How To Store Weed Seeds

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Seeds are where all begins, the care you give your seeds will influence not only in how your cannabis grows but in the final harvest. {caption:Sebast Do you know the best way to store weed seeds in the short term? Is long-term storage possible? Learn all you need to know about how to store cannabis seeds. One of the most frequent questions we receive at Fast Buds is, how do I store my seeds? Whether it’s the cold season or there’s just not enough room i

How To Store Your Cannabis Seeds

Seeds are where all begins, the care you give your seeds will influence not only in how your cannabis grows but in the final harvest.

1. Cannabis Seeds

Before talking about how to store seeds we need to remember that your cannabis seeds are alive. Before they germinate they are kind of in a state of hibernation, and like all living things, they can die.

When storing seeds you want to provide optimal conditions to ensure they are still good until you’re ready to sprout them. As we’re dealing with nature, you need to keep certain conditions or this can have an impact. Even though seeds have a hard shell and are fairly robust, you should have the following points in mind to avoid any kind of problems in the future.

2. Storing Seeds

When stored under perfect conditions, cannabis seeds can be viable for up to 10 years successfully. Seed storage is important for many reasons, either you’re a home grower waiting for the special occasion to grow that unique strain you just bought or seedbanks who need to stock seeds for the eventual sale. Whatever your reason may be for having seeds, remember that taking care of them is one of the most important things you can do for your harvest. A badly stored seed may not germinate, and if it does it may not grow properly. There are various parameters you’ll need to follow in order to store seeds long-term.

3. Ideal Conditions for Storing Seeds

There are three main factors that can affect seeds in a bad way:

Light

If you’ve ever germinated cannabis seeds before, then you know that light is an important factor when it comes to the probability of the seed germinating or not. If your seeds are exposed to light for too long they may end up germinating before you’re ready to plant them.

Humidity

Humidity is another incredibly important factor that can determine the success rate of your seeds as humidity is essentially what causes seeds to germinate. You don’t want them accidentally germinating, if they reach a certain humidity level they may start absorbing nutrients and end up too weak to grow normally, so you want to keep them in a relatively dry place. This obviously depends on your climate as there are places that have incredibly high humidity and others that are quite dry, which can directly impact how you have to store your seeds.

If there is as low as 8% humidity in the container it can cause fungi to appear inside and outside your seeds, at 40-60% your seeds will sprout and beyond that, they can drown in less than a day. Let’s quickly run through all the possible scenarios at different humidity levels:

  • 81 – 100% – Seeds will not survive more than 12 hours, and could drown in less than 4 hours.
  • 61 – 80% – Still a high risk of your seeds becoming inactive, with the possibility of them dying in less than 12 hours
  • 31 – 60% – This is the accepted germination range, although many cultivators prefer a 40 to 60% range
  • 21 – 30% – this is the ideal storage humidity range for cannabis seeds
  • 9 – 20% – If seeds are left for longer than a day or two at this humidity level, they are at risk of becoming a breeding greyhound for a range of non-beneficial fungi. This fungus can kill the seed in less than 12 hours once it takes a proper foothold
  • 0 – 8% – This is the perfect humidity range for pests and insects to wreak havoc on your seeds

Temperature

The temperature at which you store your seeds is quite important. You’ll need to store them at around 6-8 celsius. You can keep them in your home fridge or even your freezer (however it’s usually not necessary).

We recommend storing them in the vegetable drawer or far back in the refrigerator and using a small cooler or something similar so the temperature doesn’t oscillate when opening the fridge door or if the power goes out. A good general rule is that the lower the temperature that you store those precious little beads of expectant joy, the longer they will last, and the less chance you have of unexpected germination. Growers who like to play with strain genetics and produce their own cross breeds through seed creation will usually have a special, dedicated fridge or freezer that they only use for their seeds.

