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Old seeds

BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
edited March 2018 in Plants
I found some old Cosmos seeds that must be at least 6 years old. Do you think they will germinate ? I sowed them about 5 days ago so i am hoping, and i wont have lost anything if they dont i suppose. Any experience of old seeds ? 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,090
    I've had very successful germination from 15+ year old tomato seeds  :)

    But I wouldn't bother trying with old parsnip or carrot seeds ... I discard them after a season ... they just don't remain viable. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Worth a try (assuming you've sown indoors) - online sources say 3-4 years longevity for cosmos seeds.  Plenty of time to buy & sow more if they don't germinate. 
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Yes they're indoors on a sunny window sill. I will hope for the best then. 
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,423
    The viability of seeds varies a lot from one species to another ironically size seems to be inverse except for some pea & bean seeds. Some large seed such as acorns must be sown fresh, Poppy seed (which is tiny) can last for years even in the ground waiting till soil is disturbed and then germinating. As Bob says there are lists & charts on the internet that will tell you the expected viability time. 
    AB Still learning

  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Thanks bob, will hop over and have a look. 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,619
    I have sown some Cosmos seeds that are 3 - 4 years old. The Antiquity has come up but the Double Click Rose hasn't.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
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