How to keep your cannabis seeds safe over the winter

Published Feb 8, 2020 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / AGEphotography

It’s the heart of the coldest season of the year in Canada, which means that thousands of growers have cannabis seeds sitting around waiting for the next season. The problem is that, unfortunately, most have no idea how to do so in a way that isn’t going to damage them. Since most cultivators with seeds want to be growing marijuana in full force as soon as mother nature starts to show signs of spring, it’s best to keep your investment as safe and well cared for as possible, especially if they are feminized or come from an expensive or rare weed strain.

If you’re thinking about years in the past where you’ve successfully cultivated beautiful marijuana plants using seeds that sat around on a desk, that might be true, but that one-off experience doesn’t mean that you’re going to be so lucky next time. So, if this sounds like something that’s important to you, then you might want to check out the best ways to store your cannabis seeds as laid out below.

Best ways to store your cannabis seeds

When you are growing marijuana, you likely use minimal force as you gently place and care for each individual seedling to the best of your ability, so why not offer that same consideration for your other investment? Cannabis seeds can be really expensive to replace, and it’s a drag when you keep them around for an entire year only to find that they no longer sprout; Luckily, we’ve got some pretty neat tips and tricks that can help you to store your cannabis seeds safely so that they can last for years to come.

1. Airtight jar

The main reason for storing cannabis seeds is to preserve them, so it only makes sense to hide them away in an airtight container that will hold in moisture while keeping excess water away. For some, this might be a mason jar, and for others, a Tupperware container is preferred. Neither one is any better than the other, as they both do the exact thing long term.

2. Darkness

Have you ever come across a bunch of cannabis seeds that you left strewn about to find that the deep green spots and veins had virtually disappeared? This usually happens once they have been exposed to too much sunlight, which bleaches the shell as it quickly dries out, which results in cannabis seeds that are extremely hard to germinate.

Since you want to preserve every millimeter of your cannabis seeds, you will need to find a spot that is nice and cool but not damp. Dampness could lead to bacteria growth or rot, so it’s best to pick a dry cupboard, closet, or some other hidden area where they will remain undisturbed and protected from harmful UV rays that might damage the outer shells.

3. Cushion


Toss a few cannabis seeds into a mason jar, and you will probably find that they bang around a whole lot with very little movement. This is due to the amount of air space that is left, as very few of us may have enough to fill any reasonably sized container. If your cannabis seeds get banged around too much, it can cause dents, chips, and even cracks, which can ultimately destroy them so it’s a good idea to install a cushion.

This piece can be made of almost anything that is soft and sanitary like a paper towel, cloth, tea towel, toilet paper, cotton, and anything else that might add a soft bed for the cannabis seeds to hit against instead of each other. Using materials also allows you to pack multiple layers, which is an added perk if you have multiple weed strains to keep track of.

4. Cooler temperatures

Growing marijuana plants enjoy hot and humid temperatures, and if your cannabis seeds are exposed to this before you are ready, it could be enough to either make them sprout or to bake them from the inside out. Neither of which is ideal if you’re saving the seeds to use for the upcoming growing season as it’s still a few months away.

Freezing is unnecessary, and can sometimes have the opposite effect, so the best thing to do is to find a cool space that maintains a temperature equivalent to an air-conditioned room. This could be cold storage, a garage, or just a deep dark cupboard that happens to hold a chill. As long as it’s nice and cool, your cannabis seeds will stay well preserved for months to come.

5. Moisture packets

The most important thing to remember when you store away some cannabis seeds is that you want to avoid all the extremes. We’ve mentioned temperature, sunlight, and movement as potential problems, but far too many lose their stash to bacteria or mold growth from excess moisture. This could make the cannabis seeds sprout if it’s warm enough, or just rot them to the core if it’s not, and neither one of those results is going to save them.

The best course of action here is a pre-emptive measure, particularly if you live in a region with naturally high humidity levels that are impossible to avoid. One of the oldest tricks in the book is moisture packets, and though you might only know them for keeping your weed moist, you can also buy a version that will help to soak up any moisture that might accidentally get into your container, keeping your cannabis seeds dry and bacteria-free all winter long.

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