If you are using your normal fridge/freezer for seed storage there are a few key things to keep in mind. First up, seeds are super light sensitive, so however you choose to store them, make sure they are in a light sealed container. It’s also good to ensure that your fridge or freezer has no frosting issues (as many older models will frost over without regular maintenance). This can lead to moisture being released if the temperature dips, which is not what you want if your seeds are stored there. If you have access to a vacuum sealer, then we recommend using it to first seal the seed fully – if you don’t then a snap or zip lock bag will do fine. Then put the bag inside a light-proof container.

4. Storing Seeds For Weeks

If you’re storing seeds for a couple of weeks it’s okay if you leave them in the original package as long as they are in a dark, dry, and cool place.

Usually, the package they come in is light-proof and water-proof, as long as you leave them in a relatively cool place like a drawer or something similar they will be good.

5. Storing Seeds For Months

If you’re storing your seeds for a couple of months it’s better if you store them in the refrigerator. This will guarantee the seeds don’t suffer from temperature swings. By keeping them in their original package or in a light-proof container you ensure they will be good for as long as you need.

6. Storing Seeds For Years

This usually applies to seed banks or breeders. If you need to store seeds for a really long time you can store them in a freezer. Even though it’s not necessary, it prevents your seeds from feeling the oscillation of temperatures even more. You can still store them in a fridge, it depends on what you prefer and what options you have available. Ideally, you want to store your seeds in a cool, dark, and dry place. When storing seeds in the fridge or freezer you can add silica gel sachets to ensure they’re completely dry. High humidity can trigger fungi to grow on your seeds. If your seeds get exposed to light or rapid changes in temperature it 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.

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7. Germinating Your Cannabis Seeds

There is a handy, simple test to check if your seeds are bad. Just drop them in a cup of water (only once you are ready to actually germinate them). If they sink to the bottom and stay there then they are healthy and ready to be used. If the seeds float then there is a pretty high chance that they are not going to germinate. Don’t throw them out just yet though, give them 3 days or so to see if they do sprout a tap root. There are a couple of common methods used to germinate cannabis seeds. Let’s quickly run through them, starting with our favorite germination method to our least favorite.

The Wet Paper Towel Method

This method is simple, straightforward, and is the method of choice for most home growers. All you need is:

  • A few paper towels (unperfumed and uncolored)
  • Water that has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and at a temp of 22C or so
  • A spray bottle
  • Your cannabis seeds
  • A tupperware container

Wet one of the paper towels and give it a light squeeze to remove any excess water. Lay it down flat and place 2 to 3 seeds onto it, with a spacing of about 2 centimeters between each seed. Then all you have to do is wet another paper towel, ring it out slightly, and place it on top of the seeds. Once this is all done place the envelope into the Tupperware container, and store the seeds in a dark, warm area.

This method should allow the seed to germinate in 2 to 3 days. Check the seeds every day, and if the paper towel is starting to dry out then give it a light spray with your pH water.

The Rockwool Block Method

This method is just as easy and straightforward as the paper towel method. The only reason it’s not number one on the list is that it requires the use of Rockwool, which is not as easily available for everyone as paper towels. The list of needed items is:

  • Water that has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and at a temp of 22C or so
  • Rockwool cubes
  • A spray bottle
  • Cannabis seeds
  • A tupperware container

So, why is Rockwool a better germinating medium than paper towels? First up, paper towels are sometimes fragranced or colored. This is not good for cannabis seeds, and with Rockwool, you don’t need to worry about this at all. Rockwool also has great water retention properties, meaning you will not need to re-wet it as often as you do with a paper towel. It also provides a great home for your baby plant for the first 2 weeks or so, which gives you more time to get your growing medium set up. First up, soak the Rockwool cube overnight in your pH-adjusted water. Then just drop your seed into the opening on the top of the cube, and place the whole thing in a sealed container. You should see the tap root after 24 -72 hours.

