How to Preserve Pumpkin Seeds for Planting

Overview

No fruit or vegetable is more reminiscent of autumn and Halloween than the pumpkin. Countless different types of pumpkins exist, many of which look quite different from the traditional orange ones. You can grow pumpkins that are different colors and in a plethora of sizes, from enormous to dainty. If your garden produced some exceptionally healthy, large or disease-resistant pumpkins, you may want to preserve the seeds and save them for the next year's planting season.

Step 1

Cut open the pumpkin and extract the seeds from the pulp. Place the pumpkin seeds into a strainer.

Step 2

Wash the seeds thoroughly with soapy, lukewarm water to remove all the sugars and pulp. Rinse the seeds well and drain them, but don't use hot water or let the seeds soak.

Step 3

Spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a piece of mesh screening in a cool, dry area. Allow the pumpkin seeds to dry completely for at least three weeks, turning them over each day for the first week.

Step 4

Place the completely dried pumpkin seeds into a non-sealed plastic bag, envelope or glass jar that isn't airtight. Store the seeds in a dry, cool, dark spot.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't store the pumpkin seeds until they've dried thoroughly for a minimum of three weeks. If you attempt to store the pumpkin seeds before they've dried, the seeds will rot. Beware of pumpkins seeds that might've cross-pollinated with other cucurbita-species plants, such as squash. If you planted your pumpkins near squash, the seeds may have genetics from both plant species due to cross-pollination.

Things You'll Need

  • Pumpkins
  • Knife
  • Strainer
  • Liquid soap
  • Mesh screening
  • Plastic bag, envelope or glass jar

References

  • Pumpkin Nook: Pumpkin Seeds -- Buying, Selection and Saving

Who Can Help

  • All About Pumpkins: Storing Pumpkins & Winter Squash
Keywords: preserve pumpkin seeds, save pumpkin seed, store pumpkin seeds

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.