Sowing the pansies, saving their seeds for future plantations will give a new turn to your gardening. Saving the seeds and growing them later is an economical way to grow more pansies in your garden without buying them.
But a common question that comes to our mind is how long do pansy seeds last? Let’s find out.
In general, pansy seeds can last up to two years or even more if they are stored well. The shelf life of the pansy seeds depends upon two critical factors: location and temperature. To keep the seeds good, Make sure you store the pansy seed in a cool and dark place away from heat and light.
Pansies give your garden a beautiful splash of colors, but they start fading due to the warm weather of the late spring.
So, instead of disposing them to the compost pile, collect and save the seeds. You can grow them in the fall for another bloom in the garden.
Continue to read this article to dive deep into how long will the pansy seeds remain viable. We will also cover information about how to collect and store the seeds for future plantations.
How long are pansy seeds viable?
Pansy seeds can remain viable for two years, provided they are collected and stored correctly. The best way to keep them viable for a long time depends on the way you store them.
How long the pansy seeds remain alive relies entirely on how and in which condition you are storing them.
It is crucial to save and store them in good condition to keep them alive. It is not a difficult job. Once you know the correct information, it will become easy to help the seeds last long.
Let us read how to collect and store the seeds to keep them alive for a long time.
How do you collect pansy seeds?
When the temperature changes to warm conditions, it is the time when the pansy blooms start growing seed pods.
The seed heads of the pansies develop after the flowers fall from the plants. At this stage, these seedpods can be collected and stored for future pansy planting when the ideal weather arrives.
Identifying the Pansy seed pods
Before collecting them, you need to identify the seed pods, especially if you are new to the seed collection process.
After the pollination, the flower’s ovary starts to swell up and turns into a green seed pod, remaining on the plant’s stem after the petals have dropped off the plant.
Now, slowly the pansy seeds start drying up, and after they open up, you can see three boat-like valves with tiny brown-colored seeds of about an inch of 1/16.
The pod’s opening can sometimes throw the seeds over the ground. You can close the pod with a collection sack to prevent this when the pods stand at the right angle facing the stem instead of facing downwards.
You can use a sack made with any porous material and tie this sack with the stem over the pod. For example, you can use a drawstring bag made of cotton fabric as a collection sack.
Collecting the Pansy seeds to prevent from spreading in the ground
The seeds need to dry up before you store them.
After collecting the pansy seeds in the collection sacks:
- Bring them inside.
- Keep them on a paper towel.
- Let them remain until they dry up.
- You can keep them in a tray for drying.
- Place the tray in a dark and dry place for one week and wait until the seeds dry up. Then they are ready for storage.
How do you store and save the Pansy seeds?
After collecting the pansy seeds and keeping them aside for drying, it is time for storing and saving them. This will help them last longer, and you can later use them to grow more pansies in your garden.
Pansy seeds can last up to at least two years. They can even last more if you follow the proper methods of storage. Let us see how we can store and keep them safe.
Once your seeds are dry, you will need to store them well.
If you keep the seeds open, moisture can get into the seeds easily, even inside the packets if not sealed well. If moisture starts getting into the seeds, it will rot the seeds or it starts premature sprouting.
Even keeping them in the envelope doesn’t help because they do not protect the seeds from moisture. Therefore, the first thing to do for storing them is check for a sound packaging system.
Be it the purchased seeds or the saved seeds; both need good packaging. The labels of the pansies should have information about their variety and harvesting time before they are packed. You can keep the seeds in an airtight jar to keep them safe for a long time.
To save your seeds for a short time, you can opt for the waxed envelope.
You may think that keeping the saved seeds in an airtight jar has done the job of stopping the moisture from getting into the seeds. But that may not be true.
If moisture remains in the seeds, they will get trapped into the seeds. This will result in the rotting of the seeds.
You can prevent this by using silica gel. Silica gel will help in absorbing all the excess or remaining moisture from the seeds. Purchase a packet of silica gel from the market and place it in the jar.
Another way that can help absorb the remaining moisture from the seeds is milk powder. Take a mesh bag and take powdered milk of about ¼ cup to pour it into that mesh bag. Keep the bag in the jar.
