Are These Cannabis Seeds Good?
Bad Seeds = Confidence Killer
Growing with bad marijuana seeds is particularly harsh on growers of all levels.
This is mostly because it’s tough to pinpoint when the seed itself is the actual problem. Most growers will blame themselves for a problem that shows up in their grow long before they assume it’s the seeds.
The term ‘bad seeds’ usually refers to any type of seed that has a significantly higher likelihood of causing problems in a grow. I’ll cover the most common reasons for bad seeds in this tutorial!
These cannabis seeds were germinated between two wet pieces of paper towel!
These are pot seeds you might get from a friend, or maybe you have them stashed somewhere and forgot how you got them. In either case, if the shell of the seed looks beat-up, it may not germinate as well or quickly as seeds that were stored in good conditions.
Seeds are a little nugget of genetic material than can hopefully grow into a plant. And like all other genetic material, it doesn’t last forever! Although seeds can be viable for quite years and years after they’re first produced, the chances of them successfully germinating goes down over time (and old seeds also tend to take a lot longer to germinate than fresh ones). The resulting seedlings are also more likely to be slow growing. But sometimes they sprout like they were born yesterday!
Check out the picture below. We sprouted all the plants at the same time. The tub on the right has seeds that were planted within a week of receiving them in the mail. The tub on the left has a very popular strain with award-winning genetics… but the seeds were more than 6 years old from when we first bought them. Even though they were all put into the tank at the same time and the new seeds grew like crazy, the seeds on the left got outpaced by algae – only one sprouted and though its roots keep growing and growing the actual never got any bigger than two round leaves even after a month!
Pale or Flimsy Seeds
When I first started growing I was told that good cannabis seeds needed to be very hard with dark tiger striping. If you could crush it between your fingers, it was a bad seed, or so I was told. This has not been my experience at all!
Did you know that the “stripes” on cannabis seeds are actually part of a protective coating? The “pale” seeds in this photo are actually just regular seeds with the coating rubbed off!
Over the years, some of my very best plants came from flimsy, light brown seeds that very likely would have been easy to crush between my fingers.
So I’m a big believer in the fact that if you put the seed in the ground and a fast-growing healthy seedling comes out of it, it was a viable seed! Don’t toss a seed you are really interested in just because it’s a little pale; give it a chance (I’m talking more about tan seeds, it’s very unlikely a yellow seed will sprout)!
Note: Although the hardiness of the seed was likely important in the wild, cannabis growers have been breeding plants for generations to make good buds, not seeds! We growers strive to provide an ideal germination environment that lets almost any seed germinate successfully. As a result, we haven’t been breeding for seed hardness. Just like a teacup poodle hasn’t been bred to be strong, cannabis seeds haven’t been bred to be strong. They have other qualities we love 🙂
Bag seeds you randomly find in your buds aren’t supposed to be there, so that means that the genetics are a toss-up. Even if the seeds started with good parents, there’s no telling how high or low the quality will be. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to grow it… Some growers win the genetic lottery, but many others lose out.
If you talk to breeders, you’ll learn that when you breed two “star” strains together you don’t always get what you’d expect. It seems like every one of the seedlings (or at least most of them) should be capture the best qualities of both their parents.
However, that’s not how genetics works most of the time. Without intensive breeding and backcrossing, when you mix two random plants you often end up with only a fraction of the seedlings capturing the best of both parents.
Bag seeds are a wildcard! You never know what you’ll end up with!
So depending on how the seed was originally made, bagseed often has a lot of variety. Even if the buds you got were an incredible quality, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the seeds will produce buds like that. If you’ve ever gotten involved with breeding or growing other types of specialized plants like roses, hops or even apples, you’ll know that seeds rarely breed “true” to the parents, and cannabis isn’t any different.
That being said, sometimes bagseed is all you have, and lots of growers get lucky!
Hermaphrodite or Male Plants
If a cannabis seed was produced with a male doing the pollinating, it means that about half of the resulting seeds will end up being male (which you don’t want, because only female flowers turn into bud). In that case, you want to determine the gender of your young plants as soon as you can so you can toss all the male ones before they start making pollen sacs.
If growing with seeds that were produced without a male plant around, the seeds sometimes end up being hermaphrodites, which means they grow both male pollen sacs and female flowers (again, something you don’t want).
One of the best ways to ensure all your plants end up being female is to start with feminized cannabis seeds from a trustworthy breeder.
Sometimes It’s Random!
Even if you’re starting with the best, most fresh seed stock, occasionally you’ll get an individual seed or plant that just doesn’t grow as well or quickly as the others, or maybe you’ll get a super awesome seedlings that just starts kicking butts and taking names from its first moment.
Natural variation is totally normal! It’s always a good idea to sprout at least a few more seeds than you need in case you happen to run into a runt, or some other expected problem! If all your plants are healthy and growing fast except one, you can blame the seed!Are These Cannabis Seeds Good? Bad Seeds = Confidence Killer Growing with bad marijuana seeds is particularly harsh on growers of all levels. This is mostly because it’s tough to
What does the appearance of a cannabis seed indicate?
