On that same note, even if the seeds do not germinate, excessive humidity can cause the seeds to literally rot, which will make them totally unviable for germination. Therefore, you need to keep them somewhere very dry.
After 1 year, you can count on the germination rate decreasing to around 85% – 90%, and this will continue to lower as time goes on. After 3 years, the germination rate will usually be around 50% to 75%, and it just keeps getting worse from there on out.
On the other hand, maybe you purchased cannabis seeds, and they are already fairly old when they get to you. Therefore, you might be wondering how long can you keep cannabis seeds?
This is why every germination method out there involves exposing your cannabis seeds to a certain degree of moisture. So, if you don’t want your cannabis seeds to germinate too soon, you need to keep them as dry as possible.
If you are going for long term storage, say more than a year, the best method is to vacuum seal the seeds using a vacuum sealer. This will remove all possible air, oxygen, and moisture from the equation.
A humidity level of no more than 5% at most is recommended for both short term and long term marijuana seed storage. Yes, this can be hard to accomplish depending on where you live, but we will provide some tips for this later on today.
Now, the freezer is a bit iffy, because depending on the seeds, it may damage them, in which case you might want to stick with a vacuum seal and fridge combination.
Cannabis seeds can withstand long amounts of time in storage, as long as they are well protected. A cool, dark environment with no humidity or strong aromas is good to store the seeds for a few months, but if you want to extend the shelf-life of the seeds, then they must be refrigerated.
In some cases the latter may be true, if they are weak genetics or the seeds have been kept in adverse conditions. How long the seeds will last depends totally on the conditions they are stored in. If the seeds are humid or exposed to light, they will not germinate from being damaged internally. It is also essential to add that the seeds must be protected from being crushed.
There is plenty of debate surrounding how long do marijuana seeds last before they go bad. Some people say that they can last for years if they are kept in the correct conditions, while others disagree and state that they can only be used within 6 months to 1 year after packing. So the question is, how long do marijuana seeds last?
How Long Do Marijuana Seeds Last Before They Go Bad?
As we mentioned before, marijuana seeds can be made to last very long if they are refrigerated. Without any interference, marijuana seeds can last a few months before they go bad, even up to a year if they are kept in a cool, dry and dark place, but if they are refrigerated, marijuana seeds can last up to a decade.
How long your seeds will last can vary. If great care is taken for the seeds to be protected from humidity and light, and provided a cool environment the center of the seed will remain dormant, making the marijuana seed last longer. That way, the only thing needed to germinate the seed will be to soak them overnight in water then place them in a damp tissue or Jiffy plug and germinate normally.
Unfortunately, the answer to will a cracked seed still germinate is No. It cannot germinate as the valuable internal part of the seed that contains the genetic information of the plant is exposed, then the seed will no longer germinate. Great care must be taken to ensure the seeds are not damaged or crushed, including putting them in vials stuffed with cotton wool to ensure they don’t rattle around and harm each other.
So, how long marijuana seeds will last depends on the care you take to conserve your marijuana seeds in the correct way. If you are very careful marijuana seeds last you for ages. You can even stock up on strains to have your own collection and at the same time, remain self-sufficient throughout the year.
Unlike a mailing envelope, glass jars are airtight which makes them much more suitable for long-term cannabis seed storage. Because many types of plastic can let small amounts of water in overtime, it’s highly recommended that you use glass with rubber stoppers. When storing seeds long term, you should also throw in a desiccant pack to keep the humidity stable.
If you’re looking to store your seeds long term, vacuum sealing your seeds in thick Mylar bags can keep your seeds viable for up to half a decade. Since the bags are designed for long term storage, they’ll work well for your seeds as long as you make sure they were stored at the right humidity (a desiccant pack helps with this) and away from the light. This is one of the best options if you’re refrigerating your seeds.
Some cannabis strains (and some specific batches of those strains) naturally produce seeds that are hardier and longer-lasting than others. This plays a role in how long you can expect your seeds to remain viable, so be sure to do some research beforehand.
Humidity is another enemy in your battle for long-term storage because any hint of moisture is another clue to the seed that it’s time to stretch its leafy arms and legs. If the seed shell breaches before it’s in the soil, rot can set in.
Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author with experience creating well-researched, edited web articles covering cannabis news, culture, history and science. Paul is a regular contributor to PotGuide and has also contributed to publications such as Medium.com, SlabMechanix, Litro, and The Trek. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors and stay up to date professionally through his LinkedIn page.
Besides being dark, you want to expose your seeds to as little oxygen and carbon dioxide as possible. These gases are what growing plants breathe, as well as the pests that consume them. If you’re refrigerating your seeds, make your container as airtight as possible. If you have some vacuum-sealed plastic on hand, even better.
Whatever the reason, you need to be sure those cannabis seeds stay viable in the long term. Properly stored seeds can last for up to five years and still remain viable, and some strains have been reported sprouting at ten years or more. However, proper storage is not as easy as it seems, since seeds are looking for any excuse to start sprouting and there are a number of factors that tell the seeds that the time is right to stretch out their roots and branches. Store your seeds in the wrong conditions and they might end up dead, rotting, or diseased by the time you’re ready to introduce them to the soil.