Starting Cannabis Seeds

Growers Guide to starting Old Cannabis Seeds

An illustrative image showcasing the germination of older cannabis seeds. The image displays a horizontal scene where the older seeds are placed on a moist paper towel inside a petri dish to emphasize the initial stage of germination. The environment suggests a controlled setting like a greenhouse, with warm lighting and humidity indicators visible, to underline the careful conditions needed for starting older seeds. There are also labels or small tags next to the seeds indicating the age or strain of the cannabis for educational purposes.

Do you have a large cannabis seeds collection that you would like to start but the seeds are older, or you don’t even know how old the seeds are? In this article we are going to teach you step by step how to start old cannabis seeds. 

Many growers like to save their seeds for a collection, or to use when cannabis becomes legal where they live. For this reason having good skills for starting old cannabis seeds is very important as you don’t want to waste your seeds that have awesome genetics or be very valuable if you can carry on the strain. 

When you believe that every seed can be something really special starting with older seeds you can learn. 

If you are looking for cannabis seeds we suggest that you visit our Cannabis Seeds Shop Page here.

Giving the Seeds an Extra Kick to get going

A gardener's workstation with old cannabis seeds on burlap cloth, labeled jars, a hydration spray bottle, and a germination schedule calendar, amidst potted young cannabis plants.

Many older seeds are still viable; they just need a little extra to get them started. Seeds can last for many years and growers may not be able to start them using regular methods like the paper towel method of germination. However, with a little extra care and techniques in this article you get old cannabis seeds started.

Older Cannabis Seeds can Rot much easier

An illustration depicting a cross-section of soil with a germinating old cannabis seed, highlighted by a caution symbol emphasizing the potential for rot. The visual emphasizes the fragile nature of the older seed and the necessary precautions to avoid spoilage.

Older seeds always will have a harder time getting started however methods that you use. Because they will take longer, that means that they can get attacked by fungus and bacteria. Once these things get on your seeds they will start to destroy the seed from the outside in. 

When starting the older seeds you don’t want this to happen so it is very important that you get the older seeds growing before they have a chance to get attacked.

Most Important Things to Remember When Performing these Steps

A pair of hands cradling a delicate old cannabis seedling emerging from rich, dark soil, with a softly glowing light overhead emphasizing the gentle care needed.

When using the steps below, you will want to have as sterile an environment around you as possible. This is important as you don’t want anything around you that can contaminate starting old cannabis seeds. Work somewhere there is no air movement to bring in dust and mold spores. If you really want the seeds to grow you can even consider doing these steps in a still air box. You can read what and how to make a still air box here.

Make sure to wear clean clothes, and wash your hands very well as they are a source of contamination. Use ISO alcohol to clean and spray down the area you will be working in. 

Keeping the area clean and free of dirt is very important from this point on. 

List of things you will need when starting old cannabis seeds:

  • Two small Vials with a lids
  • One Larger Vial for every old seed you are starting
  • Hydrogen Peroxide, 3% bottle
  • Coco Coir
  • Small Container
  • Distilled Water
  • Two teaspoons of Sugar
  • Tweezers 
Germinating Old Cannabis Seeds Supplies
Germinating Old Cannabis Seeds Supplies

Step Number #1: Give the Old Seeds a Head Start

Take your hydrogen peroxide and dilute it in water at 1:20 this will create a weak sterilization solution. Next take this solution and add it to your vial or small container, about ¾ full to the top of the vial. 

Then add your old cannabis seeds into the vial with the hydrogen peroxide, close the lid on the vial. Gently swirl the seeds around in the vial to get the solution all over the old seeds. 

Now you will want to place the vial in a dark warm location for approximately one hour. This will clean the seeds of any bacteria or fungus that is dominant on the outer cannabis seeds shell. This fungus will attack the old seeds once they come in contact with water. It is very important to make sure the old seeds are clean before using them.. 

This will also help them get a head start growing before the fungus has a chance to get a foothold on the seed.

Old Cannabis Seeds in Hydrogen Peroxide
Old Cannabis Seeds in Hydrogen Peroxide

Step Number #2: Give the Old Cannabis Seeds a Boast of Food

Now that the seeds are nice and clean of fungus spores or bacteria it is time to give them a shot of energy to get going with. 

Next take the teaspoon of sugar and add it to the second vial of distilled water. Shake this up well to dissolve the sugar into the water well for a few minutes. Next take the sugar water and put the vial cap on, do not tighten the cap, leave it very loose on the top of the vial. 

