Viability of Saved Zinnia Seeds

Asked April 25, 2019, 9:59 AM EDT

I collected Zinnia seeds at the end of the fall, 2017, and put these in the freezer. This fall, 2018, I didn't collect the Zinnia seeds - they wintered over on the stems and I am just now cleaning them up and collecting the remaining seeds. Are both of these seeds equally viable or is one more likely to germinate than the other? Thanks for helping me understand.

Frederick County Maryland

3 Responses

In general terms, fresher seeds (those stored for one year) are likely to be more viable, but in addition to the length of storage time, temperature and moisture also affect viability. The drier the seeds are, the longer they will store successfully.
Take a look at this article from Colorado State Extension.
https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/storing-vegetable-and-flower-seeds-7-221/

Zinnia seeds can remain viable for about 5 or 6 years.
You can do a simple test with your seeds from 2017 and 2018 and compare the germination rates. See the following link for the simple test instructions. It's a good experiment! https://www.clearcreekseeds.com/seed-viability-chart/

Christa

Thanks so much for the thorough answer and the two links are chock full of good information. And yes, I will try the experiment - should be fun! Thanks again so much!!