Dispensary staff should be able to give you information on the seeds they’re selling, but keep in mind that a lot of dispensaries focus on selling flower and end-products. It’s a good idea to call ahead and talk to staff to see if they are knowledgeable about seeds and can give you specific information on growing.
Because US federal law still prohibits cannabis, it can be hard to find information on seed banks and breeders. Breeders who have a long history and positive reputation are usually a good place to start. To get an idea of what well-established breeders look like, check out:
Which strain should I grow?
An inexperienced breeder might cross a male and a female one time and sell the resulting seeds as a new hybrid strain, but professional breeders usually put their strains through several rounds of backcrossing to stabilize the genetics and ensure consistent plants that reflect those genetics.
If you want six total cannabis plants to harvest for buds and are growing from regular seeds, start with about 4 times as many, or 24 seeds. Some won’t germinate and some will turn out to be males, and then you’ll want to discard down to the six best phenotypes. If growing feminized seeds, you can probably start with about twice as many seeds in this case (about 12); a couple won’t germinate, and then discard down to the six best phenotypes.
Heavy rains and high winds can cause physical damage to plants and reduce yields, and excessive moisture can lead to mold and powdery mildew, especially during the flowering stage.
While some plants thrive in their native soils, which are usually one of the compositions listed above, cannabis plants are best grown in soil that includes a combination of the three consistencies above—this mixture is known as loam.
While shopping for soil, you might be overwhelmed by the options available at your local garden store. The soil type is the basic structure of your soil. From there, look at nutrients, microorganisms, and other amendments that improve the soil. Your choices will be flooded with words like:
Most potting soils used in gardening are loam soils. If you’ve ever worked with potting soil, you’ll know that its composition is rich and diverse, and it looks dark and hearty. Beyond texture and color, the soil should smell rich and alive.
For most first-time gardeners, we recommend buying a quality potting soil that will provide your plants with enough nutrients to get them through most of their growth cycle without having to add many amendments. This pre-fertilized soil—often referred to as “super-soil”—that can grow cannabis plants from start to finish without any added nutrients if used correctly.
The difference between male and female seeds is important for growers. To get big harvests of smokable buds, you want only female plants. Male plants, on the other hand, can cause a lot of problems as they will pollinate the female flowers, which makes the buds produce seeds. While some people argue for the usefulness of male cannabis plants, most growers are primarily interested in big, seed-free flowers from female plants.
In addition to deciding between indica, sativa, and hybrid, you should also figure out which specific strain you want to grow. If you are not sure which marijuana strain you want to grow, or you’re curious to learn about other strains you might not be familiar with, browse through the digital catalogs of reputable seed banks online and read about the various strains currently available. The best seed banks will have plenty of helpful information.
Here are a few questions you should ask before making a purchase:
Regular marijuana seeds, feminized seeds, or autoflowering seeds?
Fortunately, cannabis seeds are now easier to find and purchase than ever before. With many top-notch seed banks making a wide variety of feminized and autoflower seeds available alongside regular seeds, it’s very easy to buy cannabis seeds online or in brick-and-mortar stores. That being said, the way you go about buying marijuana seeds is still very dependent on the laws in your area. But before you plunk down your hard-earned dough for something to grow, there are several things you need to consider. From legal concerns to strain choices to indoor vs outdoor, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to purchase cannabis seeds.
Buying seeds directly from a brick-and-mortar shop gives you the benefit of being able to talk to an expert before making your purchase. Make sure the dispensary you’re buying from has employees who are experienced with the growing process.
Growing inside gives you a bit more flexibility as you can control and fine-tune the growing culture for your plants. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Another question to ask yourself is whether you want to be an indoor grower or an outdoor grower.