You can ‘test’ your seeds once you have removed them from storage. Place them in water. If they sink, they should be fine. However, if they float, it is more likely that they are bad seeds. You can still try to germinate, but there is a greater risk of producing poor-quality cannabis, or else the seeds fail to sprout. You can keep floaters in water for approximately 72 hours to see if they sprout a tail.
Here is a quick overview of what will likely happen to cannabis seeds at different humidity levels:
It would help if you also stored your seeds as high above the ground as possible. This reduces the possibility of a pest like a rodent coming in and feasting on the seeds.
A Note on Insects & Pests
If you want to store your seeds for at least six months, use a vacuum-sealed container. You can achieve this effect by removing all the air from a Ziploc bag. There are also special vacuum-sealed containers available online. Put the sealed bag in a dark container and put it in the fridge.
You also have the option of placing the seeds in the freezer. Remember, though; you need to germinate them immediately upon removal.
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.
In this guide, we outline how to store and preserve your cannabis seeds. We focus on the following:
If you’re storing your seeds in a humid, improperly sealed environment with access to moisture, your seeds may rot, mold or prematurely germinate. Once water comes into contact with a seed, it produces ethylene and begins to germinate. Even just a little droplet can cause harmful mildew that can kill your seeds. Aim for an environment of 10 to 20% humidity and use a desiccant. Seeds can begin to germinate at just 40% humidity.
Properly storing your seeds will ensure the health and success of your cannabis crops to come. In optimal conditions, seeds can be stored in cool, dark places for up to 2 years. Some even last up to 5 years. The fresher your seeds, the better the plant. This is particularly important if you’re bulk buying seeds for better deals or to ensure a consistent crop of your favorite strains. As long as you store your seeds well, you’ll ensure their freshness for quick, problem-free planting every time.
Light is one of the biggest factors that contributes to seed germination. Overexposing your seeds with too much light will force them to leave their dormant stage and begin to mutate. This is particularly true of constant fluctuations in light, which will affect the germinating power. You may end up with a seed that either grows poorly, takes far longer to grow than normal, or simply won’t grow at all. That’s why opaque containers are so important.
2. Keep seeds free of moisture
Labelling your seeds is crucial. This will stop you from opening your containers to check them and will provide details on both strain type and date of purchase. You can write all this simply on a small paper label and place it on the container’s exterior. Dates will ensure you can plant for freshness.
The first thing you’ll need to store your seeds is a good container. You can take your pick depending on how long you’re your seeds storing for. Short-term storage, say the next day or week, is fine kept in simple containers away from the light. For longer-term stockpiling, glass sealable containers like laboratory Eppendorf tubes or opaque airtight boxes are great. Sealable Mylar bags are also effective as you can effectively vacuum the air out. If you’re utilizing transparent bottles, boxes or bags, be sure to also store these within opaque containers of some kind to keep light out too. Glass is generally more favorable over plastic options as it tends to be more air-tight.
All great cannabis plants begin with quality seeds. Unfortunately, many growers overlook the simple fact that seeds are living organisms that need preserving to remain in tip-top condition. Store your seeds in haphazard ways, and you run the risk of affecting both quality and germination. Luckily, proper storage is easy to do as long as you know how.
Cannabis seeds are naturally pretty resilient, but they aren’t invincible. Changes in temperature, humidity and light can all have very damaging effects. More drastic environmental issues, like dampness, can even destroy your seeds completely.
You must not forget that light is another of the factors that directly impact seed germination. Therefore, you must be sure that you prevent light from shining on the seeds that you will later be planting. If exposed to light, they can lose much of their germinative power. This is why at Dinafem we place our Eppendorf tubes in opaque metal boxes, which protect the seeds from light and any possible crushing or breakage during their transportation or handling.
Labelling the strains you have is even more vital if you cannot see the seeds. This can be the case if, for example, you follow the advice of some growers, who instruct more inexperienced growers to store their seeds in analogue film tubes. In cases like this you can simply stick a small label on it and jot down with a pencil the name of the strain in each tube, which should be placed, in turn, inside a piece of Tupperware to prevent its contents from deteriorating.
It may seem obvious, without a doubt, but don’t forget to label the different strains you have. Once you store the seeds in their containers you should only open them to plant them. It is not advisable to open and close the container you are using, as the protection your seeds are provided is immediately lost once it is opened, and fluctuations in temperature and humidity can be highly detrimental.
Run from the light
To keep your seeds in a cool place you’ll only have to make some space for them in your refrigerator at home (if it is a no-frost model, and in the fruits and vegetables crisper, even better), though ensuring that it is dry enough for their proper preservation will be a bit more complicated.
To ensure this we place small pearls of silica gel inside the tubes so that, even if the outdoor humidity rises, or the temperature varies, we can be confident that the air is completely dry inside. The cap of the Eppendorf guarantees that no humidity gets in, but the silica gel also ensures that, if any were to penetrate it by accident, it would be immediately absorbed by this material.
They are where it all begins. The care you give your cannabis seeds will determine not only how your plants grow, but also the final results of your harvest. As we are dealing with a natural product that needs to develop, the conditions under which it is stored will have an impact on their subsequent yield. Thus, though marijuana seeds are quite robust and autonomous, if you want to avoid unwanted setbacks when you plant them, you should take steps immediately after obtaining them.
If a container you are using is left open, and a rodent somehow gets into your house, the consequences can be dramatic, both for you and your harvest, of course, because the animal will enjoy a great feast at your expense. This is why, among other things, something as simple as placing your containers up high can be a good way to prevent such disasters.