Glass of Water Method

Look, there are a bunch of cannabis cultivators out there that love this method of germination, and yes it will work in most instances. But, in our experience, the rate of germination is not as high as the previous 2 ways laid out. It is the most simple method though. All you need to do is drop your seed (or seeds) into a glass of pH-adjusted water and let nature take its course. Be very careful when transplanting the seed to its growing medium. Of course, you can just plant the seed directly into your soil or coco-coir – but this makes it much harder to check on the progress of the germination. There are also a bunch of targeted products for seed germination on the market. These work well but are usually pretty high priced. Why drop a bunch of cash on a piece of equipment when a paper towel, a Tupperware container, and some oH adjusted water will do the exact same thing. You can also do a few key things to help your seed germinate quickly, especially if they are old seeds that haven’t been left in ideal conditions.

  • Using finer-grade sandpaper, softly and gently score the outer shell of the seed. This helps the germinating moisture to penetrate the shell, which becomes tougher the older the seed is.
  • If the outer shell is really thick and tough you can use a super sharp knife or even a scalpel to make a small incision in the shell.
  • Carbonate water can help with germination, as can adding fulvic acid, or hydrogen peroxide to the water before soaking or spraying the seed and that’s it!

8. In Conclusion

It doesn’t matter if you’re a breeder, a grower, or a seed bank, always keep your seeds following the tips above. This way you ensure your so precious genetics will still germinate when you are ready to grow them.

How To Store Cannabis Seeds

Even though they don’t seem to do much, seeds are alive. They need to be handled with care and kept safe until you’re ready to grow them. If you’re not sure how to store cannabis seeds correctly, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Seeds are pretty pricey, and there’s a lot more to storing weed safely than you might think. If you expose them to the elements and extreme temperatures, they’ll die.

Below we’ll discuss how long marijuana seeds last, the ideal storage methods, the role of environmental factors, and how to germinate cannabis seeds. Let’s get started!

How long do marijuana seeds last?

Seeds require proper protection from the elements to last. If carefully stored, you can extend their shelf-life.

How long do marijuana seeds last? Most last up to six months at room temperature, but this timeline extends for users who keep the seeds refrigerated.

High-quality options can survive up to 10 years, but the duration varies according to environmental factors and the chosen strain. Hardy cultivars can withstand the test of time, while weaker varieties only last for three years.

Even the most expensive cultivars can’t survive in unfavorable conditions. Learn all about the various methods available before you start storing marijuana seeds.

How to store cannabis seeds

Seeds are living organisms. If you don’t take proper care of them, they can die. Using the right techniques for storing cannabis seeds means that you can preserve them for extended periods until you’re ready to plant them.

Before you decide on a suitable method, you need to ensure that the environmental conditions are ideal. Important considerations are:

  • Light
  • Humidity levels
  • Temperature fluctuations

When any of the above factors aren’t correct, it can cause your seeds to germinate early or wilt.

Light exposure

If you’re wondering how to store cannabis seeds, light exposure is the first consideration. Seeds are unlikely to germinate when you store them in dark places. Storing your seeds near a window exposed to the sun’s rays can cause roots to sprout.

Too much light can also force the seeds to use their nutrients to survive before germination. This exposure causes the seeds to weaken, and they won’t develop once you plant them.

Humidity levels

When it comes to humidity and storing cannabis seeds, you need to balance them carefully. If you have RH levels below 8%, your seeds become vulnerable to pests. Humidity levels above 10% can result in fungi developing and levels above 60% cause wilting and death.

The ideal range is 21–30% for short-term storage. Preserving seeds for longer periods means you need to keep them as dry as possible at 8–10%. Various levels have different consequences for the seeds.

