Old Cannabis Seeds

It's hard to germinate old cannabis seeds, but with the right type of method your chances increase ten fold. Check out the Top 4 ways to get those seeds to Crack. As cannabis seeds age, germination success rate decreases with each passing year. Use these tips to revive your old beans. Cannabis growers often save seeds for a long time in order to preserve the original genetic of a particular strain that has worked well for them. If properly stored, a…

4 Top Ways How to Germinate Old Cannabis Seeds so they Crack Open

You may have found some old cannabis seeds that you forgot about.

Or maybe haven’t gotten around to planting them and are wondering how to get them to germinate.

The older they are, it’s hard for them to crack their shell.

I have tried various ways to get older seeds to sprout, some successful some not.

There are methods that work better than others.

These are the methods we found to help germinate old cannabis seeds and get them to sprout.

Let’s check them out,

How to germinate old cannabis seeds:

Pre-soak method

The pre-soak method is one way to kick start and germinate old cannabis seeds into sprouting.

We usually start all of our seeds off this way even if they are newer seeds.

It’s recommend you have your water solution at room temperature around 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can have it warmer depending on the climate you live in. But not too hot.

** Please note: Do not soak your seeds longer than 20 hours or you risk drowning them **

There are a few different additives you can use hydrogen peroxide, carbonated water.

We have also heard of fulvic acid but (it is not covered in post because we never used it.)

Hydrogen Peroxide:

When using Hydrogen Peroxide in soaking your seeds it adds extra oxygen to the water.

This can help the cannabis seeds absorb the extra oxygen for the tap root. Roots like oxygen.

To make this solution use a ratio of 100:1. Use 100 ml of water to 1 ml of hydrogen peroxide.

Next take purified water at room temperature and mix in your hydrogen peroxide.

Then place water solution in a shot glass or glass of your choice then drop the seed in.

Put the glass in a dark warm area.

Wait anywhere from 8-18 hours, tap the seed to see if it sinks. If it does then it has absorbed the water it needs.

You can now either plant it in the medium, pointy side facing down.

Or you can place then in a paper towel soaked container with your hydrogen peroxide solution and use the paper towel method to sprout them.

Carbonated water:

To use carbonated water to germinate old cannabis seeds it’s really simple.

Use room temperature carbonated water (un-flavored).

We recommend you have your water solution at room temperature around 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can have it warmer depending on the climate you live in.

Simply drop your old cannabis seed into the water and store in a dark warm area for about

Put the glass in a dark warm area.

Wait anywhere from 8-18 hours, tap the seed to see if it sinks. If it does then it has absorbed the water it needs.

You can now either plant it in the medium, pointy side facing down.

Or you can place then in a paper towel soaked container with your hydrogen peroxide solution and use the paper towel method to sprout them.

Scratch Method:

With the scratch method it’s really simple to do all you need is a fine grit sand paper.

Some people use an empty match box to put the sand paper in.

Then the next step is to simply put the seed in a “matchbox with sand paper” and give it a shake once or twice is enough.

What I have found best if you don’t have an empty match box and do not want to take all the matches out of the box.

Cut a piece of sand paper about 3 inches by 3 inches.

Next roll it up so it’s the shape of a tube and wider than the seeds, then put some tape on it to keep it together.

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Then just put your finger on one side of the opening to close it.

After that place the seed in the tube of sand paper put your other finger on top and give it a shake once or twice is all that is needed.

Once your old cannabis seeds got there shake on.

The next step is to put them either in a Pre-soak, paper towel method, or grow medium of your choice soil coco, rockwool.

Slice Method:

The slice method is the last resort and a very extreme measure to try and get the seed to germinate and sprout.

After you have tried the methods mentioned above.

You will need a very sharp knife like a razor blade (make sure it is sterile, use some alcohol on it)

Take your old seed and make a slice along the middle of the seed where you can see the division of both sides of the seed.

Now place the seed into the soil, coco, rooting plug or Rockwool of your choice.

Ridge Method:

Some cannabis seeds have a ridge on one side of the seed that is protruding.

You can try and gently remove the ridge with a razor blade if you wish this may allow the seed to sprout open.

