Old seeds / germination

The last of my moms late 70s early 80s - acapulto gold and or local who knows what.

Are there any special steps or techs to use to help older seeds germinate?



Have you tried germinating any yet? they definitely look viable still. And just to confirm you only have 6?
What has the storage method been like for the majority of the time, varying temps at all?

1 Like

Thanks for the reply, yes only the 6
I haven’t tried any from this stash (it’s the oldest and smallest) they were stashed in a glass vial in a tin with some other old paraphernalia that has been stashed away for in an attic for decades. Temps below 0 to 100 I’m sure…
Other old ones early-mid 90s I’ve had 0-30% success rates just float and drop. No real method… There’s a few jars of those left over so I haven’t cared to much if I lose some.

:slightly_smiling_face: hoping a bunch of pro bean poppers in here might have better direction or tech for older beans or can tell me I’m overthinking it and I’ll be lucky to get one regardless

No problem :slight_smile: I don’t have too much experience with ancient seeds so I’d wait to hear from another person but I have a few batches of stubborn and weak/dormant seeds I managed to get the germ rate from around 5% to 90% . I’ve tried a variety of techniques and the success seemed to depend on the seeds themselves.
You probably will want to use GA3 in any situation. In my experience cold stratification seems to help a lot with dormant cannabis seeds. I think cold to warm can help break the protective dormancy that cannabis seeds go through especially when they experience temperature swings in dry enviorments. But that’s just my conjecture.

But the seeds still look healthy so I think circumcision might be the move. Unfortunately both these techniques can also reduce viability.
I use nail clippers to carefully cut the seeds seam/tip off (“circumcision”) for hard shelled seeds and I find that to work better than a file or knife.

With a single seed, perform circumcision on its seam, do your best to cut away as little as possible with sterile nail clippers. You can always cut away more. once the shell is cut slightly open you will probably be able to tell if the germplasm is unhealthy. If it’s viable put equal parts h2o2 to water in a drug bagggy and shake it up, add the seed, desired concentration of ga3 (not sure for old old seeds) and dilute the water/h2o2in the drug bagggy to 3 times it’s the amount (you should end up with about .5% h202) keep the seed in the baggy in a warm spot and gauge tap root. Use your desired seed starting technique from there (probably not direct into soil though) Make sure you can grow the seed out before using the same method on the others. You shouldn’t need to change the water if it’s in a bag, the h202 also will slowly decompose into oxygen, so you can keep the seed in the bag this way for a while. Which helps with the super dormant ones.

Sorry for the poor formatting it’s hard for me to reply on mobile.


Scuff the seed with a fine sandpaper. Gibberellic acid can help. You can buy it on Ebay at 20ppm


Thanks a lot! Interesting though about the freeze thaw - Some seeds cant germinate unless frozen so i wouldn’t be surprised if that helped trigger something.

Ga3 is a new one to me I’ll have to check that out!

Looks like I have at least a few new things to try… definitely going 1 at a time but, was there any reason you say grow it out before starting another with that method?

Thanks again

1 Like

Thanks I’ve heard to scuff them a bit but going to have to check out the ga- do you have a link /brand to search or just g??? Acid

sometimes you can promote germination but then it stalls. so it might appear the technique is working with a tap root appearing but then it fails to develop cotyledons.


No brand. I get 2 Oz bottles from China. Or, you can buy powder and mix your own.


Makes sense, thank you!

1 Like

I came across some ga3 germination pad (earth and jungle) have you had experience with something like that or would you think it’s better to make your own mix?
Also- would you apply any of this to fresh(er) seeds?
Or what age would you start scuffing or using ga3?

Germination pads work well. I don’t think it’s necessary to use Ga3 on a younger seed. It has some stored. Scuffing is fine on any large or thick shell.


Colin I’ve always wanted to ask you, do you perhaps use the gibbs in your reversal process?

Thanks! - I have a stash of things from my parents the oldest is these 6 they were in with some of my moms shit from the late 70s- then there are a bunch from the mid- late 80s- 200?. Unfortunately no rhyme or reason to them