Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Getting rid of rain lilies in Aledo, TX
August 24, 2008 - How do I get rain lilies to stop growing in my yard?
view the full question and answer

Seeds from opuntia
May 11, 2009 - How do I get seeds from opuntias?
view the full question and answer

Planting and growing bluebonnets
October 06, 2007 - I am looking for bluebonnet seed planting suggestions. when? How? I found a source for seed. I want to plant about 2500 sq foot area.
view the full question and answer

Rhizobium inoculant for Leucaena and othr leguminous tree seedlings
January 02, 2007 - What sort of Rhizobium inoculant would be appropriate for Leucaena and other leguminous tree seedlings?
view the full question and answer

Both large and small Century plants putting up stems from Cayucos CA
November 18, 2013 - I have a Century Plant that is sending up a stem. I am excited to see it bloom. I noticed that one of the small pups, about 4 inches tall, is also sending up a stem. I have not found a mention of pups...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.