Take the vial and put it in the microwave (the seeds should not be in it) and microwave the sugar water for about 2 minutes, or until it boils for about 2 minutes, this will sterilize the sugar water to once again make sure it is good and clean. 

Remove the sugar water vial, close the lid tightly on the top now after it has cooled for a bit to touch. Then place the sugar water vial into the fridge, and let it cool to the touch. Once the vial has cooled down enough you can take it out of the fridge. 

Next take tweezers, open both vials, the one holding the seeds and the sugar water vial. Take each old cannabis seed out of the hydrogen peroxide water and place them into the sugar water vial. 

Removing Old Cannabis Seeds from Hydrogen Peroxide
Removing Old Cannabis Seeds from Hydrogen Peroxide

Step Number #3: Let the Old Cannabis Seeds Soak in the Sugar Water

In this step you will want to let the seeds soak up a bit of this sugary water, this will help get the old enzymes in the seeds going again. The biggest issue with older seeds is that the enzymes in the seeds get weaker the older the seed is. They can be damaged by heat, cold, humidity, and being overly dry, which will prevent them from germinating. When this happens it is harder for the seed to get going again. 

This sugar water will have the extra energy from the sugars to help to recharge these old seeds again. Helping the old seed enzymes get started up again to germinate the seeds. 

These are the same processes to start seeds that scientists have been using to start seeds that are 20,000 years old. 

Now you will once again want to store the sugar water vial and seeds in a cool dark location. Wait till the seeds sink in the water solution, before moving on to the next step in the process.

Adding Old Cannabis Seeds to Sugar Water Vial
Adding Old Cannabis Seeds to Sugar Water Vial

Step Number #4: You are ready for Starting Old Cannabis Seeds

Now you are ready for the coco coir and a bit of sugar. Take the larger vial out of the three vials and fill it with damp coco coir (not wet, just a bit damp). You can take the coco coir soak it in the distilled water. Next remove the coco coir and squeeze out the water so nothing will drip out of the coco coir. This is the perfect moisture level for the vial. 

Now take the coco coir and fill the vial about ¼ full of the coco coir, sugar mix. Now place the top of the vial on, once again do not tighten the top leave it loose on the vial. Once again place the vial with the coco coir and a bit of sugar mixed in and microwave it for about 2 to 3 minutes. This will sterilize the vial with the contents again. 

Now again let the vial cool down to the touch however you wish. Once it is cool, take the sugary water containing the old cannabis seeds, remove the lid. Then take the tweeters and remove the seed, place the seed into the vial with the coco coir. Push the seed gently into the coco coir, so that it is covered. Put the vial cover back on, this time once again do not tighten the lid. It is important to leave a bit of room so there can be air exchange in the vial. However, you should still be keeping contaminants out.

Old Cannabis Seeds Germinating In Coco Coir
Old Cannabis Seeds Germinating In Coco Coir

Step Number #5: Patiently Wait

A serene greenhouse filled with rows of cannabis plants at various stages of growth under a soft, warm light. A calendar hangs on the wall, marked with the germination start date, symbolizing the waiting period in the cultivation process. The atmosphere is tranquil and expectant, with a focus on the beauty and patience involved in growing old cannabis seeds.

Now your seed is ready to grow, in the sterile vial. As the seeds are older they may take more time to get started then with fresh seeds. 

Growers can let the seeds grow right into the seedling stage in the vial, once the seed has sprouted and has its first set of seedling leaves. Once old seed pushes it way out of the coco coir you can completely remove the top of the vial. Also you will want to move the vial into a good lighting source to help the seed get a good start. 

The seed may still be weaker getting started and this is where the little extra sugar added to the coco coir will come in handy for extra energy. 

Once the small seedling has enough healthy roots you can remove it from the vial and add it to a new pot of soil. You can read more here about picking the best growing medium for cannabis.


An illustration depicting the process of giving old cannabis seeds a new lease on life, with a focus on hydration, warmth, and germination.

When people have started old seeds that are 20,000+ years old, growers can use this process when starting old cannabis seeds. We have used this process in the past to start seeds that were over 15 years old to save and preserve the genetics that are within them. 

This is even a great way to start seeds that you have purchased. If you just paid \$100 dollars for some seeds why not use this method to give yourself a leg up on getting your cannabis seeds growing into healthy plants in the garden. 

This method works great for starting any cannabis seed strain and we hope it will help you if you have some old cannabis seeds you would like to get started.

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