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old marijuana seeds

This is a very popular way to germinate seeds. And for good reason; it’s pretty successful. Here’s how to germinate your cannabis seeds using paper towel:

One of the main reasons old cannabis seeds don’t germinate is because they tend to have a very hard outer shell. Now, cannabis seeds naturally have a hard shell that helps protect them until the conditions are right for them to germinate. Over time, however, this outer shell can become so hard that it inhibits the seed from germinating altogether.

• Seeds can take a while to germinate. While healthy, fresh seeds can germinate in just a few days, old seeds can take anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks to sprout. So be patient.

TRY “THE PAPER TOWEL METHOD”

To help older seeds along, it’s a good idea to try scarring them. To do so, simply line the inside of a matchbox with some fine sandpaper, place your seeds inside, and shake the box for a minute or so. This will help make some small cuts in the seeds’ outer shells to help them absorb some moisture.

Before you start, it’s important you remember the following:

If this isn’t enough, you can try carefully (and very gently) using a sharp knife like a Stanley blade to remove the ridge running along the middle of each seed. This should expose the inside of the seed a little, helping it absorb moisture and, hopefully, giving it a better chance of germinating.

Sometimes, it’s best to leave Mother Nature to work her magic on your old seeds. Try scarring your seeds a little as we showed you earlier, then let them sit in carbonated water overnight. Next, prepare a small nursery pot with some high-quality soil. Make a small hole in the middle of the pot with your finger, roughly the depth of your fingernail. Drop your seed inside the hole and cover it. Moisten the soil and keep your pot in a warm place with indirect sunlight—a windowsill works great.

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.

Keep the water warm, but not too hot. Aim for around 22°C. Avoid direct sunlight, and keep an eye on the glass. Do not soak seeds for prolonged periods, more than 24 hours can deprive them of oxygen and make them drown.

As cannabis seeds age, their protective outer shell hardens and prevents water from passing through. Unless the tiny, dormant embryo that lives inside the shell detects moisture, it doesn’t know that the conditions are right to sprout. As a first step, pre-soak your old cannabis seeds for about 12 hours to see if that does the trick.

4. SLICE THE SEED

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.

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.

Scarification, or scuffing the shell, can also help water pass through an older seed’s tough outer shell.

If you’re going to keep seeds more than a year or two, proper storage will dramatically increase the chances of late-stage germination. Place them in an airtight container. Put the container in a refrigerator set at 6–8°C with 20–30% relative humidity. If excess moisture is a concern, add silica gel packs to the container.

This procedure is similar to cracking because you’re forcefully opening the seed—not by applying pressure this time, but by using a sharp knife. Please consider this a last resort—suitable only when all else fails.

Although prime cannabis seeds are typically younger, old weed seeds may still be viable! However, you have to go about germinating them differently, as time tends to harden these magic beans. Learn how to germinate your old cannabis seeds to achieve a bumper harvest.

Please keep in mind that this particular method of germinating old cannabis seeds is a bit risky, as are the techniques described below.

Germinating Old Cannabis Seeds Requires Patience

The problem with very old seeds is that their outer shell dries out over time, and it gets more and more difficult for water to penetrate them. As such, you, the grower, must take some steps to facilitate this process.

In most cases, you can simply use drinking water, but germinating old cannabis seeds may require some further tweaking. Some growers use carbonated water because the presence of CO₂ supposedly helps water penetrate the seed shell. Hydrogen peroxide (a few drops per glass) is said to have the same effect. You may also consider adding some biologically active compounds, such as:

That’s why it’s so important to store cannabis seeds in a dry place—so they don’t germinate prematurely, become mouldy, or rot.

If stored properly, marijuana seeds can remain viable for many years. However, the longer you keep them, the harder it is to make them sprout. More often than not, you’ll have to use different hacks to successfully germinate old cannabis seeds. We’ll teach you how, but first, let’s see what conditions make cannabis seeds come alive in the first place.