All great cannabis plants begin with quality seeds. Unfortunately, many growers overlook the simple fact that seeds are living organisms that need preserving to remain in tip-top condition. Store your seeds in haphazard ways, and you run the risk of affecting both quality and germination. Luckily, proper storage is easy to do as long as you know how.
Cannabis seeds are naturally pretty resilient, but they aren’t invincible. Changes in temperature, humidity and light can all have very damaging effects. More drastic environmental issues, like dampness, can even destroy your seeds completely.
If you’ve sown your seeds and still have some left over, this guide will ensure that those extras never go to waste. With these top tips, you’ll never run afoul of the seed storing gods and can enjoy your favorite seeds in the many months to come.
Quick jump to: how to store marijuana seeds
Why should you pay attention to storing weed seeds
You've received a package of your favorite high-quality 10 seeds (from us). You've planted 5 of them for this season and are waiting to plant the next 5. What do you do? Store them. After all, proper storage is an essential part of being a good grower. Here’s why:
Properly storing your seeds will ensure the health and success of your cannabis crops to come. In optimal conditions, seeds can be stored in cool, dark places for up to 2 years. Some even last up to 5 years. The fresher your seeds, the better the plant. This is particularly important if you’re bulk buying seeds for better deals or to ensure a consistent crop of your favorite strains. As long as you store your seeds well, you’ll ensure their freshness for quick, problem-free planting every time.
Store them incorrectly, however, and you run the risk of spoiling your entire growing season. Seeds can die, be damaged, or simply lose their efficacy if stored poorly.
- Gather materials
- Label containers
- Place seeds in containers
- Place containers in a dry, cool environment
The first thing you’ll need to store your seeds is a good container. You can take your pick depending on how long you’re your seeds storing for. Short-term storage, say the next day or week, is fine kept in simple containers away from the light. For longer-term stockpiling, glass sealable containers like laboratory Eppendorf tubes or opaque airtight boxes are great. Sealable Mylar bags are also effective as you can effectively vacuum the air out. If you’re utilizing transparent bottles, boxes or bags, be sure to also store these within opaque containers of some kind to keep light out too. Glass is generally more favorable over plastic options as it tends to be more air-tight.
Labelling your seeds is crucial. This will stop you from opening your containers to check them and will provide details on both strain type and date of purchase. You can write all this simply on a small paper label and place it on the container’s exterior. Dates will ensure you can plant for freshness.
It’s often best to store your seeds in the same packaging they arrived in. If not, simply re-seal your seeds into their new container with a desiccant/silica gel pack to absorb moisture. This will help control the humidity levels to prevent mold from forming, and it will absorb any natural ethylene that’s produced as your seeds age. If you don’t have any silica gel packs at hand, use a natural desiccant like rice.
Lastly, place your container in a cool, dry environment for storage in the short to medium term. Ideal places include dark cupboards and drawers. Choose an area that isn’t affected by day-to-day changes in temperature. More longer-term operations will need to be stored in the fridge. In this case, remember to cover whatever container you are using in opaque material so that it’s shielded from light. Ideally, a second or less-used fridge is best.
Tips for storing marijuana seeds
- Keep seeds away from light
- Keep seeds free of moisture
- Keep temperatures constant
- Keep the environment clean
Light is one of the biggest factors that contributes to seed germination. Overexposing your seeds with too much light will force them to leave their dormant stage and begin to mutate. This is particularly true of constant fluctuations in light, which will affect the germinating power. You may end up with a seed that either grows poorly, takes far longer to grow than normal, or simply won’t grow at all. That’s why opaque containers are so important.
If you’re storing your seeds in a humid, improperly sealed environment with access to moisture, your seeds may rot, mold or prematurely germinate. Once water comes into contact with a seed, it produces ethylene and begins to germinate. Even just a little droplet can cause harmful mildew that can kill your seeds. Aim for an environment of 10 to 20% humidity and use a desiccant. Seeds can begin to germinate at just 40% humidity.
Seeds need to be stored in cold but not freezing conditions. The ideal temperatures are around 6 to 8C. These lower temperatures prevent the seeds from germinating and slows their vitality, allowing them to remain useful for much longer. That's why longer-term storage is recommended in fridges where temperatures can be set and controlled. Whatever environment you are using, it’s important that temperatures don’t fluctuate, as this can ruin seeds. Avoid moving your seeds from location to location, and never leave them baking in the sun or near a radiator.
Clean and sterile environments are vital for healthy seeds. One of the biggest issues with storing seeds in unclean areas or close to unclean substances is that it attracts pests. Pests and mold can all quickly destroy seeds. Luckily, seeds are largely safe in their sealed containers – most mistakes are made during the packing process itself. Always ensure your workplace is clean when packing and storing your seeds.