After collecting seeds from your flowers, you may be tempted to just stick them in an envelope or jar on the shelf and plant them the following year, or whenever you think about them again. While this may result in successful plants in some cases, you're greatly reducing your chances of growing a strong, productive plant. Instead, take some basic preservation steps to ensure that your seeds not only germinate when you plant them, but also grow into healthy, flowering plants.
Determine how long you want to store your seeds. If you want to keep them longer than 1 year, you will need to dry them.
Dry your seeds to give them a shelf life of more than 10 years. Spread them on a tray and put them in a regular oven set at the lowest temperature. Keep the oven door open to approximate the ideal drying temperature of 100 degrees F--the lowest temperature setting on an oven is usually 200 degrees F. Alternatively, you can place them outside in the sun, if you live in a very warm climate. Don't let the seeds sit in temperatures higher than 100 degrees F, which will damage them.
Place the seeds in a water-proof container (not plastic bag), such as a plastic storage container or jar.
Keep the seeds in your refrigerator or freezer at temperatures below 40 degrees F.