what seed takes the longest to germinate

Jesus-era seed is the oldest to germinate

(Image: Guy Eisner/Science)

(Image: Guy Eisner/Science)

Forget cryopreservation – hot and dry conditions might be all you need to awake far into the future. A date palm seed some 2000 years old – preserved by nothing more than storage in hot and dry conditions – has germinated, making it the oldest seed in the world to do so.


The ancient seed was found along with several others in the 1960s in the Masada fortress on the edge of the Dead Sea in Israel. Recently, three were planted in soil and one germinated.

To determine their age, an Israeli and Swiss team carbon dated the two dud seeds and found them to be approximately 2000 years old – making them possible contemporaries of Jesus.

When the germinated date was 15 months old, the researchers moved it to a new pot and retrieved fragments of the seed shell so they too could be carbon dated.

Skewed result

Although the plant is now just 26 months old, the dating process indicated that the seed was around 1750 years old – 250 years or so younger than the seeds which had not germinated. However, this figure was not a true reflection of its great age.

“During its growth the date plant had taken up modern carbon and this affected the carbon dating results,” explains Sarah Sallon of the Louis L Borick Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem.

The modern carbon skewed the result and made the seed appear about 250 to 300 years younger, she says.

Previously, the oldest seed to have germinated was a 1300-year-old Chinese lotus seed, but the plant that grew from it had serious genetic abnormalities.

Useful genes?

Sallon thinks that the extreme dryness and heat of the Dead Sea region may have helped conserve the seed in a way that it was able to germinate 2000 years later.

In the first century AD, the area was famous for its high-quality dates, but the plants were later lost. Preliminary genetic analysis suggests the ancient date plant is quite different to its modern cousins, but the researchers caution that with only one plant to test, the results are not conclusive. They are seeking more ancient seeds to carry out more genetic studies.

If the ancient dates are very different, they could carry genes that make modern varieties more successful or resilient.

Journal reference: Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.1153600)

An Israeli date palm seed, preserved by nothing more than hot, dry conditions, has sprouted after around 2000 years in the dust

whats the longest it’s taken your cannabis seeds to germinate?

Well-Known Member

soooo, ive let them soak in water/humic acid for 24hours. then planted into vermicasting soil sprouted after cracking open in the cup with no issues. i tapped each with a pencil and noticed they sank so this is when i planted into soil blocks. its been 7 days and no sprouting. i pulled one up from the soil block and tossed it back into a cup of water to see if it goes any faster than the rest still in blocks. theyre only a half centimeter or so into the block btw.

well aside from the title question, if im between 70-80F i should be golden to germinate right? has anyone else gotten crap seeds from attitude?

ive been growing cannabis for a few years now and havent had so many “fresh” seeds to not germinate.

comments and off the wall criticism is welcome

Well-Known Member

i contacted attitude seeds, they dont like hearing that the seeds were germinated but they were happy to help. theyre in contact with the suppliers to see about replacements. i imagine that something happened to them between them and me in shipping. maybe got scorching hot in transit? yea ive never had such a problem other than trying to pop 6 year old seeds from attitude last year. none of those germinated.

this mess still hasnt germinated either. i put them in solo cups of dirt and reconfigured the “incubation” a few days ago when we were sharing methods. soil is moist and not wet or dryView attachment 3810504 View attachment 3810506

I had a whole order that had problems. Makes me wonder if they irradiate them to make them sterile or something.

Its normal for it to take a week to 10 days to sprout for stubborn seeds. I have thrown random seeds out in the dirt or yard and forget about them only to see them sprout and get a foot tall a month or two later.

Some need to be hard to sprout. In the wild if they all sprouted to a late warm spell there would be none for the next year. If having trouble you can sand them or pop them in the freezer a couple days. It tricks them into thinking winter went by.

i found an 8 or 9$ heat pad for pain. i figured, save the receipt, try it out, return if it gets too hot. It's pretty nice. i sprouted a few basil very…