Then place the seed into a growing medium or a sprouting method like paper towel or rooting plug.

Final Thoughts

Trying to germinate old cannabis seeds can be very difficult.

Especially if they are not wanting to crack open. About 50 to seventy 75 percent of the time this can be the case.

Try to use some of the methods mentioned like the scratch, pre-soak, and paper towel method.

You could be on the right track to getting them to sprout out.

When you have old seeds you should always try and germinate them.

Because you never know they just might grow up to be a fantastic cannabis plant.

If you want to learn more about germinating cannabis seeds check out our post on it here: Germinating marijuana seeds

Four Hacks for Germinating Old Cannabis Seeds

When your old cannabis seeds don’t want to pop, one of these four techniques could come to their—and your—rescue. Aging seeds are more difficult to grow than fresh ones and we’ll explain what you can do to help germination.

Cannabis cultivation, news, pop culture, CBD and products

The older a cannabis seed gets, the harder it is to pop. But hard doesn’t mean impossible. If you’ve been saving your seeds for a rainy day and it finally started pouring, these tips could help you get most, if not all, of your old beans to germinate.

1. PRE-SOAK WITH SUPPLEMENTED WATER

As cannabis seeds age, their protective outer shell hardens and prevents water from passing through. Unless the tiny, dormant embryo that lives inside the shell detects moisture, it doesn’t know that the conditions are right to sprout. As a first step, pre-soak your old cannabis seeds for about 12 hours to see if that does the trick.

To improve your chances, use carbonated water and/or add one of these supplements that help with water absorption. Fulvic acid and most boosters also give your seeds a light dose of nutrients.

Keep the water warm, but not too hot. Aim for around 22°C. Avoid direct sunlight, and keep an eye on the glass. Do not soak seeds for prolonged periods, more than 24 hours can deprive them of oxygen and make them drown.

2. SCARIFICATION

Scarification, or scuffing the shell, can also help water pass through an older seed’s tough outer shell.

To scarify your seeds, line a matchbox or other small container with sandpaper. Drop the seeds inside, shake vigorously for 30–60 seconds, then remove. You may not notice much of a difference, but the small micro-abrasions are sometimes enough to let water breach the shell and trigger germination.

3. REMOVE THE RIDGE

The seed’s shell is made up of two pieces, with a seam going all around. The side that’s raised more than the other is the ridge. A hardened ridge can make it difficult for the seed to open. To remove the ridge, run a sharp blade along the ridge on both sides. Handle gently and it should come off without damaging the inside of the seed.

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Removing the ridge not only makes it easier for the seed to open, it helps with water absorption.

4. SLICE THE SEED

In a life or death situation, surgery may be the only option. Meaning—only do this if nothing else has worked because this technique ruins as many seeds as it saves.

  • Remove the seeds from any moisture and allow them to dry out completely.
  • Use a sterile scalpel to slice into the seed at the seam and open it slightly.
  • Try to germinate it again.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

If you’re going to keep seeds more than a year or two, proper storage will dramatically increase the chances of late-stage germination. Place them in an airtight container. Put the container in a refrigerator set at 6–8°C with 20–30% relative humidity. If excess moisture is a concern, add silica gel packs to the container.

As you proceed through these steps, the risk of damaging your seeds past the point of recovery increases. Between each suggestion, give them a few days to a week to germinate. Allow the outside to dry each time to prevent rot. Do not try all or multiple techniques at once.

In the future, consider growing your seeds before they get a chance to get old. They’re not cheap, so letting them go bad is a waste in all kind of ways.

How to Rescue and Germinate Old Cannabis Seeds

Saving cannabis seeds is a widely used method for preserving genetic varieties that one has particularly enjoyed or that worked very well when planted. Therefore, growers often store some seeds for many years.

However, over time seeds lose their germinating power. This means that, after a few years, when farmers prepare to plant them, they run into problems getting them to sprout. To prevent this from happening, and to once again enjoy that cannabis you found worth storing, there are a number of tricks.

