Do you have more cannabis seeds in stock than you can plant this season? Are you confused about what you should do with these leftover seeds? Fret not, our guide on how to store marijuana seeds is just what you need.
The seeds are as important as the final crop. They are like living organisms which grows only when proper nurture is provided. The greater the quality of your seeds, the greater are the final results.
Furthermore, by storing cannabis seeds, you can also save time, money, and space. There is an entire process that you need to follow for storing cannabis seeds. If not done properly, your seeds can become vulnerable to environmental factors, that may affect the growth of your crop. However, you have nothing to worry about; the process is fairly simple.
How Long Do Marijuana Seeds Last?
If the seeds are not stored properly, the chances are that they may go bad over time. Even though there isn’t a specific time period for this, it is best to store marijuana seeds in a cool, dry, and dark place inside an airtight container.
If cannabis seeds are properly stored and sealed, they can last up to several years. These seeds might become dormant when stored, but they are still alive and can be planted later on. Usually, under ideal conditions, you can successfully germinate cannabis seeds that are 5 to 6 years old.
For fresh seeds, the germination rate is 100%. However, after a few years, the rate of germination lowers as the storage period becomes longer.
Tip: Do not harvest your marijuana seeds as soon as you’ve collected them. You should ensure the maturity of your seed before starting the germination process. Maturity can be confirmed through the brown color of the seed.
How to Store Cannabis Seeds?
At this point, you’re probably itching to know how to store marijuana seeds. Just bear with us a little longer. Before we share with you the secret of storing cannabis seeds, it is best to take a quick look at the two categories of seeds:
- Orthodox Seeds: These seeds can survive the process of drying. When such seeds are stored, they become dormant.
- Unorthodox or Recalcitrant Seeds: These seeds cannot survive the process of drying and may desiccate
Lucky for you, marijuana seeds are orthodox seeds and can be stored for long periods without the risk of desiccation.
What is the Best Method for Storing Marijuana Seeds?
A consensus has yet to be reached on the best marijuana storage method. However, to make things easier for you, we have discussed below the most common recommendations.
Here is a quick list of places you can use to store seeds.
While the cold and dark environment of the refrigerator makes it seem like the perfect location, there are issues regarding the wavering moisture level.
We suggest storing the seeds at the very back of the refrigeration in an airtight container with a desiccant to lessen the fluctuation of moisture levels. You can also stop mold production by storing in the refrigerator.
We do not recommend the freezing method as it harms the cell life inside the seed. Laboratories do have special equipment that can be used to decrease the temperature of the seeds.
While this is quite useful, most growers do not have access to such equipment. If you absolutely must use a freezer, we suggest, storing the seeds in an airtight vacuum sealed bag or container with a desiccant.
You can keep your properly sealed cannabis seed containers at room temperature too. This location is best if you wish to store the seeds for the short term or a few years.
For containers, you have two options to choose from.
First, if your cannabis seeds have been packed by your seed bank in a container with constant environmental factors, moisture controls, and vacuum seals, we suggest you store in this packaging.
Secondly, you can always prepare your container for seed storage. However, if you choose to do this, your container needs to be vacuum sealed. This means, you either invest in a home vacuum sealer, or you use an airtight container.
Glass jars are the best choice. Anything else will not work. For example, we suggest against using plastic containers as not only are they not airtight, the pores in plastic allows small water molecules to pass through.
Plastic bags are also a no-no because it doesn’t allow temperature and light to remain stable. We also do not recommend using containers that are made of two different matters, as they allow for temperature variations.
Pros of Using a Glass Jar:
- Suitable for both long term and short term storage
- Easily accessible
- Maintains constant environment for seed
A very important step to remember before storing your cannabis seeds is to dry them. You don’t have to bring the moisture level down to 0%, as this may lead to the death of your seed. Ideally, the seed will remain viable if the moisture level is left around 2-3%.
You can attain this moisture level by placing a desiccant along with your seed in the storage container. The use of desiccants when drying seeds can give more stability.
Furthermore, desiccants increase the life of your seed by absorbing any access ethylene. As seeds produce ethylene when they age, desiccants can serve as seed savers if used correctly.
If you prefer pre-packed desiccants, silica gel packs can be commonly found at supermarkets and florists. Not only do they save time and money, but they are also reusable. Another option that you can use is rice. Rice can be quite effective, but you need to replace it after a certain period.
Step by Step Preparation:
Step One: Labeling
If you’re storing different strains of marijuana, we suggest using labels. Not only does it help with identification, but it also reduces exposure to light.
Step Two: Desiccant
To avoid disturbing the seed and to aid the process of moisture absorption, we suggest placing a layer of wool or cotton between the seed and desiccant.
Step Three: Seeds
Place the dried seed into the container and seal it.
Step Four: Location
You can now put your container at your desired location for storage.
Cool, dark and dry. Remember the drill. Correctly storing your cannabis seeds will allow you to preserve your seeds for a long time.
Storing Seeds Long Term:
As mentioned earlier, a vacuum-sealed container can help with long term storage. In addition, containers that seal off heat are also recommended. So, for instance, a mason jar would be perfect to store your cannabis seed.
We would like to emphasize the importance of keeping environmental factors constant. The main idea is to keep away from the storage container heat, light, oxygen, and excess moisture. In addition, factors such as temperature and humidity should also be kept constant.
We will discuss these environmental factors more in detail in the sections below.
The Perfect Temperature for Storing Seeds
The temperature has an impact on the germination process of the seeds. A high increase in temperature may also cause the seed to rot internally.
For storing marijuana seeds, it best to maintain low temperatures of around 5 degrees Celsius at most, as high temperature may trigger the germination process. The low temperature not only protects the seed from rotting, but it also makes the seed dormant.
The seed life doubles at every 5 degrees Celsius reduction in the storage temperature. We recommend keeping the temperature between 2-5 degrees Celsius.
What is the Perfect Air Humidity to Store Marijuana Seeds?
Humidity is another factor that has an impact on the germination process. If you don’t want to germinate your seeds, you should keep them as dry as possible. But also keep in mind, excessive humidity can also cause the rotting of cannabis seeds.
For both long-term and short-term storage, we suggest keeping the humidity level maximum at 5%. For storage, the shell life of marijuana seeds doubles for every 1% decrease in humidity.
It is useful to know the impact of certain seed moistures on the seed. Check out the list below:
- 80% – 100% – after 12 hours, seeds become wilted
- 40% – 60% – Germination occurs
- 18% – 20% – Heating may cause rotting
- 12% – 14% – Growth of fungi
- 8% – 9% – Insects become active. They begin to reproduce.
How Does Light Impact Marijuana Seeds?
Like the other factors mentioned, bright light can also trigger the process of germination. Therefore, we suggest keeping the storage container in the dark place. Ideally, the storage location should be dark, with no exposure to light at all.
Like all plants and seeds, cannabis seeds also need to be handled with care. Special importance should be given to the environment if you plan on saving your seeds by extending their lifespan.
The fresher your seed is the better your harvest, but if you want to harvest at a later date, storage is now an easy option for you. You know all the details of how to store marijuana seeds, you really shouldn’t waste any more time. We’ve introduced you to various ways of storing cannabis seeds, choose a method that you’re comfortable with, and start storing those seeds.
Are you interested in the best online seed banks that ship to the USA? We also reviewed the best cloning gels, rosin presses and more! If you’re interested in hydroponics, we reviewed the best hydroponic tower gardens and hydroponic systems.