How to Save Fruit Seeds

Overview

Seeds saved from fresh fruits you purchase at the market may not produce trees or plants identical to the original. In fact, they may not bear fruit at all. Many of those purchased in the store are the result of grafts or are hybrids created by crossing two or more species. Although the seeds often germinate and produce attractive houseplants, do not count on an abundance of fruit from the resulting plants.

Dry Method

Step 1

Save seeds from fruits that produce seeds in the core of the fruit, like apples, oranges and cherries by the dry method.

Step 2

Removing the seeds and wash them in tepid water.

Step 3

Scrub away any pulp or flesh from the fruit with a kitchen scrubber or soft brush.

Step 4

Place seeds in a single layer on a paper towel or recycled newspaper to dry. Turn daily to insure the seed dries on all sides.

Step 5

Store dry seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until ready to plant.

Wet Method

Step 1

Remove the seeds from fleshy fruits like melons, tomatoes and cucumbers with a scoop or large spoon.

Step 2

Remove fleshy residue, but leave the gel that surrounds the seeds intact. The gel protects the seeds from germinating inside the fruit as it matures.

Step 3

Place seeds in a glass or jar of warm water and allow to set for several days. The plant residue will ferment and viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container. Seeds that float are immature or damaged seeds that will not germinate.

Step 4

Scoop off scum and floating seeds and strain the remainder through a piece of cheesecloth or colander.

Step 5

Spread seeds on paper towels and dry completely.

Step 6

Store in an airtight container or a plastic food storage bag in a cool dark area until planting time.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel/recycled newspaper
  • Glass jar
  • Colander/cheesecloth
  • Airtight storage containers

References

  • University of Illinois Extension
  • Colorado State University

Who Can Help

  • Fruits that require cold stratification
Keywords: fruit seeds, save seed, dry seeds

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.