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.
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 you 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 seed 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:
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 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.
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.
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 you 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.
Tip : 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.
7. 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.
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