Germinating Old Weed Seeds

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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 Learn how to germinate marijuana seeds on your FIRST try! Reach 100% seed germination rates by using our step-by-step tutorial.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

An in-depth guide on how to germinate cannabis seeds. Discover different techniques on how to germinate marijuana seeds to ensure a successful cannabis crop.

Everything has a beginning.

Cannabis seeds, like all seeds, must undergo the germination process before it can grow into a weed-yielding beauty.

Countless cannabis germination guides litter the internet. However, none go as in-depth as our seed germination tutorial. Read along to learn how to germinate marijuana seeds like a pro.

You’ll discover everything you need to know about the art of germinating marijuana seeds. From the necessary equipment to different germination methods and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.

The Chemistry Behind Cannabis Seed Germination

Cannabis seeds require the right conditions to sprout.

Without the proper temperature, moisture level, or oxygen saturation, weed seeds will not germinate. Although you can readily germinate seeds outdoors, nothing beats controlled germination indoors.

Let’s take a look at the three primary elements that influence the germination rates of marijuana seeds.

Water

Water is the key player in the process of germinating marijuana seeds.

The outer-layer of the cannabis seed acts as a protective casing that provides a two-fold defense — prevent damage to the inner embryo and prevent minimal moisture from premature germination.

However, if the marijuana seed is saturated with water, it will eventually absorb the moisture and kick-off the germination process.

Oxygen

Once the embryo activates through water saturation, it requires oxygen to jump-start the respiration process. Oxygen fuels respiration, which unlocks food stored within the embryo.

Energy

After the respiration process, the embryo consumes the food stores, which in turn produces energy. Energy is the necessary product that propels the germination stage onwards.

Warmth

Even if cannabis seeds have access to water, oxygen, and energy, it’s all for nothing unless it has access to warmth.

As long as cannabis seeds experience 72-78°F during the initial germination process — they’ll burst forth from the ground and spread their primordial leaves under the sun or artificial light.

The three most important elements for successful weed seed germination

Why It’s Important to Germinate Weed Seeds Indoors

At its core, the germination process lays the foundation of cannabis plants.

Overall, marijuana plants will underperform without proper germination techniques compared to those that experienced ideal conditions during the germination process. Therefore, it’s always best to harness an indoor environment when germinating marijuana seeds.

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What to Look For Before Germinating Marijuana Seeds

Before you begin the germination process, there are a few things you must look for.

Let’s take a brief look at each.

Damaged Marijuana Seeds

Ordering feminized or autoflowering cannabis seeds online is the best way to acquire top-shelf genetics.

The seeds, however, may experience a few bumps on the road during the shipping process. With this in mind, you must look over each seed to ensure there isn’t any damage.

As long as each weed seed is undamaged, the germination process will be smooth.

The Cannabis Seed’s Age

Next, it’s a good idea to write down the date on each seed pack once received.

By doing so, you’ll have a clear understanding of a seeds’ age. Like all things, cannabis seeds lose their luster as the years go by. Cannabis seeds may remain viable for decades. However, germination rates decrease over time.

Therefore, you should only germinate seeds that are properly stored for a maximum of 6-months.

The Cannabis Seeds Color

Lastly, you must check the cannabis seed’s color.

Cannabis seeds come in different sizes and exhibit various markings across the outer seed coat. However, the seed’s color is an excellent indicator that represents seed maturity.

In other words, light green to pale white seeds are immature and are likely unviable. Therefore, always make sure that your cannabis seeds are light to dark brown color before germination.

Take a close look at the seeds that you receive for damage or discoloration

Should You Use a Seedling Heat Mat?

Many new cannabis cultivators ask if they should incorporate a seedling heat mat into the equation.

Although seedling heat mats are excellent tools to ensure fast germination, they are not always necessary. Seedling heat mats work by producing a gentle warmth that won’t rapidly dry cannabis seeds during the germination process.

However, they may be overkill if you utilize them during hot days, such as those during the summer months. Alternatively, they are essential during colder months during the winter. Therefore, you can choose to harness a seedling heat mat based on the time of year that you choose to germinate marijuana seeds.

Three Easy Methods To Germinate Cannabis Seeds Indoors

Now that you have a broad understanding of germinating marijuana seeds let’s get some weed seeds poppin‘ with a few different step-by-step tutorials.

You’ll have a better idea of which germination technique to choose once you’re done reading this section.

1. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds in Soil in Five Easy Steps

If you want to germinate weed seeds au natural — there’s no better option than using soil.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to germinate cannabis seeds in soil:

  • Feminized or autoflowering cannabis seeds
  • Eco-friendly “starting” container
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Label
  • Heat mat (optional)

As you can see, the list above isn’t extensive in the least. In other words, germinating marijuana seeds in soil is incredibly affordable.

Step One

First, fill an eco-friendly starting container with soil.

The golden rule? Don’t pack down the soil. Remember, the soil you choose must exhibit a loamy consistency. Hardpack soil does not allow proper water drainage and oxygen circulation, which, as you learned previously, are critical components for the seed germination process.

Furthermore, if you choose to use a heat mat, place the eco-friendly containers on top to warm the medium adequately.

Step Two

Label each container.

The last thing you want to do is forget what seed you placed into each container — especially if you’re germinating multiple cannabis strains at once.

Step Three

Now, it’s time to sow the cannabis seed.

Create a small hole that’s roughly 0.25-inches (6mm) deep. Gently place the seed inside the hole and cover it. It does not matter which direction you put the seed — believe us when we say that the seed and gravity will sort things out.

