Can I save seeds from plants grown with store bought seeds?

quilt_mommy(5/6 Northeast Ohio)March 1, 2009

My Dad always warned me that I shouldn't do this, but I am curious as to why I couldn't plant a pack of seeds from Walmart, grow them, and save the seeds to plant the following year? They bought some hollyhocks one year this way, and they reseed each year, so why couldn't I swipe some seeds from it to plant at my place?

Thanks for any advice or help you can offer! :)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The issue is are they hybrids or heirlooms/open pollinated varieties. If they are hybrids then the seeds you save won't breed true. Hybrid seeds in the packet are the result of manual cross-pollination of at least 2 parent varieties. The seeds saved from those hybrid plants once grown, will revert to the parent stock or some strange combination of them.

If your seeds planted and grown are heirlooms or open-pollinated plants, not hybrids, then yes you can save the seeds and re-grow them. Depending on what the plant is - self-fertile like tomatoes or insect pollinated like most flowers, they may or may not grow true. In some cases, like hollyhocks you will still get lots cross-pollination by insects so your saved seeds may change color etc.

It all depends on how much you care whether or not the seeds you saved breed true or not. Many don't care, many do. Some research on cross-pollination will explain this in more detail. ;)


    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

when I buy seeds from the store I try to get heirlooms if I can. I also look at the label and see if it says hybrid. If it's a variety I really want, I buy the hybrid anyway. If the pack doesn't say hybrid on it, it may not be. I get out seed catalogs or use Google to search for information on any specific variety to find out what I can about it.
You'd be surprised how many are not hybrid and seeds can be saved. Herbs are some that often can have the seeds saved from. Many flowers also can be harvested for the seeds, zinnias, merigolds, four o'clocks are just a few. Veggies, such as certain squahes, okra are some I have saved seeds from and grown.
Anytime you have a question, look it up, or just try it anyway!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 12:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Chaenomeles (Quince) shrub- info please
Hi guys! Yesterday I cracked open the fruit from my...
christinmk z5b eastern WA
need help with seed saving winnowing
saved these seed how do I winnow?
Wild Haired Mavens
When to expect sunflowers to form seeds?
When can I expect my sunflowers to form seeds? I was...
confederate rose
Can anyone tell me when and how to get the seeds from...
Bugs in seeds -) will freezing work?
Apparently a batch of small flying insects - rather...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™