How to Store Cannabis Seeds
When you store cannabis seeds it is somewhat of an art form to keep the seeds viable for years to come. Storing your seeds correctly will help them last for a long time. If the seeds are stored incorrectly they may not even last a few months for a grower.
Keeping seeds fresh is an important skill for many growers. Some growers can pay a lot of money for their cannabis seeds even up to $30 or $40 dollars per seed.
If the grower doesn’t plan on germinating his/her seeds once they receive them, then this article will be a great read. We will teach you how to store your seeds, for shorter term storage, and longer term storage.
Things that Can affect the Long Term Storage of Cannabis Seeds
Once cannabis seeds are harvested they are alive inside and it is your job to keep the seeds alive as long as you can if you wish to germinate them in the future, either the next day or then years down the road. There are many different factors that can kill the life living inside your seeds. These things will speed up the process of creating seeds that will not germinate someday when you want to grow them.
Some of these factors that will ruin the quality of your marijuana seeds are:
- Heat and Extreme Cold
- Humidity and Water
- How they are stored
- Bacteria and Fungi
All these things above will factor into the germination quality of your cannabis seeds. You will want to limit all of these to keep your seeds healthy and fresh for use.
Preparing your Cannabis Seeds for Storage
Whether you grew your own seeds or bought them though a reputable seedbank you will need to get them ready for long term storage. We recommend doing it this way even if you intend to use them sooner rather than later. This way you can keep the germination quality up even if you are not going to store them for a longer period of time.
Cannabis Seed Storage Containers long Term
To prepare them, you will need to find a good container to store them in. We recommend a dark container that will not let any light into it. It should also be air tight, with a good lid that will not come loose during the time you will store them. Many things can be used, we like to use little containers that people use for crafts, and you can easily find them at your local hobby or dollar stores. They are typically pretty cheap, and air tight, you may have to add duct tape around them to keep the light out.
Why Testing a Few Seeds before Storing them is a Great Idea!
If you have a few extra cannabis seeds to spare then we very much recommend testing them first using the paper towel germination method. This is even if you don’t intend to grow them right away.
By testing a few of the seeds before you store them, it will give you a good baseline to know what you can expect for germination rates after storage. If you test five seeds and they all germinate then you know that you have a 100% germination rate when you first start the storage of the fresh seeds.
If none of the seeds germinate then, you might ask yourself if it is even worth storing them long term if they didn’t even germinate fresh. As you remove the seeds over time from your storage container you can test them over time to see how your storage method is working, and if the germination rates are declining for that batch of seeds.
Hemp Seed Storage
Storing Hemp Seeds or CBD seeds uses the same methods as storing regular cannabis seeds. The process will be exactly the same for any seeds really.
How to store Cannabis Seeds Long Term
Many growers like to keep a collection of cannabis seed genetics for the future and we do as well. Having those genetics for years to come can be very beneficial to the cannabis community at large. Every day great old school genetics are lost to poor seed storage.
Preparing your Seeds for Storage
Now that your seeds are ready for storage after testing, you can use your storage container. We like to add the seeds so that they do not move around in the container and potentially get damaged. Over the long term they can get knocked over, or shaken around alot.
We prepare our seeds by first microwaving some rice grain, we then add these dry grains in with the seeds, at a 1 to 3 ratio of rice to seeds in the container. The rice helps to absorb excess moisture in the container, keeping the seeds nice and dry. We then place a cotton ball over the top of the seeds to keep them packed down well and from moving in the container.
This keeps the seeds nice and fresh for years to come. Next is finding a good location to store your cannabis seeds.
Storing Seeds in Refrigerator
Now that your seeds are well packaged and ready for long term storage, you can place them somewhere cool like the refrigerator. If you plan on using them in a growing season next year this will keep them nice and fresh for that purpose. Keep the seeds cool and in the dark is key to fresh germination when you are ready to grow them. Keeping your seeds in the refrigerator works very well for this reason.
Store Cannabis Seeds in Freezer
If you intend to store your seeds for years or more then the freezer may be your best bet. Freezing your to store cannabis seeds is a great way to keep your seeds fresh and viable for years and years to come. I have personally heard of growers keeping seeds like this fresh in their freezers for 15 years or more using this storage method.
If you are using this method it is best to never remove the seeds and let them thaw out, each time you do so it will affect the germination rates for the seeds. If you do this, remove the seeds as fast as possible and then return the seeds back to the freezer. You never want to let them thaw out.
How Long do Cannabis Seeds Last?
Cannabis Seeds using this method can be stored for years to come, it is hard to give an exact number of years, however we have seen growers, and us personally using stored seeds and getting germination on seeds that have been stored for up to 15+ years. Cannabis Seeds may even last longer then this for the everyday grower. If you have access to better seed germination equipment growers can germinate seeds that are even hundreds of years old.
Pests and Your Cannabis Seeds
There is really no better breakfast, lunch and supper for mice and rats than cannabis seeds. Why not they are super healthy and filling for their hungry little bellies. We have seen mice chew through plastic containers to get a nice cannabis seed treat. They will deshell them and devour them by the hundreds in one night.
We have even seen mice take a small container of cannabis seeds and roll them off desks behind something where they can do their chewing work to get into them. No Kidding!
Mice and rats eating your precious cannabis seeds is no joke! Never store marijuana seeds anywhere in plastic baggies, they will chew them up no issues.
How to Store Cannabis Seeds for Next Year
All these methods in this article above will keep your seeds fresh for next year no issues. If your seeds were stored fresh in the fall you will have no trouble getting great germination rates the following cannabis growing season.
How to Use your Seeds after Storage
Most times you can start your seeds the same way you normally would germinate your cannabis seeds. They should start very well if they have only been in storage a year or two. However if the seeds have been in storage longer then that you may have to use some techniques that we like to use to start old cannabis seeds. We have a great article here on how to start old cannabis seeds.
How to Store Cannabis Pollen
Instead of storing cannabis seeds you may want to store some pollen to create seeds for your next growing season. Growers can also do this as well. Storing cannabis pollen can be done in much the same way as storing cannabis seeds. Cannabis pollen is best stored in small envelopes as opposed to containers, you can use containers though if you wish.
Pollen has the same enemies as seeds pretty much. Heat, cold, humidity will all decrease the life of your pollen next time you would like to use it.
To save your pollen, get a small coin envelope, then tap the plant to release the pollen into the envelope. Once you have a good bit of pollen in there, add the microwaved rice into the envelope as well and mix around. This will keep the pollen dry for storage.
You can store it in the same way that you store your seeds, in a fridge or freezer
Using your Stored Cannabis Pollen
When it comes time to use the pollen you can dip a paint brush into the envelope, you only need a little bit to create some seeds on a branch. Take the brush and paint it over the cannabis buds, the best time to do this is about three weeks into flowering for more strains of cannabis.
We have a great article here on growing and harvesting seeds you can read.
When done properly, growers can store their cannabis genetics for years to come. Using them down the road to restore long lost cannabis strains to use for new seeds or keeping the genetics even longer by storing the cannabis seeds again and again. Some growers keep the genetics growing for a lifetime. Why not who wants to lose something so awesome as great cannabis genetics!
If you are shopping for cannabis seeds for your garden don’t forget to visit our Store!