As they say, not all heroes wear capes, and absolutely zero of them toss old seeds.
This is a pretty common practice used to germinate almost any seed. Take a few moist paper towels and place the seeds you’d like to germinate on top. Place a few more moist towels on top of the seeds and seal in a container. Keep the container somewhere it will be warm and get a bit of light. Seeds should germinate in about 72 hours.
One of the best, and most readily available, places to store seeds long term is to stick them in a refrigerator. Ideally, you don;t want to freeze the seeds, as any moisture that may be contained inside can crystallize and harm the future seedling. So, keeping them at a cool 6-8 degrees Celsius (42-46º F) is far better than a deep freeze. That will pretty much obliterate the heat element.
When all else fails, you may need to score (scratch or cut) the outer surface of the seed by mechanical means. This can be achieved in two ways: With sandpaper, or a steady hand and a sharp knife. If you’re going the sandpaper route, line a small container, like a matchbox, with fine grain sandpaper. Pop your seeds, around 30-60 at a time, and shake the container for a good three minutes. For the knife method- use an extremely fine blade, such as found on Exacto knives or scalp to create a shallow cut in one side of the seed.
Germinating old seeds can be difficult, if not impossible, if it’s not done exactly right. That being said, it is possible. So before you toss those marijuana seeds that you’ve been keeping at the bottom of an old baggie, be sure and give this a read. But, let’s just start with how to store seeds the right way, so you won’t have to bust out those superpowers next time.
To improve your chances, use carbonated water and/or add one of these supplements that help with water absorption. Fulvic acid and most boosters also give your seeds a light dose of nutrients.
In a life or death situation, surgery may be the only option. Meaning—only do this if nothing else has worked because this technique ruins as many seeds as it saves.
When your old cannabis seeds don’t want to pop, one of these four techniques could come to their—and your—rescue. Aging seeds are more difficult to grow than fresh ones and we’ll explain what you can do to help germination.
To scarify your seeds, line a matchbox or other small container with sandpaper. Drop the seeds inside, shake vigorously for 30–60 seconds, then remove. You may not notice much of a difference, but the small micro-abrasions are sometimes enough to let water breach the shell and trigger germination.
The older a cannabis seed gets, the harder it is to pop. But hard doesn’t mean impossible. If you’ve been saving your seeds for a rainy day and it finally started pouring, these tips could help you get most, if not all, of your old beans to germinate.