Nothing is more frustrating than losing your favorite marijuana strain because of a simple mistake. Knowing how to store marijuana seeds properly is an easy way to maintain seed viability for years to come.
To store your marijuana seeds properly you need to maintain the proper environment. In nature seeds fall to the ground at the end of the plant’s natural life cycle and lay dormant throughout the colder winter months. In the spring when the weather begins to warm, moisture penetrates the seeds hull and begins the germination process. To store your seeds properly, we need to prevent spring. This means keeping your marijuana seeds in a cool dry environment.
First I can’t stress enough how important it is to properly label the envelopes you place your seeds in. I’m the kind of guy who parks his car in the airport long term parking, looks up at the row and aisle signs and says, “wow, that will be easy to remember.” I’m also the guy who, upon returning from a weekend away, spends an extra half hour looking for his car. If this sounds familiar, then you know how easy it is to forget important details. Throw in a few different kinds of seeds and a few years, and you’ll be thanking me that you labeled your seed envelopes. If this is a strain you’ve grown before, what might you also want to remember about the strain?
- Where did you get the seeds?
- Is the strain predominantly indica, sativa, or a hybrid?
- What time of year did you harvest? (Outdoor)
- How many weeks of flowering ? (Indoor)
- How tall did the plants grow?
- Did you experience problems like powdery mildew or mold?
Before sealing your seeds away for long-term storage, make sure the seeds are dry and remove all stems and leaves that could contain moisture or possible pests. Placing the sealed envelopes in a canning jar and then storing it in the door of a refrigerator will imitate the cool climate of winter. Make sure the jar is sealed completely to prevent moisture from seeping in. Stored in this fashion, the majority of your seeds should still be viable for at least 5 years.
Seeds can remain viable for much longer than 5 years, but expect your germination rates to decline. To assist with the germination of older seeds you might want to try scuffing and soaking your seeds before planting or check out steps 1 through 4 in the article How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds.
If you are starting to worry about the age of the seeds, you can always germinate a few to make sure they are still viable. While you’re at it, why not refresh your seed supply. You can let those germinated seeds grow into mature male and female plants and use the pollen from the males to pollinate the female. Just make sure to keep the male plants isolated if you are also growing sinsemilla nearby at the same time.
I’ve also heard people suggesting that rice should be added to the jar to help absorb moisture. While I hesitate to say anyone else’s methods are definitely wrong, I don’t like this idea for two reasons. First because food products like rice can contain pests or pest eggs like weevils that can damage your seeds. Second, you want your cannabis seeds’ environment to be dry but you don’t want the seeds overly dried out either. The seeds will need to maintain a certain level of internal moisture to remain viable.
Since we are on the topic, maybe some of you out there would share with us a record or two. What’s the longest you’ve been able to store marijuana seeds and maintain viability?
Marijuana Seed Storage Tips,