Propagation: Keeping and storing seeds

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

How long can you keep seeds? What is the best way to store them? Thanks, Denise

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Denise, I store my seeds in a closed container in the refrigerator. They must be completely dry. I don't know how long you can keep them though.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

I also store my seeds in the fridge. I put some cornstarch or powdered milk in a ziploc bag & then add the individual seed pkg's & press out the air & seal. Works for me.

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Thankyou, I posted in the propagation regarding these questions and no one has replied. Now at least I know I have to make room in the refrig. and will continue to try and find out how long you can keep. I would eventually like to get in seed trading to get a bigger variety, but need to know how long you can keep, wouldn't want to send seeds that won't grow or bloom for someone. Thanks again. Denise

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Tomden, many seeds retain their viability for yrs, with proper storage. Basically, keep them dry, cool or cold, and well-sealed.

I've had tomato seeds germ after 8 yrs, and the rate of germination really surprised me. What was an even bigger surprise (this yr) was corn. I had 5 pounds of corn in the deepfreeze, in the paper bag it came in, and it was dated 1997. When I did a germ test, 100%. (Needless to say, we now have 15 rows of corn in the garden!)

Landenberg, PA(Zone 6b)

Tomden - As Horseshoe stated, many seeds will last for years in the fridge and some will do so even at room temperature at proper conditions. There are reports of sprouting lotus seeds from bogs over a thousand years old, but that may be stretching it a bit. On the other hand...

Some seeds must be planted within a few days of dehiscence (shedding from the pod) to be viable, and even cold storage will not extend this past a couple of weeks. Check for online references on your particular kind of seeds for more info.


Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Thankyou all for your help and info., Geoforce, where at exactly on line should I go to check? Thanks, Denise

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Denise, here's a site that will brief you fairly good. (I don't entirely agree with the seed longevity chart in all instances, mainly cuz I've had viable seeds much much longer than the chart shows.) However, you can get a good idea of storage conditions, etc.

If you do a search for "seed longevity" it will bring up many other sites.

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks a bunch, love these hyperlinks. Denise

Oscoda, MI(Zone 5b)

Is there an archive, or area already posted, website, etc. tha addresses seed drying and saving for the rookie gardener? I would like to try saving seeds, but need to know more about it than I do now. Finally, is this the appropriate place for this question to be posted? Thanks in advance for any help.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images