven’t had us poking our noses into their reproduction and “improving” them.
Sometimes you’re lucky and a friend gives you a lil bag of random seeds and you get to just play around and see what happens. As long as you haven’t got your heart set on a big beautiful harvest of your favorite bud it’s a great way to learn.
One problem left. How do you go about picking a choice seed from these randos? Look closely and there’s a few tricks to guide you. Now, I could just list them, but this is a really great article on the subject. Thank you leafbuyer.com for this gem:
These lil beauties are from plants that have been tricked into giving only female seeds. Occasionally you will get a hermaphrodite, that is a plant with both male and female characteristics, but its a small price to pay as it is FAR less likely then getting a male in a normal mix.
So you’ve got your little lady, all you have to do is follow a light schedule and you’re good to go. These can also be planted outside and will flower in the fall (just make sure to get a seed that specifies its good for outdoor growth, don’t fret this info will be on the spec sheet).
You CAN clone from a feminized seed. Go ahead and get as many plants as you can out of those seeds, it just isn’t recommended as the best option if you’re going to start growing en mass. The main issue here is the higher likelihood of them reverting to hermaphrodites vs a plant started from a normal seed.
You can’t wait that long? Presenting option #3
There are a lot of growers who don’t like these, but they definitely have their place. This is especially true if you are a hobby grower and maybe you live in an apartment in the city and it happens to be winter.
Unlike the two previous options you do not have to switch the light cycle in order for your plant to start blooming. After a set period of time it just does this on its own. This is nice because it means you don’t actually need a tent to block off all the light outside of your 12/12 schedule (because there isn’t one) and if you really want to you can grow it in the kitchen with an LED grow bulb. Pop it in the corner with some mirrors bouncing the light back and your bulb in a nice lamp that matches your decor and its a fun conversation piece. Cute. No, you’re not going to get a huge plant, but you don’t have a huge house and the bigger the plant the more odor it gives off. If you’re a plant person and just want to play around then this really is a great option. Yes, the seeds are the most expensive on the list, but if you play your cards right they are still FAR less expensive then buying that much cannabis.
Don’t bother trying to clone them. A clone is just that, a copy of the parent, at the same genetic age. Cutting a piece off will not revert it back to the beginning of its growth cycle, you’ll just get a very little flowering plant. So unless you’re into micropropagation from tissue samples just pop in a new seed.
But Which Strain do I buy?
Check a few catalogs and pick out the one that falls under the type of seed you’d like and has a description of the type of high you like. Remember to keep in mind your growing conditions, indoor vs outdoor and check the specs to ensure you’re getting the optimal one for you. You can even get high CBD varieties. Take the flowering time and potency with a grain of salt. It’s an approximate guideline that will vary and is calculated based on “ideal conditions”.
I asked the cannabis community of Reddit for their fav Canadian seed banks. I didn’t get a huge response but I’ll update this list as time goes on. Check out:
- True North Seed Bank
- Canuk Seeds
- Growers Choice
- Jordan of the Islands
- Niagara Seed bank
So there you have it. Now all you have to do is get it to germinate 🙂
How do you do THAT?
As it happens I’ve got a post on that …
Good luck and happy growing.