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How Long do Marijuana Seeds last?

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  • Escrito por : Ciara
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When it comes to cannabis seeds, many first time growers tend to have some sitting around from an old friend or baggie. With recent legalization, new growers are deciding to dust their seeds off and start their very own grow, but how long do marijuana seeds last before they won’t germinate?

A typical feminized cannabis plant can produce an enormous amount of seeds – hundreds, depending on how well the plant takes the pollen and how meticulous the pollination process is. It also largely depends on the strain, as some strains are capable of producing much more, especially if their flowers are larger and can hold more. But how long do they last once they’ve been harvested and dried?

How Long do Marijuana Seeds Last?

There are many different factors that come into play when it comes to cannabis seed lifespan, and the most important is conservation. If you’ve obtained your seeds from a seed bank and they come in their own packaging, when it comes to storage you can simply leave them in their packaging in a dark, dry spot; seed banks usually recommend planting within the year.

However, if you’re planning on crossing your own plants and making your own seeds, you’ll need to know how to harvest, dry and store them if you’re planning on keeping them for a while before germinating them; knowing how to store cannabis seeds properly is quite an important tidbit of information if you’re a professional cannabis grower.

The seed is undoubtedly just as important as the final result; without quality seeds, you won’t get quality results. Keep in mind that cannabis seeds are practically living beings ready to be brought fully to life. Many new growers don’t know that cannabis seeds require specific care, and the way you store your seeds can significantly affect their outcome.

Drying Cannabis Seeds

When working from the start you’ll first need to pollinate the flowers on a female cannabis plant and then harvest the seeds once it’s fully matured. Once you have your seeds you’ll need to dry them out before they can be stored or even germinated – they should be ready to harvest once they’ve gone a dark brown color or start showing dark stripes. Most people opt to dry their seeds by simply drying the flowers and harvesting the seeds once they’ve dried out – it makes them much easier to remove from the flowers.

How Long do Marijuana Seeds Last in Storage?

Once you have your seeds you’re going to want to store them correctly if you plan on using them down the line. In fact, when stored under perfect conditions, you can germinate 5 year old cannabis seeds successfully. Some astonishing cases have been reported of seeds lasting up to 10 years when stored optimally, although the germination times may vary wildly, taking much longer than a fresh seed. For homegrowers, storing and maintaining seeds is quite important, and even more so for seed banks; 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.

Seed Storage: Light

One of the first things to keep in mind is that whatever container that you store your seeds in needs to block out all 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 too weak to germinate; even if they germinate they might have quite a hard time starting off.

Seed Storage: Temperature

The temperature at which you store your seeds is one of the most important factors. If you’re going for something short-term, you just have to make sure that they’re in an area with a stable temperature – do not store them somewhere where there are going to be temperature changes.

However, for long-term storage you’ll need to store them at around 6-8° – if you plan on storing a large amount of seeds, we recommend buying a small cooler for that specific purpose to keep them at a low, constant temperature; opening your fridge can cause temperature changes, so keeping them with the rest of your products is probably not the best idea.

Also, remember to use a blacked out container when storing in the fridge or a black bag to ensure that the lights inside don’t affect the seeds when opened.

Seed Storage: Humidity

Humidity is another incredibly important factor that can determine the success rate of your seeds. Relative humidity is essentially what causes seeds to germinate, so they’re quite delicate at this stage and you don’t want them accidentally germinating; keep relative humidity low in their container.

This obviously depends on your climate too, 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. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend keeping them in a low-humidity container, and if you live somewhere incredibly humid you might have to use specific methods to decrease humidity.

Cannabis seeds can germinate with a RH of 40-60%, and humidity higher than that can actually drown them and kill them. However, humidity ranging from 9 – 20% may also cause a myriad of issues such as insects, fungi, and even seed sweating due to excessive heat. The ideal humidity range in which to store your seeds is between 20 to 30% RH.

How Long do Marijuana Seeds Last

Taking into account the previously mentioned parameters, the best way to store your cannabis seeds for long periods of time is by vacuum sealing them and then putting them into an opaque container or bag so that no light gets to them. Keep them at a constant temperature of 6-8°. Some growers use products such as silica sachets to keep humidity down even if the outside temperature/humidity becomes drastically altered – this is a good idea if you live in more humid or hotter climates.

Keep in mind that if your seeds experience too much light or temperature changes they may end up using up their nutrient reserves, which would render them useless.

Knowing how to store cannabis seeds is important if you want to keep your seeds over long periods of time – how long do marijuana seeds last?

Cannabis Seed Quality: What To Know Before You Grow

Are your seeds light or dark in colour? Are they tough under pressure or do they turn to dust? These are some of the ways to tell if your seed is healthy and worth growing.

