Viable or not, there’s only one sure way to find out if a bagseed will grow. If you’re simply curious to learn and not as concerned with the overall outcome, you can plant a couple of bagseeds outside and see what happens.
Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. There are many methods to germinate seeds, but for the most common and simplest method, you will need:
With cloning, you don’t have to get new seeds every time you want to grow another plant—you just take a cutting of the old plant—and you don’t have to germinate seeds or sex them out and get rid of the males.
Is the seed viable?
Also, autoflower plants are small—perfect for closet grows or any small grow, or growing outdoors where you don’t want your neighbors to see what you’re up to.
Pre-flowers can initially be extremely small and hard to identify with the naked eye, but you can use a magnifying glass to get a better look.
Ask yourself a few questions to decide if it’s worth the time and energy to grow the seed.
Seeds can also form in plants with genetic disorders or instability, like hermaphrodites—plants that develop both male and female reproductive parts. Generally, stress and genetic disorders are viewed as bad, so temper expectations with any plant you start from a bagseed.
Note: this test isn’t 100% accurate and only provides an indication of the viability. In addition, the water will activate the germination process. Therefore, only carry out this test if you want to germinate the seed immediately. After performing the float test, you can’t longer store the seed.
Fertile cannabis seeds are black, dark brown, red-brown or gray with a shiny glow as if there is a bit of wax on the peel. Cannabis seeds with a different color such as white, yellow or light green will probably also germinate, but indicate lesser quality. Such seeds have been harvested too early and haven’t had enough time to ripen.
Some people believe you can see the gender of the strain based on the appearance of the seeds. Well, we can tell you that ain’t possible. Both female and male seeds look exactly the same.
Healthy cannabis seeds are sufficiently matured and therefore have a different appearance than unripened cannabis seeds. For example, viable cannabis seeds meet a number of criteria. Think of the size and shape, hardness of the outside and color.
Note: the moisture from your fingers can damage the seed. Please use linen gloves to prevent this.
To test the viability of a seed you can place the seed in a glass with distilled water. Seeds that sink within 2 hours have sufficient mass. These seeds generally have a better chance of sprouting than seeds that still float.
A well ripened cannabis seed had sufficient time for hardening its shell. Healthy cannabis seeds are therefore provided with a hard smooth skin without cracks. You can test the hardness of the shell by taking the seed between your fingers and applying gentle pressure. Immature seeds will easily crack or crumble while qualitative cannabis seeds won’t damage.
The alternative to this is to risk buying seeds from a hobbyist. This isn’t to say that hobby growers cannot produce fantastic genetics, but if you don’t know them or their skills, there’s no way to know whether your seeds will grow.
However, slight patience is required when conducting the float test, as results are not immediately apparent. You’ll have to wait for approximately 1–2 hours before confirming the results. Some good-quality seeds will need adequate time to absorb enough water for them to sink. Use this time to go water the garden and get some much needed pruning done. Upon your return, any seeds that remain on the surface are most likely not viable and won’t be worth further time and effort.
With this said, you may get lucky if the strain they were growing really is prime. In this case, it’s worth carrying out the following test to see if it’s worth germinating.
Source Your Seeds Well
We hear this question all the time from clients and beginner growers, and the answer is a resounding no. There is simply no way to tell the sex of a cannabis seed just by looking at it.
A quick web search will bring up all kinds of myths about how to tell female cannabis seeds from males. One of the most popular ones comes from a chart showing 5 different seeds that claims that the female seeds have “a perfectly round volcano-like depression at the bottom (from where the seed was attached to the plant).”
It’s important to only conduct this test if you are planning to germinate the seeds immediately afterwards. The viable seeds that sunk to the bottom of the glass will have taken in water, crossing the membrane of the seed and signalling that it’s time to come to life—activating germination.
Keep in mind that the simple process of packaging and storing cannabis seeds can also affect their appearance. Abrupt changes in humidity, temperature, or light exposure can make some seeds appear darker or lighter than others, but ultimately have no effect on their quality.