How to Tell if your Marijuana Seed is Viable
When you buy marijuana seeds online, you cannot readily identify if the seed you are getting is viable or not and if the seed is female or male. You will never be able to find out if the seed will germinate too because every seed is exactly the same. There are a few techniques to use.
Finding out the viability of marijuana seeds online
Marijuana seed banks offer a variety of seeds which makes it a bit hard to find what you really need. The key is to understand the different characteristics of marijuana seeds and to have fresh eyes when you check for the viability of seeds.
Physical examination of cannabis seeds
One way how to tell if your marijuana seeds are viable is to look for a few physical characteristics. Marijuana seeds have certain characteristics that you won’t find in any other seeds from any plant.
Before you even touch a seed, you can inspect it from the inside of a plastic container. Look for tell-tale signs that the seeds are viable. For one, the color of the seeds makes a lot of difference. Cannabis seeds are naturally dark with black, brown and dark brown seeds. The seed should be dark all over which means that it is very viable and won’t take too long to germinate. If you spot seeds that are colored green or white then you must discard these seeds because these will never sprout. There are some instances that these seeds will germinate but the plants that will grow from these seeds will be weak and will not grow naturally.
Another physical characteristic that you must be wary of is the shape of the seeds. Cannabis seeds are mostly oval in shape with a slight taper. Seeds are moderately-sized. Seeds that are too small or too large may not be viable. Seeds that are crooked dented or with deep grooves may not be as viable as completely oval seeds.
The firmness of the seeds
Now that you have inspected your seeds, the next thing is to hold the seeds and feel it in between your thumb and finger. Roll the seeds in between your fingers and feel it’s firmness. The seeds should roll well and move smoothly in between your fingers. Now press the seed and see if the seed can be compressed.
Seeds that will be pressed are non-viable and these seeds may not contain any plant parts that can germinate as well. Seeds that are soft and will open when you press the cover will less likely germinate. The insides are still developing and therefore these immature seeds will never sprout no matter how hard you germinate these.
The maturity test
Some seeds are not just able to germinate but are also mature enough to sprout without hesitation. Take the seeds on your hand and check any designs or patterns on the seed body. You might find patterns like zigzag patterns, stripes and polka dots on the seed body which could be quite odd when you see find these on the seed body. But no doubt, that these marks do not mean that there is something wrong with the seed. This simply means that the seed is very mature and will be ready to sprout in just a few days more.
Another sign that the seeds are mature is you can see that the taproot is now moving out from the inside of the seed. The taproot is a fleshy root part that protrudes from the inside of the seed and this is the very first part of a plant that will burrow in the ground. The taproot anchors the plant in the ground and holds the plant together. This root is what makes plants healthy because it can absorb the nutrients from soil easily. The white taproot moving out of the seed is a sign that the seed is mature and ready to germinate the moment it touches the growing medium.
The sink or float test
Another time-tested a way to check if a cannabis seed is viable is that you must place it inside a glassful of water. You see, cannabis seeds are naturally made with fleshy viable insides. These insides are heavy and can’t wait to move out of the seed.
Fill a glass with water and then place the seeds inside the glass. Leave the seeds for a short while inside the glass. Some seeds will naturally float while some will naturally sink. Do not still the water, just let the seeds be.
Some seeds will float and this means that it contains viable insides which are heavy. These seeds will grow when you germinate these. You will also notice that some seeds will float and this is not good. This simply means that the seeds do not contain viable insides and therefore will never sprout.
So remove the floating seeds because these will nor sprout. Take the sinking seeds because these have viable insides.
Some seeds just need help
Cannabis seeds are naturally hard. But some are really too hard but are still viable. Some growers can help this kind of seed by doing the following techniques:
- Take the seed and file it. Hold the hard seed in between your finger and thumb and use a file to file a small piece of skin. For safety place the seed in a vice so you can file it safely. Hold the seed firmly and file a few strokes. As soon as you see the root or the fleshy part, stop filing. Place this seed inside a glass filled with water to continue germinating.
- Take the seed and use a small knife to open it. Again, hold the seed with your finger and thumb or place the seed in a vice to hold it firmly and securely. Take a small sharp knife and place the tip in the small groove that separates the two halves of the seed. Gently pry it open but not to the point that the seed will open completely. Open the seed until you see a small section of the root. Afterwards, place the seed in a glass of water.
- Place the seed inside a glass of water to soften the skin. The cannabis seeds skin is truly very hard and one way to soften this skin is to place it inside a glass of water. Leave the seed to soften for at least a day. Check the seeds after a day and you will see that the skin is now soft enough for the taproot to come out. As soon as the tap root comes out, place it in the growing medium that you prefer (either soil or hydroponic medium).
A few important things to remember once the seeds have sprouted
Now that you know how to tell if your marijuana seed is viable, you must now remember a few things. Once the tap root has sprouted, you must never touch this at all cost. The taproot is very sensitive and touching it can place stress on your plant. The taproot needs to be protected and the only reason you will touch this is when you are transplanting your seedlings.
If you wish, you can plant a newly sprouted seed directly in soil. The trick is to orient the seeds so that the taproot is positioned to penetrate the ground. The seed should never be removed; just leave the taproot as it is and soon it will start burrowing and creating more branches. Place the seeds at least two inches beneath the soil. This will be enough depth for the seedling to grow out from the soil and also for the taproot to hold on to the soil with new branches.
You can plant the seedling in a small container or a big final container instead. A small party cup is a popular choice because you can still take the cup in and out of your house in case of severe weather. Indoors, you will be able to monitor your seeds and will keep the environment in the best way to support the seedling’s growth.
But there are a few disadvantages of planting in a small container. As the plant becomes bigger, you need to transplant it from the container into a final pot. Transplanting should be done quickly because this is a very stressful thing for a cannabis plant. Therefore it’s your choice. You can transplant your plants to a large container or just start growing inside a large container.
How to tell if your marijuana seed is viable when you buy marijuana seeds online? There are special strategies and techniques. You must never overlook checking for viability to make sure that you are growing only top quality, viable seeds.