Germinating old cannabis seeds – whatever the reason might be, be it that you’ve forgotten about a few seeds you had lying around or you simply didn’t have time to plant the seeds when they were in their prime – is something many of us have had to do. Whatever the reason might be, it can be reassuring to know that old cannabis seeds aren’t necessarily write offs. Old seeds can germinate! However, you’ll need to follow the right steps to have the best results with them; old cannabis seeds won’t be quite as easy to germinate as their younger counterparts, after all. Keep in mind that if you are serious about growing,it is always advisable to buy fresh seeds from a reputed seed bank.
Is it Possible to Germinate Old Cannabis Seeds?
First things first, is germinating old cannabis seeds really possible? Well, yes! Old cannabis seeds that haven’t been germinated before can absolutely germinate. However, their ability to germinate will deteriorate with age, so you may need to take some extra precautions for the best results. It’s worth noting that germinating old cannabis seeds will invariably be a tricky task and you won’t get the same results as you would have done from young cannabis seeds.
Right Storing Methods are Absolutely Essential!
It’s absolutely possible to germinate old cannabis seeds – but it is important to note that you need them stored properly. Indeed, if you’ve randomly found a stray few seeds behind the couch cushions, they are not going to germinate well; they’ve not been stored properly and will have died. However, if your cannabis seeds have been stored properly, they should still be able to germinate; with the right conditions, cannabis seeds can last ten years or even longer and retain their germination potential to a degree.
When storing your cannabis seeds for long term storage, they need to be given somewhere dark, cool, and with an appropriate humidity. For long term storage, you should either refrigerate them or, even better, freeze them in a vacuum sealed casing. Protection from insects and pathogens is also of the utmost importance, of course.
Are My Seeds Still Viable?
To start with, you’ll want to know whether your old seeds are viable – if they’re not going to germinate, what’s the point putting time into them? The easiest way to check this is to put them in a glass of water. If the seeds sink, they’re probably viable still; if they float, they may not be. For floating seeds, you can leave them in the water for up to 72 hours and monitor for any signs of germination as a final check.
Getting Germination Started for Old Seeds
Whether your seeds have been refrigerated or frozen to prolong their life, they’ll need some hydration to trigger germination. A humidity of 40% will trigger germination, but over 60% will usually result in the seeds drowning and dying, so this balance is important. This is also why your old cannabis seeds need to be stored at an appropriate humidity, as if the humidity is too high the seeds will begin to germinate before you want them to!
Prepare the Seed Properly
For old cannabis seeds, germination can be more difficult. This is owing to the seeds’ tougher outer shells, as the shells harden over time; with old seeds in particular, this can be especially problematic. A hard seed shell can make it hard for the seedling to emerge from its shell and can also hinder moisture and warmth from getting into the seed. So, they will need a little helping hand to get started.
In order to do this, there are two options you can try. Putting the seeds in a glass of water with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide for 24 hours can slowly dissolve a little of the seed casing, which may help.
Alternatively, you’ll want to scar the seed if your seeds are particularly old and really struggling. This involves getting a small amount of sandpaper and gently scratching away at the shell of the seed to remove some of its hard casing. This will make it easier for the seed to germinate. For especially old seeds or seeds that are struggling to germinate, cutting a very small hole in the shell of the seed may also be a good way to get the germination process started!
Once your seed is ready, you’ll need to choose the right germination method. The most recommended method for new growers is to use wet paper towels, as follows.
Take two wet paper towels, and place one over a plate or similar surface. Gently place the seeds on top of the towel, well-spaced, and cover with the other towel. Et voila – the seeds are ready to germinate! Just make sure you choose a paper towel that’s free from nasty added chemicals.
Another germination option is to plant the seeds directly in the soil. Though this makes germination a little trickier for the seed, it’s much easier for new growers as you won’t have to worry about transplanting the seed. Make sure you make a big enough well in the moist soil before planting for best results.
You could also try using rockwool. Rockwool cubes are a great option for both hydroponic and conventional growing systems and can have their pH altered to the desired level and are easy to manage. As such, they’ve become a popular option for many people wanting to germinate young and old cannabis seeds alike!
Old cannabis seeds can be notoriously stubborn to get to germinate, however, they are often still viable if stored correctly. So, don’t write off your old cannabis seeds – they may just need a little more TLC to get going!
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to reflect the specific views of the publication.