Growing your own cannabis is not a complicated process but it always starts with picking your cannabis seeds. Some experienced cannabis cultivators find cannabis weed seeds that are safely stored in an area that they haven’t checked for a very long time.
If you’ve ever found yourself looking at old seeds and you’re not sure of what to do with them, stay with us and we’ll help you with the germination process of those. Although the importance of the freshness of the seeds to ensure good germination, it’s not impossible for old seeds to come around and help you with the cultivation.
Germinating Old Cannabis Weed Seeds – Step by Step Guide
Older cannabis weed seeds may be difficult to pop but difficult doesn’t necessarily mean impossible. Here are the methods that can help you in making sure your old cannabis seeds germinate.
Pre-soak your cannabis seeds with supplemented water
Once a cannabis seed reaches a certain age, the protective outer shell hardens and it prevents the water from passing through. If the tiny yet dormant embryo that lives inside the shell detects moisture, it will know that the conditions are right for sprout.
The first step for this method is to pre-soak the cannabis seeds for about 12 hours and see if it does the trick. You can use carbonated water or add any of the following supplements to increase water absorption.
Next step is to make sure the water remains warm but not too hot. You should aim for around 22 degrees Celsius. You should avoid direct sunlight and always keep an eye on the glass. Also, do not soak the seeds for a long period of time.
Soaking the seeds for more than 24 hours will only deprive them of oxygen and drown them.
Also known as scuffing the shell, will help the water pass through an older seed’s tough outer shell.
To scuff your cannabis seeds, like a matchbox or any small container with sandpaper. Drop the seeds inside and shake them vigorously. Continue with this process for 30-60 seconds then remove the seeds.
You may not see a lot of differences but, the small micro-abrasions are enough to make sure that the water passes through the shell and trigger germination.
Removing the Ridge
The cannabis seeds shell is made up of 2 pieces and with a seam going all around it. If you see the side that is raised more than the other, that is the ridge. A ridge that is already hardened can make it very difficult for the seeds to open.
In order to remove the ridge, you need to run a sharp blade along the ridge on both sides. Make sure you handle it gently and the ridge should come off without damaging the inside of the seed.
By removing the ridge not only allows the seed to open easily but it also helps with water absorption.
Slicing the Seed
Surgery might be the only option for your cannabis seeds, which means that you should only perform this if the above methods did not work. The following are the steps on how to perform this method.
Make sure the seeds do not have moisture in it and allow it to dry completely.
Use a sterile scalpel to slice into the seed at the seam. Open it slightly.
Try germinating it again.
Soil Germination VS Paper Towel Germination
Now that you have performed method in making sure your old seeds will still pop, it’s now time to ensure that they will grow once placed in a medium. You can either use soil germination or paper towel germination for this, you just need to know which one will work best for your cannabis garden.
This is probably the easiest method of germination regardless of the type of seeds used.
Place the cannabis seeds in a bowl of room temperature water.
Put a bit of cardboard over the bowl and place it into a dark cupboard overnight.
Fill a small pot for each seed with soil
Dampen the soil with water then make a small, circular indent in the center. The indent should be 3-5mm deep.
Place each seed in an indent, pointed tip downwards then cover them with soil carefully.
Then put the pots in a dark yet warm room for about 6 hours, then put them under the lights and leave them on.
You should be able to see a shoot forming in a couple of days.
Paper Towel Germination
This is also a commonly used method by most cultivators.
Soak your seeds in room temperature water overnight and in a dark place.
Place a couple of wet paper towels in a container. You need to ensure that the paper towels are at room temperature.
Transfer the seeds carefully onto the towels, you can also put a lid on the container to keep in the humidity.
Spray the towels with room temperature water each day so that it doesn’t dry out.
Make sure that the seeds are not too wet or not too dry and it should always be kept warm.
Once you see your cannabis seeds sprouting, transfer them carefully to your choice of growing medium.
Things to Remember
Properly storing your seeds will be beneficial and increase the chances for late-stage germination. You should place your cannabis seeds in an airtight container and place the container in a refrigerator or freezer set to 6-8 degrees Celsius with a 20%-30% relative humidity.
If you’re worried about getting excess moisture, you can keep silica gel packs to the container. Keep in mind that as you do the different methods and the steps that come along with it, you are also damaging the seeds and recovering them might have a slim chance.
For each method, always give them a few days to a week to germinate and never perform multiple methods all at once.