Following germination, cannabis seeds emerge as a young plant, marking the second stage within the life cycle of Cannabis cultivation. During this period, the seedling initiates the development of a cluster of little leaflets. Among the various stages of Cannabis plants, the seedling phase holds the highest risk and delicate nature. Its vulnerability makes it susceptible to destruction, necessitating utmost care from cultivators.
A seedling represents the embryonic stage of a plant enclosed within a seed coat, which later begins to sprout upon exposure to moisture. Subsequently, the emerging plant endeavors to seek out sunlight by growing inverted, aiming to rupture the seed casing. This phenomenon commonly occurs when seeds are cultivated beneath the soil or other materials, which necessitates their upward growth towards a light source. The seedling harnesses solar energy at this juncture, storing it for future growth. However, photosynthesis remains inactive during this phase, preventing stored energy utilization. Once the young plant reaches the soil’s surface, it instinctively seeks light, initiating the photosynthetic process. As a result, a series of leaves begin to develop, marking the commencement of the plant’s life cycle. The initial leaf set consists of a single leaflet, while subsequent sets yield three leaflets each.
In this stage, your young Cannabis plant does not require additional nutrients from its surroundings; therefore, it is unnecessary to introduce any supplemental elements. However, it is crucial to maintain regular watering for your plant, ensuring that the frequency remains moderate. Excessive watering during the seedling phase can lead to an abundance of moisture, which invites the growth of molds and bacteria, posing a threat to the plant’s well-being.
Regarding lighting schedules, your Cannabis seedling’s growth rate can be influenced by the intensity and color of the light it receives. Providing your seedlings with ample light is advisable, as they thrive in warmer temperatures. This is because Cannabis seedlings typically sprout when exposed to higher temperatures.
Seedlings necessitate a continuous 24-hour light cycle. In addition to warmth, providing them with consistent and uninterrupted light is vital, as it promotes faster development. In terms of humidity, seedlings require a humidity level ranging from 60% to 80% to maintain adequate moisture. As mentioned, seedlings do not require additional nutrients; they only need plain water with a pH level ranging from approximately 6.5 to 7.5.
The number of leaf fingers on the plant typically determines the transition to the vegetative stage in Cannabis. Many growers consider the seedling stage complete once the stems have thickened and developed 3-4 leaf nodes. The duration of the seedling stage varies depending on whether you are cultivating indoors or outdoors. When grown indoors, the seedling phase generally lasts approximately 3-4 weeks, whereas outdoor cultivation may extend the seedling stage up to 6 weeks.
Once your young Cannabis plants begin to establish a sturdy and resilient root system, the time for transplanting has arrived. However, even if the roots have gained strength, it is crucial to exercise caution during transplantation, as seedlings are incredibly delicate and prone to damage. Handle them carefully to avoid any harm or disturbance to the fragile stems, leaves, and roots. Providing a gentle touch and ensuring a smooth transition to their new growing environment will help safeguard your seedlings’ continued growth and well-being.
To provide optimal lighting conditions for your seedlings, it is recommended to position the light source approximately 5 cm above the plants. This distance helps prevent excessive heat exposure that could damage the seedlings. Maintaining consistent lighting is crucial, but be cautious about placing the light too far away from the seedlings as it may stretch the plants, making them more prone to tipping over.
When using high-intensity discharge (HID) or other light sources that generate significant heat, it is important to find an appropriate distance between the seedlings and the grow lights. An ideal distance is around 80 cm above the seedlings, ensuring they receive adequate light without excessive heat. A heat test beforehand can help determine the suitable placement for the grow lights, ensuring the seedlings receive the necessary warmth.
LED lights with a cooled spectrum are recommended for more efficient and effective lighting. Implementing an 18/6 light schedule, which entails providing 18 hours of light followed by 6 hours of darkness, can promote healthy growth and development of the seedlings.
One of the most prevalent errors made by certain cultivators, particularly beginners, is providing their seedlings with excessive supplements and nutrients. It is crucial to understand that Marijuana seedlings do not require additional nutrients for their growth. They simply need water with balanced pH, moisture, and sufficient light. It is advisable to allow the seedlings to thrive naturally during this growth stage rather than overwhelming them with elements at such an early phase of their life.
After a week or two, consider introducing feeding to your plants; however, using only half of the recommended dosage is vital. Failure to do so may result in the demise of your seedlings.
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