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Jude's avatar

How long do flower seeds last?

Asked by Jude (32112points) February 23rd, 2010

I was cleaning out my Mom’s dining room hutch and found a few packets of Lupin seeds. She picked them up four years ago whilst in Nova Scotia. I would really love to plant them this year. They’ve been kept in a dry, dark place (in a sealed envelope).

Are they any good?

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11 Answers

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I would plant a few in a pot right now and see what happens. Follow whatever directions that are on the envelope as to what light and watering schedule to give it. If it works, plant them outside, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have some that have lasted for years.I gave a friend a seed and I have one left from a very special plant that I will put in the ground this year.Just give it a try :)

arnbev959's avatar

After a while the germination rate will be lower, but I think most of them should grow if they’re only four years old. I’ve planted older seeds with success.

DarkScribe's avatar

There have been instances of seed that are many hundreds of years old being successfully germinated.

MissAnthrope's avatar

It kind of depends on the plant.. some seeds don’t keep very well, others will keep for a long time.

Lupine can be grown from seeds, cuttings or divisions. If growing from seed, germination is greatly increased by a 7-day cold treatment. Place seeds and slightly damp paper towels in a Ziploc bag and store in the refrigerator. Another method would be to chip seed or soak in warm water for a 24 hour period. Treated seeds can be directly sown into a seedbed in spring or summer until August 1. Untreated seeds can be sown outdoors September-November. Plants grown from seed will bloom their first year. Pinch-off spent flowers to prolong the blooming period. Apply an all-purpose organic fertilizer once a month to promote healthy plants and large blooms. (Link)

Jude's avatar

Thanks, everyone.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

Just an interesting fact: Wheat was found in sealed clay jars in King Tut’s tomb and when they planted a few, it sprouted. 4 years is nothing.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

In all likelihood, they’re just fine. As @petethepothead pointed out, the germination rate can be reduced as the seeds age. But they’ve been in a sealed, dry place, with little contact to the light which is good; it’s how we store them long-term in our lab.

You may want to soak them in coldish water for a few hours to give them a little nudge out of dormancy.

faye's avatar

If they grow for you, you can collect seeds each year and keep your mom’s lupins growing each year.

Jude's avatar

@faye I know! Isn’t that wonderful?

faye's avatar

I have my mom’s geraniums.

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