We’ve officially walked you through every step of the seed process. We’ve written on finding seeds, popular germination methods, sexing, and harvesting your own seeds. What’s the final piece of the process? Storing your newly collected cannabis seeds. If you want to preserve the genetic integrity and viability of your seeds, there are a few things you should know.
This final segment in our Seeds 101 guide will walk you through methods for storing and preserving your marijuana seeds.
Why care about seed storage?
If stored properly, marijuana seeds can be kept for up to 10 years. This is pretty damn awsome, especially if you’ve created a batch with some great genetics. You’ll want to keep that strain around for as long as you can!
This 10-year-mark doesn’t necessarily apply to all seeds, however. The majority of seeds have a shelf life of around 4 to 5 years. Here are a few ways to preserve your seeds:
No matter what kind of grower you are (enthusiast, medical, or just growing for fun) you’ll want to at least do the bare minimum when it comes to seed storage. No matter what, make sure you follow these simple steps:
- Don’t keep your seeds in direct sunlight. Find somewhere dark.
- Keep them away from moisture. Store them somewhere dry.
- Pay attention to temperature. Pick a cool place.
For the best results, keep them in a dark colored or opaque, airtight container. A ziplock or vaccum-sealed bag also work well. You may want to throw in a little rice or a packet food-grade desiccant to help keep the environment dry.
If left at a consistent cool, room temperature seeds will be viable for up to a few years.
Often times, those who have germinated seeds nearly a decade old have safely stored them in a refrigerator. But, this method is debated among many growers for a couple of reasons. Refrigerators have one major problem: moisture. If your seeds come in contact with too much mosisture in this cold environment, they risk molding.
The best way to prevent this is to store your seeds in an airtight, opaque plastic container along with a food-grade desiccant pouch. You may want to throw in two for good measure. A vacuum-sealed container also works. Just make sure your seeds are kept in the dark.
Freezing is another option often discussed among seed-savers. Generally, this option is thought to be less than ideal. The process of freezing may rupture some of the cells. This means that some of the seeds you freeze may not germinate.
However, for long term storage, some suggest that freezing in a vacuum-sealed package with a food-grade desiccant is best. Again, make sure that temperature remains constant, and the seeds are more or less kept in the dark.
Before attempting to germinate seeds that have been frozen, you may want to move them to the fridge and then to room temperature to give them time to acclimate without shocking them too much.
Just like any other living organism, the longer you wait to use your seeds, the less viable they become. Viability refers to their germination rates. As time goes on, germination rates lower.
With both freezing and refrigeration, you risk exposing your seeds to excess moisture. Just in case anything goes wrong, you may want to split up your seeds and keep at least a few of them properly stored at room temperature. After all, it’s never good to keep all of your seeds in one basket.
This post concludes our Seeds 101 series. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the other 4 segments in this collection. You might learn some new tips and tricks to try at home!
Which storage solution has worked best for you? Do you have any experience with freezing or refrigeration? Share your thoughts with us on social media or in the comments section below.