It’s important to note that each eco pot should contain a single cannabis seed.

Step Four

Gently pour a small amount of water into the area where you buried the cannabis seed.

At this point, you must ensure that the cannabis seed never dries out. Once the germination process begins — there’s no turning back. Therefore, allowing cannabis seeds to dry will guarantee inadequate germination or premature death.

Ultimately, you must monitor the soil and continuously apply water until the seed sprouts.

Step Five

The final step is patience.

The moment the seed is planted, most beginners ask: how long does it take to germinate cannabis seeds, or how can I germinate my seeds fast?

Healthy cannabis seeds typically break the surface within 2-4-days. Older seeds, however, may take upwards of 12-days to sprout.

The germination phase is an incredibly vulnerable moment for cannabis seeds. Therefore, Do notwe repeatdo not dig up the seed to “check on it.”

This is what you can expect after you successfully germinate your cannabis seeds in soil

2. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Using Paper Towels In Five Easy Steps

One of the most popular germination techniques is the paper towel method.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need for this low-budget method:

  • Feminized or autoflowering seeds
  • Dinner plate
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • Labels
  • Heat mat (optional)

Now that you’ve gathered the necessary supplies let’s get crackin‘.

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Step One

Place two to three sheets of paper towels on top of a clean dinner plate. If you decide to use a heat mat to increase the temperature, place it under the dinner plate.

Step Two

Label the dinner plate with the name of the cannabis strain of choice.

Step Three

Place up to 10-seeds per plate.

You must make sure that a minimum of 1-inch adequately separates the seeds.

Step Four

Spray water on the seeds until the paper towels are completely saturated. Once done, place a new layer of 2-3 paper towel sheets on top of the seeds. Use the spray bottle to soak the new paper towel addition.

Remember: the paper towels must always remain saturated with water. If allowed to dry, the cannabis seeds will fail to germinate.

Step Five

The germination process should occur within 24-48-hours. After 48-hours, gently peel back the upper paper towel section. If the seeds germinate, you will see cracked-open seeds with an emerging radicle.

At this point, it’s time to move the germinated seed to its new home with a pair of tweezers. This final step requires extreme care because the radicle is fragile, and if broken, the embryo within will die.

Be careful when you use the paper towel method and make sure to label each plate

3. How to Germinate Marijuana Seeds Using Rooting Cubes in Five Easy Steps

Germinating weed seeds with rooting cubes is the ideal method for beginners and professionals alike.

Overall, rooting cubes provide the ease of the paper towel method and the soil technique’s efficiency. Let’s take a look at everything you need to when germinating marijuana seeds with rooting cubes.

  • Feminized or autoflowering seeds
  • Rooting cubes
  • pH 6.0 water
  • Rooting tray
  • Labels
  • pH meter and pH up or down
  • Heat mat (optional)
Step One

First and foremost, place the rooting cubes in the rooting tray. If you decide to use a heat mat, place the tray on top.

Step Two

Next, label each rooting cube or tray with the appropriate name of each cannabis strain.

Step Three

Use a pH meter and pH solution to achieve a pH of 6.0.

The amount of water you pH depends on the number of rooting cubes. Start with one cup of water if you are germinating less than ten seeds.

Germination cubes require a pH of 6.0 because they are typically made from peat moss, rockwool, or other soilless-based mediums. Therefore, a pH of 6.0 will ensure the best possible results once the seed germinates.

Step Four

Each rooting cube is equipped with a pre-made hole.

Place one cannabis seed per hole. You may tear off a small piece of the substrate to cover the opening. Once done, saturate the rooting cube with pH 6.0 water.

You must make sure that the rooting cube never dries out. Remember, cannabis seeds must remain moist until they sprout to the surface.

Step Five

Once again, patience is the final step when you learn how to germinate cannabis seeds with rooting cubes. Overall, cannabis seeds may emerge from the rooting cube within 2-4-days. However, germination may take as long as 7-days.

There are a lot of rooting cubes to choose from, but the germination process remains the same

How to Germinate Old Cannabis Seeds

Now that you understand how to germinate healthy cannabis seeds let’s quickly discover how to germinate old marijuana seeds.

As you become infatuated with the world of cannabis, you’ll soon begin to stack an extensive seed collection. Don’t worry; we’re all seed hoarders at heart because there are so many incredible cannabis genetics out there.

Eventually, however, you’ll notice that you have more than a few old cannabis seeds. Luckily for you — all is not lost.

Here’s our tried and true technique to give your old seeds a boost during the germination process.

Cannabis Seed Scarification

Scarring cannabis seeds is incredibly simple.

All you need is a nail file or a piece of sandpaper. Use the file or sandpaper across the surface of the seed in question. You do not need to use an immense amount of force, but instead, a few good scrapes to scar the seed’s outer shell will do.

The point of seed scarification is to allow water to penetrate the seed coating easily. By doing so, the embryo receives a jump start that initiates the germination process.

Once the seeds are scarred, you may choose one of the three above mentioned techniques to complete the germination process.

A few readily available tools to get your cannabis seed scarification done

The Best Way To Germinate Marijuana Seeds

Now that you’re done reading this guide on seed germination — which method will you choose?

The soil, paper towel, and rooting cube methods are all tried-and-true and provide excellent germination rates. Remember, cannabis seeds are an investment, and you must use the best germination method possible to ensure a healthy cannabis crop.

You have one chance to germinate each seed the right way, and by using this guide, you’ll make each seed count.

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