How Long Are Pot Seeds Good For? | What Affects Their Lifespan?

by Morgan

June 8, 2022

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Marijuana seeds are delicate and require proper storage to maintain their viability.

How long cannabis seeds will be good varies with different cannabis strains and depends on the storage conditions. Most seeds are viable for about three to five years, but some can last even longer, and some have lesser periods.

Marijuana seeds come with a shelf life of at least one year if stored in an airtight container. If you're saving them for later, make sure you keep them in a cool, dry place. If you do this correctly, the shelf life of marijuana seeds can be several years.

It's crucial to note that the germination rates will decrease if you store your seeds in the refrigerator or freezer because they are slightly dormant while they are stored at these temperatures. Continue reading if you want to learn more about How long pot seeds last:

Cannabis seeds on dark background

What Affects the Lifespan of Pot Seeds?

Nothing is more frustrating than purchasing a package of marijuana seeds only to discover later that they aren't viable. The good news is if you carefully store your weed seeds, they will last for years. However, a few elements can influence how long weed seeds last.

The length of time you can store weed seeds depends on several factors. How long they last depend on how and where you store them.

Several things can affect how long weed seeds last, including:

Light

Exposing your marijuana seed to direct sunlight can be lethal for them as it will kill them instantly. You should not expose your marijuana seed directly under any artificial light, especially LED lights that emit heat and UV light that can kill your marijuana seed within seconds. The best way is by storing seeds in a dark or opaque container to maintain their viability.

a plant under the light bulb

Heat

Heat can also harm the shelf life of weed seeds. If they get too hot, they tend to lose their viability and won't be able to germinate properly. Therefore, temperatures fluctuate wildly throughout the year when storing them in hot places such as attics or garages can affect the seed's viability in the long run.

Conversely, if you expose your marijuana seed to cold temperatures (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit), they might die before they germinate properly in the soil.

Moisture

Keeping your seeds dry is essential for their longevity. They will start to mold and rot very quickly if they get wet! Therefore, you should always keep your weed seeds in an airtight container or plastic baggie when storing them.

It will ensure no moisture gets into them from the outside environment or from condensation inside the container itself when you open it up again sometime later. You should avoid storing them near sinks or other water sources, so they don't get wet by accident (or on purpose!).

Environmental Fluctuation

Temperature and humidity fluctuations can also affect how long your marijuana seeds last, as they may experience changes in temperature or humidity, which could damage their viability over time.

If you live in places that experience extreme weather conditions, then your marijuana seeds may not last as long as those who live somewhere with more stable weather conditions.

Weed growing outdoors

Oxygen

Finally, the seeds stay much longer in a vacuum. They'll last longer if stored in Earth's normal atmosphere. However, vacuum suction is preferable, especially for long-term storage. Even simply keeping them in a secure area can help. They'll have oxygen, but they won't be able to breathe fresh air consistently. A lack of fresh air prevents germination and makes it impossible for pests to survive.

How to Store Pot Seeds?

When you get your new marijuana seeds, you must store them properly, so they don't dry out or die. Here are some tips:

Dry the Marijuana Seeds Properly

If your pot seeds are wet when they arrive, they will start rotting very quickly. It would help if you sundried them off before putting them in storage. If they're still wet when you get home from the post office or wherever you bought them, put them on a paper towel or newspaper on an elevated surface like a table or countertop. Place a fan nearby, if possible, to blow over the seeds while they dry off.

Store Seeds in an Airtight Container

Store cannabis seeds in something airtight, preferably a vacuum-sealed container, so that they don't get contaminated with airborne bacteria and fungi that could grow on them while waiting for you to plant them out.

This will help prevent mold and other damaging microorganisms from growing on them.

Select a Suitable Storage Area depending on how long marijuana seeds will be in the Storage

Cannabis seed storage should be in a cool, dark place. It's advisable to keep them in an airtight container that keeps out moisture and pests. You can store your cannabis seeds in a freezer or refrigerator, but make sure they're in an airtight container first.

Don't store your weed seeds near any heat sources like radiators or heating vents because this will speed up the aging process and shorten the lifespan of your stash even more than normal storage conditions would do.

Ensure There Are No Pests In Your Storage Area

Mold and pests can damage your cannabis seeds and make them unfit for germination later. If there are pests in your storage area (such as moths), consider treating the seeds using an insecticide such as pyrethrum to kill any pests threatening your seeds in storage.

Ensure to check your stash regularly for signs of mold or pests. Also, ensure you check for ants or beetles that may have infested it somehow, especially if there were insects around when you originally stored it away from light and heat sources. 

How To Tell If Pot Seeds Are Still Good After Long or Short-Term Storage

If you're new to marijuana seeds, it can be hard to know how long they'll last after you have had them in storage for a while. So here are some tips on how to tell if your pot seeds are still good.

Check the smell of the seeds

The smell of fresh cannabis seeds is very distinct – it's almost like a sweet musky smell that some people find unpleasant. After a few months, this smell will disappear, and all you'll be left with is a faint whiff of decaying smell. However, if you can still smell this musky scent after six months, your pot seeds may still be viable.

Marijuanna seeds


Assess The Weight of The Seeds

If your cannabis seeds are more than double their original weight, then the chances are that they've germinated already, and there isn't much point in planting the weed seeds now! The sound idea is that if they're over 20% heavier than when you bought them, they might not be worth planting anymore.

Try Sprouting Them

This method is the easiest, but it requires a little bit of time. First, place the seeds in a glass of water and wait for the seeds to sprout. If they do not sprout within 1-2 weeks, they are likely dead and should be thrown out.

Rubbing Method

Rub your finger along the length of one side of the seed. If there's no residue left behind, then it's still good. If there is the residue left behind, then that means that the seed has already germinated and will not grow again unless you plant it in soil or another growing medium.

Cannabis seeds in a bowl on dark textured background


Check The Pot Seeds for Moisture and Water Damage

If they have been sitting around in a package without protection from moisture, they may not be good anymore. If your pot seeds are wet or have some moisture, toss them out right away.  The main reason is that the seeds will not sprout properly and may even cause sickness in your body if you utilize them later if they do germinate.

FAQs

Can You Still Grow Pot Plants from Old Seeds?

Yes! You can still grow pot plants from old seeds. The quality of the plant will depend on the age of the seed. If you have a really good strain, then it will be worth trying to germinate it from an older seed. The germination rate may be lower than normal, but getting some viable seeds from old ones is possible.

What To Do If Your Pot Seeds Have Expired?

If your pot seeds have expired, there are some things that you can try to do with them. First, you can try to germinate them and see if they will sprout before tossing them in the trash bin. If not, then trash them because they will not work for anything else unless you want to grow a plant that looks like a weed.

People don't use expired seeds because they tend to lose their viability over time and won't germinate when planted under ideal conditions. Immediately after harvesting the seeds, they were ready to use and would sprout immediately after planting them into soil or water (depending on what type of seed).

Make the Right Choice Today!

The quality of the cannabis seeds will deteriorate over time, and they might not produce the same quality as before. This is why it is important to use good seeds that are fresh for successful germination.

If you have bought your seeds from a reputable seed bank, you should be able to get the best quality seeds. However, if you have purchased them from an unknown source, it is better to use them quickly before they go bad, as you are not sure how long marijuana seeds have been in storage and how well they were stored.

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About the author 

Morgan

I discovered the benefits of Cannabis at a young age in 2002, with years of trial and error, my knowledge grew just like my plants. As my love for cannabis unfolded I began to teach and learn, trying to gain as much information and practical growing experience.

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