How to Save Plant Seeds


Saving seeds from your vegetable or flower garden can save you money when you start your garden the following spring. Seed location in the plants varies. Plants such as peas and beans produce pods with the seeds inside. Most flowers produce seeds in the petal head. In other plants, such as garlic or tulips, the root is the seed. If stored properly, most seeds will last two to four years.

Step 1

Spread the seeds out on a large tray in a warm spot, out of direct sunlight. Leave the seeds on the tray to dry for two weeks.

Step 2

Pour seeds from the tray into a kitchen sieve. Shake the sieve gently and blow on the seeds to remove any remaining dirt or chaff.

Step 3

Save the seeds in paper envelopes or airtight storage containers. Use a pen or marker to label the container with the plant name and storage date.

Step 4

Store the containers in a cool, dry place, such as a refrigerator or a storage room.

Tips and Warnings

  • Only plant one variety of a vegetable if you plan to save seeds. Vegetables can cross-pollinate and create hybrids unless they are planted several feet apart.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper envelopes
  • Pen or marker
  • Waterproof containers with lids
  • Large tray
  • Kitchen sieve (with small holes)


  • "The Everything Grow Your Own Vegetables Book"; Catherine Abbott; 2010.
  • "Saving Seeds: The Gardeners Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds"; Marc Rogers and Polly Alexander; 1991.
Keywords: save seeds, plant name, cross-pollinate

About this Author

Carmel Perez Snyder is a freelance writer living in Florida. She attended the University of Missouri and has been a journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in the AARP Bulletin, the Oklahoma Gazette, the Amarillo Globe-News, and eHow.