How to store cannabis seeds

Want to know the best way to grow the best marijuana? Start with great seeds. But once you find the perfect strain, how do you store seeds so that you can use them for future plants? It’s not that hard; actually, you just need to keep them cold, dark, and dry. However, there are few other things that you could do to preserve your precious seeds – keep reading to learn more.

If you plan to grow marijuana for fun or profit, you’ll need to know how to store your seeds.

Why is storing cannabis seeds important?

Those seeds are directly related to the quality of your plants. If they are not stored correctly, when you do get around to planting them, they will not germinate. On the other hand, if you store them the right way, they are good to go indefinitely.

Storing Cannabis Seeds
Storing cannabis seeds – Image powered by

Some growers keep seeds for years. However, it’s common to leave a few seeds in storage for less than a year, especially when there are limits around how much you can grow at one time. There’s no reason why those extra seeds should go to waste, simply learn how to store them correctly.

Use the right storage container

When storing cannabis seeds, the first thing to think about is your container. Do not use just any random container that you come across. The ideal container should be made of one material.

Avoid containers with a mixture of materials. An example of this would be a plastic container with a metal lid or a glass container with a plastic cover. Containers made from more than one material react differently to temperature and other changes, and this can create room for undesirable conditions to reach your stored cannabis seeds. For instance, the metal lid on a glass jar will expand at a different rate when the temperature rises, and this may allow some moisture to enter the container.

Use the Right Storage Container to store weed seeds
Use the Right Storage Container – Image powered by

Many people suggest using plastic containers for long-term storage when asked how to store marijuana seeds, but that isn’t a great idea either. Plastic has tiny (microscopic) pores that can let air infiltrate the container and damage your seeds. If you want your seeds to last, don’t store them in a plastic container. Glass is a much better solution.

Also read Best way to store weed

Label the containers

Chances are you are storing more than one strain of cannabis seeds. Even if you are storing just one variety of seeds, you must label the container. Otherwise, if you store the seeds for years, you may forget which strain they are and that they are even marijuana seeds!

Label the Containers
Label the containers

Keep light out

This part is simple; germination needs light. If you do not want your seeds to sprout, keep the light out. That’s why the most immediate answer to “how to store cannabis seeds” is “keep the environment light free.”

Keep Light Out
Keep light out

Want an easy way to keep light out?

Try using an opaque container. If the glass jars you used aren’t opaque, then place your seeds in something opaque, such as a black plastic wrap, then put that in the glass jar. Again, keep in mind, plastic is not the best for long term (years), but if you are purchasing at the end of one grow season in preparation for the next, it should work just fine.

You can also place your cannabis seeds in a fridge that doesn’t get opened much or another dark location.

Keep the temperature constant

Another thing that you need to think about when storing cannabis seeds is to maintain a stable temperature. Try and keep the seeds around 40° Fahrenheit. You do not want them to freeze unless you’re freeze-drying.

Keep the Temperature Constant
Keep the temperature constant

Many people do this by keeping their seeds in a fridge or freezer. (Again, do not allow the seeds to freeze.) The most critical thing is keeping that temperature constant. Your marijuana seeds can deteriorate when the temperature fluctuates.

Keep moisture out

Moisture is the other condition that is required for germination, so you’ll need to keep your seeds dry as well. Depending on how much moisture your marijuana seeds are exposed to, they could either germinate or even rot while in storage.

Keep Moisture Out
Keep moisture out

For the best results, keep moisture levels between 5% and 9%.  An airtight, sealed container is a great way to do this. You could also add something to help absorb any moisture, such as silica packets or even uncooked rice.

If you decide to use one of these methods, make sure you use something food-grade. Remember, this material will be sitting in storage next to your seeds. It’s also a good idea to use some sort of barrier, such as some cotton wool, between your moisture-absorbing packs and the marijuana seeds. This will leave the seeds undisturbed while the moisture problems are addressed.

Keep the storage environment clean

How to store marijuana seeds properly also means keeping the storage environment clean. If you’re not careful, pests can quickly destroy your cannabis seeds if they access the storage container and its contents.

A clean environment also keeps other contaminants, such as microbes, from compromising the quality of your seeds. After all, you will eventually plant those seeds, and you don’t want to consume cannabis grown from contaminated seeds.

Keep the Storage Environment Clean
Keep the storage environment clean

Nature-designed seeds to last until the ideal germination environment occurs. Therefore, if you follow these storage tips and prevent that environment from happening, you could store cannabis seeds indefinitely.  

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Learn more about cannabis seeds

Can you freeze seeds to make them last longer?

You can store your seeds in the fridge, this can greatly extend their lifespan if done properly. However, make sure you don’t freeze your seeds.

Can I store cannabis seeds in a plastic bag?

It’s recommended to store your seeds in an airtight glass container instead of plastic baggies.

