Your cannabis seeds need a certain level of moisture for germination. If the humidity level gets too high, your seeds will rot in storage. An extremely low level of humidity of around 8-10% is suitable only for long-term storage. If it drops below 8%, you offer any insects present in the seeds the chance to become active and start reproducing.
The best temperature to store your cannabis seeds at is between 43- and 47-degrees Fahrenheit. The lower the temperature, the less likely your seed is to germinate unexpectedly. Experienced growers tend to have special refrigerators to store their seeds. Ideally, your fridge is a no-frost model. If you can place the seeds in the fruit and vegetable section, that is even better.
One option is to spread diatomaceous earth (D.E) where you store them. This is a type of sand that has a fossilized algae base. Crucially, for our purposes, it serves as an excellent natural insecticide. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t use D.E if you plan to store your seeds in a fridge with other food.
The Right Storage Options for Your Cannabis Seeds.
You must keep your seeds in a location that is cool, dark, and dry. It is best if you keep the seeds in their original packaging. When they are exposed to temperature changes or light, cannabis seeds begin using their store of nutrients. This is a disaster because they ultimately won’t have the nutrients to germinate.
When they are exposed to temperature changes or light, cannabis seeds begin using their store of nutrients.
Imagine paying $100+ for seeds, going to the trouble of storing them, only to find that insects ruin them. Unfortunately, all you need is one insect in a container to destroy all of your seeds. The first consideration is to avoid exposure to ultra-low humidity. However, for long-term storage, this is precisely what you are supposed to do!
Once you enter medium-term storage (a few months), it is time to use an airtight container. Examples include a mason jar or Ziploc bag. Place this sealed container in the fridge. Remember that opening your fridge can cause significant temperature fluctuations. As a result, it is ideal if you have a second fridge that is seldom used.
For short-term storage, place the seeds in a container with desiccant. Seal it, and place it in a cool, dark place.
Also, you should note that modern fridges have low humidity levels. If the humidity is too low, your seeds will begin using up nutrients.
You can ‘test’ your seeds once you have removed them from storage. Place them in water. If they sink, they should be fine. However, if they float, it is more likely that they are bad seeds. You can still try to germinate, but there is a greater risk of producing poor-quality cannabis, or else the seeds fail to sprout. You can keep floaters in water for approximately 72 hours to see if they sprout a tail.
What’s the Right Storage Temperature?
You now understand that you must store the seeds away from direct light. We have also outlined the need for relatively low humidity and a refrigerator-level temperature. Different options are available depending on how long you intend to store the seeds.
Before your marijuana seeds germinate, they are in a similar state to animals when they hibernate. Like all living organisms, your seeds can die if you don’t take care of them correctly. The good news is that cannabis seeds can last for five years after harvest with proper storage.
If you only require short-term storage, a dark drawer or cupboard is sufficient. The most important thing, regardless of the duration of storage, is to avoid temperature and humidity fluctuations. Rapid variations in temperature, in particular, can destroy your seeds. If you live in a location with warm daytime temperatures and cold nights, avoid outside storage.
Once the goal is to store cannabis seeds for months rather than days or weeks, everything changes. You need an airtight container, which you should store in a fridge. Include a vacuum-sealed container if you plan to store the seeds for several months or longer.
If you want to store your seeds for at least six months, use a vacuum-sealed container. You can achieve this effect by removing all the air from a Ziploc bag. There are also special vacuum-sealed containers available online. Put the sealed bag in a dark container and put it in the fridge.
Insects and pests also thrive in dirty storage areas. As a result, you must ensure the storage area remains clean. Otherwise, you won’t just attract pests to your seeds; microbes will form and damage the seeds. Do you want to consume marijuana from contaminated seeds?
It would help if you also stored your seeds as high above the ground as possible. This reduces the possibility of a pest like a rodent coming in and feasting on the seeds.
In this guide, we outline how to store and preserve your cannabis seeds. We focus on the following:
Make sure your seeds remain away from light, as it can directly trigger germination.
Here is a quick overview of what will likely happen to cannabis seeds at different humidity levels:
Another option is to freeze the cannabis seeds. If you go down this route, please ensure that you vacuum pack them first. Then put them in a dark container. Also, it would help if you germinated these seeds immediately once they come out of the freezer. Don’t allow them to thaw first.
When storing cannabis seeds, humidity levels are an important factor. In order to germinate cannabis seeds, moist humid conditions are used. So it makes sense to use low humidity conditions for cannabis seed storage. You certainly don’t want to store your seeds anywhere where moisture droplets, which will soften the shell. Water/moisture is a very effective way to soften the hard, rigid shell of the cannabis seed. This allows the tap root to emerge.
