How Long Do Marijuana Seeds Last?
By James Alexander – Updated 03 January 2021
How long do marijuana seeds last?
It’s an important question.
Cannabis seeds are EXPENSIVE and if you have some leftover from your recent grow, you want to know how long they will be viable for so you can use them again.
The germination rate of Marijuana seeds naturally declines over time.
However, if stored correctly, your seeds can last for up to a decade! To last that long, they need to be high-quality and be stored in a refrigerator.
If stored in a dry and dark place, they will last from one to five years.
Read on to find out how to store your seeds correctly to keep them viable for longer!
Table of contents
How Long Are Cannabis Seeds Viable?
Good quality seeds last longer, but how long marijuana seeds last depends on their care and storage.
Ideally, seeds should be planted as soon as possible.
Although older seeds do germinate, the amount they do is significantly decreased as time goes by.
Experts recommend planting your seeds in the first three years.
Factors like light, temperature, and humidity will affect your seeds.
If your seeds are exposed to any of these, they will begin to start using their energy stores before they are planted and will eventually not germinate.
High humidity can lead to fungus growing and destroying your seeds.
This is why storage in a cool and dark environment is a must.
How To Tell If Your Cannabis Seeds Are Still Good
You can tell if your seeds are healthy by examining them closely.
Investing in high-quality seeds is the first step to getting a good yield.
Healthy seeds are dark in color and appear to have a waxy coating on the outside when examined under lights.
They feel firm and sturdy to the touch and do not break under slight pressure.
Old or low-quality seeds are weak and will likely crack or crumble easily under small amounts of pressure.
You do not want to waste your time growing these seeds as they will likely crack in storage and never germinate.
Seeds that are too young are lighter in color, like green and white.
These seeds will either take a very long time to germinate or not germinate at all.
A surefire way to check if your seeds are still good is to try and germinate them.
Seeds take around 3 days sprout. If your seeds do not germinate, they’re of no use!
Will Cracked Marijuana Seeds Still Germinate?
No, seeds that crack or get damaged will not grow.
When a seed cracks, its insides are exposed to light and air and thus, it cannot germinate.
Make sure you store your seeds in a way where they do not rattle around or hit each other.
You can also stuff your containers with cotton wool to prevent damage.
One time when people sometimes intentionally crack the outside of a seed is during germination.
This is done to allow for the taproot to sprout before planting but is not a method used by everyone.
How To Make Your Marijuana Seeds Last Longer?
How long marijuana seeds are viable for depends on several factors.
The temperature you store them at must be low.
Higher temperatures can lead to germination and even rotting.
The ideal temperature for storing seeds is 5 degrees Celsius and lower.
Light also signals the seeds to start growing and must be blocked.
Humidity or moisture feeds plants and helps them grow.
This is why your stored seeds should be far away from a humid environment.
Most experts recommend a humidity level below 5%.
Lastly, try to reduce the amount of oxygen the seeds are exposed to as much as possible to avoid the growth of bacteria and parasites.
Use A Reliable Seed Bank
Anyone can build an attractive website and sell seeds, but how do you know that you’re getting high-quality stuff?
First, look at the website and the location of the seed bank.
If it is an offline retailer, check out the address of the shop and make sure its legitimate and not just some P.O box.
You can also check the reviews online.
If it is an online business, look at the website and its reviews.
Sites that have several positive reviews can be trusted.
Next, look at the shipping details of the company.
How long will your seeds take to reach your mailbox? Do they offer discreet packaging?
Make sure that they offer a delivery guarantee.
This means that if your product is seized or damaged along the way, you will be guaranteed a replacement.
This is often the mark of a trustworthy and confident seller.
Look at the variety of seeds the store offers.
The bigger the collection, the more options you have to choose from.
Finally, a company should have a high success rate.
If they have great reviews and offer replacements, free shipping, and great customer service, you can confidently take a chance on them.
Select Strains With Strong Genetics
Good genes create good plants.
Just like in human beings, characteristics of parent plants are passed down into their offspring.
Each strain carries its unique genotype and phenotype.
The genotype is the genetic makeup or blueprint of the plant.
The phenotype is influenced by the environment it was grown in and has many effects on its color, smell, and potency.
Breeders work hard to isolate specific strains over generations of plants.
You can differentiate between strains with strong genetic backgrounds based on effect, taste, look, and smell.
Some strains also have their unique qualities due to being grown in different areas of the world over centuries.
There are thousands of strains available, with each having slightly different characteristics due to hybridization.
Do your research and make sure your seller has a good reputation.
You can find this out by reading on their website and seeing if they provide information on their breeding procedures and plants.
Store Them Properly
The type of container you store it in will affect how long your seeds will last.
Improperly stored seeds will lose their ability to germinate quickly.
It is advisable to always add a desiccant like silica gel packs or rice to remove humidity.
