How to Harvest Herb Seeds


Growing your own herbs offers not only a joyous activity in the garden, but also a rewarding experience in the kitchen. Rather than buying new plants each year, harvest herb seeds from your plants after they flower and store them for the following year. Good herbs to collect seeds from include basil, cilantro, dill, chives and lavender.

Step 1

Let your herbs flower and leave them undisturbed as the petals drop away and the stems or stalks of the flowers and start to dry. Check your herbs regularly after the first week or two so you'll know when the majority of the stems have turned from green to brown.

Step 2

Cut the stems from your herb plant 3 to 4 inches below the seed head or pods once the stems are mostly dry. Stick the stems into a paper lunch bag upside down. Only collect one type of herb in each bag to avoid confusion and write the type of herb on the outside of the bag with a permanent marker.

Step 3

Fold over the opening of the bag by 1 inch to close it and store the bag somewhere in your home that is warm and dry. Place the bags of herbs where there will be no drastic changes in temperature or humidity and not in direct sunlight.

Step 4

Leave the bag for two to three weeks, shaking it each week to knock the dry, loosened seeds out of the pods. Open the bag and pour everything out onto a paper plate. Sort through the material, discarding stems and empty pods, until all that remains are dry seeds.

Step 5

Label a jar or envelope with the type of herb and the year, and pour your seeds into it and seal the envelope. Keep the jars or envelopes of seeds in a cool, dark, dry place for storage. These seeds can be planted in pots or the ground the following year.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper lunch bag
  • Knife
  • Permanent marker
  • Paper plate
  • Jar with lid or envelope


  • "Success with Seeds"; Chris Wheeler and Valerie Wheeler; 2004
  • "Seed Sowing and Saving"; Carole B. Turner; 1998
Keywords: collecting herb seeds, harvesting herb seeds, saving herb seeds

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.