Germinating Old Marijuana Seeds

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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. 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. Here are some good tips for germinating seeds that are hard to start or are having trouble germinating. Have some patience though as it could take

How to Germinate Old Cannabis Seeds

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!

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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!

Germination Methods

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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

5 Tips For Germinating Old Seeds

Here are some good tips for germinating seeds that are hard to start or are having trouble germinating. Have some patience though as it could take anywhere from three days to three weeks for a seed to germinate. Some of these tricks I would only use if the seed has not sprouted after two to three weeks or if you have a few seeds in reserve from a batch that haven’t germinated.

Seeds are comprised of an outer hard layer and an embryo which is inside the hard shell. The reason that older seeds don’t germinatem well is that the shell has become to hard and water is unable to penetrate, this process of imbibition is the start of the germination process. The seed will swell with water and eventually the shell will pop open and a small tap root will erupt.

One thing i wouldn’t do is to germinate your seeds on a paper towel. White paper is filled with bleach and other chemicals and is not a good thing for your plants. Use small jiffy starter blocks or a light soil:

1. Dilute 10ml (roughly one tsp) of Fulvic acid per litre (33 oz) of water.

2. Scuff the outer shell of the seed with some sand paper. Roll up a small cigar or sand paper or line a match box and gently shake the seeds over it. This will create micro abrasions letting in more water.

3. Use a lightly carbonated water. The extra Co2 will help the water penetrate the seed.

4. Use a light enzyme or seed booster, Plagron Nutrients has a very good one.

5. Finally if all else fails use an Exacto knife to slightly slice the seed open down the spine of the seed. This will make it easier for water to penetrate the shell.

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