It also absorbs excess ethylene that is produced during the aging process and prolongs the life of your seeds.
The most popular methods for seed storage are-
A Ziplock bag works well when you want to store seeds for a short duration of around 5-6 months.
Any longer than that and your seeds may start to go bad.
Put your seeds into your bag, try to remove as much air as possible and then seal it tightly.
Then keep your bag in a cool and dark place.
Vacuum- Sealed Bag
A step further than a regular Ziplock bag, a vacuum-sealed bag will ensure that there is no air left inside your bag.
This will allow you to store your seeds for a longer period.
You will still need to ensure to keep it in a cool, dark environment.
Some seed banks deliver seeds in a vacuum-sealed package that can store them until they’re ready for planting.
Another great method for long term storage is keeping your seeds in an airtight container.
Glass containers are preferable as they are more resistant to heat and UV ray damage.
Just make sure to keep them away from light.
If you are looking to store your seeds for over a year, you can refrigerate them.
Refrigerators offer constant low temperatures and dark and moisture-free environment.
Keep your seeds at the back of your fridge so that they are away from any potential moisture or temperature changes from opening it often.
Make sure the container or bag your seeds are in is airtight and heatproof.
You will also want to make sure that your fridge is “no-frost” or has a no-frost area to shield seeds from frost damage.
Freezing marijuana seeds is a debated method.
Freezing is used by some to store their seeds for years on end.
Others say that it ends up killing seeds instead of protecting them.
Some growers even believe that freezing seeds can damage their internal cells.
Using special laboratories and equipment can allow for the careful freezing of seeds, but this is not a very cheap or accessible option for many.
Now that we have covered everything there is to know about how long marijuana seeds last and how to store them, you are all ready to begin your growing adventure.
We’ve made sure to cover all our bases- from basic seed facts to how to choose the best seed bank.
The rest is now up to you.
Leave us a comment down below about your seed growing and storage experience!
How long do marijuana seeds last?
How To Properly Preserve 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.
YOUR SEEDS ARE ALIVE
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.
IDEAL CONDITIONS FOR CANNABIS SEEDS
Cannabis seeds have three main enemies:
- Temperature changes
Ideally, you want to store your seeds in a cool, dark, and dry place. Whenever possible, keep your seeds in their original packaging. At Royal Queen Seeds, we’ve specially designed our packaging to protect our seeds until you’re ready to plant 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.
EFFECTS OF HUMIDITY ON CANNABIS SEEDS
Humidity is easily one of the biggest threats to your seeds. Here is how different levels of humidity (% relative humidity) affect your cannabis seeds:
EFFECTS OF HUMIDITY ON CANNABIS SEEDS
EFFECTS OF HUMIDITY ON CANNABIS SEEDS
WHERE AND HOW TO STORE YOUR CANNABIS SEEDS
For short-term storage, a dark cupboard or drawer with stable temperatures is usually fine. Try to keep your seeds out of areas of your house that are susceptible to the natural temperature changes of your local environment.
If, for example, you live in an area with very warm daytime temperatures and cool nights, try to protect your seeds from these changes and don’t store them outside in a shed or garage.
For long-term storage, it’s best to keep your seeds in a sealed container inside the fridge. Remember that opening the door of your fridge can actually cause some pretty dramatic temperature shifts. If you happen to have a second fridge that gets used less often than the one in your kitchen, use that one to store your seeds.
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.
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.
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.
KNOWING WHICH SEEDS TO PLANT AND WHICH TO STORE
When you’re ready to germinate your seeds, inspect them and germinate any seeds with damage to the outer shell first. The outer shell of your seeds is designed to protect the volatile genetics inside. Seeds with cracks in the outer shell are a lot more vulnerable and shouldn’t be stored.
At Royal Queen Seeds, we take pride in our work and want to ensure every grower only has the best genetics in their garden. That means we inspect all of our seeds before packaging. If you notice any damage to your RQS seeds, get in touch with our customer service team immediately.
TIPS FOR GERMINATING OLD CANNABIS SEEDS
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:
- Pre-soakingwith enriched carbonated water
Before germinating your old seeds, try soaking them in carbonated water enriched with fulvic acid, germination booster, hydrogen peroxide, or gibberellic acid. For best results, use room temperature water and soak your seeds for 12 hours in a dark place.
- Scaryour seeds
Older seeds often have an extra tough outer shell. Gently scratching this shell with some sandpaper can help moisture and warmth enter your seed at the time of germination. Try gently scarring your old cannabis seeds just before soaking to help them sprout.
- Remove a seed’s ridge
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.
- Slice openyour seed
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.
Remember, some old seeds just won’t germinate no matter how much you try. Whenever possible, avoid buying more seeds than you plan to plant so as to avoid having any issues at the time of germination.
When stored properly, your cannabis seeds can easily hold up for numerous years. Click here to learn how best to preserve your weed seeds.