Viability of Seeds Kept at Room Temperature

Asked August 22, 2017, 2:54 PM EDT

Hi, My name is Anne Lundquist, children's librarian at the Cloquet Public Library in Cloquet, MN. This spring the Cloquet Library received a seed library from the Carlton County United Way. Now it is time to get ready to put the seeds away. I was wondering how long do seeds keep at room temperature? The seeds are stored in small manilla coin envelopes and those are stored in a 3 drawer plastic cart. We have a lot of green beans with labels that say purchased fall 2015 and lots of peas that say "for spring 2016". Will these be ok for planting in spring 2018? Or should I wait til spring and do the wet paper towel test with some of them? Any other advice you can give is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much, Anne

Carlton County Minnesota

1 Response


Thank you for your questions.

Please follow this link for research-based information on seed storage -

Wait until spring to do the paper towel test.

Hope this helps.