If you’re trying to start a cannabis-growing operation, you need lots of fresh, high-quality seeds. However, one mistake many new growers can make is thinking that their seeds are shelf-stable and don’t need to stay fresh. Unfortunately, not knowing how to store one’s seeds can lead to costly mistakes, such as seeds germinating when they’re not ready, forcing the grower to discard entire batches.
So, to help you keep your cannabis seeds fresh and ready to go, this article will break down the ins and outs of proper seed storage and maintenance. Remember, the best plants come from the best seeds, so taking care of them is crucial for maximum profitability.
Why do cannabis seeds need to stay fresh?
Your seeds are in a constant state of hibernation, meaning they’ll be ready to grow as soon as they reach the right conditions. As with any other plant seed, those conditions include light, temperature and moisture. For example, if you keep your seeds in a hot and humid environment, they may germinate by themselves without you realizing it.
That said, proper cannabis seed storage involves more than just finding the right container and location. You also have to consider pests and diseases that can ravage your seed supply.
How to keep cannabis seeds fresh
Since there are several elements to pay attention to when storing your seeds, we’ll break them down individually. However, proper storage often comes down to the container you use, since that piece can help control most of these elements, including:
As with any other biological material, keeping your seeds at a relatively low temperature can help keep them in a state of hibernation. The ideal temperature range is between 43 and 47 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a bit colder than a standard refrigerator. For this reason, many growers opt to buy specialized fridges for their seeds. Not only do these devices need to stay at the right temp, but they also need to prevent frost and condensation.
Overall, you should invest in high-quality refrigerators, since they can have a massive impact on your seed freshness. If you cheap out on these items, you could wind up wasting multiple batches.
Another option is to freeze your seeds, since that can ensure they won’t germinate at all. However, because the seeds are still alive, you have to be careful about how you freeze them. You’ll need to vacuum-pack them to avoid frost development and then use a dark container to block all sunlight. You’ll have to germinate your frozen seeds immediately after removing them from the freezer rather than letting them thaw.
Although it takes more than just sunlight to start the germination process, you still need to keep your seeds in a dark and dry environment. When they’re exposed to sunlight, they’ll start using their stored energy reserves. Over time, they’ll run out of nutrients and die, leaving you with a batch of worthless seeds.
Fortunately, if you buy cannabis seeds from a high-quality seed bank, they should arrive in light-blocking packaging. So you can simply keep the seeds in their original package for storage.
Because water is an essential part of germinating your seeds, you might think of putting them in a super dry environment. However, it’s actually better to maintain some humidity to prevent the seeds from drying out too much and dying. The ideal humidity range is between 21% and 30%. If you’ll be storing your seeds for a year or more, you should keep the humidity level between 8% and 10%.
If your humidity levels are too low, the seeds will develop fungal rot. This occurs because the seeds sweat when the air is too dry, attracting fungal spores. Also, super dry environments (less than 8% humidity) can attract pests. We’ll discuss pest control in the next section.
At the other end of the spectrum, too much humidity can cause your seeds to germinate. While germination may not occur between 30% and 40% humidity, it will almost certainly happen if the level is above 40%. If your seeds are in extra-humid environments (60% humidity or more), they’ll die from exposure.
Unfortunately, some pest species love consuming cannabis as much as humans do. Sometimes, these insects can find their way into seed batches, meaning they can reproduce and ruin all of your seeds before you have a chance to use them. So you need to be proactive about pest prevention and mitigation to protect your investment. Here are some top tips:
Store seeds up high. Most pests crawl on the ground, so if your seeds are close to the ground, it’s much easier for pests to access them. Instead, put them on high shelves if you’re not going to use a refrigerator.
Use diatomaceous earth. DE is a natural insecticide and won’t harm your weed seeds. DE is a type of sand that has a fossilized algae base. As long as you’re storing your seeds by themselves, you can put your containers directly on the sand. However, if you’re storing seeds in a fridge with other food, you can’t use DE, as it can be toxic.
Keep your storage area clean. Dirt, grime and water can attract pests regardless of any other factors. So by keeping your storage area as clean as possible, you can prevent pests altogether. Also, keep in mind that rodents don’t mind snacking on cannabis seeds, so you have to keep them out along with insects.
Testing your marijuana seeds
Depending on your operation, you might store seeds for several weeks or months at a time. Unfortunately, if your seeds go bad because of inadequate storage practices, you might not know until you start germinating them. In this case, you could wind up with a bad batch, leading to costly delays.
Thankfully, there’s a quick and easy way to check your seeds to see if they’re still good. Just put a handful of them in water and see if they float. If they do, they’re still usable. If your weed seeds sink, though, they’re likely bad.
Get your cannabis seeds from us!
While it’s up to you to store your seeds correctly, you should buy the best seeds from reputable banks. We offer a wide selection of cannabis seeds, including feminized, autoflowering and regular. Contact us today to order your first shipment and get your operation on the right foot.