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Humidity level Effects
Below 8% At these levels, any pests or insects around the seeds become active, reproducing and damaging them.
8–10% The risk of pests still exists, but it’s the optimal relative humidity (RH) for long term storing of cannabis seeds.
12–14% Fungi flourish in these conditions, which harms the seeds and affects their ability to germinate later.
18–20% The seeds may sweat, and heating can cause them to rot.
20–30% These levels are ideal for storing cannabis seeds for short-term use.
40–60% When you increase the RH to 40–60%, seeds start germinating. These are also the optimal levels for cultivating most strains of cannabis.
80–100% These levels are too high for storing marijuana seeds. Within 12 hours, they’ll start drowning, wilting, and dying.
Temperature fluctuations

The best way to store marijuana seeds is in cool conditions, with 43°–47°F temperatures. The cooler it is, the less likely your seed will be to germinate. Many growers use a “no frost” refrigerator. The best place to keep them is in the fruit and vegetable section.

They need to be vacuum sealed beforehand. It’s safe to say that when you store cannabis seeds, the ideal environment is cold and dark with low humidity. Aside from refrigeration, some growers use a freezer or a dark spot at room temperature.

Any fluctuations in these conditions put your seeds at risk. You must keep your containers sealed until you plan to plant them. Opening them exposes the seeds to bacteria and pests.

Choosing containers: the best way to store marijuana seeds

If you want to know how to store cannabis seeds with minimal risks, you must choose the appropriate container. Different options are available depending on the duration of storage. Growers typically select between:

  • Ziplock bags
  • Mason jars
  • Plastic containers
  • Mylar bags
  • Vacuum sealable containers

How to store cannabis seeds in the long term

If you’re wondering how to store cannabis seeds for more than six months, the most efficient option is a vacuum seal container. Ensure that it’s dark-colored and restricts access to light.

Place it at the back of your fridge or freezer. Once again, you need to ensure the appropriate RH levels. Use a desiccant to maintain the moisture levels and absorb ethylene. Popular options are silica gel packs or uncooked rice.

How to store cannabis seeds in the short term

Storing marijuana seeds in the short term is probably the easiest. You can select a drawer or cupboard that’s cool and dark. Ensure that the spot has a consistent temperature. Containers that work well need to be airtight.

Many growers use foam canisters, plastic containers, and mylar bags. The main factor is that they need to keep oxygen and water molecules out.

The best way to store cannabis seeds in the medium term is in an airtight container like a mason jar, ziplock bag, or vacuum sealable container.

You can use a refrigerator to extend the lifespan of your seeds. Be sure to check the humidity levels, as some refrigerators have low humidity levels.

Method for storing cannabis seeds

If you’re collecting seeds from the buds, you first need to dry them. After harvesting, place the buds in a humidor box for roughly 14 hours, then transfer them to brown bags for 2-3 days.

After that, place them back in the humidor box for another week, whereafter mature seeds should start falling off. This drying and curing procedure helps with the long-term preservation of seed quality. If you’ve purchased your seeds from a credible seed bank, you may skip this process.

The steps for how to store cannabis seeds are:

Step 1: Label your containers for easy identification later. It also minimizes light exposure.

Step 2: Insert a desiccant and place a layer of cotton wool as a boundary to separate it from the seeds. This step ensures that the moisture will be absorbed, and the seeds won’t be disturbed.

Step 3: Put the cannabis seeds on the other side of the cotton barrier and seal the container. Place it in the desired location until you’re ready to plant.

How long can you store cannabis seeds?

You can store cannabis seeds for anything from a few days to a few years. You need to control environmental factors carefully, and the better you are at providing optimal conditions, the longer they’ll last.

The containers you choose, temperature, and humidity levels all play a role in the total duration of safe marijuana seed storage.

How to germinate stored cannabis seeds

After storing cannabis seeds, you first need to establish they’re still healthy and viable. Ideally, they should be dark, round, and smooth. If they’re pale, white, and shriveled, you might not be able to get them to sprout.

A great way of testing them is by popping them into a glass of water. Seeds that sink are more likely to germinate. Ones that float might still grow a root, but the cannabis quality it produces will be poor.

