Growing weed from seed is one of the most satisfying ventures any grower will attest to. How long do marijuana seeds last, though? Say you recently purchased a pack of 10 seeds from your favorite seed bank but don’t plan on growing 10 plants. Is storing cannabis seeds a thing? If so, is preserving seeds long term even possible?
The simple answer is yes. Storing cannabis seeds isn’t only possible, but if seeds are preserved correctly, there’s no reason why you can’t use the same seeds a decade down the road. If you want your cannabis seeds to last well into next year’s harvest and beyond, we invite you to read on to learn how.
3 Things To Keep In Mind When Storing Cannabis Seeds
Seeds were designed by nature to be resilient and withstand a variety of diverse conditions, but cannabis seeds are still vulnerable to certain factors that can ultimately ruin them.
If you’re interested in preserving seeds long term, there are specific precautions you can take that offer the perfect conditions for both short and long-term storage. To properly store cannabis seeds, the following should always be kept in mind.
Seeds love to be stored in a dark space. We highly recommend keeping them in their original packaging until they’re ready to be planted. Once a seed is exposed to light, they are naturally prompted to begin using up stored nutrients. If they’ve been exposed to too much light, when it comes time to plant them, they won’t have the nutrients they need to germinate. Your best bet is to keep them in a dark, safe spot until you’re ready to use them.
Humidity is something else to watch out for and is one of the biggest risks to your cannabis seeds. Why? There are actually a few reasons. Extremely high humidity (80-100%) will cause cannabis seeds to wither and die after only 12 hours. Medium levels of humidity (40-60%) will eventually cause seeds to germinate. Even when kept at low levels of humidity (12-14%) over time, seeds are subject to bacteria growth on both the exterior and interior of the seed. Ideally, you’ll want to store seeds at levels of 9% humidity or less.
If you’re storing cannabis seeds, keep in mind they’ll do best in cold temperatures ranging from 4 to 8 ºC (39-46 ºF). Kept cold in an airtight container your seeds can patiently wait for years until being finally planted. Don’t get us wrong, they can also be stored in a cabinet or drawer and typically be okay. However, warmer temperatures will negatively affect your precious seeds’ shelf life. This fact shouldn’t be overlooked especially if you live in an extremely hot climate with daily temperatures close to 25-30ºC (77-86ºF) – if that’s your case, you might think about storing your seeds in the freezer or refrigerator. As you can see, the rule of thumb is to keep them cold, because heat will all but destroy their carefully selected genetic profile.
Finding The Perfect Place To Store Your Cannabis Seeds
Now that you have a better idea of the ideal conditions for storing your seeds, you’re likely interested in knowing the best place to store them. When deciding on where to best store your cannabis seeds, first ask yourself how long you plan on storing them.
Only planning to hang onto them for a few months before planting them? They’ll do great in any airtight container. Mason jars are awesome for storing seeds. If you don’t have access to mason jars, they’ll also do fine in a zip-sealed bag. However, if you want to hold onto them longer, you might want to consider vacuum sealing your cannabis seeds to ensure they aren’t exposed to any air or temperature changes.
Remember, cannabis seeds should be stored in a dark area. A cupboard or drawer will do fine, so long as it’s not one that’s being constantly opened and closed. Storing cannabis seeds in the refrigerator or freezer is another option, but make sure they’re stored as far back as possible to avoid changes in temperature when the doors are opened.
If you’re wondering if you can freeze seeds for next year, the answer is yes. However, if you do decide to keep your cannabis seeds in the freezer, be aware that their quality will diminish each time they’re thawed and frozen again. If you decide on freezing your cannabis seeds, make sure they stay frozen until you’re ready to thaw them out and use them. When you decide to finally use the seeds after storing them in the freezer, don’t open the container right away. Instead, let it gradually warm up to the room temperature with the seeds still sealed inside.
Tips For Successfully Storing Cannabis Seeds
There are a few tips that can greatly help preserve the quality and lifetime of your cannabis seeds.
Whether preserving seeds long term or simply storing them for a few months until the right growing conditions present themselves, seeds should be dried before storage. To be stored properly, cannabis seeds should retain a moisture content of 2-3% (you don’t want to dry them out completely, as this can cause them to die). Drying out cannabis seeds helps prepare them for a dormant state where physiological processes are slowed down or stopped completely.
To achieve the perfectly dry conditions that will help preserve your seeds for storage, consider the usage of a desiccant. Desiccants are a substance that helps maintain a state of dryness in certain products. A type of desiccant you’re likely familiar with are the silica gel packs that are commonly found added to the packaging of certain foods and other items. Rice can also be used as a desiccant, although this should be occasionally changed out to retain freshness.
Another tip for successfully storing your cannabis seeds is to label each seed type you have. The last thing you want when you’re ready to start your garden is to have no idea what strain you’re planting. Labeling your seeds will help you keep track of what strains you grow.
FAQs About How To Store Marijuana Seeds
Can I freeze marijuana seeds?
Yes, but if you do decide to freeze your marijuana seeds, make sure they’re stored in an airtight container and toward the back of the freezer, this to avoid any changes in light and temperature when the freezer door is opened.
How long can I store marijuana seeds?
If stored properly, you can store your cannabis seeds for up to 10 years or even longer.
Can old seeds still be germinated?
If stored properly, there is no reason old seeds won’t still germinate.