One of the keys to achieving healthy and vigorous cannabis plants is starting with high-quality seeds. Of course, prime nutrients, adequate watering, and good light quality all contribute to the final yield obtained. But starting a grow with tip-top genetics is equally, if not more important. Carefully sourcing high-quality cannabis seeds will ensure you are receiving the exact genetics you are looking for. Not only will they provide you with the desired cannabinoid and terpene profiles, they will help you to avoid dud seeds.

There are several factors to look for when purchasing seeds, and certain signs that signify the seed isn’t worth the time and effort.

APPEARANCE AND FEEL

One good way to gauge the quality and traits of a cannabis seed is to get used to how they look. Some details are glaringly obvious, whilst others take some time to identify quickly. Healthier and genetically superior seeds will exhibit darker colours on the outer shell. Shades of grey and black are signs of a good seed, sometimes displaying a tiger stripe aesthetic.

Healthy seeds will also look as though they have a coating of wax of their shell. This can be made obvious when exposing them to a bright light and witnessing a sheen effect.

Darker and better-quality seeds will feel firm to the touch. Place the seed between your thumb and index finger and give it a squeeze, not enough power to bend metal, but enough to tests its resilience. If the seed feels firm and does not bend or break under the applied pressure, then it’s more than likely worth planting.

Poor-quality or old seeds will crack and crumble under pressure. If they break into parts under slight pressure, they will be unusable. But they wouldn’t have been worth the time anyway. Seeds are simply pods of a plant genetics. With time, they will age and become unusable. Seeds that are obviously past their prime are not worth wasting time on.

Immature and young seeds will be green and white in appearance. It is unlikely that these seeds will germinate, and if they manage to, it will just take longer. It is worth obtaining fresh seeds that are of optimal age.

SEEDS FROM A BAG

Some smokers might be pleased to see some cannabis seeds in their bag, and might think themselves lucky. However, finding seeds in a bag is bad for various reasons. For one, this means the grower has messed up and allowed their female plants to be pollinated by an invading male. When flowers are pollinated, they stop producing THC-containing resin and divert their energy toward producing seeds. Secondly, the seeds will have added to the overall weight of the bag, which means less weed for your buck.

With this said, you may get lucky if the strain they were growing really is prime. In this case, it’s worth carrying out the following test to see if it’s worth germinating.

GERMINATE THEM REGARDLESS

The one true method to test the genetic potential of a seed is to simply put it in the soil. It won’t take too long to see the results. This option is best for the hobby home grower who has time and space to spare for a risky project. Growers cultivating cannabis for commercial use likely don’t have the excess time to invest.

SOURCE WELL

A solid way to obtain great seeds is to find a reputable seed bank. These companies pride themselves of their breeding skills and make sure that their customers receive exactly what has been advertised. They have reputations to cater to, so delivering anything less would only harm their image.

The alternative to this is to risk buying seeds from a hobbyist. This isn’t to say that hobby growers cannot produce fantastic genetics, but if you don’t know them or their skills, there’s no way to know whether your seeds will grow.

CONDUCT THE FLOAT TEST

If you are still unsure about the quality of your seeds after analysing their appearance and toughness, it’s time to put your lab coat and goggles on. Well, not quite. This test is extremely easy and only has two possible outcomes. Fill up a drinking glass or glass jar with water (preferably spring or distilled) and place your seeds on the surface.

This simple and cost-effective method is a great way to tell the good genetics from the bad; they will sink or swim, literally. Seeds that remain buoyant on the surface are more than likely of poor quality and are to be discarded. Seeds that sink to the bottom like a botanical cannonball are probably healthy and should be germinated.

However, slight patience is required when conducting the float test, as results are not immediately apparent. You’ll have to wait for approximately 1–2 hours before confirming the results. Some good-quality seeds will need adequate time to absorb enough water for them to sink. Use this time to go water the garden and get some much needed pruning done. Upon your return, any seeds that remain on the surface are most likely not viable and won’t be worth further time and effort.

It’s important to only conduct this test if you are planning to germinate the seeds immediately afterwards. The viable seeds that sunk to the bottom of the glass will have taken in water, crossing the membrane of the seed and signalling that it’s time to come to life—activating germination.

Royal Queen Seeds Produces Some Of Europe’s Best Cannabis Seeds, Ensuring Hobby Growers Everywhere Have Access To The Finest Marijuana Strains Around.

Royal Queen Seeds Produces Some Of Europe’s Best Cannabis Seeds, Ensuring Hobby Growers Everywhere Have Access To The Finest Marijuana Strains Around.

Knowing how to determine the quality of cannabis seeds will save you precious time, money, and effort. Here's how to tell the good from the bad.