You can try a few techniques for stubborn stored seeds that seem like they aren’t viable.

From the fridge

When you’re ready to cultivate your weed crops, remove the seeds from the fridge. This process is similar to the changes in nature when winter turns to spring. Place them in a glass with room temperature water for 12 hours.

To give them an extra boost, you can add one of the following solutions to the water:

  • Fulvic acid
  • Germination booster
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Gibberellic acid

Some seeds may germinate during this time. If not, you can still try one of the other germination methods.

Scar them

If you’ve been storing your marijuana seeds for a long time, the outer shell may be quite hard—scarify the seed may be a good option to break the tough outside layer. Using sandpaper, gently scratch the seeds’ surface to allow moisture and warmth to enter it. You can do this before soaking.

Ridge removal

Over time the ridge of each seed gets extremely tough. You can enhance the chances of germination by removing the ridge with a sharp knife or blade.

Opening it

When you store cannabis seeds for a long time, there’s a chance they might not sprout roots. If all the other methods don’t work, you can use a blade to make a small cut in the shell. Ensure that you don’t damage the inside of the seed.

Short term storage germination

If you’ve only kept your weed seeds in storage for a couple of weeks, you can use the same methods as with newly purchased seeds. Common methods include:

  • The paper towel method
  • Ziplock bag technique
  • Cotton wool germination
The paper towel method

This germination method is popular with marijuana cultivators. It’s affordable, easy, and uses mainly household items. It’s great for when you’re no longer storing cannabis seeds, as you can check for progress daily.

To use this method, you’ll require:

  • Two paper towels
  • Two dinner plates
  • A bowl of water
  • Cannabis seeds

The two dinner plates serve as a makeshift germination station.

1: Set out one of the plates as the base of the setup.

2: Wet the paper towels in the bowl of water and squeeze out any excess liquid so that they’re damp, not soaking.

3: Place one paper towel on the plate and space the seeds an inch apart on it.

4: Gently cover the seeds with the second paper towel.

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5: Cover it with the plate.

Similar to the environment where you store cannabis seeds, you need to place your setup in a cool, dry place. Check on them daily, and add moisture if they seem to be drying out.

If the seeds don’t germinate within a week, they’re not viable. Check our germination guide for more info on this method.

The Ziplock bag technique

The Ziplock bag technique is quite similar to the previous method. The main difference is that instead of placing the paper towels between dinner plates, you slide them into a ziplock bag.

You store marijuana seeds at a lower humidity level than when you germinate them, and the increase encourages roots to sprout. Placing them in a Ziploc bag traps the moisture and provides the ideal environment for the seeds to flourish.

Germinating using this technique takes between 5-7 days. If there’s no sign of roots developing, discard the seeds.

Cotton wool germination

Growers have used cotton wool as a germination tool for many years. Some use it to start bean plants and other vegetables, but it works just as well for helping weed seeds get started.

This method works best if you’ve been storing the cannabis seeds for a few weeks and it requires:

  • Two cotton pads
  • A bowl of water
  • Cannabis seeds
  • A container with a lid

1: Soak the cotton pads in the bowl of water and squeeze out the extra liquid.

2: Smooth the cotton pad flat at the base of the container.

3: Place the seeds an inch apart on the cotton you’ve just inserted.

4: Cover with the second damp cotton pad and close the lid.

Place the setup in a cool, dry place and check on it every 24 hours. If the cotton appears dry, add moisture with a spray bottle. Seeds should germinate within seven days.

Locking up seed storage

Storing marijuana seeds is not as simple as it sounds. If you place them in a cupboard and forget about them for a few months, they’ll likely die.

You need to ensure that the temperature and humidity levels are correct and the space you choose needs to be dark. You also need to consider which container you’ll use carefully. Airtight options provide the best results.

Now that you know how to store cannabis seeds head over to the Homegrown Cannabis Co. store and browse through the wide range of options.

