Whether you purchased in bulk to save money or you’re experimenting with hybrid strains, you’ll want a safe place to store your leftover cannabis seeds. There’s no point in wasting these precious commodities.
If you want to preserve your investment, you’ll need to make sure your seeds are stored in the correct container and conditions. Let’s explore your options for cannabis seed storage:
Storing Cannabis Seeds
How to Store Cannabis Seeds
One of the critical things in ensuring the continued viability of your surplus seeds is to store them properly. While cannabis seeds have tough outer shells, the truth is that they are vulnerable to environmental factors such as humidity, light oxygen, and changes in temperature.
Exposing them to these conditions will compromise their stability, making them hard to germinate. Here are ways to preserve your cannabis seeds properly.
Choosing Your Container
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to cannabis seed storage is that you need to use air tight containers. Nothing will ruin your seeds quicker than excess moisture seeping into your supply.
For short term storage, “cannabis seeds should do fine in a grip-seal bag, placed in a mason jar or some other type of airtight container.” However, they specify that vacuum sealing is the ideal method of storage for long term situations.
I Love Growing Marijuana also suggests jars with UV protection. This will prevent sunlight from damaging your seeds.
The Ideal Environment
There are a few steps you need to follow in order to ensure a successful weed seed storage process. Each of these steps help keep your investment safe.
You’ll need to dry your seeds before storing them. However you should not remove all of the moisture from your seeds. This will kill them.
Instead, they recommend a moisture rate of 2%-3%. This can be achieved by placing a desiccant in your storage container. Desiccants are a class of materials similar to silica packets that help absorb excess moisture in packaging.
It is important to use food grade silica gel or other desiccants. Otherwise, you could introduce harmful chemicals to your seeds. This would result in a less than favorable harvest that can be toxic upon consumption.
An alternative option for controlling moisture levels in the short term, you can place your seeds inside a paper envelope before sealing in a container. The paper will serve a similar purpose to the desiccant.
Control the Temperature
“The lower the temperature, the slower [your seeds] decline.” This is why it’s best to preserve your marijuana seeds in an area with a controlled environment.
For long-term storage, freezers do offer a lot of benefits. The harsh cold will create an environment where your seeds are not able to sprout.
However, this isn’t necessary for most people’s storage needs. Any location with a cool and consistent temperature, as well as a lack of excess moisture and light should suffice.
You should also use caution when storing your seeds in the refrigerator. Some sites, like Sensi Seeds, say that fridge doors have the ideal temperature for storage. Other sites, such as Royal Queen Seeds, say the moisture present in fridges can be detrimental.
Maintain Lighting Conditions
Excess light exposure can cause your seeds to begin sprouting. In extreme cases, it can also dry your seeds completely, rendering them useless for further growing cycles.
This is why preventing as much light exposure as possible is key for successful cannabis seed storage. If you aren’t storing your seeds in a freezer, make sure they are in a cabinet or other location that will be exposed to as little light as possible.
As mentioned before, you can also use UV resistant containers to reduce the chances of light activating your seed growth before you are ready to plant.
Light, moisture, and temperature aren’t the only factors to consider when it comes to weed seed storage. Like any plant, marijuana seeds are susceptible to pests and other harmful factors of the environment.
Gyo Seed Bank says that “a few pinches of diatomaceous earth (DE) is a safe, inexpensive and non-toxic way of protecting seeds against insect damage.” They specify that you should treat your seeds before storage, even if only as a precautionary measure.
While not a common problem, certain rodents can pose a threat to your stored seeds. However, most seeds contained in jars should be fine. Just be sure small animals won’t be able to knock your jars to the ground, causing them to break.
Double Check for Mold and Mildew
Even if you’ve dried your seeds and stored them with a moisture-absorbing material, it never hurts to double check the moisture level. Gyo Seed Bank notes that each jar should be inspected after a few hours of storage for any signs of condensation.
If condensation is present, you’ll need to reevaluate your drying methods. This may mean more silica gel needs to be placed in each jar.
Other Helpful Tips
- Maintain a sterile working environment
- Label your seeds
- Take care not to squish the seeds
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Reactivating Stored Seeds
When you store your seeds, you should also be prepared for the reactivation process for your next growing cycle. Here are the basic steps you should take when removing seeds from storage:
The first thing to note is that seeds stored in the freezer should begin the germination process immediately after removal. DO NOT wait for them to thaw.
Leafly states that you should start the germination process by soaking four paper towels in distilled water. Two of these paper towels should then be placed on a paper plate.
Next, place your seeds on the paper towels at a distance of at least one inch apart. Then, cover with the remaining two wet paper towels.
To create a dark space, place a second paper plate face down over the first one. This will create a dome. Keep in a warm area with a temperature between 70 and 90 degrees.
Check your seeds often. Once they split and a single sprout has formed, they are ready to transfer to your growing area. Be sure to keep your seeds sterile during this transfer.