Just like raising a human baby or a pet, growing your own marijuana from a tiny seed into a beautiful, flowering plant can be very rewarding. It can also be somewhat daunting. The best way to prepare to care for your cannabis as it grows is to arm yourself with information about all the stages of growth you will encounter along the way. Here, we’ll delve into the best way to care for your marijuana while it is in the delicate seedling stage.

What happens to marijuana during the seedling stage?

Once your marijuana seed has been planted into fertile soil, it will begin to sprout. This means that, along the seam that joins each side of its husk, the seed will begin to split. The bottom end, known as the tail, will grow quickly, fastening itself down into the soil. This allows the root of the plant leverage, so that the husk, which contains the two halves of the seed can be raised up. The miracle of life!

seedling stage

Keep a close eye on your cannabis seedlings.

Above all else, in the seedling stage, you must be sure to pay close attention to your plant. Take note of every development that you see—before long, you will see the husk emerge from the ground. Though it may not be entirely clear to the untrained eye what’s happening, the husk is actually absorbing energy to produce chlorophyll (just like in seventh-grade science class!). In addition to the growth that you see happening on top of the soil, rest assured that there is also a great deal happening beneath the soil, in the opposite direction.

What’s going on with the leaves?

You will initially see only two leaves and they probably won’t look like any other marijuana leaves you’ve ever seen before. These leaves pop right out of the middle of the seed, and, believe it or not, they are called sucker leaves. The sucker leaves are a good sign; they mean that you will be sure to see other, more recognizable leaves soon.

The new leaves will emerge from the sucker leaves themselves. Some people say these first leaves look like chicken feet because they have two blades. After these leaves, you should start to see leaves with even more blades, beginning with three, then five, and eventually getting up to seven. The seven-bladed leaves are the ones universally recognized as a marijuana leaf. If your seedling stays healthy, it will develop more and more of these traditional cannabis leaves and you should be developing a healthy confidence in your green thumb.

seedling stage

How long does a cannabis plant stay in the seedling stage?

Marijuana plants are considered to be in the seedling stage until, on their new blades, they begin to develop leaves that have the full seven blades. This process usually takes between ten and fifteen days. Even though it may be very encouraging to see all of the new, bright green leaves sprout up on your plant, don’t rest on your laurels. In the seedling stage, cannabis plants are very susceptible to mold and to disease. Take care to keep your plant’s environment clean and to make sure it isn’t receiving too much moisture.

Finding ideal marijuana seedling growing conditions

There’s no hard and fast rule about the best spot for your cannabis seeds to thrive. That being said, one of the most ideal settings for a healthy marijuana seedling is in a propagator under LEDs or white CFL lights. A nice temperature for seedlings is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit with 70% relative humidity. If you choose to go the more natural route, make sure to choose a spot for your plants that is somewhat protected by a transparent shield. These can help to keep your marijuana seedlings from being devoured by hungry bugs, rodents, or other pests.

You can easily and cheaply make one of these shields yourself at home. Take a clear plastic bottle, cut it in half and keep the bottom half only. If you cut small incisions near the edges of the bottle half, you can ensure that your seedlings will get enough airflow.

seedling stage

Avoid overwatering those seedlings

One of the most common pitfalls of growing cannabis seedlings is the dreaded overwatering situation. How will you know if you’ve made this grave error? Your seedling will let you know by looking a bit sad and droopy. 

One common cause for overwatering is planting your seedling in a pot that is too big for it. When this happens, the seedling’s young roots simply aren’t long enough or large enough to absorb all the water that gets added to the pot. To avoid this issue altogether, it might be wise to plant your seeds in a smaller container, allow the seedling to develop, and then transfer it to a larger container once the plant has sufficiently matured.

The best place to start your seedling journey

For more tips and tricks on how to grow amazing seedlings, as well as access to an incredible selection of cannabis seeds, be sure to check out Growers Choice Seeds. We’d also love to hear from you if you have any fantastic tips that you’d like to share with the GCS grower community.

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