Out in the open, pollen may be viable for one or two weeks under normal conditions. However, when frozen and sealed, it can last up to a year and even longer. Pollen is more unstable than seed and even under the most optimal conditions, it isn’t expected to have as long of a shelf life.
It can be bittersweet saying goodbye to old genetics, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. You can take clones or keep a mother plant, but those aren’t ideal because they require a lot of care and maintenance, especially if they aren’t producing flower.
Cannabis is for the most part dioecious, meaning that the male and female reproductive organs exist on two separate plants (although hermaphroditic plants do occur). It is also a wind-pollinated plant, so pollen must be transferred from a male stamen to a female pistil via the air in order for pollination to occur and seeds to form.
Seed and Pollen Storage
It’s important to continually practice germination testing to be sure your stored seeds haven’t lost all viability. To test this, periodically plant a seed and document its ability to germinate.
When storing seeds, place them in an air-sealed container that doesn’t have any light leaks. Film canisters, medicine bottles (non-translucent), and any sealable storage jar will work fine. The idea is to reduce the amount of oxygen present in the storage space as much as possible. You can also add uncooked rice to the storage container, which acts as an absorbent, to reduce moisture content.
When it comes time to use frozen seeds, remove them from their container and let them sit out on a dry surface for several hours. Letting the seeds reach room temperature will help ensure a successful germination.
To tell if a seed is mature, take a look at its shape and color. Premature seeds will be small and light in color, taking on a beige hue. Fully mature cannabis seeds are more full in shape and size and have a much darker brown hue, sometimes accented by black tiger stripes.
It’s obvious weed seeds germinating power decreases as the years progress. Therefore you should allways store some additional seeds. Will seeds still germinate after 100 years have progressed? No one knows.
The germ that hides behind the tough seed outer shell can survive for years feeding on food reserves it inherited from the mother plant. Food supplies consisting of fad starch and sugar keep the germ alive as long as these reserves are available. Maximum lifespan is around 6 years but seeds that survive for a longer period of time are no exception.
Keeping cannabis seeds in the fridge is the most obvious storage method. It is important to keep the seeds in an airtight sealed enclosure so no moist can get to it. In order to optimize the storage proces even further, is is wise to keep the seeds in airtight packaging. Preferably at 4 degrees celcius. Weed seeds don’t like tempurature changes. Therefore only remove them from the fridge when neccessary. This way the seeds can be preserved for years.
Storing cannabis seeds in the freezer is the right choice if you want to store the seeds for decades or longer. Can this do any harm? No, in nature, seeds freeze all the time, after that spring begins and germination starts. Make sure the weed seeds are totally dry before freezing.
Storing marijuana seeds in airtight pots.
Marijuana seeds can be preserved for a minimum of 3 years without any loss in germinating power. Probably even for much longer, only time will tell.
Only remove the seeds from the fridge when it is time for sowing. Let the seeds gradually adjust to lower tempuratures by keeping the packaging closed during the cooling down.