Seed Saving Tips

Tips for collecting seed

  • Pick a healthy and vigorous plant to collect from.
  • Don’t collect too soon – immature seeds will not germinate.
  • Collect on a dry day.
  • Look for seedpods which have changed colour from green to brown.
  • Cut or pick the seedheads and lay them out to dry somewhere warm.
  • If the pods aren’t fully open, then wait until they have dried, then gently crush the pods or capsules to release the seeds.
  • Some seedheads explode – they need to be checked every day. You can place them in a brown paper bag and wait for them to explode, or shake them.
  • Once the seed is free, make sure you clean off the chaff to prevent the seeds from rotting.

Tips for storing seed

  • Most seed can be kept to sow in the spring – hellebores are an exception and prefer to be sowed immediately.
  • Use paper packets (or spent envelopes) and label them correctly.
  • Keep them in an airtight plastic container with silica gel to absorb excess moisture.
  • It’s good to store seeds at 5C as they can remain viable for long periods if refrigerated.

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