If you usually germinate your cannabis seeds within a few weeks/months of purchase you may not need to worry too much about how to store them.
The shell of the cannabis seed does help to protect the embryo from light. But remember, in nature, cannabis seeds were normally dropped from the plant onto the soil in autumn/fall. There they would remain under a light covering of soil until they germinated the following spring. Cannabis seeds were never designed to cope with intense light levels. Storing cannabis seeds in the fridge, in a dark humidity proof container is a good way to maintain maximum seed germination rates.
Key factors to watch when storing cannabis seeds.
Storing cannabis seeds at low humidity levels in a dark place is a great way to maintain good germination rates. But one of the best ways for preserving cannabis seeds is to use low temperatures. At low temperatures cannabis seed life is greatly extended. This is because the delicate living plant tissue inside the seed can survive for much longer periods at cool temperatures which slow down the cellular biochemistry. It’s the same reason that food lasts longer in the fridge than it would at room temperature.
Dating each seed packet is a good idea, although it won’t improve germination rates it will give you an idea of the age of the seeds. Even after 10 years in a fridge at 4ºC you can still expect to see a some of your seeds germinate, assuming they original seed quality was high.
Although not many growers can be bothered with the hassle of producing their own cannabis seeds, if you do attempt to produce seeds it’s important to know about maturing them.
Dutch Passion cannabis seeds can be stored simply be re-sealing the seed packet with tape and placing it inside the seed tin or a container. Storing cannabis seeds in eppendorf tubes (black or amber) in the fridge is a popular technique. Eppendorf tubes are small plastic tubes normally used for storing liquids, but they are often used for cannabis seed storage too.
Whether you are preserving seeds of F1 landrace cannabis genetics or any other type of cannabis seeds your best chances of storing them is at low temperatures in dry and dark conditions. Many growers collect extensive (and expensive!) cannabis seed collections.
If you have produced your own cannabis seeds you may be aware that when they are very fresh, straight off the plant, they may even be a little too fresh to germinate. That’s why some believe in storing and maturing cannabis seeds for a short period at room temperature. This allows moisture content of the seed to drop enough for the seeds to become more viable. How long to let seeds dry before storing? A couple of months at room temperature should be sufficient.
So what are the best ways to store your cannabis seeds?
What is the ideal storage temperature for storing seeds? Most people use temperatures of around 4ºC (39ºF). But 4ºC isn’t a magic number. If you can ‘only’ store your cannabis seeds at e.g. 10ºC the seeds will last longer than they would stored at 20ºC. Storing cannabis seeds at 4ºC will allow longer seed storage than 10ºC.
What is the optimal temperature for storing seeds? For most people, temperatures around 4ºC (in the fridge) are perfect. If the autoflower seeds/feminised seeds are in a sealed lightproof container they are automatically at a low humidity and in a dark place.
When drying and storing and maturing cannabis seeds one of the main tips is to allow the fresh seeds time to rest before germinating. Fresh seeds haven’t had the natural time period required to allow them to reach maximum germination rates.
When cannabis seeds are supplied from the seed supplier, germination rates should be 90% or higher if you are buying from a proven supplier. Even after 5 years in the fridge you should still expect the majority of your cannabis seeds to germinate.
Did you know cannabis seeds are living organisms?
This is good news for those growers that have found the ideal cannabis seeds for their needs and want to ensure a viable seed collection of their favourite cannabis genetics for many years to come.
If your cannabis seeds are really old, some growers may suggest a few unusual tips to increases germination. Dutch Passion can’t really recommend these techniques, they simply carry too much chance of damaging the seed. These techniques include gently sandpapering the outer layer of the seed shell, perhaps including the ridge down the side. The logic here is that particularly old/hard seed shells need assistance to open.
When preserving cannabis seeds, it’s worth remembering that seeds are technically classified as living organisms. That’s because they have an embryo which is capable of being germinated and growing into a new plant. Just like any other seed, environmental conditions for storing cannabis seeds can be fine tuned to maximise seed germination rates. But provide the wrong conditions for storing cannabis seeds and your seed germination rates will decrease rapidly. Storing cannabis seeds till germination under ideal conditions is the best way to maximise germination rates.
Storing cannabis seeds under the correct conditions allows you to preserve your favourite cannabis genetics for many years. With the right conditions you can keep the best part of your cannabis seed collection viable for a decade or more. But get the conditions wrong and the germination rates on your best-loved feminised seeds and autoflower seeds will suffer. If you are a cannabis seed connoisseur that spends time, cash and love building a collection of the best cannabis genetics then it makes sense to learn more about storing your cannabis seeds under ideal long term conditions.
