How to Keep Flower Seeds From Rotting


Gathering flower seeds at the end of the growing season allows you to produce even more of your favorite blooms the next year. Proper gathering and storage techniques for flower seeds keep disease and rot to a minimum. It is important to label the seeds when you collect them so you know what flowers are actually growing.

Step 1

Choose healthy plants from which to gather flower seeds. Allow the seedpods or flowers to dry on the plant before cutting.

Step 2

Snip off the seed pods or dead flowers using the pruning shears to make a clean cut. The clean cut keeps the host plant from becoming damaged.

Step 3

Lay the flower heads on a flat surface in a cool, dry area, out of direct sunlight. Allow the flowers to completely dry before attempting to remove the seeds.

Step 4

Open the flower heads carefully to expose the seeds. Check to make certain the seeds are mature. There are times a flower dies but the seeds have not reached maturity.

Step 5

Spread the seeds on dry paper towels or newspaper and continue letting them air dry until there are no signs of moisture. Change the paper towels or newspaper if any signs of moisture develop.

Step 6

Sort through the seeds and remove any that are underdeveloped or deformed. Also remove broken seeds or other plant parts.

Step 7

Seal the dried flower seeds in air-tight storage containers or jars. Smaller seeds store well in small envelopes as well. Label the seeds as soon as they are put in containers with the masking tape and marker. Write the collection date and the name of the flower on label. Other information, such as color and planting conditions may also be included.

Step 8

Store the seeds in a cool, dry place until ready for planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch for any moisture developing in the jars of stored seeds. Moisture from seeds will collect on the sides of the jar in a few hours of being sealed. If this happens, lay out the seeds to dry further.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Storage containers
  • Envelopes
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker


  • Colorado State University: Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds
  • GTexas A&M: Seed Storage
  • Hill Gardens of Maine: Giving Seeds What They Need in Storage
Keywords: flower seeds, storing flower seeds, seed storage

About this Author

JulieAnn is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for 30 years. Recently JulieAnn has written a variety of e-books and numerous articles on gardening, small business, and farming. JulieAnn is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her Bachelor's degree in English.