which seeds should store in fridge & which at room temp?

tumblingtomatoesJanuary 10, 2009

Hi, Newbie - wanna know which seeds should be stored in the fridge & which should be stored at room temp? I have peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, cukes, melons, some herbs, lettuces, chard, broccoli rabe & several flowers seeds.

Nigella, agastache, carnations, sunflowers, baby breath, love lies bleeding, cosmos, marigolds, violas & some others.

I want the seeds to last longest while still being viable.


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Hi Tumblingtoms,
Being that you are down in Florida, my first question to you would be, do you have central air?
If yes and your home is a steady cool temp year round, storing them in a cool dark dry spot in your home will do quite well. of course there is variation in plant families, but most of what you listed will do well if you start them 5 years from now kept in a home down there with central air.
Some things that are often listed with short viability - lettuce, onions, some herbs.
If no, I would keep them in a fridge. The combination of heat and humidity are what really hurt seed viability. Make sure they are dry first, you don't want mold to form while stored in the fridge.
If you really want to keep seeds indefinitely, you can put them in an air tight container in a freezer. There are a few things you must know first. The seeds must be really dry. Trying to store them with not enough moisture gone, will kill them. Also, you must let the container come to room temp before opening or you will kill the seed. If you plan on retrieving seeds from the freezer once a year, this is no problem. If you are trading seeds, this would be a pain.
Hope this helps,

1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 11:11AM
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Excellent info Remy! Thanks!
Yeah, we have central ac on all yr long except for the few cool days we get here in Florida. I have kept them so far in padded envelopes which are in a box in the closet. Thanks again for the info, have a great weekend! :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 11:59AM
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There are a number of web sites outside GW which give a idea of how long will keep. One to ten years is the range, with most from two to six year, as I recall.

Oregon State Univ Ext gives the following advice:

"Seed is best stored through the winter at 50 degrees, at 50 percent humidity. A good way to store unused seed packets is to place them in a sealed jar with a desiccant such as powdered milk or rice at the bottom (to absorb moisture)."

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 3:41PM
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