Can the visual appearance of a cannabis seed indicate anything useful about the future plant which it will produce? It’s a question which has been asked by many cannabis growers. And over the years there have been many different theories about this.
Cannabis seed weight. What does the weight of a cannabis seed indicate?
Dutch Passion created feminized seeds in the 1990’s. It was a revolution for cannabis growers. But in the days before feminized seeds, some people felt that ‘male’ and ‘female’ seeds could be separated according to their weight, appearance, size, shape etc. The idea behind this unproven theory was that cannabis seeds all had different sizes and shapes for a reason. One of the first difficulties with the theory is that different marijuana seed varieties often produce different size seeds. White Widow seeds, for example, can often look smaller than other varieties. And yet they produce excellent quality harvests. Seed size has no relationship to potency. The future sex of a cannabis plant simply can’t be determined by the weight or size of the cannabis seed. If it were that easy the seed companies wouldn’t spend as much time and effort to create feminized seeds.
Feminized seeds vs autoflowering seeds. Do they look different?
Every so often a home grower will accidentally mix up their seeds. Often this is done after a smoke/vape, perhaps when you are getting the cannabis seeds ready for germination. If you have ever mixed up your seeds it can feel impossible to be confident about their true identity. There is no certain way to distinguish between feminized seeds and autoflower seeds just by looking at them. The plants real future identity lies in the DNA inside the cells within the seed.
Stripes on cannabis seeds. What do they indicate?
Cannabis seeds have an undeniable beauty and appeal. The various shades of brown are delicate. Under powerful magnification you can see how a cannabis seed is a wonderful piece of natural beauty and design. When you examine a cannabis seed near a bright light you can see a shiny reflection, as if the seed has a coating of wax. Not every cannabis seed has a similar appearance to the next. Some seeds will have dramatic tiger stripes. Others will have a more homogenous surface coloration. The appearance of the seed isn’t a reliable indicator of any particular plant quality. Everything is coded in the genetics inside the plant tissue safely encased inside the shell. From the sex of the plant to the cannabinoid and terpene profile, plant DNA and genetics determine the future. That’s where you rely on the seed company doing their job properly. The highest quality cannabis seeds are not always the cheapest. But if you buy from a company with a reputation for quality you know that a great deal of skill and effort, and many years work, has gone into your cannabis seeds.
Are heavier cannabis seeds more difficult to germinate?
Some growers feel that the largest seeds can be more difficult to germinate due to the extra shell material. However, the shell material is designed to be weakened by water, it shouldn’t really be an obstacle to germination rates. As the fibres in the shell are penetrated by water, the shell structure swells and weakens allowing the tap root to emerge. Poor germination rates of cannabis seeds is often a sign of old seeds. It could also be the result of poor quality seed production practices. This is one area where established seed companies have the benefit of many decades of know-how and experience. Cannabis seed production is just like any other intricate and highly skilled process. The most experienced seed companies have people who are at the top of their profession with several decades of practical knowledge producing the best quality cannabis seeds. Dutch Passion do not recommend the use of sand paper to reduce the thickness of the cannabis shell. It’s too easy to accidentally damage the inner seed. Simply leave the seed to soak in a damp paper towel for a day or so. But never try to force open the seed, or use artificial abrasion techniques to try to weaken the shell.
Old cannabis seeds
Very old cannabis seeds feel weaker when gently squeezed. In the worst cases the shells crack easily and the powdery crushed contents are released. The best way to store cannabis seeds is in a dry, dark container in a cool place such as a fridge. Cannabis seeds will still have good germination rates after several years of cold (and dry) storage.
Immature cannabis seeds
Cannabis seeds which were harvested too early will have a green/whitish appearance. Often these will be small in size, and will struggle to germinate. Seeds that are clearly immature are not recommended for growing. Some seeds, such as Dutch Passion Frisian Duck, can have their own coloration. In the case of Frisian Duck the seeds have a slightly unusual grey appearance
Buy the best cannabis seeds online
The best way to achieve a good quality harvest of home grown cannabis is to invest in some high quality seeds. Buying cannabis seeds online from a high quality seed company guarantees fresh seeds with good germination viability. You also benefit from the security of knowing that your cannabis seeds contain the best genetics to deliver top quality cannabis at harvest.
Leave a comment
I revently bought a 5 pack of feminized Skunk #11 and the seeds are tiny and white and look very immature. Im trying to germinate one right now but Im not confident it will sprout, should I worry?