The key: the storage conditions

First, you have won half the battle if you were careful with the original storage. Seeds must be kept in a cool, dry place. Therefore, the best option is to store them in refrigerators at a temperature between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius, and with relative humidity levels between 20% and 30%. And sheltered from light, of course.

For all this you will need an airtight container or canister, or an opaque plastic bottle in which, in addition to the seeds, you should place little pouches of silica gel, to reduce the moisture. With regards to the best place in your refrigerator, the crisper is a good choice, as it is a little warmer than the rest of the fridge. Also, one last tip: if you store several strains in different bottles, it is a good idea to label them, so that you won´t have to open them to see which is which when you decide to plant them.

Hydration to trigger germination

If you have only saved the seeds for a year and a half, they should not give you any problems. After this time period, even if you have stored them properly, germination may be more complicated because the older the seeds are, the harder their shells, so the water used to open them will take longer to penetrate them. Therefore, the first method to try to get the plant’s embryo to develop is to put your old seeds in a glass of water, with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, for 24 hours. Hydrogen peroxide softens the shell and facilitates the water’s infiltration.

But you must be careful: the liquid must not be cold, but rather at a temperature of around 22° C. And you must keep the container away from major sources of light. During the 24 hours that the seeds are there you will have to keep a very close eye on them in order to remove them quickly if they open, so they don´t “drown.”

Because of this risk, there are growers who choose another way: germinating their seeds with the help of wet paper towels and dishes. If this method is chosen, you’ll have to grab a plate and place a soaked paper towel on it. After placing your cannabis seeds placed on top, with enough space between them, cover them with another damp paper towel. Although this method is widely used, some purist growers insist that you have to be very careful, because the towels used may contain chlorine and chemicals that could impede germination.

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For those beginning with the glass of water, the second step would be to move the seeds, after 24 hours, to the wet paper towels. Germination normally takes between 48 and 72 hours, and, in the case of old seeds, can last up to 5 or 6 days, or even weeks. Therefore, transferring the seeds to wet paper gives you more peace of mind, as you are dealing with less water and, if they open, they will not quickly drown.

Other good choices for germination

There are growers who prefer their seeds to germinate directly in the soil. In this case, in addition to ensuring that you have light and well-nourished soil, you can choose to dilute 10 ml (a teaspoon) of fulvic acid per litre of water, and use it to water the site where you have planted the seed. Another option is to use slightly carbonated water, as the additional CO2 will help the liquid penetrate the seed, causing it to germinate. It is also possible to use enzymes or germination enhancers, designed to help seeds open and develop in those first stages.

Another good investment, which can be key in the case of old seeds, is Jiffy 7. This product is a compressed pill of dried peat that you need to soak for a few minutes. At this point it becomes a small sack of soil that is specially designed to facilitate germination, because it features the ideal structure, is sterilized, has all the necessary elements to nourish the seedlings during the first week, and is pH-neutral. Due to these characteristics it can be your best bet to get your older seeds to sprout.

Last resorts to save your seeds

If all else fails, there are still a few more aggressive tricks that should only be used when, after a few days, your seeds have failed to hatch and make their way into the world.

For example, you can scrape off the outer layer of the seed with a little sandpaper, creating micro-abrasions that should let some water in. So you don’t overdo it with this scraping we have a little trick: roll up a piece of very fine sandpaper, with the rough side on the interior, and secure it with tape. Place the seeds inside and cover the openings with your hands. Then just shake it for a couple of minutes and the sandpaper will do its job. Another more risky option is to use a knife to cut the seed transversely, ever so slightly, which will help the water penetrate the shell.

If these methods work and get your seeds to break, allowing the embryo of the cannabis plant to emerge, you will have achieved your goal. You’ll have to be very careful when handling them during the first few days, but after a week your old strain, preserved for years, should grow just like a younger seed and, after a few weeks, offer the same harvest you got from it before and so fondly remember.

Author

Dinafem Seeds The Dinafem team comprises cannabis experts and growing specialists eager to share their knowledge and expertise with the entire cannabis community. Don’t hesitate to give us your feedback on our posts. We’ll be happy to answer your queries and, above all, to learn new tricks and techniques.

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