Keep checking the bag once a month. If the milk powder starts making clumps or becomes wet, replace it with new milk powder. The powder will help in absorbing all the residual moisture from the seeds.
The last thing you need to do to keep the seeds alive for a long time is to search for a proper storage location. Pansy seeds can be stored for at least two years and remain viable for more time if they stay in an ideal location.
You should know first that the pansy seeds are sensitive to excess light and heat. This can ruin the seeds. To keep them from getting damaged, you need to select a dark and cool place for their storage.
A basement storeroom or a dark pantry room will be a suitable place for storing pansy seeds. You can also keep the seeds in a refrigerator if you keep them in an airtight sealed jar.
Remember not to keep them in the freezer. The harsh cold condition will damage the seeds, leading to failed germination.
What will you do after removing the pansy seeds from storage and before sowing?
The seeds remain alive and in better condition for a long time if they are provided with optimal conditions, which are low temperature and low humidity.
For maintaining successful storage, the temperature (°F) and the relative humidity (%) should always remain less than 100.
The actual storage life of the seeds depends upon the viability, the pansy variety, and the moisture content of the pansy seeds. The environmental condition of the place will also play an important role in this.
You can check the condition of the seeds by doing a small sample test to know if they will be able to germinate after such a long time.
To do so, you can place some seeds between two damp paper towels and close them in a zip lock bag (e.g., sandwich bag) and keep them in an environment where the temperature is in control and suitable for the pansy seeds.
After some days, you can check whether the seeds have germinated or not. This small sample test will help you to know whether your pansy seeds are in a condition to germinate well or not.
Note one thing that the germination rate and the viability of the pansy seeds will depend upon the seeds’ age. The germination rate and viability will decrease along with the age of the seed.
So, if the pansy seeds are pretty old, even though it germinates, the seedlings will not be strong enough.
When you bring out the seeds from the storage, let them adjust to the outside environment before opening them from the container or jar. This will result in preventing condensation from forming on the seeds.
How long do Pansy seeds take to germinate?
You can start pansy seeds indoors in a container or directly sow them outdoors in your garden bed. Both ways are workable.
First, you must choose a suitable site for directly sowing the pansy seeds in the garden bed.
For sowing the seeds:
- Make the soil moist and sterile and fill the bed up to one inch from the top.
- Take the seeds, spread them evenly over the bed, and cover them with a light layer of the soil, about 1/8 inch.
- Gently press the soil so that the seeds get covered up totally.
- Gently water the soil, make sure not to disturb the seeds.
- Cover the bed with plastic or newspaper to give them complete darkness, as they need darkness for germination.
This will also help the soil in preserving moisture for a long time. Still, you need to keep checking the soil for its moisture. While direct sowing, do not forget to provide them with proper shade to protect them from sunlight and sudden calamities.
Your pansy seeds should germinate within ten to twenty days. Make sure that the temperature in the surrounding environment of the seedbed is about 75°F.
After you notice seedlings, remove the paper cover to allow them to receive bright light and cool air.
Nourish the seedlings
When you start noticing leaves, you can remove the shade to receive enough sunlight throughout the day.
Ensure that your pansy seedlings have sufficient space in between them to prevent any suffocation.
Water them well regularly to keep the soil bed moist. Give the plants one inch of water every week. Make sure that the soil bed is well-drained.
Feed them with a water-soluble fertilizer for easy absorption when they grow leaves to improve their metabolism. This will result in healthy and prolific blooms.
Also read: Do Pansies Need Fertilizer? (What Type, How Much & More)
Pansies are not at all difficult to grow from seeds. It takes some more time for the seeds to develop into matured plants.
While saving them for later plantations, make sure the surrounding environment is ideal for their storage. Or else, your seeds won’t germinate well.
When growing the pansies by seeds, keep in mind the weather conditions and the season.
The temperature is always an essential factor during each stage, whether storing or germinating, or growing. Always watch the temperature before taking any action.
Provide them with all the requirements. Nourish the seedlings well to help them progress in their growth daily.
Ref: The University of Arkansas, Britannica, Utah State University, Wikipedia, The University of Georgia, The Pennsylvania State University, The Royal Horticultural Society.