En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - June 10, 2011

From: Bayside, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Can wildflower seeds be stored in plastic from Bayside TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have been harvesting seeds from all of the varieties of wildflowers I'd planted in a raised flower bed. I had vacuum sealed them with my Seal-A Meal but a few days ago I was told that this was not recommended since the seeds were still "living and breathing". I have a large supply of wildflower seeds and would hate for a misstep to endanger their germination probability.

ANSWER:

Please read our How-To Article Seed Collecting and Storage. Since we don't know if you did the drying out of the seeds before you packaged them, we have no idea if your seeds are still viable. Of particular concern is this paragraph under "Seed Storage:"

"Do not store seeds in plastic bags or other non-breathable containers unless they are air-dried throroughly first."

Since we have no personal experience with testing for seed viability, we found this article from In the Garden Online on Checking Seed Viability. If you find some species that will germinate, we suggest you then follow the instructions in our How-To Article above to store them until you are ready to plant. If you find any indications of mold, we recommend you discard those seeds, being careful not to allow them to contaminate any other seeds.

 

More Propagation Questions

Plants for elementary school grow lab in New York
March 14, 2007 - What can we grow in a grow lab in our elementary school library from seed now that will bloom by June or what interesting looking established plants can we put in this grow lab that will have meaning ...
view the full question and answer

Cultivation of Gossypium hirsutum, Upland Cotton
February 08, 2006 - I got a cotton boll (seeds and all) at a spinning workshop. I spun the cotton and the lady who brought the cotton boles said the seeds could be planted and the plant could be grown in a container on ...
view the full question and answer

Why is non-native peach tree not going dormant in Owensville IN
December 19, 2011 - I have a peach tree I grew from a peach pit. It is about 2 years old. I planted the tree in my yard this summer. It is now about 3' tall. My problem is it is not going dormant. We have had several fr...
view the full question and answer

Do pecans and bluebonnets only bloom every other year from New Braunfels TX
November 03, 2010 - Is it true that bluebonnets only seed every other year? I know we see bluebonnets every year, so this is quite a mystery to us. Also, is it the same with pecan trees?
view the full question and answer

Resprouting of native prairie plants after snowstorm
April 07, 2007 - Will my prairie plants that have broken dormancy be harmed by a spring snowstorm? Temperatures have fallen down into the twenties and forecast to stay sub-freezing for five or six days. We have abou...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center