How do you know if seeds are still good?

Place cannabis seeds in water, if they sink, you have a winner. If they remain floating, chances are less, but they may still be good to go. It’s always worth keeping them in water for up to three days to see if they sprout a tail.

Choosing what to grow next?

What other tips can you share about storing marijuana seeds? Please feel free to leave comments below!

Happy growing!


Avatar for Robert Bergman

Mr Robert Bergman PhD


Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations ... See profile

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26 comments on “How to store cannabis seeds”

  1. From what read it explained pretty well… prefered full grass jar w/ lid super low humidity around 40°f and place it in a dark place or something that will block the light i think you guys

  2. Hi, I recently took advantage of buy 10/get 10. I plan to keep some seeds long term. In the keep moisture section it says to keep in an airtight container. Under FAQS it states never to store in plastic or an airtight container but to store in an envelope. I’m confused. I plant to keep in the refrigerator so what container should I use? I am not familiar with glass containers that do not have either plastic lids or metal lids??

  3. Back again to clarify I did put a desicant pack in the plastic container but my old fridge had issues and thawed slightly a couple times. I have 5 strains of my own creation. Seeds were very ripe and dark striped. Fingers crossed that the other 4 strains are as hardy.

  4. I have seeds in sandwich bags sealed in seal a meal and stored in a plastic jar covered in black tape in the freezer at -5 farenheit dated 2009. 11 year old seeds that a test batch sprouted in 2-4 days at at least a 95% success rate. Blew me away!

  5. That article gave me a headache trying to figure out whether seedds should be in an air tight container or not. Someone needs to write a clear and coherent article about seed storage.

  6. So do we store in an airtight container? as it says at the end ” . Never store seeds in a plastic bag or airtight container. ” however above that it states using an airtight seal is a great way to keep moisture low

  7. What about keeping the seeds in the little plastic containers you sent them in and put them in a glass Ball jar with a plastic lid and store in a dark place

  8. I’ve never seen a cannabis seed sink until they’ve been in the water for about an hour or so your article stars they should sink lol

  9. I’m considering storing auto gorilla seeds in Infinity Jars. food-grade, Black Ultraviolet Glass with BPA free Plastic screwtop airtight lid.
    Maybe a ball jar sealed with silica pack then place in the fridge within a light-blocking container.

  10. Hi Heather,

    Can you point me to the contradictory info please? I’ve been scanning the article but am unable to find it.
    I can advise you to go for an airtight container.


  11. Hi, there’s still contradictory text regarding air right containers. Could you please clarify? Air tight or brown paper bag?

  12. This article says in one breath to save the seeds in glass jars, then later says store seeds in plastic and never use airtight containers… huh?

  13. If i use glass jars, then how do i not make it NOT airtight. Regular mason jars that have glass and a metal cover won’t do?. Do i need a special jars or leave the cover not perfectly fully sealed.

  14. I’ve kept my seeds in original plastic baggie, in an envelope in our safe. Dark, cool and dry. None of the 5 seeds I have sprouted. Soaking in purified water for a 10 day period on the kitchen counter. None of the germinated.

  15. Hey Cindy,

    Thanks for pointing this out. You were right, it was a bit confusing! We’ve updated this blog, enjoy! 🙂


  16. Maybe I’m stoned (I am but that’s not the point)but doesn’t this article contradict itself several times? Freeze-bad, then freeze-good, airtight-yes, then airtight-no, plastic-yes, then plastic-no. I gotta know this stuff, especially when I take advantage of your buy 10 get 10 deals!

  17. This context is confusing, its from your article on storing seeds:
    How do you know if seeds are still good?
    Place cannabis seeds in water, if they sink they should be good to go, if they sink they will most likely not be able to sprout.

  18. Great stuff, can you clarify or correct the statement “How do you know if seeds are still good?
    Place cannabis seeds in water, if they sink they should be good to go, if they sink they will most likely not be able to sprout.”

  19. Could I leave the seeds in what you guys send them in if I was to put the hole thing in a black jar?

  20. Robert,
    You say to stay away from plastic containers. What about a vacuum seal type of plastic container that was made for long term storage of plant material/weed? I have an opaque green and purple plastic container that I purchased to transport so, the smell did not permeate the car. Works very well. Will this type of container work for long term storage of seeds? Seems like it would be a good choice with some silica gel packets in the container. Your thoughts???????

  21. thanks for the tips bob,,i was doing one thing wrong with my seeds,,now i keep my seeds in a, C vault container in a down stairs fridge ,keep tips coming

  22. In the article above, it says to use Moisture removing packets or cooked rice To keep out moisture. Don’t you mean un-cooked rice?

  23. I have froze seeds in the package that they were shipped in. Not for more than 3 years and have them germanait.I don’t know if I’m Lucky or what. But my man Robert knows more than I. Rock on I.L.G.M.