To keep learning about the importance of storing your cannabis seeds correctly, check our Potcast on the subject:

About the author: Parker Curtis

Parker Curtis has around a decade of cannabis-growing experience, specialising in soil-less and hydro grows. He’s mastering outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor grows.

How to Store Cannabis Seeds

One of the most frequent questions we receive at Fast Buds is, “how do I store my seeds?” Whether it’s the cold season or there’s just not enough room in the tent, sometimes you need to stash your beans until a more opportune time comes along.

Fast Buds’ seeds will keep for years under the proper conditions. Below, you’ll find a list of the most important things to remember when stashing your seeds for long-term storage.

Keep them dark

The two greatest dangers to your seeds are light and moisture. We’ll start off discussing the former. To keep your seeds dormant, and prevent premature germination, keep them away from bright spaces. A little bit of ambient light for a few hours is not the end of the world, but under no circumstances, should they be exposed to direct sunlight. If the UV rays of the sun can burn a human, imagine what they do to the DNA packed inside a fragile, little seed. We recommend placing your seeds inside a box and then placing that box in a dark cupboard or drawer.

Keep them dry

Humidity is the number one seed killer. Keeping them in a dark, wet space is how we trigger germination. So, if you’re keeping them in a dark place (you are, aren’t you), even a little bit of excess moisture can result in a catastrophic mess.

Your box and dark drawer or cupboard should protect your seeds from outside moisture, but what about the water already in the air? You can use silica packets to dry the air near your seeds. One small, 0.5-gram packet for every three seeds should be more than enough.

Some seed-owners go the extra mile and only use food grade silica when storing seeds. This is probably overkill (unless you’re opening the desiccant packages and spreading them over your seeds- you’re not, are you?) but there’s nothing wrong with taking a little extra peace of mind by only using the safest supplies available.

Keep them cool

The Fast Buds FAQ recommends storing your seeds at 8-12 ºC (45-55 ºF). That’s a little bit below the temperature most of like to keep our homes, so it’s likely you’ll need some refrigeration.

This is one of the fridges that we use to keep our inventory fresh. As you can see from the LED indicator, it’s exactly 8ºC, and stores seeds and only seeds. By comparison, your fridge at home holds a lot more. All that food wreaks havoc with the moisture and humidity, so while your kitchen fridge may be cool and dark, it can quickly grow dank and humid enough to damage your seeds.

If you’re going to use a fridge to store your seeds, make sure they’re stored in away from anything like fresh vegetables that will leak water into the air. Whatever you do, do not store them in the vegetable crisper, it’s designed to hold onto humidity, which is exactly what you don’t want.

Keep the temperature stable

You might not have a spare fridge to keep your seeds. If that’s the case, keep them in the driest, coolest place in the house, and don’t move them. Keeping the temperature stable is more important than storing them in a specific range. If the seeds are regularly fluctuating in temperature, so is the water contained within them and in the air around them. Preventing moisture from being gained and lost is the number one thing you can do to preserve your seeds.

Keep them clean

Though they contain no psychoactive chemicals, seeds are a staple food for many groups around the world, particularly in south-east Asia. Though Fast Buds’ customers rarely order their seeds to eat, their edibility does impact how you store them because humans aren’t the only ones that find cannabis seeds delicious. Both insects and rodents will happily chow down on a cache of seeds, and they won’t even stop to appreciate those fine autoflowering genetics. Ensure your storage place is clean, with nothing else present that might attract a hungry rat or roach. As an extra precaution, you can sprinkle some safe, and non-toxic, diatomaceous earth around your storage vessel to keep the bugs away. Rats and other rodents are a bit more complicated, but using a metal storage container with an easily-secured latch will keep most rodents at bay.

Following these four steps should keep your investment safe for years to come. If you’re someone who has kept seeds preserved before, and you think there’s something we missed, don’t hesitate to share your wisdom with us in the comments below.

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