What is the best way to store left-over flower and vegetable seeds?


What is the best way to store left-over flower and vegetable seeds?


If stored properly, the seeds of many vegetables and flowers will remain viable (alive) for 2 to 3 years. 

Keep them Cool and Dry

Ideal storage conditions are cool and dry.  Keep the seeds in their original packets so their identity is not lost.  Fold over the ends of opened seed packets, then place the surplus seeds in a tightly sealed jar or plastic lidded coffee can. 

A Desiccant Will Help Keep Conditions Dry

Utilize a desiccant to remove excess moisture. 


Uncooked white rice commonly found at the grocery store is an easy to find desiccant.  Fully dry the rice by baking it in an oven at 220°F for several hours.  Remove and immediately seal in a jar to prevent the cooling rice from absorbing moisture.  Place 5 times the weight of rice to seeds in a jar and seal the envelope of seeds in the jar with the rice.  Replace the rice each growing season or when it is no longer dry. 

Powdered Milk

Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of powdered milk in a small envelope and place the envelope in the container.  The powdered milk will absorb the moisture from the air inside the container and keep the seeds dry. 

Silica Gel

Silica gel found at most craft stores can be used as a desiccant.  Put an amount of silica gel equal to the weight of the seeds in a separate envelope and store in a sealed container with the envelopes of seed. Do not store seed long-term with silica gel as sometimes it can dry seeds out too much.  Remove the silica gel after a couple of weeks and reseal the jar. 

Store in a Cool Location

Place the tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or other cool location, such as a root cellar or a cool closet. 

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