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.
The seed’s shell is made up of two pieces, with a seam going all around. The side that’s raised more than the other is the ridge. A hardened ridge can make it difficult for the seed to open. To remove the ridge, run a sharp blade along the ridge on both sides. Handle gently and it should come off without damaging the inside of the seed.
1. PRE-SOAK WITH SUPPLEMENTED WATER
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.
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.
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.
If you are in a hurry and cannot afford to wait that long, there is a way to speed up the procedure. But a big warning; you run the risk of cooking your weed or rendering it too soggy to smoke.
Have you ever seen a bud crumble to a powder when rolling a joint? Learn how to rehydrate your weed stash in record time with our three simple methods.
When you cut down your weed to dry, soon after, the stems lose a lot of their rigidity and stiffness. If you handle a stem, it will bend without snapping. As such, the general rule of thumb is, when you can snap a bud’s stem clean in half, it is sufficiently dry. If the stem still bends, it needs more time. While this trick works great for the more experienced, it is by no means the most scientific method.
FRUIT PEEL METHOD
In moderate climates with average humidity, expect a slow and even drying period. In arid climates, however, it’s essential to keep a humidifier close by.
The solution is relatively simple. All you need is an airtight container (again!), or something very close. In this remedial situation, being airtight is not essential to success. But after rehydration and for long-term storage, airtight containers are indeed necessary.
After a final trim, buds should be placed in an airtight container to cure. Unfortunately, weed will continue to exchange water with the surrounding air, so, unless you look after them, your prized buds will end up bone-dry. Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to maintain the perfect environment for weed is with a moisture pack.
Cannabis dries from the outside in. The outer leaves may seem dry, but the inner bud and stems might still hold considerable amounts of water. Therefore, it is common for growers to judge dryness by using the stem-snapping trick.
For all this you will need an airtight container or canister, or an opaque plastic bottle in which, in addition to the seeds, you should place little pouches of silica gel, to reduce the moisture. With regards to the best place in your refrigerator, the crisper is a good choice, as it is a little warmer than the rest of the fridge. Also, one last tip: if you store several strains in different bottles, it is a good idea to label them, so that you won´t have to open them to see which is which when you decide to plant them.
Another good investment, which can be key in the case of old seeds, is Jiffy 7. This product is a compressed pill of dried peat that you need to soak for a few minutes. At this point it becomes a small sack of soil that is specially designed to facilitate germination, because it features the ideal structure, is sterilized, has all the necessary elements to nourish the seedlings during the first week, and is pH-neutral. Due to these characteristics it can be your best bet to get your older seeds to sprout.
The key: the storage conditions
If you have only saved the seeds for a year and a half, they should not give you any problems. After this time period, even if you have stored them properly, germination may be more complicated because the older the seeds are, the harder their shells, so the water used to open them will take longer to penetrate them. Therefore, the first method to try to get the plant’s embryo to develop is to put your old seeds in a glass of water, with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, for 24 hours. Hydrogen peroxide softens the shell and facilitates the water’s infiltration.
For those beginning with the glass of water, the second step would be to move the seeds, after 24 hours, to the wet paper towels. Germination normally takes between 48 and 72 hours, and, in the case of old seeds, can last up to 5 or 6 days, or even weeks. Therefore, transferring the seeds to wet paper gives you more peace of mind, as you are dealing with less water and, if they open, they will not quickly drown.
Because of this risk, there are growers who choose another way: germinating their seeds with the help of wet paper towels and dishes. If this method is chosen, you’ll have to grab a plate and place a soaked paper towel on it. After placing your cannabis seeds placed on top, with enough space between them, cover them with another damp paper towel. Although this method is widely used, some purist growers insist that you have to be very careful, because the towels used may contain chlorine and chemicals that could impede germination.