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We’ve all found an odd seed somewhere at the bottom of an old drawer or cupboard. Here are a few tips on how to germinate old cannabis seeds:
Cannabis seeds, with their tough outer shell, seem pretty hardy. And while nature has definitely designed them to hold up to a wide variety of conditions, cannabis seeds aren’t invincible. Rapid changes in temperature and high humidity, for example, can quickly ruin a batch of seeds. Luckily, caring for your seeds is simple. Keep reading to learn how.
Again, whenever possible, keep your seeds in their original packaging. If you do open a pack of seeds and have leftovers, transfer the extra seeds directly into a sealed airtight container.
CAN YOU STORE SEEDS IN THE FREEZER?
Yes, cannabis seeds can be stored in the freezer. The lower the temperature, the slower they decline. However, it’s usually not necessary to freeze your seeds. Meet the conditions we outlined above, and you should be able to preserve your seeds for up to five years and still get a high germination rate.
Ziplock bags, for example, are great because you can remove all the air from them to create an almost vacuum-sealed container for your seeds. Once vacuum-sealed, put your bag inside a dark plastic bag or dark container to protect your seeds from your fridge light.
Remember, modern fridges are very dry. It’s super important your seeds aren’t directly exposed to these conditions, as the lack of humidity can cause them to use up their nutrient stores just to stay alive.
In a last attempt to germinate your seeds, creating a small cut in the seed’s shell may help. However, this is no miracle cure, and you’ll need to be careful to avoid damaging the inside of your seed.
If only being stored for a few months, cannabis seeds should do fine in a grip-seal bag, placed in a mason jar or some other type of airtight container. For more long-term storage, a vacuum-sealed package is a much more popular option. Many seasoned seed-savers like to add a food-grade desiccant to their package as well.
Frequent inquiries from new growers are often related to cannabis seeds. How can they be stored safely? How long will they last in storage? Will they retain the same qualities as newer seeds? When stored appropriately, yes, you can grow prime cannabis plants with decade-old seeds, just as you could with seeds that are only a few months old.
Some people who live in regions where there is a lot of cannabis activism and reform are currently stockpiling seeds of their favourite strains to grow when it’s legal in the future. Whatever your reason may be for having seeds, remember that taking care of them is one of the most important things you can do for your harvest.
THE ATMOSPHERE IS KEY – COLD, DRY & DARK
Furthermore, seeds should never be exposed to direct sunlight and should be kept in a dark, dry place. Excess light and humidity can lead to premature germination. Ideally, 9% or less humidity is preferred.
Cannabis seeds should be stored somewhere cold and frigid. Whether you store your seeds in a freezer, refrigerator, or even a cabinet or drawer, it’s important to leave them there until it’s time to germinate. Rapid temperature variations will destroy the genetic integrity of your seeds.
With the correct method of storage, cannabis seeds could remain viable for 5-10 years! Seed storage is important for many reasons. Someone who just created their own, high-quality genetics, may want to keep the seeds to reproduce the strain.
It’s also important to note that when freezing seeds, every time they are thawed and refrozen, they become less viable. Both freezing and refrigeration can also lead to excess moisture, so that’s something that needs to be monitored closely.