Don’t worry too much about keeping your seeds in a fridge at all times. Remember that even without a fridge, a pack of seeds stored in a draw for a couple of years should still show good germination rates. Avoid storing your seeds in places with high temperatures or intense light, such as a window ledge or your grow room.
Whichever type of container you choose, it is best if you can vacuum seal it, or vacuum seal the seeds inside a smaller container within the other one. As mentioned above, keeping oxygen levels low is ideal and the best way to do that, and also ensure minimal environmental fluctuations, is to keep the seeds in a vacuum.
A regular room in your house can work just fine for storing seeds, too. But it’s more of a short-term solution, since the temperature is likely to be higher than is ideal. You can again use desiccants to keep the relative humidity low.
If you provide the perfect conditions, marijuana seeds can be stored for up to 5 years and still be viable. If you give them decent conditions and maintain those conditions (i.e. no major fluctuations in the environmental conditions), you can expect the seeds to still be good after a year or two.
In order to keep your seeds viable as long as possible, you want to make sure you store them in an environment that is cool, dry and dark. You also want to make sure the container you store them in is sealed tight, because the most important factor in making sure your seeds last is a consistent environment. Fluctuations in light, temperature and humidity do serious harm and will likely render your seeds useless.
It is always a good idea to label your seeds, especially if you are storing a number of different ones. But even if you are only storing a few seeds and they are all the same strain, we still recommend you label them. You may not remember what they even are a year from now. And if there are others in the house, it’s a good way to let them know not to disturb the seeds.
Just make sure to protect them from temperature fluctuations. Even if temps are warmer than is ideal, they will be ok, as long as the temperature remains constant.
We often get asked: “Do marijuana seeds go bad?” And the answer is, yes, just like any other type of seed. But if you care for them properly, they can last many years. And that’s exactly what we’ll help you do.
Ideally, you want to use a glass container with a glass lid. The lid must seal, of course. You want a glass lid, because a lid made from a different material will react differently from the glass to changes in the external environment. This could result in the lid contracting or expanding relative to the glass and weakening the seal.
To keep your seeds viable as long as possible, you need to store them in a cool, dark and dry location. The most important thing to avoid are fluctuations in the environment. You want to keep it as steady as possible. Here are the exact conditions you want to provide.
If you don’t have a fridge that would work, you could also store your seeds in a cool basement. The main thing to look out for here is that you protect them as much as possible from temperature and humidity fluctuations. You can use some type of insulation the maintain a steady temperature and desiccants to maintain a steady humidity level.
The cooler the better, when it comes to storing cannabis seeds. but only up to a point. You do not want the seeds to freeze, since that can damage them, unless you have the equipment to freeze them rapidly.
A glass jar is an ideal container, but your seeds may also already be in a great container. If you bought them online and had the seeds sent in the mail, chances are they are already sealed up tightly. Unless you need to open the container with the seeds, you can just leave them in there.
Incorrect storage can cause any number of issues all of which have the same result: your seeds will no longer germinate.
The following are some general tips that will help you out when storing your marijuana seeds.
Paper envelopes are great for holding seeds, because they generally keep out light. But they are not good on their own. If you put your seeds in a paper container, you need to place that within a better container, like a mason jar. This is a good way to add some light protection to a transparent glass jar.
Tips For Storing Marijuana Seeds.
If you plan on storing a lot of seeds, it might be worth investing in a vacuum sealer. Then you can vacuum seal them inside a small container and place that inside a larger one like a glass jar.
Let’s find out exactly what you need to do to store marijuana seeds the right way and ensure you can still germinate them successfully several years down the road.
You regular fridge gets opened constantly throughout the day. Every time you open it, the inside sees fairly large temperature fluctuations. The humidity level changes as well.
If you ordered your seeds from a top online seed bank, they probably arrived in sealed packaging. If you haven’t opened it yet, it is best to just leave them sealed in that package.
If you are only storing your seeds for a short period of time (no more than a few months) a relative humidity between 20% and 30% is fine. If you are storing them longer, you’ll want to go lower than that. Aim for a humidity level of around 8% to 10%. Even for short time periods, drier is better.
If a seed gets a steady supply of fresh oxygen, respiration can occur. This may lead to premature germination. To prevent this, store seeds in an airtight container. Inside a vacuum is ideal, but just somewhere that is sealed off is sufficient.