Through the years I myself have grown just about every any seeds I have run across and In my experiences a. Male is a male and a female is a female.until you are ready to start budding you just won’t know.also have planted some texmex dirt seeds and produced some of the best Bud I’ve ever smoked
I tried pots and many mediums but the best and quickest way I find is in a glass of tepid water, this will also show if your seed is fertile and will sprout. first get a small dark glass I use a brown pill bottle or tub. First fill 3/4 of your water vessel with tepid water. Get a seed or seeds and pop in. Now don’t panic if they float. After 2 hour if seed is floating just lightly push seed under water a few times if needed. If still floating leave for another 2 hours or overnight. You can put lid on pill jar or clingfilm to ensure you vessel is air tight. Place in a dark warm place for 24hours. Your seed should be sprouted. Thank out seed sandwich between Wet paper towel on a plate and leave back to same warm spot and ensure to keep moist..Your sprouts should be good to go in a total of 3-4 days. Best of luck Aido
2″ container filled with potting soil,1″deep where seed won’t corkscrew out,water,3 days sprouted. No muss no fuss.
A rule of thumb for gardeners is that a seed should be 1-2 times as deep as it is big. a pea at 2cm, a ganja seed at >1cm.
Hi Alf ! After 35 years of starting my seeds using fine, sieved soil in small plastic pots, last year I tried small Rockwool cubes (40 x 40 x 40 millimetres) for germinating my babies. This was extremely easy and I achieved 100% germination. It will now be the method I use for the rest of my days, so pleased was I with the results and how simple it is ! I plant my seeds pointy end down, one seed per cube. There is no need to pre-treat the seeds in any way or do any other various types of physical manipulation; the plants have been doing it themselves, unaided, for Millennia ! Start by soaking the cubes in a bucket of room temperature, aged / chlorine free, clean water for a few minutes, then remove the cubes and give them a couple of quick flicks in a downward direction to remove the excess water. I then make a small hole in the cube, about the same width of the seed and roughly twice as deep as its’ size, with a small pointed stick. After inserting the seed (a small bamboo skewer can be very helpful), I use a small “fluffy” piece of Rockwool, about 2-3 times the size of the hole and about 2-3 millimetres (1/8 of an inch) thick, taken from either the edge of the cube or another cube especially sacrificed for this purpose and cover the seed in its’ hole lightly, with this small tuft / fluffy piece, so it forms sort of a “hat” and very gently give the “hat” a pat so that it is in contact with the rest of the cube. There is no need to push the “hat” down hard. After this I use a water spray bottle (atomiser), with the nozzle adjusted to a misting setting, to lightly moisten the “hat”. Again, using clean, room temperature and chlorine free water. After all this, I place the cubes onto a saucer that has some very fine aquarium gravel or a similar substrate, covering the bottom (of the saucer). This is to provide air circulation and drainage, in case you are too generous with watering. You need to keep the cubes moist, but NOT wet. If you can feel moisture when lightly touching the cube with the back of a finger, this is moist enough. Resist the urge to water every day (unless necessary) and under no circumstances, do not use any fertilisers. The embryonic seed has / contains all the nutrition and energy it needs for the first 2-3 days of growth (think bean sprouts!). The best way to maintain the correct moisture level is to use the water sprayer bottle and mist the cubes gently. You will, after some experience, be able to judge the moisture content by the weight of the cube when / if you pick them up. Do not let the cubes dry out, but this is highly unlikely if you check the cubes at least once a day. Keep the moist cubes in a warm shady area and away from any direct winds / breezes that may dry the cubes out prematurely. Only once the seeds have sprouted should they be placed in / under any light, but the sooner they are, the better. There is no need to cover the saucer with the cubes on it with anything, such as cling film or a plastic bag and do not place them in a mini greenhouse or any other type of enclosed container, as this can cause the seeds to rot due to the extremely high humidity. I have found that the cubes will remain moist long enough for the seeds to germinate with little to no extra watering, with the sprouts taking between 1 and 6 days to emerge; so do not give up too soon! Plant the whole cube into your growing system once the seed has sprouted and the plants’ root(s) are coming through the bottom of the cube. By starting the seeds in the cubes you avoid handling the fragile baby plants and prevent any possible risks of damaging the emerging embryonic leaves and roots. I hope this helps and most of all, happy growing!!
I like the damp folded paper towel in an unsealed plastic bag (in a dark room) method — however have discovered one important trick/fact. Roots always try to grow down, so put the seed inside a folded damp paper towel, but ensure only one layer is below the seed and the other damp layers are on top. The root will try to work its way down. If there are many layers below it, the root can get entangled and be hard to extricate without damage.
I germinated frisian duck seeds straight on top of a soil plug with halfvthe seed showing. I put three into a plastic box and then into a drawer in my garage. It took 6 days until they had sprouted to about 30mm high and shed the seed cap.
Alf, 4th June 2019. There are several equally good germination methods. Many customers prefer the idea of germinating seeds between sheets of wet kitchen paper, inside a sealable plastic bag. Good luck!
What is your recommended germination process in general?Some people think that the size, weight or appearance of a cannabis seed can tell you about the type of plant it will grow into. Read on to find out more. ]]>