BE SURE TO ALSO READ OUR ADVANCED SEED STORAGE ARTICLE. This article is for basic storage only.
You either bought some seeds and you only grow out a couple seeds and want to properly store the rest of your seeds viably for future use, or you grew your own marijuana plants, made some seeds and need to store them for future use.
Lets get down to it, storing seeds properly is easy if you know what you’re doing!
Seed dormancy is Seed Storage!
Marijuana seeds can remain stored and viable for decades with little damage to their DNA.
Optimal storage conditions
LONG TERM STORAGE – Try to dry seeds to a moisture content of 4-5% using color indicating silica gel. You can use a permeable cloth to prevent the marijuana seeds and silica gel from direct contact, which could dry out some seeds too much. To dry marijuana seeds accurately, place equal weights of color indicating silica gel and marijuana seeds together in an airtight and sunlight proofed container for up to one week. Check the color twice daily until optimum moisture level has been reached. Then remove silica and store your seeds in a container that will be filled at least 90% of its size. Aluminum foil zip lock bags do not need to be 90% filled, just make sure all the air is removed by gently squeezing it out before sealing it, or inserting a straw and sucking out the air as you seal it.
TIP: you can save money and reuse your colour-indicating silica gel by placing it on a clean cookie sheet and placing it in the oven for 3 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. It will remain green in color when it is hot, so you can still remove it when it is green after 3 hours cooking. Pyrex work great too instead of a cookie sheet. Make sure silica gel is cooled before its next use. Organic Users should use rice instead of silica gel. It takes longer, but I prefer to slow cure my cannabis seeds in rice. I just mentioned the silica because rice doesn’t have color indication for what percentage of moisture your seeds reach. Using rice to dry seed moisture is more for the experienced.
After drying, store your marijuana seeds in a deep freezer at a consistent -18°C, which is the common setting for a deep freezer. Marijuana seed DNA degrades with time, so it is wise to keep accurate records on the viability of your seeds at annual intervals. So be prepared when you store your seeds long-term. If you plan ahead and know you might be storing them for up to 10 years, take out an extra 20 seeds, and place 2 into seprate containers for future testing. This way you do not open the main seed storage and harm it by opening the sealed container every year. Keep them sealed until you are going to plant them, and remember people, do not plant frozen seeds, give them 72 hours to slowly thaw and acclimatize to their new environment outside of the freezer before you plant.
Freezing seeds is the best basic method for long-term storage. But be warned, DO NOT store fresh moist seeds in the freezer or you will run into problems. Too much moisture at freezing can cause mold and can cause the seed a very high degree of physical stress from condensing and expanding each time the temperature/humidity changes when you open your freezer door.
If you are going to store seeds in the same freezer you keep opening through out the week for ice cream or frozen vegetables, than I would recommend you do not store seeds in a freezer at all.
But before you decide where you store your seeds, you need to know how to get the optimal moisture content before medium to long-term storage. You can do this by properly curing your seeds before storage.
Always keep stored seeds out of the sunlight or artificial lighting, this includes light bulbs in your refrigerator and freezer.
Do not store seeds in a plastic baggie, even if it is freezer grade. The moisture eventually will seep in. You can use an aluminium sealable baggies, otherwise known as aluminum foil zip lock bag, but they are not good for any storage over 2 years.
You must store seeds making sure they are 100% moisture sealed and 100% U.V. light proofed. We recommend glass, an aluminum foil zip lock bag or dark plastic container. Your local pharmacy might be kind enough to give you one for free if you ask nice, they often use tight sealed solid plastic containers for cream ointments to protect chemicals and drugs from deterioration or alteration from sunlight. You may notice that pill containers are light brown as are beer bottles, this UV proofing by colour prevents the sun from making your brew go skunky and your seeds from deteriorating.