How to Harvest Chia Seed


Chia may have gained popularity as a "pet" in the 1980s, but chia's most important legacy is its seeds. Once a major food source of the Aztecs, chia seeds are a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber and a number of other essential nutrients. Once mature, chia sees can be harvested quite easily. In fact, the process has changed little since the time of the Aztecs.

Step 1

Observe your chia plants for signs that their seeds are ready for harvest. Once the chia's flowers have yellowed and dried in late summer, the seeds should be harvested. And if not gathered soon after that point, they will fall out of the plant and begin to germinate.

Step 2

Uproot your chia plants. Chia is an annual, so the blades will soon die anyway. Pull the entire plant out of the ground by grasping it at its base and place it in a container.

Step 3

Grab the chia plant near its base and hit the top of the plant against the inside edge of the container until its seeds fall into the container.

Step 4

Toss the de-seeded chia plants onto the compost pile.

Things You'll Need

  • Container


  • USDA: Chia
  • "Chia: Rediscovering a Forgotten Crop of the Aztecs"; Richard Ayerza, Jr. and Wayne Coates; 2005
  • Chia Seeds: How to Plant and Harvest Chia Seeds
Keywords: harvest chia, chia seeds, harvest seed

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.