Re: Best way of storing seed?

From: Steve Alton (
Date: Wed Apr 14 1999 - 01:43:46 PDT

Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 09:43:46 +0100
From: "Steve Alton" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1336$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Best way of storing seed?

<Hello fellow CP growers, I have over 100 carnivorous plants, many
<drosera, but am uncertain the best way of storing cp seed until I
<space to grow the plants. (mostly Sarr. seed but some Drosera
<as well).

The seed storage behaviour of most CP species has not been well
studied (the standard literature only has references to 2 species of
Pinguicula) but I imagine that most genera would respond well to
the techniques used here at the Millennium Seed Bank, namely -
dry and cold.

Our seeds are allowed to dry gradually in a room maintained at
20% relative humidity and 20 celsius for around 4 weeks. Once
they are dry, they are packed in air-tight containers and stored at
-20 celsius.

OK, so -20 is a bit beyond the scope of most people, but we are
looking to store seeds for 100 years plus. For shorter periods, say
a few years, a domestic refrigerator of freezer should do, but bear
in mind these are usually quite humid.

So, keep your seeds somewhere dry for a few weeks, in paper or
cloth bags (not plastic - won't let the water out) and when they are
dry seal them in an air-tight container and stick them in the fridge.

But be careful - like I say, most CP genera have not been studied,
and some of the tropical species may not take to this treatment.
Don't put all your irreplaceable Heliamphora seeds in the freezer
and balme me if they croak!

Hope this helps.
Steve Alton
UK Co-ordinator - Millennium Seed Bank
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Wakehurst Place
Tel: 01444 894079
Fax: 01444 894069

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