Rent Shop 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

Can trees survive if trunks are buried under 3-5 ft of soil?
January 27, 2012 - We have two cedar elms and a mesquite that I protected from backfill as our Texas Hill Country lot was leveled in preparation for building a house. The bulkheads are now holding back 3' to 5' of ma...
view the full question and answer

How to transplant agarita in Floresville, TX.
March 10, 2010 - How is the best way to propagate Agarita? I have acres of them in the pasture but want some for the house landscape and to grow. I was told they go dormant for a year if you dig them up to transplan...
view the full question and answer

Hybridized Indigo Spires having problems in Wimberley, TX
August 19, 2010 - I planted 7 Indigo Spires from one gallon containers in May and now each plant is about 18" tall. 4 of the 7 fell over about 2 weeks are. The plants still look healthy with no dropped or curled leav...
view the full question and answer

Stump sprouting of Oak trees in the wildfire area in Bastrop, TX.
May 13, 2012 - We live in Bastrop, Texas, in the wildfire area. We lost all of our trees. The oak trees have "suckers" growing from the base of the burned tree that has been cut down. They look like little bushe...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of blackberry from Williamsport PA
January 18, 2014 - I have been told that if you cut a branch off of a black berry bush and stick it in water for a few days, and then put it in the ground it will grow into another bush. Please tell me if this is true a...
view the full question and answer

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