How to Dry & Store Flower Seeds

Overview

Drying and storing flower seeds provides gardeners with an economical and productive opportunity to fill gardening spaces--theirs or someone else's--with their favorite plants. Flower seeds are grown from either pods or seedheads, and learning to dry and store them can also afford gardeners a greater appreciation of the flower growing process. Gardeners should be mindful, however, to stay away from the seeds of hybrid plants, as they will not reproduce the same type of plant.

Step 1

Test for appropriately ripe pods by feeling them. Wait until pods are visibly dry and appear brittle. (Seed pods, or calyx, are found at the bottom of a flower.) Give the pod a gentle squeeze and wait to see if the pod begins to split and that the seeds are no longer green, two signs that it is ready to be harvested.

Step 2

Harvest seeds from seedheads when they are ripe. (Seedheads are the clusters that are visible where a flower develops.) Note when seedheads shatter as an indicator of ripeness. Rub a seedhead between your fingers and if it falls apart, that too, is another sign that it is ready to be collected.

Step 3

Dry seeds in a well-ventilated room. Make sure the temperature is between 70 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit and that the working area is out of direct sunlight.

Step 4

Line your work area with small paper plates, plastic cups or small plastic bags. Place a small quantity of seeds into the collection material you have chosen. Label each plate, cup or bag with the name of seed it contains. Make one layer of seeds to allow them to dry completely.

Step 5

Stir the seeds every three or four days. Allow one to four weeks for the seeds to dry completely, which will vary depending upon the temperature in the room and the size of the seeds.

Step 6

Transfer dry seeds to a labeled envelope or container, and store them in a cool, dry place for up to one year.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper plates
  • Paper cups
  • Small plastic bags
  • Pen
  • Envelopes

References

  • Oregon State University: Collecting and Storing Seeds from Your Garden
  • Colorado State University Extension: Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds no. 7.221
Keywords: drying and storing flower seeds, how to dry and store flower seeds, dry and store flower seeds

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.