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will old weed seeds germinate

Got Old Seeds? Help Them Sprout With These Tips And Tricks

There’s something exciting about finding some long-forgotten, rare seeds. Once you have them, the challenge is to revive those genetics, especially considering they’ve been sitting in someone’s tobacco tin, basement, or garage for decades. While they look like they could germinate, you don’t have many, and you want to make sure they sprout.

Is It Possible?

Yes! Even seeds that are thousands of years old can germinate. But proper pre-treatment is essential, and the older the seed, the less energy it has left in storage.

Seeds from annual plants aren’t often designed to last many years, part of what makes the germination process so tricky. With each trip around the sun, energy declines. Eventually, the embryo doesn’t have any juice left to break the seed coat and push through the soil to the surface.

To an extent, we can minimize this through proper storage in cool and dry environments. But even still, the passage of time inevitably wins.

Clean Beans

Aggressive tactics are often needed to give the seed a fighting chance. First, the seeds will need to be cleaned, minimizing any potential mold spores and pathogens that may be on the seed surface. Soaking the seeds in a 1 or 2% hydrogen peroxide solution for a few minutes cleans effectively while also providing slight chemical scarification to the seed coat, which has likely hardened over time.

Chemical Scarification?

For germination to occur, the embryo needs to be able to exchange oxygen with the outside world. The issue? Seed coats tend to harden over time, which prevents them from properly absorbing water and oxygen. While H202 can provide a chemical roughing, it’s often necessary to get a bit more surgical.

Mechanically scarifying seeds can be as simple as lightly sanding the micropyle (edge) with a piece of sandpaper (being careful not to go too far), or knicking a notch out of the seed coat with a utility knife. Cracking the seed coat carefully between a pair of forceps is another method. Many old-timers used to crack the seeds between their teeth!

Scrubbing In

Sometimes, you have to perform surgery to get a seed to germinate. Do this by entirely removing the seed coat and directly germinating the embryo by placing it on top of a quality propagating media kept evenly moist in a controlled environment. Steady hands and magnification are a must for this; small seeds mean delicate work! Often, this step alone is enough for seeds and should improve success rates.


To further ensure the best chance of germination, we can attempt to replenish some of the energy and hormones that have been lost over time. Soaking seeds in a diluted solution of blackstrap molasses or even sugar water will bolster carbohydrate levels. When added to the mix, kelp, fulvic acid, B vitamins, alfalfa meal, coconut water, and malted grain (especially barley) provide a considerable array of biocatalysts, including natural enzymes to wake the tired embryos and get them moving. Coconut water is notably used in plant tissue culture as food stock, which proves very useful for these purposes. Germination is an enzyme-driven process, which can be naturally supplemented by the above ingredients.

Once the seeds are ready, place them directly into a quality, organic soil for germination, rather than on a paper towel. The latter makes the seeds more prone to pathogens. Good soil should be brimming with healthy microbes. Direct planting also avoids injury to the initial taproot’s very fine feeder hairs during transplanting, further enhancing survival rates.

Don’t give up on older seeds; try to germinate them to see if they are as good as you remember.

Tips to Help You Grow Old Cannabis Seeds

Do you have old cannabis seeds that you are uncertain what to do with? Or are you wanting to purchase cannabis seeds but aren’t sure how to grow them if they’re order? There is a simple way to go about this – germinate these seeds to grow new plants. It can seem overwhelming at first, and you may be impatient as you wait to see if they will sprout. Of course, the process is made easier if the seeds were stored properly in a refrigerator.

Getting started with the germination of old seeds may be frustrating for many people. There is a hard shell covering the seed that will not allow water to permeate at first, so it can seem as though nothing is going to happen with the seeds. However, they will swell and break open to begin the process of growing. If you take your time and follow these top 5 tips for germinating old seeds, you are sure to experience great success.

Acid Mixed with Water Is Key

Take about 33 oz. of water, and use it to dilute about one teaspoon of Fulvic acid. This is the mixture that you will place your seeds in.

It is recommended that you soak the seeds in a paper towel that has water or some mixture such as the one above, if you have seeds that are at least 3 years old. This is especially the case if you have seeds that are dry and losing their germination power. Newer seeds have cells that contain adequate water already, so they can bloat and begin to rot before germination can occur. With older seeds, there is less water in the cells so they can handle soaking in water longer without risk of this happening.

If you decide to go the paper towel route, wet 2 of them and place the seeds in between. Spray some water on them daily for 3 or 4 days. At this time, they should be starting to sprout.

Sand Paper Helps

You should take sand paper and scuff the seed’s outer shells. Place the piece of sand paper down, then shake the cannabis seeds over it. They will develop some micro abrasions, which in turn will allow them to let in more water.

An alternate way to help break down the shell is to soak the seeds in a 3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide for about 10-20 minutes. This actually should dissolve the shell, making it an excellent solution if you want to get started fast.

One option that you can use instead of the regular water, is to put the seeds into some lightly carbonated water. The Co2 in it will make it possible for the water to penetrate the seed easier.

A light enzyme or seed booster can be beneficial when dealing with seeds that need some extra help with germinating. It accelerates the germ cycle of the seed for a greater rate of success by restoring the germination capacity of the seeds. Some seed boosters even protect against fungi and bacteria.

How to Use the Seed Booster

Shake the booster well before you use it. Place 7 drops into a litre of water. You may do this in every water supply for the seeds until they are ready for the growth phase.

Found 30 year old Marijuana seeds while cleaning my grandparent's garage.

So I am currently helping my Grandparents clean up their house. Mainly my grandfather's garage. I found this little jar with a bunch of seeds. I confirmed it with them. They had a few plants growing a bit over 30 years ago just for fun.

Now. I don't smoke, and I don't intend to. I'm just really curious to know if seeds this old, that were not stored so well could grow, or if they're dead at this point.