7 Steps to collecting and saving seeds

Description:  A fun family project is to collect seeds in the fall and save them for planting in the spring.
Author: Tom Barrett
Friday, August 22, 2014

What's more fun than watching the flowers grow, and even better than picking them for your sweetheart?...well, maybe not! It's waiting for the seeds to mature so you can collect them; then save and replant the seeds next year.

If you have a favorite flower (or several) in your garden and wish you could grow more of them, then try collecting and saving the seeds. This is a fun activity for all ages. So get ready -- fall and our seed-harvesting season is almost here. To help you out, we have written a step-by-step list of what you need to do for successful seed harvesting and storage.

1. Wait for the right time to harvest.

The biggest mistake we make, is getting too excited about collecting our seeds. The flower bud should be dry and brittle. It should easily crumble in your hand. So slow down and enjoy the dead flower for a little while. Try to time it so you begin collecting seeds just before we enter our fall rainy season and the winds start to blow.

2. Locate the seeds within the flower.

The seeds will be hiding either in a pod deep inside the flower or easily seen on a stock (as seen in this picture.) You may need to rub the dead flower between your fingers to loosen the seeds inside.

3. Remove bugs and debris.

Look carefully, some seeds are small and easily mistaken for debris. This is not a blog about growing more bugs, so get rid of them. You may want to use a small sieve for this process.

4. Leave the seeds to dry.

Lay the seeds out on a flat surface for a few days before storing them away. Be careful to select a location that is indoors and free from drafts, windows, and doors. Seeds like to get up and blow away in even the slightest wind.

5. Place each type of seed in its own container.

Here are some ideas for storing seeds:

  • Wrap in a tissue (to absorb moisture) and place in a clear Ziploc bags
  • Use small paper bags or letter envelopes for storage
  • A cardboard egg carton with each seed type in its own compartment

6. Label each container of seeds.

List the name of the plant, the date when the seeds were collected, and when they need to be replanted.

7. Store in a cool, dry place.

Make sure the location is safe from insects and rodents.


Note: Most plants will grow best if started indoors where the dirt can be kept moist, but not wet. Once the seedlings look strong enough to grow outdoors and the weather is comfortable, it's time to transplant.

Take a look at our blog about transplanting plants for more helpful gardening information.

Contact us by phone or request a consultation through our website and let us know how we can help with your landscape design project.

Share our services with your family and friends.