Before your marijuana seeds germinate, they are in a similar state to animals when they hibernate. Like all living organisms, your seeds can die if you don’t take care of them correctly. The good news is that cannabis seeds can last for five years after harvest with proper storage.
Here is a quick overview of what will likely happen to cannabis seeds at different humidity levels:
Keeping Light Away from Your Marijuana Seeds
If you don’t begin with great seeds, you can forget about producing a harvest of high-quality marijuana. A lot of growers seem to forget one simple fact: Your seeds are alive! Although cannabis seeds are fairly durable, improper storage can ruin them. If you’re paying $10-$20 a seed, losing a full batch is an expensive mistake.
Once you enter medium-term storage (a few months), it is time to use an airtight container. Examples include a mason jar or Ziploc bag. Place this sealed container in the fridge. Remember that opening your fridge can cause significant temperature fluctuations. As a result, it is ideal if you have a second fridge that is seldom used.
If you have old seeds not stored in ideal conditions, there are still a few ways to germinate them.
If your seeds get exposed to light or rapid changes in temperature, these conditions will trigger them to use up their nutrient stores before they ever see soil, meaning they won’t have the nutrients they need to germinate. High humidity, on the other hand, can trigger fungi to grow on your seeds.
The ridge is the slightly elevated side of your seed. Like other parts of the shell, this ridge can become extra tough over time. Removing it gently with a sharp Stanley blade can help your seed sprout.
IDEAL CONDITIONS FOR CANNABIS SEEDS
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.
Humidity is easily one of the biggest threats to your seeds. Here is how different levels of humidity (% relative humidity) affect your cannabis seeds:
Many people forget this, but it’s true—your cannabis seeds are living organisms. Before they germinate, however, they are in a state of rest (much like some animals when they hibernate). And like all living things, seeds can die. When storing your seeds, you’ll want to give them the optimal conditions to ensure they hold through until you’re ready to germinate and plant them.
A few basic things to remember are, always store seeds in a cool, dark, dry location, and never let them see direct sunlight.
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.
WHY IS PROPER SEED STORAGE NECESSARY
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.
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.
With the correct method of storage, cannabis seeds could remain viable for 5-10 years! Read more about how to store seeds the best way!